Older Books Generally Preferred


Welcome world of printed words,

Out-of-print authors more esteemed,

older books generally preferred,

Second chances, dreams redeemed.


Books that browsers once collected,

shoulder-leaning on sagging shelves,

some studied, some sparsely inspected:

endless aspirations of questing self.

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Bookmarked pages wait in vain,

annotated, sometimes scored;

spirit of hope on pages stained:

with books one is never bored.

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History, memoir, poetry and prose,

finely illustrated limited editions;

few collectors will ever foreclose:

unfulfilled acquisition ambitions.


see also video-poem on Carraig Books: a fare-thee-well https://vimeo.com/311088801

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photos: Dora Kazmierak  https://www.instagram.com/dorakazmierak/

Father’s Tie Collection


A selection of father’s tie collection,

light-enhanced, silken sheen glows,

even from a distance, his style shows;

life long his textile trade connection.


Fabric handled with reverent care,

close-examined, weave-pattern strong;

hand woven fabric, all day long,

such woollen craft nowadays rare.


Cardboard boxes hold old wool weaves

in the cramped cottage sitting-room,

homaged, now-absent handlooms:

craftsman’s creed firmly believed.


Wales, a far cry from his teen times

of city skies, fogged factory fumes,

daydreams in war-time classrooms:

he chafed at schoolroom confines.


A first and then a second chance,

art college classes in between,

Arts and Craft visions clearly seen,

textiles homaged, life-long trance.


Silent now those singing shuttles,

symbolic loom reluctantly sold;

providence-blessed hundredfold:

emotional, fond mohair cuddle.


first to smoke a cigarette


first to smoke a cigarette,

first to kiss lips, not for bet,

first across Atlantic on jumbo jet.

youngest of three brothers,

yellow,  allocated colour;

first-favoured by mother.

solo-travelled on country bus,

pirate stations found, another plus;

one-upmanship my trademark suss.

disc disciple, surfin’ sounds,

hated, many hand-me-downs;

furiously fought for: fraternal crowns.

the only boy to boarding school,

rebel runaway, broke many rules,

sank not swam in swimming pools.

family fracturing I luckily escaped,

scarred siblings, equally scraped;

hopeful Hemmings…not hero-caped.

Will Heaven Happily Shock?

The author commissioned a newly worded gravestone for his three forebears. It now accurately reflects the shared chronology of their unhappy endings…


Mid-war, Easter Monday, bitter reverse

of resurrection, Grandpa’s faith waver:

strangle-hands unholy, contrarian cursed

all sermons about his Lord and Saviour.


Grandma from neighbours returned

and saw note: “police presence required” –

intuition about sick son caused concern:

filicide it later transpired.


Her husband absent, out on a walk

from which he would never return,

how neighbours and nation would talk:

drowned body and conscience churned.


That midnight, a canal dredge revealed

rigor mortised cadaver of a troubled soul:

hopefully heaven-bound, maybe healed

but was his name on God’s sacred scroll?


That double funeral hit the headlines,

the pastor rebuked clamouring crowds,

widow and sibling sought hopeful signs;

tongues wagged, the traumatised cowed.


Remarriage brought Grandma little solace;

she deleted herself from life with death:

violence silenced her Hallelujah chorus,

an overdose silence her trembling breath.


Grave wording misled, wrongly hoped,

slayer assigned sentimental sop:

sly mix of ages and dates provoked

  • will heaven have me happily shocked…?