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.

Through warm pools


Tidal wavelets surrender all across the bay,

creating wake in water our drenched dog runs,

wet sand mirrors pink sky pastel display,

We bid farewell to the distant setting sun.


Through warm pools our bare feet idly walk,

heaven-clouded horizons we absorb, enjoy;

sea gulls gather in government and squawk,

a speeding train whirrs like an electric toy.


Soon summer temperatures suddenly fall,

temporarily suspended our tide-out trips,

fireside reading and compelling authors call:

no horizons scanned for silent sailing ships.



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…?