Cities by H. D.

I used H.D.’s Hermes of the Ways in my book, and it’s probably the best thing in the book. Cities is also a beautiful poem: ‘The city is peopled/with spirits, not ghosts, O my love’…


(Photography by Howard Kingsnorth)

by H. D.

Can we believe—by an effort
comfort our hearts:
it is not waste all this,
not placed here in disgust,
street after street,
each patterned alike,
no grace to lighten
a single house of the hundred
crowded into one garden-space.

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This – Ralph Angel


Above: Dark Foothills by Lesley Jones


You can find a reading of this poem by Ralph Angel himself here.



Ralph Angel

Today, my love,
leaves are thrashing the wind
just as pedestrians are erecting again the buildings of this drab
forbidding city,
and our lives, as I lose track of them,
are the lives of others derailing in time and
getting things done. Continue reading

Failing and Flying – Jack Gilbert

At the risk of reducing this beautiful poem to a motivational message: But anything worth doing is worth doing badly. (Painting: Dream of Icarus by Sergey Solomko.)


Failing and Flying

Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
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Sick of the Ocean – Kapka Kassabova

I was looking back on an exhibition some time ago about objects excavated from the Thames when I came across the picture below and this article, and somehow it reminded me of a poem by Kapka Kassabova. (Also, unrelated – far too many places are milking the “spring into action” pun this season…)


Sick of the Ocean

by Kapka Kassabova

In the winter of our youth
the ocean was cold
and in the summer of our later years too.
We are sick of seeing the ocean
of hearing the ocean
tasting its blood
metallic and cruel.
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Ten Ways to Avoid Lending Your Wheelbarrow to Anybody – Adrian Mitchell

I was randomly browsing pictures of people in wheelbarrows, as you do, and this came up…

Wheelbarrow Man by R E Roberts.


Reminded me of this fun poem… (Hope it’s been a good April! Time for May.)

Ten Ways to Avoid Lending Your Wheelbarrow to Anybody

by Adrian Mitchell


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
I didn’t lay down my life in World War II
so that you could borrow my wheelbarrow.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
Unfortunately Lord Goodman is using it.

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Book-inspired art by Harland Miller

Speaking of Penguin and Phil Shaw, Harland Miller also comes to mind. Please check out his website and those category titles (you can find Ernest Hemingway under “The Macho Shit”). And here’s his work on Charles Bukowski:



As we’re on this topic, here’s an animal poem by Charles Bukowski.

the mockingbird

by Charles Bukowski

the mockingbird had been following the cat
all summer
mocking mocking mocking
teasing and cocksure;
the cat crawled under rockers on porches
tail flashing
and said something angry to the mockingbird
which I didn’t understand.

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The most blonde woman in the world – Judy Grahn

I read this poem years ago, and decided to make Helen from Crooked Step a blonde.

Painting: Medusa by Maria Rivans


The most blonde woman in the world
by Judy Grahn

The most blonde woman in the world
one day threw off her skin
her hair, threw off her hair, declaring
‘Whosoever chooses to love me
chooses to love a bald woman
with bleeding pores.’ Continue reading