Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

The Magician’s Nephew

I seriously don’t understand why everyone gets so stuck on ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’. I was quite miffed when the new Narnia film series decided to begin with that one. And then, I was even more miffed when I watched the atrocious piece of junk they called a film and realised they’d managed to rape the magic out of that as well.

But the books start with ‘The Magician’s Nephew’, people!!! It’s probably my favourite in the series, and one that gets badly overlooked. Sort it out, fools! Rant over.

The best bit in the book, in my opinion,  is when  Digory and Polly find themselves in the ruins of the great city of Charn, and come across a mysterious bell and hammer. The haunting inscription on the pillar where they stood has stuck with me ever since I first read it at the age of 10:

Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;

Strike the bell and bide the danger,

Or wonder, till it drives you mad,

What would have followed if you had.’

(C. S. Lewis, 1955)



Too Pikey for Paris

Last night I found a very eloquent little poem I wrote about my first trip to Paris, which took place in March 2008.

Paris is lovely to look at.

Paris was meant to be romantic.

Paris was a rip off.

Knowing your pint cost you a tenner drains the magic out of drinking it:


Too Pikey for Paris

too tired to care

L’amour, bonjour

nice to breakfast you

My hotel has a view

of La Tour Eiffel

And each romantic rue


But no wine bottle has a screwcap.

I found a rose’, but screw that

I ain’t gonna pay ten quid for that.

There’s Depeche Mode on German MTV.



A rather charming little billet-doux to a city which, in my experience, rings the death knell to any ailing relationship. Don’t you agree?  Ah, I knew you would.

This is me in Paris:

Well classy.



mente insana sincronia

letra redonda cicla

amarga acida cica

tia vizinha mae namorada

corre com a mao no chinelo,

prepara a palmada.

Mas e doce o seu perfume

doce como a laranja e a hortela

e a jabuticaba.

Cuidado, menina,

nessa sinuca tem assombracao.

O jacare vai fugir se voce pisar no feijao.

Refuja-se nesse quarto

ar condicionado, natureza,

corrente na senzala, colchao no chao.

Rosbife assado com linguica,

mae postica.

Linda linda mulher

mae sem barriga

Fada, Tiete, Sereia

bruxa mulher

Cachoeira, Quaresmeira, Ipe

O que sera ja e.

In Memoriam Maria Carmem de Alencar Araripe, 2009.

An Anonymous Poem Written on a Cemetery Wall in Spain

Poema Espanhol

I read a translation of the above at my father’s funeral the other day. It’s a poem that came to my attention completely randomly, and I thought it said some very meaningful things about life and death. It was found in Gaucin, Spain, and as far as I am aware it is completely anonymous.

I’ve translated it as best as I could.

“Death is nothing. It is merely as if one went to sleep in the adjacent room.

I go on being me, and you go on being you, and we go on being the same to one another.

Follow me calling as you once did, and follow me speaking as you did before.

Go on smiling as if I were still here. Think of me, pray for me and ensure my name is always spoken in a natural manner, without shadows surrounding it.

Death is a natural process and I still go on in your heart, even when you do not see me, I will always be by your side.

Life goes on and all is well.”

Wednesday, November 27th, 12.15 am

O screetch

train in the distance

hum of fridge

buzz of light

distant murmur of tv

cars driving far away

and a motorbike

and a siren.

and a train.

the sound of the wind

squeezing through the branches

of the bare oak tree

at the end of the garden.

Arthur Symons

Below is one of my favourite poems by the decadent Arthur Symons… It just reminds me of being in a cab with someone exciting, driving along the Embankment as the streetlights twinkle their reflections on the Thames…



One little cab to hold us two

Night, an invisible dome of cloud,

The rattling wheels that made our whispers loud,

As heart-beats in the whispers grew;

And, long, the Embankment with its lights,

The pavement glittering with fallen rain,

The magic and mystery that is night’s,

And human love without the pain.


The river shook with wavering gleams,

Deep buried as the glooms that lay

Impenetrable as the grave of day,

Near and distant as our dreams.

A bright train flashed with all its squares

Of warm light where the bridge lay mistily.

The night was all about us: we were free,

Free of the day and all its cares!


That was an hour of bliss too long,

Too long to last where joy is brief.

Yet one escape of souls may yield relief

To many weary seasons’ wrong.

‘O last for ever!’ my heart cried;

It ended: heaven was done.

I had been dreaming by her side

That heaven was but begun.


Symons, Arthur, ‘Nocturne‘, from ‘Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu‘, ed. Lisa Rodensky, (London: Penguin Classics, 2006), p. 41


Hmmm… It doesn’t matter to me that this poem was written in the 1890’s—-it captures that feeling of excitement, of being drunk in London, in the early hours of a winter’s night, cozying up in bliss as the rain falls on the windscreen, wishing that moment could last for all eternity.



And here is one Jim Morrison made earlier…

I am troubled immeasurably

by your eyes

I am struck by the feather

of your





The sound of glass speaks quick disdain

and conceals

what your eyes fight

to explain.




(Jim Morrison)