Thursday, May 27, 2010

don-whitehotel: Flight and Smoke

don-whitehotel: Flight and Smoke

Flight and Smoke

Francis Boutle publishers has just brought out my new verse collection Flight and Smoke, previously available only in a signed/limited edition. Price £7.99. Dirt cheap!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Light

I’d whooping cough, so I was told,
at six weeks, or more likely six months, old;

and I recall as though it were today
what must have been a fierce cough racking me

although I seem outside my own distress
till I can breathe again. Primal, it’s less

a memory than something I still feel,
as real as now is. There’s a woman’s pale

face looking on, upset: I’m sure, my aunt’s;
and I am being held, although I can’t

feel mother’s arms: I seem to float
mid-air. It’s murky, from my sight

being still weak, I suppose; but I’m aware
of the pale face, and larger paleness where

I’ll later know one looks out at a carn.
This is where I was for an instant born

into myself, a being in the world,
and I don’t feel the cough, nor being held,

but love I see and feel. Including light.
And both seem known to me, and infinite.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

from Russia with love

In Russia

I notice that it's a full year since I wrote here. The main cause is Russia. In June, Angela and I took a cruise from Moscow to Petersburg, and it re-invigorated all my love for Russian culture, history and literature. When we came back I plunged into writing a long poem, The Russia Train, and when I'd laid that aside for a few months --since I was too close to it to be able to look at it critically-- I started translating Pushkin's 'Eugene Onegin'. I've finished that now, and I can draw breath. And hopefully write here from time to time.

I had a wonderful birthday present in January from Angela, a new website. It's at