Archive for September, 2019


ice melts
slides into the ocean
water levels rise
land meets water
water meets land
how long before
there is no land
for the water to meet


In the days before we had a party for every occasion we had just one, the Valentines Day disco and the one from 1978 at Holme Middle is one I will never forget for the wrong reasons. I was at the disco with Mark and everybody was dancing, drinking pop and pairing up. I went over to a girl, a really nice girl and asked her for a dance. She looked at me and said no, just like that. I felt gutted. Rejected at an early age and little did I know it would set a pattern for me and the fairer sex although I didn’t know it at the time. I think I just went and sat down somewhere and had some pop wondering why she was dancing with everybody else but said no to me. I don’t remember any other parties although I’m sure there was but this one I do remember for all the wrong reasons but that’s life and sometimes we learn lessons at an early age that only have meaning later on in life when we have gained experience and have time to reflect on what has happened to us and give us an understanding as to why things happened the way they did.


i’m only doing what others do
what you do, what they do
saying what i think, what i believe
speaking my mind
standing up for what i believe in
but because i’m different
i’m not allowed to
have a mind of my own
to think independently
to make up my own mind
to have my own opinions
to use my voice
to say what i think
say what i believe
but for some reason
i must conform
to the elite
and powerful of society
a young female
with Asperger’s should
not talk to them
like this they say
she should be quiet
respectful, go to school
meet someone, settle down
know her place in society
do what they want her to do
not do what she wants to do
so they call me names
but i’m used to that
i ignore the names
ignore the calls for me
to shut up and be quiet
i will use my voice
to say what i think
to stand up for what i believe
to make a difference
to this world
to make it a better place
for everyone
if they don’t like it tough!
it’s their problem not mine
it’s them who need
to look in the mirror
and ask themselves
am i right?
is this the world
i want to live in?
is this the world
i want to leave
for future generations?
well is it?


One experience I remember vividly from Holme Middle is taken an English test comprising of spelling, grammar and a story and getting over 90% on grammar and the story and failing miserably at spelling. I still achieved over 200 marks out of 300 despite getting no more than 10 marks for spelling and my English teacher praised me for my imaginative and well written story and said had I achieved a similar mark on my spelling as I did on the other 2 papers I would have achieved the highest mark ever. At Tong I wrote a story about a racing car that had a 6th gear, at the time a 5 speed gearbox was only just coming onto the market, and how it won the race because of this 6th gear. This story got me moved up into the top class for English and maths. It was evident from an early age I had a natural talent for English and for story telling but in the 70s going to school on a rough council estate there was no opportunities to take this further and see how far I could go with it. Nobody was there to offer to mentor me or advise me what I could do with my talent to see where I could go. Maybe my life would have turned out very differently, a best selling novelist and playwright perhaps, or maybe it would have been no different to how it has turned out. I’ll never know but it would have been interesting to have known. For me this was the first of many missed opportunities to do something I enjoy doing and had a natural gift for. Don’t waste any opportunities that come your way, they don’t come along very often.


This poem was inspired by a story of a glacier sliding down a mountainside in the Alps due to global warming.

i’ve been here a thousand years
high up in the cold, clear air
of the mountains, watching life
come and go around me

now i am slowly disappearing, dying
it began as a trickle of water
flowing unnoticed down the rock
towards the valley below

a trickle turned into a cascade of
crystal clear water making birds,
mammals and people look up to see
this new waterfall creating its path

now no-one comes to see
i am so much smaller than i was
losing size and shape as i
slide down the mountain

i am losing my home
sliding into the
abyss of oblivion
my life is ebbing away

there is nothing i can do
to stop this, i am powerless
but you are not
you have the power to change

use it to stop
more deaths like mine
to maintain the fragile
balance earth needs to survive

use it to prevent
your own demise
or your death will be
the last one you see


I have never been gifted in a sporting way and at school this was even less so. My mum and dad never had much money so I would play football in my Doc Marten boots and cricket in pumps full of holes. Two games stand out in my memory though. One time I played football at Holme Middle in my Doc Marten boots and I rang rings round everyone and people even passed to me. It just felt so easy and natural that one time. Another I was playing cricket at Tong Comprehensive and normally I swung wildly, missed and was out. This time I hit everything everywhere and in the end the games teacher gave up trying to get me out and called it a day. Again it felt so easy and natural. I’ve never felt like that playing football or cricket since and probably won’t do ever again now. It was almost as if life was saying, look at what you could have been but you never will be.

changing seasons

Posted: September 24, 2019 in poetry, Uncategorized
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trees losing leaves
animals gathering food
vegetation dying
weather getting colder
colours transforming
rivers flowing faster
sun getting lower
shorter days
longer nights
life goes to sleep
preparing for the
changing of the seasons


It’s January 1977 and I’m on a school trip to Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales. Like many kids journeys when you was younger seem to be much further away and take much longer than when you grow up and the world seems to shrink around you. I remember this trip well as it was one of the first school trips I went on. We went down Capnut cave which I remember for the freezing cold water pouring over the top of my wellies and onto my feet turning them from red hot to ice cold in an instant. One of the teachers Mr Exely had to carry one girl out of the cave as she couldn’t stand her feet being cold and wet. Another instance was when we stopped up late one night in the hostel thinking we were the biggest rebels who had ever lived! We were all playing games until we heard a noise at the window and looked out to see the teachers there coming back from the pub very drunk with a large case of beer in their arms! They said that if we didn’t tell on them for coming back late they wouldn’t tell on us for stopping up late. Of course being young kids we were scared stiff of getting into trouble so said nothing to anyone not realising until later on in life that the teachers would have got into far more trouble than we would have done! the most memorable incident though was when we walked up Ingleborough in snowy and icy conditions over 20ft snow drifts wearing nothing more than a jumper, jacket, jeans and Doc Martens. We got to the top and Mr Exely told us to hold hands. When we asked why he said that Gaping Gill the deepest pothole in Europe was somewhere around and he didn’t want anyone to fall down it! That was health and safety in 1977!

the glass museum

Posted: September 22, 2019 in poetry, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

the glass museum
was doomed to failure
when cracks appeared
and people tried
to walk through them
and got splinters
in their feet


I still remember the very first time I saw Mark Holdsworth at Holme Middle. It was in the playground and Mark was leaning back against the railings that went around the school in his school uniform wearing a pair of Doc Martens surrounded by other kids. He seemed very popular and I remember thinking how I wished I could have a friend like Mark and be popular with kids to talk to and play with all the time. I can’t remember the first time I spoke to him, but we did, and we clicked too as we’re still friends I what must be forty years on from that moment. After that meeting, we were at each other’s houses, playing down the valley, down the woods and on Black Hill. We were pretty much inseparable, and Mark introduced me to other people, some of whom are still my friends and others who drifted away as time went on. These were good times, fun times, times when life is perfect because you don’t understand the world and what is going on in it.