I was made to learn poems by heart as a punishment. This was at the second school I went to (see My Schools in Gallery). A bad start.

The teacher who inflicted this was somewhat admired, I cannot imagine why. (I remember now as well as teaching 'English' he also taught History, another area of learning I left school bored by and disliking - since then, of course, I came to find it fascinating). I thought he was a bully. In class he would prowl along behind a row of pupils. If displeased with what he saw in some answer on a pupil’s desk or with the spoken answer to a question he would hit the offender on the head with a book.

He ran the library. That was his domain. He would sit at his table and make us recite to him the poem we’d had to learn. He may have had some basic sadistic tendencies, but more likely suffered from a grossly mistaken pedagogical tendency.

The result was I disliked poetry. I was deaf to it, for years. Poems in the University magazine I thought mostly clever-silly.

I only started writing my own well into my 20s - every few years, in spurts. Over many decades I've written a few poems every few years. I was surprised to find it comes to around seventy, including in this count some three-liners.

Of course there are some I have not included. At the end are a few early, not-so-sure, not so early, not-so-sure late ones. Trouble is that moment of throwing away, clicking delete - sometimes the hand or the finger won’t move! I have to admit there are a few in the main body of this collection which I am not too sure of either. But let that rest.

I'll probably write some more, but I never know. I don't think of myself as a poet. I just write them occasionally. And somehow I wanted to share them. 

(NB - If you have got to this page through Google, as with any other page I did not intend it to appear separately on a search. My main purpose in this website is to make accessible a number of articles I wrote when working with organisations and in mature-student education - to do with co-operative structures and collective decision-making. PLEASE click on 'Home' at top of navigation bar on left).

Collected Poems

Around 70 of them!
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Recent poems

I went to a workshop - Jackie Kay on the Isle of Arran, with my good friend Larry Butler, September 2012. She suggested using photographs as a start point for poems about a past time or event. I'd never done this so it was interesting. I wrote 'Electric' in advance, 'Me' and 'Changes' and 'So Simple' at the workshop.

Recently (February 2013): 'Puzzles Are Easy'; and 'Noch Da' - in German!
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