Assorted Poetry 

During the last year I have found myself turning more to poetry to find inspiration as a reader and a writer (even if it is years since I actually published anything). Here are a few observations upon 2020 as well as miscellaneous scribings from previous years, often reflections on geographical or age related journeys.


'Novel Imprisonments' 

The worlds

Inside our head

Hostage to new

Subject conditions,

Narrative flows


Upstairs characters are

Left outwith authorial instruction

Unsure of their crimes

Staring at paintings

Maddened by the lack of facial Recognition.

History has unmasked us

Exposed plot continuity

Found us lacking skills

In forensic deduction,

It was there in the script

If we’d read ahead

In the present tense

Not the future past perfect.

Now survival steps

Back in the frame

Venturing out

To check what happened

In the spaces we used to share,

Amidst the heather and granite

The North remembers

The tithes and tides

That have weathered, drained

Scoured the land

For complicit hands

To be immune

From the herd

When the stampede


Something has come between us

Silky voices, protection rackets, Glove puppets

Gravity has bent us over

Compressed our friends,

In foetal positions

We tick boxes

Hang on their words

How we are all authors now

Except those index finger linked

In the blame game

Awaiting more backbreaking News.


Narrative coups are afoot

Accelerated character Development

In this alternate reality

Spring is an alarming presence,

Hermit birds no longer

Sit silent on the fence.

We find ourselves in

Odd shoes

Morning dressing gown

Routine swish of coffee

Scattering corn 

Turning leaves and twig

Earthing ourselves

From the shocking possibilities

Of clearing skies.

Blood trails have been swept

Free for swallows and kites

Healing rain forecasted

Murmurations of

New beginnings.

Late April 2020.

(c) J.Purkis

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Garden Shed

Birthday Letters

Bundled by limp plastic bands

Under a pair of old gardening trousers

So much is retained

In the Woolworths plastic bag

Memory presses of thrifty calligraphy

And Saturday morning sweet smells,

Retracing the journey

The warm welcome of the

Creaking attic steps.

How we miss them

Their there-ness

Wrought from the slow times

Of the day scheduled

Appointment with kitchen table

Best tea and ink employed

The Home Service

Always relied on.

When friends forgot or had replaced us

With curt electronic missives

Catch ups became decades

Kisses, best wishes.

Unfolding their considerations

As the garden gate clangs

Now the dogs are silent

Forced to work the

Bare bone economy

At the lack of friends

To get their teeth into.

Here they are again

In pastel wash glory

Love guaranteed under cover

In print

We commit to what rumour

Cannot ruin

Out there the purity

Is visceral


A writer’s trespass,

Along permissible heathery paths

We beat our retreats

Time’s emotional backpack

Joggling our


Literary waits.

Looking up, there’s Hughes again

Left on the shelf

Of feminist purgatory

Saving his get out claws

For a last reposting

Yet the hope of ‘Fulbright scholars’

Leaves me gasping again.

By the recycling bin

I let them go

A fistful of love

Palm extending

To the next generation

Blessing the day

Your day.

(C) J Purkis. March 2019.