Poetry reading (and other stuff) for world poetry day…

We decided to do something for World Poetry Day, this Sunday the 21st of March.

All proceeds from these events will go to Shelter, because if the pandemic has taught us anything it is that homelessness is something we can do something about… if we want to.

Michaela will be doing a live ‘poetry in to clay’ on FB, You can check this out by via our FB page here.

We will be auctioning a one-off seatree assemblage (again, to raise money for Shelter);

…and I will be doing this;

LIVE POETRY READING ‘The times we live in now’

Sunday afternoon, 21st March, from 3.30, via zoom.

Join us if you can- with the warning (in case you needed it) that my poetry is not for the faint of heart. It offers no easy answers or shallow comfort. It does not shrink from disturbing, unsettling issues, but (I like to believe) it also reaches towards hope…

The intention is to have three parts to the reading, focussing on before/during/after pandemic. How many poems we read will depend very much on those of you who participate… and how much chat we have (please be kind!)

I will be reading my way though a lot of poems written during the lockdowns, hopefully with a bit of explaination and discussion as we go along.

You can sign up and get log-in details here.


Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

Who decides what something is worth?

When in human history did the exchange of goods become replaced by the storing up of wealth in some kind of symbolic token?

In case you missed it, the progression of wealth-accummulation has moved on recently. What started out with weights of precious metals has long been replaced by bank notes promising that value is held elsewhere. Increasingly this value has been entirely symbolic -arbitary even. Economic systems ascribe and vary value according to mysterious forces that are as remote as the movement of stars in the heavens once were.

More recently, we have seen the rise of digital currencies; Bitcoin and the like. It feels revolutionary, like the wild west. Huge profits, huge losses. A gambler’s paradise. Most recently we have the advent of the deliciously titled non-fungible tokens. Like the tulip bulb bubble (that burst in 17th C Dutch society) NFT’s are a way to ascribe value to anything, in this case mostly to digital creations that then can be traded and stored away as wealth.

It is a reality that I find deeply depressing, for reasons that I can’t easily describe…


After the corn mouldered in the storehouse, and

Even gold was corrupted by baser metal;

After bitcoin bubbles burst like a septic blisters, and

Digital riches turned out to be all-too fungible after all –

How will we know what we are worth?

How can we pay for sunsets, or stars?

How will we afford for rains to still fall?

Will there be a point to life at all?

Human races…

I’ve been thinking about how we measure our becoming – the way that we used to think that human ingenuity would always triumph in the end. Perhaps it will, but then again we have been here before, right? We try so hard to convince ourselves that what matters is slowing time and denying our mortality, whilst at the same time only living life in a linnear fashion.

I get glimpses sometimes – not certainties – just hints that what we are is not just what we can see and touch. Then I remember to all those deep religious thinkers from every tradition who saw everything to be connected and that the spirit that lives in all of us is the same.

The god who loves things by becoming them as Richard Rohr would have it.

But I can’t make sense of any of it, apart from exploring it with poetry.

Human races


The upright ape ascends from knapped flint to

Silicon chip. He scratches sonnets in split slate and

Solves problems (almost) as fast as he makes them.

Alchemy promised gold, but instead it turned the

Lights on, lighting a road ahead called Progress.


There is nothing new under the sun; the circle is still

Unbroken. Empires rise whilst others fall; ours was

Not the first at all. It turns out that our times were never

Linear (just oscillation) and that for every page of

Knowledge gained another is forgotten.


But what are we, if not whisps of the same Spirit?

We carry in us the same am-ness as all things that ever were,

Hidden under thin skin and hubris, waiting for those moments

Beneath stars or trees or tenderness when we remember;

It was all about connection.