Tuesday 23 January 2024

Tuesday Poem: (Song)"Beverly Penn" by The Waterboys


Girl sleeping on a mansion roofUnder a wintry skyWrapped she is in furs and sable,Starlight in her eyeAnd what is the name of this creature ?Where did she live and when ?Who was she and why was itThat Peter Lake loved Beverly Penn
Four o'clock on a marble morning,Water pouring on her skinIn fever her life bursts openAnd a hurricane blows inWhen high from the dreams of this creatureA thief on a horse descendsIt was dawn and it was DecemberAnd Peter Lake loved Beverly Penn
It was all of a windy dayAnd the sky was full of crowsWhen her lovely soul ascendedshe just closed her heart and roseAnd whither the soul of this creature ?Tell me the story againOf scarves and songs and the skin of spaceAnd how Peter Lake loved Beverly Penn
I would dive in a freezing river,Set fire to a hundred menIf I could for just one timeLove somebody the way that he loved Beverly Penn

by Michael Scott


Tuesday 16 January 2024

Tuesday Poem: (Song) "Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues

It was Christmas Eve babeIn the drunk tankAn old man said to me, won't see another oneAnd then he sang a songThe Rare Old Mountain DewI turned my face awayAnd dreamed about you
Got on a lucky oneCame in eighteen to oneI've got a feelingThis year's for me and youSo happy ChristmasI love you babyI can see a better timeWhen all our dreams come true
They've got cars big as barsThey've got rivers of goldBut the wind goes right through youIt's no place for the oldWhen you first took my handOn a cold Christmas EveYou promised meBroadway was waiting for me
You were handsomeYou were prettyQueen of New York CityWhen the band finished playingThey howled out for moreSinatra was swingingAll the drunks they were singingWe kissed on a cornerThen danced through the night
The boys of the NYPD choirWere singing Galway BayAnd the bells were ringing outFor Christmas day
You're a bumYou're a punkYou're an old slut on junkLying there almost dead on a drip in that bedYou scumbag, you maggotYou cheap lousy faggotHappy Christmas your arseI pray God it's our last
The boys of the NYPD choirStill singing Galway BayAnd the bells are ringing outFor Christmas day
I could have been someoneWell so could anyoneYou took my dreams from meWhen I first found youI kept them with me babeI put them with my ownCan't make it all aloneI've built my dreams around you
The boys of the NYPD choirStill singing Galway BayAnd the bells are ringing outFor Christmas day

by Jem Finer and Shane Macgowan

RIP Shane Macgowan

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Tuesday Poem: "My Brother the Artist, at Seven" by Philip Levine

As a boy he played alone in the fields   
behind our block, six frame houses   
holding six immigrant families,   
the parents speaking only gibberish   
to their neighbors. Without the kids   
they couldn't say "Good morning" and be   
understood. Little wonder   
he learned early to speak to himself,   
to tell no one what truly mattered.   
How much can matter to a kid   
of seven? Everything. The whole world   
can be his. Just after dawn he sneaks   
out to hide in the wild, bleached grasses   
of August and pretends he's grown up,   
someone complete in himself without   
the need for anyone, a warrior   
from the ancient places our fathers   
fled years before, those magic places:   
Kiev, Odessa, the Crimea,   
Port Said, Alexandria, Lisbon,   
the Canaries, Caracas, Galveston.   
In the damp grass he recites the names   
over and over in a hushed voice   
while the sun climbs into the locust tree   
to waken the houses. The husbands leave   
for work, the women return to bed, the kids   
bend to porridge and milk. He advances   
slowly, eyes fixed, an animal or a god,   
while beneath him the earth holds its breath.

by Philip Levine

Photograph Credit: David Shankbone

For more information about poet, Philip Levine, see:

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Tuesday Poem: "Epitaph on my own friend" by Robert Burns

An honest man here lies at rest,
As e’er God with His image blest:
The friend of man, the friend of truth;
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.

by Robert Burns

For more information about the poet, Robert Burns, see:

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Tuesday Poem: "Poetry is Political" by Leslie D. Bush


Poetry is political?

How can this be

Can society be upended

Divided by a love poem?

Poets are political?

Yes. No. Maybe

Some examples


Poets don’t tell

The literal truth

(Who does?)

They see things

That are not necessarily 

There. Do continue.

See motives when such

Motives might not exist

Interesting, pray continue

(to dig yourself into a hole)

The truth is grey, everybody knows

Why do you paint it white as snow

Or blood stained, by death in the masses

Do these things not happen?

Are they not motivated by and acted on

By humans? I write what I see

You say, poetry is political

Do you mean, designed to misinform

Not to tell the truth? To inflame the minds

Of the proletariat, to put the powerful at risk?

You can’t be too careful, can you?

Yes, poets and poetry ARE political

In the sense they are human

Producing human creations

Yes, poems are political

They are narratives, they choose a side

And argue their case, assertively

Honestly. Do you fear debate?

It would be imprecise to say

Poetry is truth. It is not the opposite

By purpose. A poet seeks the truth

Either literally or metaphorically

Nothing less will satisfy them

So, yes, poetry is a political act

So is breathing. Going to ban that?

by Leslie D. Bush

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Tuesday Poem; "What Belongs to Us" by Marie Howe

Not the memorized phone numbers.

The carefully rehearsed short cuts home.

Not the summer shimmering like pavement, when Lucia
pushed Billy off the rabbit house and broke his arm

or our tiny footprints in the black files.

Not the list of kings from Charlemagne to Henry

not the boxes under our beds

or Tommy’s wedding day when it was so hot and Mark played the flute
and we waved at him waving from the small round window in the loft

the great gangs of people stepping one by one into the cold water.

I have, of course, a photograph
you and I getting up from a couch.

Full height, I stand almost two inches taller than you
but the photograph doesn’t show that
just the two of us in motion
not looking at each other, smiling.

Not even the way we said things, leaning against the kitchen counter.

Not the cabin where I burned my arm and you said, oh, you’re the type
that even if it hurt, you wouldn’t say.

Not even the blisters. Look.

by Marie Howe 

For more information see:


Tuesday 3 October 2023

Tuesday Poem: "Winter's Formulae" by Tomas Tranströmer

Walked along the antipoetic wall.
Die Mauer. Don't look over.
It wants to surround our adult lives
in the routine city, the routine landscape.

Eluard touched some button
and the wall opened
and the garden showed itself.

I used to go with the milk pail through the wood.
Purple trunks on all sides.
An old joke in there
as beautiful as a votive ship. 

Summer read out of Pickwick Papers.
The good life, a tranquil carriage
crowded with excited gentlemen.

Close your eyes, change horses.

In distress come childish thoughts.
We sat by the sickbed and prayed
for a pause in the terror, a breach
where the Pickwicks could pull in.

Close your eyes, change horses.

It is easy to love fragments
that have been on the way a long time.
Inscriptions on church bells
and proverbs written across saints
and many-thousand-year-old seeds.

Archilochos! -- No answer!

The birds roamed over the seas' rough pelt.
We locked ourselves in with Simenon
and felt the smell of human life
where the serials debouch.

Feel the smell of truth.

The open window has stopped
in front of the treetops here
and the evening sky's farewell letter.

Shiki, Björling and Ungaretti
with life's chalks on the death's blackboard. 
The poem which is completely possible.

I looked up when the branches swung.
White gulls were eating black cherries.

 by Tomas Tranströmer (translated from the Swedish by May Swenson)