Shangri La

Fictional land of peace and perpetual happiness
Bones, cuts, burns
Shattered ring of steel and splintered lives
Gated, armed guards rendered, armless
Brochure of fictional happiness shredded

City of dreaming spires that prick at clouds
Oxen driven through the swollen Isis
Knee-deep, matted coats drag over the chalk bed
Reeds cling to hooves as maudlin maidens’ hungry hands
Reaching out to imagined lovers’ loins

Names put down for gated schools
Grandfathers’ rights and legacies
Life traced from expectant birth
Privileged few offer life-limiting choices; too many
Raised voices echo back from the gilded ceilings

Sand grains turn to liquid become glass
Shards rip through silk and cotton
Tattered shirts form nooses
Ripped banknotes flutter heavenward
Multiplication, subtraction and ultimately division. Day 21 prompt: Surrealistic poem or Realism or actuality

CLP  21/04/2019



Everywhere you’ve been

Everything you’ve done

I have been there with you

I have seen it all

Despite my blind spot

No doubt stemming

From my nervous disposition

That allows me to see

But not believe, nor deny

All that I have seen


It’s not for me to judge

Where you’ve been

What you’ve done

My transparency

Inability to intervene

Makes me silent witness

To the images

Flashing on my retina

Although I react quickly

To the dark and light

A pupil that never learns

I remain insensitive

To everywhere you have been

And all that you’ve done.


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 17 prompt: Seeing from an unusual, unexpected point of view.

A useful reference point for this poem was

CLP 20/04/2019

Natural Consequences

Anarchronistic Britain

Cannot decide European future

Government has ignored

Knife mayhem

& numerous other pointed questions

Requiring serious thought.

Unburied victims wait


Yield to zymogenes


“&” was the 27th letter of the English alphabet

Xenoliths are small particles of elements found within larger deposits of mineral, rare elements amongst dross.

Zymogenes are the bacteria that help break-down and lead to the fermantation of organic matter, although xenoliths are not organic… so I claim poetic immunity.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 19 prompt: Use the English alphabet to shape a poem. Artificial and challenging. I cheated to make the final line sensible as best possible.

CLP 20/04/2019

Emotional Blackmail

“I just want my kids to be happy”

So commonly heard

So unthinking said

And missing the point

Of parenthood

And childhood


“I don’t care what he does, as long as he’s happy”

What the children know of their parents

Who want them just to be happy

Is that they hold the keys

To all the doors

Well before they’re eighteen


“I’ll do anything for my babies”

Who soon learn that to sulk

Is to take control



Power without responsibility


“I don’t know where we went wrong”

So commonly heard

So unthinking said.


n.b. Happiness is a derived emotional state that seems to come from a sense of being at ease amongst those you respect and share purpose. Hence the attraction of online gaming and gangs. Happy families it appears to me, do things together, rather than just being an altar for feeding the children’s egotistical pleasures.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 20 prompt: Use speech commonly heard.


CLP  20/04/2019


A man stands trial

His second wife murdered

Not unlike his first five years ago

This time a neighbour’s CCTV

Was working

Strangely his own was not


Police have arrested a 47 year old man

Having been called to a house

Where his wife was found dead

“It’s scary to think someone’s been killed in my street”

Said an elderly neighbour

As if anyone else was at risk

From “a lovely young couple”

“They always said ‘hello’”


These are just two stories

From today’s local paper

That tomorrow may well

Carry more similar news

About everyday life

In modern day England


n.b. “The latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show little change in the prevelance of domestic violence in recent years.” Office for National Statistics (November, 2018).


NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 16 prompt: A list poem that sheds light on the mundane everyday stuff that people tend to overlook.

I felt that a list of two from just one source was probably enough for today.


CLP 16/04/2019

Train of Thought

At last I have a moment

As I wait on the platform

My chance to make a few points

About my direction of travel

On a journey that seems to still have some miles to go

I pray

But I cannot be too confident of that

Bearing in mind that there has been disruption to schedules

Delays, diversions and cancellations

Signal failures

Even trespassers on the line

Where am I?

I am on a one-way ticket

Although this has been described by some

As an open return that will inevitably bring me back

To where I begun

If this is the case

Despite travelling light

I may seem destined for the buffers

But I am never alone

The company of fellow passengers

Not all good company

Some first class

We travel together

Most have their own itineraries

Their own baggage

Places to go, people to see

And our passing is a wave and a cheer

I can save time by taking an instant dislike to others

Who one must take care to avoid

When signals are set at danger

Although for a rare few

I discover a destination shared

Who, when a conversation begins

Continue it on the line

And it seems we have always known each other

Although just recently crossed paths

This journey continues

Without undue haste, but not undue speed

Onward travel in hope

Side by side.


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 15 prompt: Write a dramatic monologue.

CLP  15th April, 2019


I herd them

A scene not seen

But felt soft


They low

Until raised high on grass

Become one’s joint


Morning breaks

With mourning light

Empty fields

Know signs of life.


n.b. NaPaWriMo 2019 Day 14 prompt: From the jungle of the English write a poem of homophones, homonyms and homographs.


CLP 14/04/2019