On August

Fruit hangs heavily

Branches bent to near breaking

Sun, set to your work


CLP 14/08/2019


On A Strong Constitution

Since Magna Carta

Has anything been writ down

That’s worth the paper?


n.b. There is no written constitution in the UK. Vietnam’s constitution is based on the USA consitution that drew heavily on the “Rights of Man” written by Thomas Paine, an Englishman from Lewes in Sussex. He was chased from his home country for daring to write down some simple ideas that challenged the aristocratic order.


CLP 12/08/2019

Night Flight

Confusion of days and nights

Twisted sheets tumble across flickering sky

Darkness thrown across the wind-wrecked barley

Martins and swallows prematurely gather

Uncertain in this unsettled time

When waxing moon throws out more brightness than day can muster

The star-full firmament clashed by raw, untrammelled fury

Full throttled fire-powered flight

Claws at the clouds, turns them to drums

Unceasing cacaphonic clamour

Enough to make the angels shriek

Metal made to shatter Thor’s anvil

Screams at the ceiling of Valhalla’s vaults

Wakes the gods who are not pleased

To be stirred up so

By Eurofighters on night manoevres

Above Avalon and its hippy bourgeosie

Where talk of energies

And peaceful contemplation is ripped asunder

Below the warplanes’ oil-driven thunder


n.b. They’re shipbuilding again; Iran the place and oil the focus. ‘Shipbuilding’ is a song about the Falklands Islands / Islas Malvenas War 1982.

n.n.b. The title here is an echo of the anglicized title of a beautiful novel, ‘Night Flight’ (‘Vol de nuit’) by Antoine de Saint-Exubéry. It was published in 1931 when the horrific potential of aircraft as weapons was in full development, despite the romantic views of a man on the wing amidst the elements.

CLP 11/08/2019

The Test

Welled up through chalk; clear and bright

Mixed with floodplain mud

Strained through reeds

Her gentle curves

Restrained, contained within lines

Corsetted by stone, steel and concrete

She spills down the neck of Southampton Water

Runs to the welcome arms of the silent sea

Washed clean again on the double tide


n.b. The port at Southampton has developed over the centuries at a site that enjoys a double tide. 17 hours a day of rising water have long made it a home for commercial shipping.

The top of this coastal inlet is fed by two rivers, the Itchen to the east and the Test to the west. Both originate in the chalk downland and have stretches populated by rainbow trout that have historically thrived in the clear water.


CLP 10/08/09

On Relection

Glass mirrors times past

What is new that you see there?

Open the window


n.b. El Presidente visited El Paso and said to the press corps, “I wish you could have been there to see it.”

What did he mean, the appalling damage caused by a single young man with a rifle? No, he meant the respect shown to the Office of President of the United States of America. Sad.

CLP 08/08/2019