31 October 2021

There is bird song still in autumn
Despite the shorter days and heavy rains:
They may have only tiny brains
and yet I find the little buggers awesome.

26 April 2017

Back to the front


I carry a Mills grenade in my right hand

Life pulled the pin from it a while ago

Without my wavering grip, it will explode

My flesh and blood to scatter where I stand


12 April 2017


Just like a lemon, hard pressed at full squeeze
My heart gives up its juice at every beat:
Under the bitter weight of love dismissed,
Of life’s dismantled dreams and dark defeat.

23 March 2017


Winter-forgotten garden
Rain-sodden shed
Crying its dark-cloud tears

14 March 2017

The arrival of Spring

At once the sun had hid behind dark clouds
And a Northerly wind picked up and brought
With it much needed rain, but also cold –

The coming Spring concealed beyond its shrouds

07 February 2017

Divertimento Working from Home

I am at home, I want to play!
So many things I want to say:
Though I may deal in silly rhymes
I am not master of my time -
I must strive and get along
(can’t stop to sing my little song).
When night time comes I’ll want to cry:
I saw my Muse ... and passed her by!

12 May 2016

No speech

No speech for me: it will ring hollow
Shame will set in, despondency follow.
No golden watch, no picture frame
No board display or sign of fame
Spreading through the whole Department
Like sweat down cotton undergarments.

07 May 2016


Palomita de alas grises
Levanta triste tu vuelo
En estos dias de duelo
Y no en los dias felices

19 April 2016

The Surrender of Breda

So, this is what defeat is like - not the petty defeat of the pitch or the court
where the pain may be sharp but will also be short

But the feeling that comes when a city surrenders
and it opens its gates to let enemies in
and to let all control and all power march out

Oh, it is hard to surrender your defences and walls
Throw yourself at the mercy of the conquering foe

Let the young try to escape with their meagre posessions
Leaving behind the old, with their pride and obsessions

Now the drums of the victors can be heard getting near
Like the beat of our hearts as they race, filled with fear.

A Train Journey

Alone with my thoughts and with a borrowed pen
I sit in the carriage of a Liverpool train

It now canters along, past the wood and the flashes
In a clearing I see of bonfires the ashes

Then it gathers speed, being Liverpool-bound
Out of Wigan a train and my heart, rattled, pound
and my thoughts in my head swirling round and around

All the fear, the shame, the mistrust of the future
The regrets of the past, that invisible vulture
All the fear, the shame, the foresaken illusions
The expectations not met and the wrong contributions

With the pen I have borrowed I scribble some lines:
Will they help me in my journey and arrest my decline?


An orange grove under the midday sun
The flowers white, the leaves of a dark green
The expected fruits, for now, a distant dream
of daytime light and night time breeze
till nature’s work is done

20 March 2016


I saw the light at the end of the tunnel
and my heart sank, for it was dim and distant.
My loss of heart lasted only a short instant -
I got back to my work and my wrench and spanner.

30 July 2015


Angélica, hierática me miras
Desde la cumbre astral de tu montaña
Pierdes así toda apariencia humana
Te despojas de artilugios y mentiras

Y tu acólito, asombrado, sueña
Con beber de tus nieves derretidas
Por la energía de sus arremetidas
Y fricciones tectónicas: Oh dueña!

Qué avalancha de lo alto viene
Arrasando a su paso catedrales
Con su mezcla feróz de lodo y piedra!

Sólo al llegar al Valle se detiene
Sepulta gentes, plantas y animales -
No distingue las frutas de las hiedras

21 March 2015

Delegation skills

I can read you like an open book
All I ever have to do is ask
If in your little list there is a task
You’ll delegate to me: one look
And I can tell you will want me to cook
The grouse you’ve shot and hung onto a hook
The gutted herring you’ve tossed into a cask

11 March 2015

Pan de centeno

Pan de centeno te doy, Pan de centeno
con lonjas de queso de cabra
y largos tragos de agua
ya va el estomago lleno.

Ya va el estomago lleno
y como lluvia en diciembre
permite que el campo se siembre
salen de mi las palabras
nacidas de hambre y de suen~o.

Day in the office, another

The day started well enough -
the Sun shone from the East
But then you had to unleash the Beast
While trolls and imps hid in the mist
and as the day and our works unravelled
I swear I heard them laugh:
They sent me down a creek, but kept the paddle

01 March 2015

I have a name, it's on my badge
To you it may not amount to much
But it's my name, now duly engraved
In crisp black letters on acrylic
In Roman type, not in Cyrillic
So that you all can understand:
No more your head you'll have to scratch
When our paths cross in the office loo.
No more will I have to be "you" -
I will be me: I have a name
And now I also have a badge.

25 June 2014

To Do List

What I must do is digitise
Or should that be 'prioritise'?
I need to check the kids for lice
I must get 'cats' to deal with 'mice'
"Please buy some prawns for my fried rice"
I'd like some coke served with my ice!
My life just flashed before my eyes
Stripped of all clever disguise
The day out there looks jolly nice:
The pastures green under blue skies

12 May 2014

The Dream

I drew my sword - its blade shone in the light
of a full moon in a cloudless night
when every star was there to witness
my certain death: oh, I was short of fitness! -
and of skill.  Only my heart was greater,
but of that fact I would learn later.

Now I've slained my foe, an empty feeling
comes over me as daybreak finds me kneeling - 
Neither in thanks nor to proclaim God's glory,
just to recall the fight and craft a story:
for when I see my foe I realise
the corpse is me - Victory my demise.

12 May 2014

10 October 2013

Catch mice

Do not go chasing butterflies
Instead catch mice
And bring them to your lair

They’re good to eat
And entertaining fayre

But do not look
Into their little eyes

Lord Turton (1851 – 1913)

13 August 2013


Porque un día sorprenderé a mis enemigos
y aún más a mis amigos.

Pintaré de blanco las paredes
y de rojo los tejados.
Barreré los rincones de mi mundo,
incluso los más remotos y olvidados.

¿Cuándo sera? No lo sé -
Cuando el corazón alce vuelo
Como una linterna china
y mi sangre sepa dulce como infantil golosina
y mis ojos miren claro
con sus lentes bifocales.
Cuando lea los periódicos
- pero sólo los locales.

14 March 2013


The centre of the world is in the mind
and in the mind the boundaries of wisdom
The rest is flailing limbs, extended arms
Looking to absorb and blend and do no harm
The centre of the mind  is in the world
I think as I am thoughtfully hurled

11 January 2013


Angelica, spread your wings
and to blue heights fly and soar
while I, with a mighty roar
my offerings to you I bring
for you to take and transport
to your priestly feathered nest
where, with mouths opened like rings
await your hopeful offspring
for you to regurgitate
the food stored in your chest

Cat toy

My cat would love with this to play
Because it shines and rolls around
And makes a crunchy, intriguing sound
As should all self-respecting prey

23 October 2012


The bird that’s wounded in flight
Flaps its wings but falls to earth
It is an arresting sight
We know it falls to its death

09 October 2012

Divertimento dietetico

I have been told my diet is too greasy
But to eat healthily is not so very easy:
Gorging on fruit this morning made me queasy
My lower abdomen is sounding rather fizzy

03 October 2012

Divertimento dietetico

Peru IV 038 by cocosolis
Peru IV 038, a photo by cocosolis on Flickr.
I tell myself I will be strong:
To have a snack,this late at night
I full well know it would be wrong
But I cave in: it tastes so right!

23 August 2012


Jun08 073 by cocosolis
Jun08 073, a photo by cocosolis on Flickr.
Angélica, a tu contienda
voy con la espada en la mano:
Voy para hacer mucho daño
Sin propósito de enmienda

13 August 2012

The Delegation

micas calling card 2 by cocosolis

micas calling card 2, a photo by cocosolis on Flickr.
A delegation of besuited men
Walks through the shopfloor with clipboards in their hands
Their hair is grey; their skin is lightly tanned

They leave the stage the very way they came
Chatting amiably and drawing up grand plans -
Comparing notes, cufflinks and fountain pens

Canapes await them in the Boardroom
Sparkling water will have been poured in their glasses
Out of green bottles like an army of enslaved genies

We expect so very little

21 July 2012

Arte Poetica

Photo0028 by cocosolis
Photo0028, a photo by cocosolis on Flickr.
I wrote a poem: its 'boom'
as hollow as an old drum's
but I couldn't give a damn
as it filled up the whole room

31 May 2012

Spring Love

IMG-20120513-00170 by cocosolis
IMG-20120513-00170, a photo by cocosolis on Flickr.
Love in Spring: whatever was I thinking?
I must remember no more to go out drinking
and read my book instead
until my face goes red
and blithely ignore the mobile phone that's ringing

01 March 2012

Dos gatos

2012Feb12 029a by cocosolis
2012Feb12 029a, a photo by cocosolis on Flickr.

Ya dos gatos se pasean por mi casa
Los estantes de libros se convierten
En gimnasio en el que se divierten
y mis muchos adornos amenazan

Ya dos gatos se persiguen por mi alfombra
Las cortinas escalan cual piratas
A la caza de imaginarias ratas
Que se asoman en las numerosas sombras

De mi sofá de cuero toman posesión
Con mis zapatos ensayan sus batallas
De una mochila escolar hacen guarida

Impredecibles y adorables canallas
Sólo me buscan si falta comida
Soy su sirviente - que no haya confusión

29 February 2012

Campo minado

Ojalá se prenda el foco
y que en el momento clave
mi mente encuentre la llave
para deslumbrar un poco

Ojalá en mi hora de prueba
cuando esté frente a mis jueces
el ardúo esfuerzo de meses
me otorgue victoria nueva

Que no me tiemblen las manos
Que no se trabe mi lengua
Que no deserten mis ojos

Que busquen grietas en vano
Los que hoy buscan mi mengüa
Y sólo saben de abrojos

09 February 2012

Midwinter visit to Blenheim Palace Butterfly House

How well you flutter your wings
     Magnificent butterfly!
  I see you and I want to cry
    Because I long for Spring


   ¡Bate tus alas cual fiera,
      Magnífica mariposa!
   Al verte mi alma solloza
 porque aún no es primavera

Sebo de Culebra

Ya no me vendas sebo de culebra
No me cuentes historias de piratas
No pongas más veneno para ratas
Erradica mejor la mala hierba

Ya no me embrolles en pobres esquemas
No me llenes la tutuma con canciones
Déjame manejar mis emociones
No trates de venderme tu sistema

Tu sebo de culebra ya se quema
En la hoguera de las desilusiones -
Su luz me guía, triste, a mi destino

Tus historias también en la fogata
Alimentan las llamas que me guían
Por este valle gris en que camino