A build-up of tension along with the train
curls around the track
and slowly ambles towards
the grim-faced businessmen
and exuberant children.

A balding man steps forward
suitcase handle gripped in hand
one step starts a calamity.

A man, thin hair, thin face
steps towards the fray
his hand rests on his wife’s back
and growls to the crowd:
I was here first.

nobody listens
the train grabs their attention
and the crowd surges forward
clasping their reserved seat tickets.

a child cries

a whistle blows

doors open

suitcases are thrown

out into the crowd
who tap their feet
and check their watch
and glare at the departing crowd.

then onwards and inwards
the crowd goes
further in, further on.

A fight breaks out
in the luggage rack
between short and bald
and short and fat.

Two women glare at a third
who dares to wear
last year’s coat.

and then

after the seats have been fought over
and battles have been won – or lost.

a triumphant eyebrow is raised
a coffee is ordered from first class
complete with plum in mouth.

and throughout it all, an old woman,
sits knitting a jersey
for her cat.

Poetry for the soul.

personality theories

 if Erikson’s theories are true

then I have moved onto

stage seven

and you

are basking

in stage six

you spread yourself




over everyone, everything

i am left behind

accused of being too clever

too sensible

feed my ego

you whisper in my ear

i feed you

Plato, Plath


i read you sonnets

each number resonates

too deeply within me

each page turn

a paper cut

deep within my heart

and try as i might

i cannot translate them

they mean nothing to you

you want more

you want flesh

you take me

pound by pound

pounding, pounding,

groaning, sweating,

this is love, you say

as my head hits the board




if Erikson’s theories are true

i am in love with you

and you

you are in love with yourself

 I created this piece after reading Personality Theories: Erik Erikson 1902-1994, by Dr. George Boeree. Erikson followed on from Freud although he believed there are more than three stages of psychological development of infants and children. Erikson devised a model which included eight stages of psychological growth. Stage six deals with the transition from adolescence to adulthood (18-20’s). He summised that by the time a adult reaches their 30s they know more about love, fidelity and commitment. Those who have tackled this stage of their lives, without conflict, move onto stage seven: it is a time when most adults consider raising a family. They also become increasingly aware of the importance of society and their role within it. More fulfilled adults will also look for career advancement and/or personal development.

I added this information for reference only. I think the poem works equally well, without knowing who Erikson is. I hope you enjoy reading it. Please feel free to comment – positive and negative are both welcome here!

Second Issue Now Open For Submissions

Well worth a look. The Poor Press; literary fiction and poetry.

The Poor Press

A very happy new year from the Poor Press!

We are delighted to announce that submissions for our second edition are open! The theme for this issue is ‘Small Mercies’ and the deadline for submissions is the 7th of March. (Please note the deadline has been extended!)

As before we welcome any form or genre responding to the title theme, in less than 500 words. We are also looking for an illustrator or photographer to feature on our front cover and in an interior double page spread.

Before you contact us we recommend you view our submission guidelines here.

We very much look forward to reading your entries, which should be directed to us as usual at thepoorpress@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Small Mercies’.

Throughout 2013 we will host events for readers and writers alike. You will be notified of these through our mailing list or you can follow…

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Another fine interview from @EMAlderd

Strange Alliances

At the Dying of the Year Book Cover

I’m very fortunate that, at the moment, Chris Nickson lives in Nottingham. We had initially bumped into each other on Twitter and because of this I began reading his Richard Nottingham books. We finally met in Derby on a tweet-up after I had interviewed independent researcher Helen Kara (coming up soon). Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I interviewed Chris on the way back to Nottingham in a remarkably noisy sprinter train. Between the roar of the power units and singing children, I told Chris that this was the most unusual place I had ever interviewed a writer. Chris had no trouble toping that several times over. I suspect if he ever got down to writing an autobiography it would make riveting reading. So I am sure that Chris’s wealth of life experience will ensure we’re going to be treated to a huge variety of fascinating books for many years…

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A beautiful, tightly constructed poem, transmuting the personal to the poetical.


An unusual blog this week as for only the second time I am publishing a poem. Regular visitors will know that usually I only publish poems as a part of a collection, but there are occasionally exceptions, and today is one of them.

I was recently persuaded to break one of my golden rules of NEVER entering poetry competitions and submitted to the Fenland Poet Laureate event. I have since discovered I haven’t made the shortlist which means I can now share the work with you.

I will give a brief explanation of the poem following its line.

Lady of the Fen
By spring in rise from slumber long,
She smiles with light and morning song.
In fertile bloom as colours burst,
Her gentle arms, embrace while nurse.

A lady as by summer’s grace,
Adorned in ribbons and gilded lace.
Braids of green while flaxen hair,
With softest touch and…

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