A Note On Writing, Passion and Rebirth

Living is a strange thing. It brings up all sorts of strange, wonderful, distressing, complicated, terrible, hilarious, beautiful things.

There is an extraordinary tool called language which can be used to translate these things into what people call stories, poetry, prose. The writer’s equivalent to the artist’s painting, the composition, the sketch.

Sometimes this makes life  more real, more vivid so it can be better enjoyed, savoured. Sometimes it makes life more abstract and distant so it can be better endured and coped with. There is writing that teaches and informs, there is writing which simply plays games, but writing which strikes me the deepest, and remains within me the longest, is that which offers a shared experience.

It is up to the skill of the wordsmith to put the right words in the right order to create within the reader a faithful evocation of what the author had in mind when they started writing. These words – in stories, poetry, prose – therefore come full circle. Drawn from the author’s experience they should create a vivid new reality within the reader.

Life is a story. And a story well written should give birth to new life.

In Two Different Rooms

in the silence
i forget the noise
in the class room
i forget my toys

In the cold
I forget the warm weather
In falling apart
Forget being together

In my shame
I forget to be proud
In my quiet
I forget to be loud

In my crying
I forget I can laugh
In my exploration
I forget my path

In my fury
I forget my calm
In harsh calculation
I forget the charm

In my worry
I forget my peace
In my starvation
I forget the feast

In the darkness
I forget the light
In being all wrong
I forget there is right

In my mind
I forget my heart
In my endings
I forget I can start

In my youth
I forget I’ll get old
In nobody speaking
I forget I was told

In my caution
I forget about chance
In my standing aloof
I forget I can dance

In my despair
I forget I can smile
And when I was alone
They were there all the while

In my stillness
I forget how to move
but I can never
forget about You.


You see

You reminded me.


I remember that

Little bit of beautiful

That you are


You see in

Holding you up to the light

I kissed the

Shine on the curve of the

Little bit of beautiful

That you are


You see

I know

That blinded light

love made

To that little bit of beautiful

That you are


Worked my fingers through

Took my stones to

Tied my hands to

Stood up tall and

Flung my knees down

Turned my face to

And sang with full voiced joy

To that little bit of beautiful

That you are


And yet the tides

Washed you from my skin

Like sand

Guzman’s Pea Poem

No pea
In a pod
Is entirely alone
They have to snuggle up
With their pod-mates at home
There are no arguments
About overhanging trees
There’s nothing about
Noise pollution
Council planning
or Bees

But sometimes when a pea is at rest
It is often times a test
To be so close to one another
Finding everything a bother
Like living too near to your mother.
There’s something stressful to a pea
About high population density
(It may be nothing to you and me
But it’s a big thing for a pea)

No pea
In a pod
Is entirely alone
But a pod makes a satisfactory home
But what makes that pea forget
And momentarily regret
Its tendency to scowl and moan
Its desire to be alone
When all complaints are finally quelled
When its neighbours are minted, mushed or shelled…

(composed in response to a request for a pea poem by Dr Low and performed at Dr Low’s Medicine Show at the Hideaway, North London.)

No Ordinary Day

Today was no ordinary day.

Today angels fell from the sky. Not real angels – more like diamonds. Both. They glimmered together so one blended into another and they were impossible to tell apart. They (the people) gathered them up in their arms (the diamonds and the angels – which was which you couldn’t tell), which exploded into glittering glowing balls of what could only have been described as dancing orbs of rays of summered sunlight. They effused an aura of energy and freedom and passion and power that not many had ever felt before – the traveller’s destination and the lover’s ecstasy; the workers promotion and the philosopher’s answer; great, intangible, untouchable, it fizzed and filtered into the atmosphere like water to parched earth and everyone felt it too – soaking it up through their roots. And the way they walked – it changed; and the way they spoke and the way they moved, all the way down to the shine on their hair because finally they realised the reason why they woke up, why they ate, why they walked, worked and slept, and they never doubted again that they were doing everything right after all.

But I wasn’t there, so I still don’t know.

On Motivation

Can I tell you how long it took for me to get around to writing this article? A good three weeks. At least. And even then I’ve not left the comfort of my own room. And I’ve typed it straight onto a computer, none of this crossing out, moving my arms, using up vital energy reserves.

I have lots of excuses of course, and every one valid. For example I’m a tiny bit tired today. And I have more important things to be doing. And a vast number of trivial things to do before those…I need a bit of a sit down for one thing. And the space behind the kitchen cupboard needs a clean. And I wonder what would happen if I ironed my socks…

Really it’s all about focus. I am currently also watching an episode of Father Ted. How can I concentrate on writing when I’m watching Father Ted? Really the things people expect you to do.

A Bus Ride

There was a day when I took the bus. I was sitting on the top deck, watching the grey and the grey and the grey and the grey…and thinking what a comfortable day I’d sat through, and about how content you might be if you had had one similar.

I didn’t think of it, but it thought of me. And I realised my legs wouldn’t work. There was something wrong and my legs wouldn’t work.

Well the bus pulled into the station and I realised I had to get out so I dragged those two legs off the seat and more or less fell down the stairs. I stumbled and limped along the street and it came to me that I had no control over those two attachments whatever. They were just bits hanging off, like weights on a living branch. I felt like I would hit the pavement and people must have been staring, and I was afraid, and if someone had come to help me I wouldn’t have known what to say…but I dragged those things along regardless.

Eventually they behaved, but they still weren’t mine. They were taking me to the place they needed to be but they were as much mine as your own.


I hobbled inside and made myself a cup of tea. It’s what I’d always done. I blew on the top and took a sip and while I did it I watched a brown bird dance about the garden. But I knew those two wouldn’t let me hop about like that. I couldn’t explain, I wished they would.

Instead they pulled me to the ground which bubbled up inside me and flowed like gallons of pebbled concrete into a tank and gushed out of my mouth with a piercing bracing cutting scraping.

They let me up eventually, their chains with them. The grey had left, the colourless, lacerated void of silence trailed behind, and I drank the tea, and I watched for another bird.