The time of loneliness after a breakup A weekend spent playing an entire live boxset End to end to end, no rewinding each Cassette with a pencil to the good bits.

The time of loneliness was a Christmas Holiday, a break from the oppressive Jollity of others, a time to embrace a Bottle of red and a collection of essays.

The time of loneliness ended with a Slice of cake delivered by a neighbour and Realising that loneliness, like love, Is a practice not a condition, It had its purposes and its reasons A time for its season, and a time to stop.

Remembering the heron

Remembering the heron that moved from tree to tree We traced the carttrack past the Anglo Saxon mill Speculating that each cart would have carried a prince’s ransom of Precious, Tyne watered grain turned into flour.

Value was on our pandemic barriered minds. The value of friendship, of time and space The freedom to meander between poetry, politics and the Living of a life with impact and space.

Turning up the hill to the old road and the new, Remembering that the flood washed margins of the burn had been Ripe with plants in summer. How to return to that growth, those leafy days? We talked, and listened, Around us the calendar moved to summon the heron.

It could be the smell

It’s the smell upsets them, he says. A small man, Jack Russell bristling, Hoodie proclaiming the backpatch club he rides with His limp a memorial of diesel on a roundabout.

He’s convinced his theory has a base. Their hearing’s no better than ours, they don’t see the same colours, But silently open the biscuit tin and they’re at your ankles like a shot. The dogs wait for the next lurid explosion celebrating Failed rebellion and ritual oppression.

Does he exist? Is that little man, half elf, half hobbit Attitude turned up to eleven Real or a Prytherch of my imagination, a player Who walks on stage to voice the lines I want to distance myself from?

Does it matter? Sitting at my desk Reading another email telling me that a politician’s anonymous constituent Demands something must be done, distancing them from Ideas they may wish to disclaim, providing them with a Poetic licence to say the unthinkable, it might.

Is that what we all do? Assume that seat, the one in the Corner of the room, the observer reporting Our inner lives, passing off what we think as what we're told As if that grants authority.

Next to me the dog sleeps. Should I Make him human, give him my opinion that there as many Experiences of the world as there are minds to experience it, Each making their own world? He grumbles, his leg in febrile spasms And I picture happy dreams of games of chase, not that he is ageing His body coping with change, difference, an approaching future. I remember that he barks at fireworks outdoors, but not in the house. It could be the smell.


Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgery to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the neck. An incision is made in the throat area to reach and remove the disc. A graft or surgical device is inserted to fuse together the bones above and below the disc.

At the moment of explanation That the surgical tools could not reach from front to back, That the surgery was not what it should be I can see myself holding a Boning knife and a cleaver Splitting lamb neck chops for a Healthy midweek stew, Fifty seven percent profit per portion and Salty enough to drive up drinks purchases – no Cheating, just Oxo’s flavoursome goodness.

After the first dressing change, the first view of The incision, Razor edged Precisely drawn across my throat I can picture A Telecoms engineer unable to open a Rusty cabinet, trying to reach through a Hole in the door to rearrange hardware inside Manipulating technology and spaces.

Why would anyone want this? Why the late hours sweating and dreaming with Coleridge at the edge of consciousness while a patient Philipino nurse from an agency plays the part of the man from Porlock?

I want to find the words, conscious of the book Ostentatiously placed on the bedside table, a Memoir detailing precisely The right to have a body that works as we wish it, not by Diagnosis but desire.

We all need a workbook

If this project is to work, as well as finished products, it needs a space where work in progress can be given an airing. So that's what this workbook is for. Unless otherwise attributed, all poems are by (Gareth Davies)[Mastodon], and remain his copyright.