Poetry – Once Upon a Time – A poem that is a fairy tale for all life on the planet – with a happy ending.

Poetry – Once Upon a Time – A poem that is a fairy tale for all life on the planet – with a happy ending.

Prose Cons and poetry cover

Once upon a time

A fairy tale with a happy ending.

Life’s slow evolution from such unlikely circumstance to the triumph of intelligence has to be the most remarkable story of all.

How life grew from slime to mankind without a pumpkin in sight, no fairy godmother and no wish. More remarkable than any genii in any bottle. More incredible than any story thought up by man. More wonderful than can be imagined. We are alive to look out at this incredible celestial infinity with minds enough to gasp and wish to understand.

That is my gift of a fairy tale. It is really called chance creation and evolution but I prefer to call it …. Once upon a time.


Once upon a time


Once upon a time

There was a tiny green jewel

That circled round a beautiful golden dawn.

It was on this viridian gem

That mankind was born.


Through multitudes

Of chance and death defying stance

Stretching all imagination

And every circumstance

We created this fascination.


Riding the realms of fire

Through the aeons of fury

Minds were forged that led to you and me,

Created this fantasy

And brought all life to be.


Step by slow step

Up the ladder we climbed

Blind, ignorant and by instinct primed

We sought to break the bonds

Through which we were confined.


With sight to see

We looked around with awe

At the celestial majesty outside our door

And sang a refrain upon the wind

From all the days of yore.


This is that song

Of wonder and delight

Sung to the rooftops of every resilient rafter

That we finally get it right and

All live happily ever after.




Photography – The Ribble Valley – mountains, viaducts, waterfalls and rivers – a wondrous landscape.

We visited in 2011 and climbed the three peaks one after the other (on separate days). We had glorious warm weather and the scenery was stunning. The phots don’t do justice!

Here they are anyway!

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Photography – The Eden Project – An adventure in Ecology.

Photography – The Eden Project – An adventure in Ecology.

The Eden Project was set up in a gully in Cornwall. It is an adventurous exploration of horticulture in geodesic domes that look like an alien has landed in the place.

The geodesic greenhouses are home for many exotic climates. It’s a great place to visit. A bit alternative and difference – like Kew Gardens with a touch of acid.

Here’s a few photos:


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Aliens in the valley


I was doing this artistic thing – looking for the patterns in exotic leaves – I called it horticultural art.

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I was very taken with these works of art painted on the rocks. I think they brought an artist across to do them. I thought they were great.

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More horticultural art.

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The flies grow big in Cornwall!!

Poetry – Ripples – A poem for a new positive Zeitgeist amid the infinite ripples of energy we emanate.

Poetry – Ripples – A poem for a new positive Zeitgeist amid the infinite ripples of energy we emanate.



This was inspired by Calansariel who puts nice comments on my blog. She was talking about how energy never wears out but goes on for ever and so, in effect, so do we.

I have this crazy notion that we are all connected by this zeitgeist we produce and so had the inspiration to meld the two ideas together; our energy rippling out to touch everyone around us and help create the mental climate of the future.

We are building the zeitgeist in which we flourish. We can make it positive and change the world for the better.

Our mental ripples will caress humanity for the rest of time.

It’s a nice thought.

The poem is exactly as it came out of my head just now. It probably needs a lot of work – this is it raw. I’ll work on it later.



Ripples in an infinite sea

Of energy

And possibility.

Brushing minds

As they pass,


Swirling the thoughts


So clever

They evade credibility.

Ripples of a life

From you and me

To echo

Through time


The weather.


Most intimately

Our dreams


And schemes

As we alter

The climate

In which we swim

And create

New electricity,

New hope

For you and me

Amid this


We are building

A new vision

A zeitgeist

As our ripples


What will surely be.


Opher 4.9.2015

Do Planets Dream? – a Poem.

Do Planets Dream?


Do planets dream as they embrace their moon?

Are galaxies dancing to a cosmic tune?

Is our sun prancing in great glee

As it hugs us with its gravity?


What is this beautiful music of infinity?

Something sublime including you and me?

I think I can hear it as I stare up into the sky.

It vibrates through me as I quietly sigh.


Opher 17.9.2019

Poetry – The Tumble Drier – a humorous poem about the world within our heads.

Poetry – The Tumble Drier – a humorous poem about the world within our heads.


The Tumble Drier

I’m not sure if the humour comes across enough in this. I’m a bit too close.

I liked the idea of my mind being like a tumble drier with scintillating thoughts as bright sparks being swept around and joining in new ways. I liked the idea of them chuckling and being naughty. I liked the idea that when you get them to slow down enough to make into words you can never fully capture their brilliance. The black and white symbols are so much less than the brilliant flashes.

If only I could encapsulate the firework display inside my skull and translate them into symbols that glittered and spat their sparkly fire.

I’d change the world.

The Tumble Drier

There’s a tumble drier churning in my head.

It’s tumbling the sparks that are my ideas.

If there was a window in my skull you’d see

Blue and yellow electric flashes of electricity




Like the swirling of the sea.


They swirl and flash

As on my skull they bash

Knocking sense

Into my brain

So dense

That it feels

No pain.


It’s a washing machine

Geared to cleaning up the sparks

So that they can see

To join themselves

For further larks.


As they tumble through the space inside my head

They chuckle as they fall

And join together in endless new ways

Like children giggling in a school.


I have to capture them

And make them stand still

So I can record in symbols

And get my fill.


Sometimes they spin like a hurricane

And light up my eyes with an inner firework display,

Generating emotions and dreams, anger and fury,

And conjure up dragons to slay.


These are those bright sparks

Reduced to black and white

No longer shiny bright

But still lighting up the dark

And sometimes giving me a fright.


There’s a tumble drier churning in my head.

It’s tumbling the sparks that are my ideas.

If there was a window in my skull you’d see

Blue and yellow electric flashes of electricity




Like the swirling of the sea.


Opher 5.9.2015

Listening to my old Grandma.

Listening to my old Grandma.


Listening to my old Grandma

My Grandma is long dead but she lived to the fine old age of ninety six. She was born in 1890s and so saw the most amazing changes.

I remember sitting down with her while she reminisced. It was extremely salutary. I was entranced.

As a young girl she had played in the streets. They were untarmaced mud and compacted dirt with ruts made by carts. The transport was horse-drawn or steam train. There were no cars. There was no electricity or running water and only outdoor toilets. The house was heated with a single coal fire in an open grate.

She had watched the first planes, made of string and paper (as she put it), crawl across the skies. She saw the first cars bump along the rutted streets. She lived through two world wars and saw her husband and sons go off to fight for God and Country.

Back then the class system was firmly in place. The poor were poor, the middle class were a little better off and the bosses and aristocracy lived in the mansions. Down her street there was great poverty with families not having money to buy food for the children. Kids were sewn into their clothes for the winter to prevent them developing chills. Some could not afford shoes. Infant mortality was high. Every family lost children to disease induced by poor sanitation, malnutrition, cold and damp and disease. She’d lost a child.

She’s seen a different world come into being. Following the wars the Labour Trade Union movement achieved better standards of pay and conditions, the standard of living for ordinary families rose. Cars, televisions, telephones and computers became standard fare for working families. There was welfare for those on hard times. People could take holidays and travel.

The roads were tarmaced, there were millions of cars, and the pace of life was faster.

The churches emptied and people were openly critical of those in power. They no longer ‘knew their place’. They spoke their mind and were not content to be kept down. The class system was weakened. It was no longer ‘God, King and Country’. They questioned the policies and wisdom.

Technology brought electricity, machines, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, hoovers and hot water that transformed the drudgery of life. However my Grandma still had her weekly wash and boiled her linen (and sometimes curtains and other items) in a huge copper on the stove. Heaven knows how she managed to do that into her old age.

Women became more educated and entered the professions. They weren’t content to be mere housewives.

My Grandma was incredulous that in her lifetime there had been a change from bi-planes made of wood, paste and lacquered paper to space-stations and space-craft that could go to the Moon.

The social changes were even more dramatic.

I doubt that we will ever see such spectacular changes again.

It is hard to believe that for centuries very little altered. People went along in much the same way their parents and grandparents had done. They wore similar clothes, had similar jobs requiring similar skills and led a life that was much the same as those of generations before. In the 20th Century that changed. The speed of change has been continuous. Our children live in a totally different world. The world of 2015 would have seemed like science fiction to my 1950s self. I could not have imagined it. Computers, mobile phones and the internet would have seemed far-fetched.

My Grandma used to remark that she did not think all this ‘progress’ made anyone happier.

Now the divide is between the ways the West lives and the impoverished lives of many in the third world. Perhaps that is the next revolution?

What world, or should I say solar system, will our grandchildren think of as normal?



Poetry – My Culture – a poem about the struggle for freedom and equality.

Poetry – My Culture – a poem about the struggle for freedom and equality.


My Culture

The society we live in did not come about by chance; it was fought for every inch of the way by people with vision and aspiration. The peasants and serfs were kept in poverty but they were not stupid. The robber barons stole the land from under their feet and they were powerless. The wealthy businessmen stole their products through guile. The State enacted laws to protect the establishment and keep the poor in their place.

With the coming of the industrial revolution ordinary people were kept down. They were paid a pittance in order to keep the profits high. The bosses creamed off huge wealth while the workers slaved. The owners and aristocrats lived in mansions and palaces with servants while the producers of the wealth lived in poverty and working conditions that were scandalous.

Gradually the ordinary people fought for representation, fair reward for labour given and justice. Ever so gradually the work conditions improved and the wages rose. Each step on the way was met with bleating and violence. The establishment was loath to give up its luxury; they feared the result of suffrage for ordinary people. They believed we might change the laws to create fairness.

They give us as little as they think they can buy us off with. Only through the unions was a living wage grudgingly conceded. Their fear is revolution.

This society we live in is the result of struggle. The freedoms we have are tenuous. The establishment claw back all they can. The wealth still sticks with the elite. The trickle down is as meagre as required to keep us docile. Zero hours contracts, austerity, unemployment and pay freezes are deployed while the rich get richer. We are all in it together is a lie. Information is biased and distorted – the Daily Mail and the rest of the press, even the BBC are all part of an establishment. He who tells the story controls the minds. The media moguls have a vested interest.

Democracy is a fragile thing and bought with blood – lots of blood.

My Culture

This is my culture – the wisdom of my ways.

Suppression and oppression – the order of past days.

Freed into the sunlight – on a democratic wave.

Released from penury – and the status of a slave.


The blood of my forebears sinks heavy in this soil

They paid dear for a share of the profits from their toil.

They fought for their rights and freedoms against a selfish few

Who garnered all the wealth away and propped up many a pew.


This is my culture – the result of battles fought.

Standing up for rights – against a great onslaught.

Liberty and equality – to stand tall and not in fear.

Freedom from King and God – is a right that we hold dear.


From the wealthy, the bishops and the kings

We wrested back our freedoms, among a host of things.

They grudgingly relented to give the very least

And we seized the goods on offer from the Baron and the Priest.


This is now my culture – value it we must!

If once our eyes do stray away – they’ll fling it in the dust.

Rights and freedoms – are febrile in the light.

They’ll rip them away – they have the power and the might.


I give thanks to the Levellers, the Chartists and rebels all,

Without all their struggles we would not have a life at all.

The suffragettes and Wilberforce struck blows for equality.

They chipped away at oppression and left us democracy.


This is that culture – worthy of a fight!

Free of church and monarchy – valiant and bright!

A culture to be proud of in which I take delight.

Proud to be an Englishman and put the world to right!


Not as an exploiter, a victor or an owner with his fee

But as a friend, a fellow traveller, a champion of the free.

Together we could stand to create justice without tyranny

Take the best from all our cultures and live in harmony.


I offer the hand of friendship

But keep a wary eye.

Freedom is a very rare thing,

But seize it we must try!


Opher 18.8.2015

Photography – Beatles in Liverpool

Photography – Beatles in Liverpool

I had to go on the Beatles tour didn’t I?

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I think this was George’s place

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Ringo’s was all boarded up!!


The Cavern – where it all happened.

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It was great fun and interesting to see where they all came from.

Poetry – The Meaning of Life – A celebration of intent and possibility.

Poetry – The Meaning of Life – A celebration of intent and possibility.


The Meaning of life

There is no other reason to life other than the living of it. The living of it is an art. You experience every second; the whole force of the infinite universe pressing in around you and in the midst of the fury, the quiet. The appreciation of the greatness of a word, the nuance of a smile, the wonder of holding a child.

The meaning of life is nothing to do with where you are going; it’s all about the journey and what you make of it. It can be sensuous and creative, altruistic and benevolent, or selfish, cruel and vicious.

Your choice

The Meaning of life

Sunbeams breaking through clouds,

Trees, rocks, sea and mountains,

A nice pint on a mild afternoon,

The soft fur of a warm life,

A cuddle and a love,

A dance and a tune,

A helping hand,

A poem and a shared moment,

A cool breeze on a hot day,

A gentle touch,

Sunlight glinting on a lapping sea,

Sunset and sunrise,

Love, friendship and birth,

Hoar frost shards on twigs in the morning glow

The hues of feathers, wings and crystals,

Ravines, gullies and rocks,

Tiny creatures,

Big animals,

Great, green plants,

And wild places,

Giving and receiving,

A smile, a handshake and a meeting,

Flowers in all their magnificence,

Differences and argument,

Laughter and accord,

Sex, fun and frolics,

Everything young and new,

Holding hands,

A kiss in the dark,

Ice-cream and chocolate,

Wonder and discovery,

A good film,

A realisation,

A creation,

A painting and a dance,

A good play,


Clever words,

Good stories,

Sport and skill,

Books, records and pictures,

Travel to exotic lands,

Infinity and vertigo,

A joke and a chuckle,

The vulgar and profane,

Having family gathered round,

The seasons,

Snow on trees and hills,





The Blues,

Rock and Folk,

Walking in the quiet,

The trill of insects,

The song of birds,



And wandering,


Above all ……… Sharing.


Opher 18.8.2015