Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years. The book.

I’ve just received another batch of Nick Harper books. If anybody would like a signed copy then email me at

The book is available from Amazon:

Nick Harper: The Wilderness Years: Goodwin, Opher: 9781678850661: Books

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The Writing of the Harper Book – Roy Harper: Every Album, Every Song (On Track)

The Writing of the Harper Book – Roy Harper: Every Album, Every Song (On Track)

Five years ago I had this idea of writing a book about myself and Roy and our fifty-year friendship. It was quite fun. I wrote it as a stream of conscious in one long splurge. As I completed each section I sent them off to a friend who I had shared a good deal of my life with. He loved it and kept urging me to do more. Day after day I’d produce another episode.

When I finally reached the end I had accumulated quite a lengthy piece of writing, the subject of which was Roy’s and my life in parallel.

I was feeling a little euphoric.

I foolishly shared the raw document with Roy instead of working on it. He did not like the writing at all but said that he thought there was a good book in there.

I went back to tidy it up and address the writing in the hopes of making it more readable.

Because I had written it as a stream of consciousness it was full of energy but very dense and verbose. The sentences were long. It gushed rather than flowed. I spent a lot of time rewriting it to make it more accessible and tidy the language up. Then I shared it with a few friends. Half loved it; half thought it was terrible.

I had another rethink. I could either go with the original that neither Roy nor Liz rated at all, or I could radically change the writing style. I worked with Liz and radically altered the style. What emerged was a new book altogether.

Having just finished the first draft of this reworking someone pointed out that Sonicbond publishers were looking for writers. On the spur of the moment I sent off a letter with an extract. Stephen, the editor, liked the writing but told me he was looking for a writer to produce a book on Roy for his On Track series. He offered me a contract.

That sounded interesting. I was familiar with all the songs Roy had produced and not only was a friend but also a great fan. I thought that a celebration of Roy’s brilliant work would be fun.

That is how I came to write Roy Harper On Track.

Little did I realise when I made that decision precisely how much work would be involved and how much time I would have to devote to it. It is one thing listening to the music and loving it, and quite another writing about it. Fortunately I knew enough and had sufficient personal experience through my association with Roy’s career to enable me to complete the project. I had a great time listening to all the music and revisiting past memories, digging out the information and reminiscing. Age gives perspective. Reliving the past can be invigorating and provides insight. Hindsight is educative.

What stood out to me was what a consistently spectacular body of work Roy has produced over the years and how many missed opportunities there were. What could, and should have been.

That fifty plus years of extraordinary creativity is the fruit of an equally extraordinary life.

The book was a celebration of Roy and his anticareer.

Now that the book is published I am turning my attention back to the original book!

We’ll see!

Poetry – Bankers playing Roulette

Bankers playing Roulette

Bankers playing roulette

With the likes of you and me.

Gambling for fun

To seal our destiny.

Necking their champagne,

Driving their flash cars –

An ever bigger pile of loot

Is the extent of their desires!

Opher 16.9.2018

I despise the selfish greedy attitude that some people have. They think they had the privilege to do what they like. They believe they were born better and they deserve all they get.

There is a failing in their heads. They have their priorities twisted. They believe they can purchase happiness, experience and purpose.

But, as Dylan said, you can’t buy a thrill.

Back when I was seventeen, and high on Kerouac, I made a conscious decision not to follow the god of mammon. I wanted experience, not money.

Poetry – A Cosmic Shrug

A Cosmic Shrug

As our green Earth

Delights in life’s birth

Basking in perpetual sun

With warmth and light for everyone

Might finally become aware

Of the parasite lurking there

And with a shrug of lava and ash

Rids itself of this foul rash.

Opher 25.8.2018

If only the planet was alive and conscious of the life that it had given birth to.

If only it became aware of the mess that we humans are making of the world and decided to take action.

If only………..

Poetry – The Mystery of History

The Mystery of History

The mystery of history

In rocks, stones and shards.

Captured in legend

By mystics and bards.

The wisdom of ages.

The lives that are long gone.

Remembered in the landscape;

Revered in poetic song.

Standing in the circle

With the setting of the sun.

Breathing in the ambience

From days when all was one.

The warmth of the stones,

Full of memories and hope;

A living reminder –

The dreams of human scope.

All the mists of time

Now shroud reality

From a distant age

When nature was divinity.

Close to the seasons

Though hard, cruel and true.

When life was simple

And we knew what we should do.

Now in the age of plastic

Where change is the new god;

Where cash is the gospel

We live far from the sod.

Communicating with electricity

Across the wastes of space.

We seem to own everything

But have lost our sense of place.

Opher – 8.7.2021

Fresh back from Cornwall, having stood in the Stone circles, visited coits and Iron Age villages, with a sense of wonder.

Connecting to the past.

Looking out from those rugged places it felt like I was looking through the eyes of my ancestors.

Life was hard but they were in tune with nature and felt at home in the land.

This modern world is all plastic and speed but lacks any connection.

I feel at home in a stone circle. The stones have warmth.

My Science Fiction Novels Under the name of Ron Forsythe

I put out my best Sci-fi under the name Ron Forsythe.

I would love it is you were to check out my Blog and website!

All comments are welcome!

Your Site ‹ Ron Forsythe —

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This is my UK Amazon site. : Ron Forsythe

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Poetry – If Planets Dream

If Planets Dream

If planets dream

What lazy scenes

Flow through their minds

As time unwinds.

Millennia tick

Winds of space lick

And languid arcs

Translate the times.

What fears

Of solar fires

Of mighty collisions

Interstellar volition

Could proceed

To foster need

And banish dreams of

Unimaginable proportion.

Opher 25.8.2018

What is consciousness? A product of organic brains or something more?

Would size and longevity alter the speed and dimensions of thoughts?

What strange thoughts and fears might something as large and long-lived as a planet have?

Poetry – Words are Weapons

Words are Weapons

Words are weapons

In toxic times

They explode in minds

In poisonous rhymes.

The tongue becomes

A machine gun

To riddle brains

With quip and pun.

Ideas fan the flames

Of imagination

And release thoughts

That fuel that conflagration.

Out of battle

Of those who step in range

Are wondrous gifts

Of empowered change.

Opher 10.7.2018

There is a battle going on between those who want a more caring world and those who do not care as long as they are free to do as they want.

There are those that see the destruction, unfairness and exploitation and those that believe that it is not happening.

There are the purveyors of fake news and the victims of it.

There are those who do not believe in experts and those who do.

There is a battle between the deniers and the accepters, between the fearful and the haters, the ones who have and the ones who haven’t.

I think it’s a battle best fought with words.

Poetry – Empires Turn to Dust

Empires Turn to Dust

Mrs Wibbly Wobbly sits amid the ruins as her empire turns to dust.

Contemplating madness as her government goes bust.

With resignations flying as the frenzy feeds the sharks

While the public hold up zeroes as they go assessing the marks.

Power before people, party before country, ideology before sense;

They are selling us down the river for a pocket full of pence.

Nothing seems to matter to those who climb the tower.

Who cares what happens to anyone so long as they gain power.

They tell us lies; they promise gold and a new shiny dawn.

But the reality is that they offer us the same old dreary morn.

They scare us with their stories of horrors and great fears,

But all of it is just a game and will only end in tears.

So as the government implodes and the rabid nutters reign

Mrs Wibbly Wobbly sells the country down the drain.

She appeases all the lunatics who are now running the circus show.

Clinging on with fingernails as the madness grows and grows.

All the clocks are melting in this silly surreal race

But Mrs Wibbly Wobbly is still doing up her lace.

In or out, hard or soft, they really can’t decide.

All they succeed in doing is widening the divide.

The nation teeters on the brink as stupidity holds court.

While clowns and mad extremists endlessly find fault.

She pressed the button to start the race before she knew where we were going

So where we’ll end up running to – there is no way of knowing!!

Opher – 17.7.2018

The stupidity of how this was all carried out is beyond all measure of reason.

A Brexit vote.

Promised by Cameron and Osbourne, to throw meat to the rabid extremist nationalists, who had already brought down governments with their ideological claptrap, to keep them quiet during the election.

A promised vote with expectations of a coalition and not having to deliver.

An unexpected win.

The vote then carried out with complacency. Nobody believed the population would be that stupid as to cut off the hand that feeds them.

The vote and chaos, resignations and dementia!

May seizing control after the blood bath and siding with the extreme Brexiteers in order to hang on to power and stupidly pressing the button without getting any agreement of what sort of Brexit was required. None other than a silly ploy to try to unite her party that failed miserably.

Chaos and infighting in the Tories as they pulled themselves inside out and time flits by with nothing achieved.

What should have been done with something this momentous is a cross-party group to thrash out what was required before pressing the button – followed by a negotiation from strength.

What we have is time running out and a dog’s dinner served up by a bunch of lying lunatic ideologues like Rees-Mogg and Boris and passed off as a banquet.

What an utter mess. The Tories have sold the country down the river in their quest for power!!

They want their arses kicked!!

Poetry – In These Toxic Times

In These Toxic Times

It’s all change in these toxic times

Where the ghosts of days that never were,

Like phantom fairy castles

Glimpsed in mists among the clouds,

Loom large on a pedestal of nostalgic lies.

The new guard, regaled in fascist clothing,

Unleash waves of fear and hatred

As purity is threatened by change.

But life is change and always has been

And the past was always badly stained.

The storm breaks upon the shore

As rollers pound the beaches,

Cities and people.

As the waves of ingress

Wash away compassion,

Wash away hope, care and love.

As the wind howls and ushers in

Gales of callous cruelty, despair and anger.

It’s all change in these toxic times

As the hate is channeled and directed.

There is no room for empathy, tolerance and welcome.

For the waves of threat are crashing against the cliffs

Bringing down the whole continent

As the hurricane blows away all we once stood for.

This country, built on compassion and a friendly smile,

Now a bastion of defiant fury

That puts children in the dog pound

Walls between us

And bombs amongst the crowd.

For centuries an island of hope,

A beacon to the oppressed,

A refuge from terror.

For it is all change in these toxic times

Where every stranger is the enemy.

The beacon has gone out.

The hope has been extinguished.

And the refuge become the prison.

The welcoming smile is now a snarl

The helping hand a fist

The door is built of razor wire.

The nostalgia for those pleasant times

Ironically based on fake memories.

Opher – 22.6.2018

I’m becoming nostalgic for those pleasant times before Brexit and Trump.

It seems to me that these two events have unleashed a great wave of division, fear and hatred. The politicians stir up the emotions for their own ends. Immigration and terrorism are used to promote their own political careers.

Immigration has been used as a tool. There has been too much but the fears are exaggerated in order to create fury as Islamophobia is deployed as a weapon.

Looking back through rose-tinted glasses to those olden days, (ignoring the racism, poverty, hardship, misogyny, disease and gross inequality) we are led to believe that things have got worse.

They haven’t.