Escape From Reality

Photo: WHB – Thames Sculler: Dec.2020

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on the deep blue Thames
Heading to I know not where
But joyous to be just there

A winter’s day, With time to spare
No promises to keep
I’ll tone my body, air my lungs,
Before I fall asleep

I am content
I’ve found a place
In silent space
Where life cannot torment

Photo: WHB – Thames Sculler: Dec.2020

Prufrock On Lockdown

red and white signage

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Prufrock On Lockdown

Today drags its pale length
as does the serpent
slow, stately, watchful
a day like any other
the day that follows yesterday
always preceding tomorrow
like a tedious argument

both shy of work
and play bereft
and agile-working
not working for me
my day now
structured by eating
measured by meals
by  medication
by those forever coffee spoons

Nothing planned
so nothing to regret
meaningless moments
with nothing arranged
only possibilities are exciting
the five o’clock briefing
another dose of dead antiques
another bargain hunted down
one more home under the hammer
another escape to the country
to the chateau or the sun
but from my armchair
escape is no longer an option
glimpsed desires unfulfilled
and not a matter of money

The seaside too
still  eludes me
retaining its magnetism
but with the pull of the tide
unable to reach me
The Lakes a mirage in my memory
a Prelude taught to feel,
perhaps too much,
the self-sufficing power of solitude
but this solitude no longer blissful

It now descends
the yellow fog
obscuring the future
taking with it the meaning of my days
rubbing its back against the window panes
of this my settled cell
licking it’s tongue
into the corners
of my every uneventful evening.

my every desultory day

So please release me
let me go
I’m being driven potty
Let me
disturb the universe
please do beam me up Scotty

Not quite yet insane
please let me live again



NOTE:  Readers may recognise certain phrases repeated
 from the poetic works of Wordsworth and T.S.Eliot, plus an echo from ‘Star Trek’.






Waters of the River Lowman, Devon – Photo:  WHB, 2017   ©




As Lowman meanders
hardly awake
over its pebbled bed
and as clear waters
give back the russet tones
of disturbed sand
of silt-stained rocks
so I muse

Imagination awakes
words flow
with the waters of the stream
transmuting my senses

into visions
of solitude
and silence
of grace in being
delight in life itself

These images
revisiting me now

with imprinted memories
of awe
of richness

felt in the bones of my youth
replicated now
in the dis-ease of old age




Lament to Portholme

Kieran O’Lenahan

Until he died in 1996, Kieran, who was born in Ireland, lived and worked in Huntingdon.  He cared passionately for the environment and made sure his voice was heard on local issues.  One such issue resulted in the following poem submitted  in 1974 to his local Council by Kieran in his representation against proposed local development  . . .portholmeissue


 Lament to Portholme

Sweet meadow
where one could walk
entranced in solitude, alone.
Lost in an immensity of open spaces;
disturbed only by the Skylark’s song.
Skylarks soaring, singing,
as the day was long.
Walking amidst wild flowers
and the flowers were many,
knee deep in a blossoming throng,meadow
Sweet birds, sweet flowers,sweet solitude,
all, all, are gone.
No profit in solitude
of a Skylark’s song.
Where man’s soul soars
among the Skylarks
knee deep in blossoming flowers
bulldoze it,
rape beauty!skylark
Progress, profit
greed alone,
but not alone in beauty
man destroys
when greed reigns supreme,
there is no beauty
no love
no feeling
no peace all sacrificed
all must cease,
when Mammon reigns
and man’s soul sleeps,
there is no other end
no futurebulldozer
There is money in it!
flowers lost
entrancing meadows
for ignoble ends.pleasley

 *     *     *


Submitted by … Richard Lee.
I am indebted to him and to Kieran’s family
for permission to reproduce this poem.