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Creative Living: Be More Creative, My Other Poetry

Creating Happy Holidays: A New Poem

After we’ve taken to the shops, the public houses, the clamour and glitz, we come home, step out of the swell, hole up with our howl, cradle it close, hold it still, until we can let it go out with us again, out into the cold and the frozen. Until we can let it show us how to love glamour: only as tinsel, as topping. The promise of Christmas was never a treasury. Frankinsense and myrrh came later. And as gifts. Brought to a child, into a manger, by the wise.

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Creative Writing: My Other Poetry

Valentines’ Day 2016: A New Poem

I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day 2016, at a sunny table outside Cole St cafe in The Haight, 6000 miles away from The Hub. He is in London, I am in San Francisco. But love is what the scientists call non-local and no problem for it to leap continent and ocean. He got me a card, I’ve sent him a poem. The commercial side of Valentine’s day debases and dilutes love, with its cupids and chocolates, completely overlooking how love is a force that destroys the established order, over and again, even in a long relationship. (30+ years, since you…

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Creative Writing

Halting Place: A New Poem

For Wang Wei. And Fiona. Here, autumn has not yet plucked the last of the leaves. Evening mist has nothing to hold but the trees. It’s that time of day, that time of year, when poems come. That ache to be here, to be heard. Surely, soon? You relieve it with love, always have. My dear, I saw you pick up his scarf on our way out, the old one you said he won’t wear any more. I see you wearing it now, worn side in.

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Creative Living: Be More Creative

The Create-State: How To Go Creative

I’m on a concrete pit-stop somewhere between Cologne and Brussels, surrounded by hundreds of resting forty-foot trucks and the whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of motorway traffic passing on two sides. Every year I attend Frankfurt Book Fair, to speak and learn about publishing and self-publishing. Usually I fly, but I prefer trains to planes and this year, I’d thought I’d travel by Eurostar and ICE train, via Brussels. It worked a dream on the way over but on the way back, we find ourselves unexpectedly taken off the train at Cologne. Sorry, but there’s a rail strike in Belgium, they tell us. They’ve laid…

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A New #Poem: Holding On

  Up beside yon ancient castle, where a knight stands in the hall. crumbling bricks square off a garden, the old chapel, under pall. Crooked graves all moss and lichen, brambled weeds now gate its wall. While the knight, once thought a warden, armour empty, holds the hall.  

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I’m Crowdfunding A Very Special WB Yeats Project

I’ve just launched a Pubslush crowdfunding project, Secret Rose, as part of #Yeats2015. This year, Yeats lovers everywhere are celebrating the 150-year birth anniversary of the Nobel-laureate Irish poet, who was born on 13 June 1865. I wanted to do something special and after much thought decided what better way to pay tribute to a writer than to produce a very special book of his work, especially an aspect of his work that has been neglected? And then issue it together with a novel that tells the real-life story-behind-his-stories. Special Edition This carefully crafted, limited edition book brings two books together: Yeats’s short stores, *The Secret Rose* and my novel, *Her Secret…

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February 14, 2016
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Her Secret Rose: My next novel

The Irish Nobel-Laureate poet Willie Yeats was 23 years old in 1889, when Maud Gonne came calling to his house and, as he later put it, “the troubling of his life” began. Six feet tall, elegantly beautiful and passionately political, this British heiress turned Irish revolutionary was the muse Wille had been seeking. He would spread his dreams under her feet, as they set about creating a new Ireland, through his poetry and her politics, and their shared interest in the occult. Yeats forged a poetic career from his esoteric love for Gonne and his admiration for her proud “pilgrim…

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Susan Pollexfen Yeats: In Search of WB Yeats's Mother

The more I circle the life and work of WB Yeats, the more I’m drawn to wondering about his mother, Susan Yeats, nee Pollexfen. In trying to understand her influence, at first I felt hampered by how little we know about her. As I read through the letters and biographies about the glittering people who surrounded her, I got a stronger and stronger sense of her.  And came to realise that she was the poet’s great unnamed tragedy. Susan Pollexfen hailed from Sligo, in the West of Ireland, of solid middle-class, merchant Protestant stock. After a conventional upbringing, she enjoyed a brief and —…

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WB Yeats & Maud Gonne: The Greatest Love Story That Never Was?
February 14, 2016
In Sligo for the Yeats International Summer School
July 27, 2015
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July 26, 2015
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Exciting Yeats Project Planned For #Yeats2015: Her Secret Rose

I’ve been working for some years on a trilogy about the Irish poet WB Yeats — and I’ll be picking it back up shortly to finish off, (just as soon as I publish How To Create Anything and Go Creative!) I’m planning a very special edition (500 copies) of the first novel in this trilogy, Her Secret Rose, in facsimile copy of Yeats’s The Secret Rose (1897), for sale by subscription only (just as he sold his!) i.e. printed on laid paper, with pictorial boards stamped in gilt, spine lettered in gilt and the decorative dark blue cloth designed by Yeats’s…

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February 20, 2017
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December 15, 2016
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Dark Night: A New Poem

Life said to the wanderer: wait without waiting. Kneel yourself down there, on stone- hearted stone. Set down your hope too. It could be mistaken. And fold up that map. It may also be wrong. Though it be dark here beyond all believing, with no place for faith, no, just rock- hardened rock, unfasten, for now, the great weight of your seeking — it may, as you say, someday lead your return — but not even love is from you here needed. Suffer the silence, let all rest in naught. Stay down if you can, eyes blind and knees bleeding,…

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