Thursday, 20 October 2016

And I walk on - poem

And I walk on

It rained
And rained
I tried to dodge it
It caught me.

The sun came out
And so did a rainbow
My heart lit up
And I thought of you.

It rained
And rained
I took shelter
And a cappuccino
And thought of you.

You are so close to me now
If I reach out
I could touch you
I believe
But I know this is not true

It rained
And rained
And my cheeks are wet
With rain and tears
I shake myself dry
And I walk on.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Whitby poem


1.The first time I saw you
The light took me by surprise
And the smell of fish
It’s fresh crisp taste.

2.You took me to Whitby
A rite of passage
And I fell in love
Though we were never sure.

3.I took you to Whitby
We were in love
And it was part of our web.

4.And the time of the car chase
That ended in wingless flight
You forced open the car door
As the policeman looked on
God you were gone too soon!

5.I clamber up to the ruined Abbey
And feel the history
The fever and the pain
And it’s all past now

But I still have the photos
On my wall
And I wonder
Where are you now?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Boss consults Q his spiritual director once more

The Boss consults Q his spiritual director once more

- Being the Boss has been my identity …. if I cease to be the Boss who am I?
- How about father, husband, grandfather, friend, son-in-law?
- Yes, yes, but that doesn’t do it for me!
- Oh no? Q raised a sceptical left eyebrow.
- Well ….you know what I mean… of course all those roles and people are important to me … and if anyone of them needed me more…
- You would?
- I would make myself available.
- But that’s not enough for you?
- No, said the Boss flatly. There was a silence, an uneasy silence, in which the Boss coughed but remained silent. Q broke the silence with a question.
- What would be enough?
- I dunno, maybe some new role, some project …I can’t just persue my hobbies.
- No?
- No, said the Boss decisively.
- What might God say?
- Hmm, I have been praying in my own way but there’s only been silence.
- Can you wait?
- I am not a patient man but I guess I have no choice.
Q nodded and there was another more peaceful silence. The Boss sighed and breathed out for once just resting in the silence. It was, and had to be, enough for now.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Walking down the street - poem

Walking down the street
Grateful again
For the colours of the flowers and the trees

In a traditional English café in Levenshulme
With a huge slab of Amethyst
Oh my!
The energy is still there.

Kind of flirting
With the transsexual woman
Welcoming me to the new church

Touched by such simple and small things
On my way to oblivion
But living as much as I can
In the moment
With what is in front of me

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

I move on

I move on

Walking in treacle
On opiates again
Vivid dreams
Awake and asleep

Dead bodies in the bath
And cliff edge horrors
I’m falling through the sky
Crashing towards the ground
Shit-less scared
Death is coming soon

I move on.

Friday, 8 July 2016


When I was a difficult teenager my dad blamed it on my ‘Welsh blood’. My mum had a Welsh Grandfather Thomas Lewis who was a Baptist minister. I also had a godmother Nancy who was Welsh and who I loved dearly. She was always ready to listen to me. Her father was an unemployed miner so her parents moved to Kidderminster in the 1930s for a new life. I became pro Welsh and associated ‘unacceptable’ parts of who I am with being part Welsh. For example I was, and still am, too emotional for a typical Englishman of my time! I planned at some point in my life to live in Wales and learn the language. I was horrified when I read how, in Victorian times, school children were punished for speaking Welsh in school! Then I read about how one of the unemployment marches from Wales were greeted by crowds of Welsh people who had moved to Stroud. And Manchester had a Welsh speaking area in Victorian times. Today there is still so much casual racism against the Welsh, supposedly humorous! Anyway tomorrow my choir will be singing at the Eisteddfod, again something I always planned to visit but not sing at. Wow, this is going to be special.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Encounters with homeless men

Encounters with homeless men (from my Facebook page)

22nd January 2016. Saw a new young man begging near Costa and thought I would give me some money after I came out but it was raining and he had gone. Then later I was given a free cappacino at the Uni. So I need to Carpe Diem, seize the day.

2nd February. Young man begging outside the coffee shop 8am. I come out and put £2 into his paper cup. He thanks me and gives me a deep look - he's seen me and seen me seeing him. Something real has happened. I am touched by his look, it was not anguish, he was not pleading it was 2 humans connecting.

21st April. So on my one day a week at the Uni I call in Costa for a coffee and sandwich. There is often a young man begging outside and I have got in the habit of giving him a couple of quid and one time exchanged deep eye contact. which I wrote about previously So today I finally plucked up the courage (don't ask!) to talk to him and asked him if he had a place to stay. No, he is on a waiting list for a hostel since November and he keeps going back to nudge them and he has heard it takes 4 or 5 months. I am shocked and hope that he has fallen through the net as I don't want to believe that Manchester would leave people like him on the streets over winter. Any of you out there, especially Mancunians, can update? He is keen to get his act together and find work.

5th May. Just saw the young homeless man outside Costa who I have written about here before. The good news is that at last he has an appointment next Tuesday for a possible hostel place. He hopes not to see me again. I hope so too. He crossed himself saying this. I have learnt things from him. Firstly it is not enough just to give money. There is a person on the other side of that interaction. Sparing a few words as well as a bit of money is important for both involved. This is part of my new post Uni life - neighbourliness.

14th May. Glad not to see him – homeless poem

Young man begging outside the coffee shop 8am.
I come out and put £2 into his paper cup.
He thanks me and gives me a deep look
- He's seen me and seen me seeing him.
Something real has happened.
I am touched by his look,
It’s not anguish,
He’s not pleading
It’s two humans connecting.

Some weeks pass
And I get in the habit of
Giving him a couple of quid
Today I finally puck up the courage
To talk to him
Have you anywhere to stay?
No but I’m on a waiting list for a hostel
It’s been 5 months
I keep going back to them.

I’m appalled
5 wintry months sleeping in a car park
I hope he’s fallen through the net
This is Manchester 2016
Surely we wouldn’t leave people on the streets over winter?

Just saw the young homeless man again
He has an appointment next Tuesday
And hopes never to see me again
I hope so too
He crosses himself

He has taught me
It’s not enough to just give money
There is a person on the other side
Sparing a few words is important too
For both of us

It’s Wednesday 8am now
And there is a space outside the coffee shop
And he’s not there
I miss him
But I am glad not to see him.

18th May. Met my young homeless man on the streets again. Found out his name is Chris and that there was a mix up over dates but he still has his interview for a possible hostel place in the next few days. If he does not get a place it will knock him back. I truly hope not to see him again!

31st May. So my young homeless man Chris was not outside Costa first thing this morning so it looks like he has his hostel place! In his place is a mature man I have seen and given too before. He looks too intelligent to be on the streets(!) I was going to talk to him but a young women had beaten me to it, so another time. Anyway, I gave him a couple of quid and he was thankful and wished me a good day. I replied 'you're welcome'. It's a start.

10th June 2016. Speaking to people on the streets whether homeless or neighbours unknown is an invite into relationship, into being. I relate therefore I am. For me the universe/God(dess) does this when I am open. Chris, the homeless young man was not outside Costa again this morning so it seems pretty sure he has got his hostel place. Later I talked with John a more older man who I have given money to a few times. I asked him if he had a place to sleep and he replied he went to the airport and that sometimes a church helped him. He was quite talkative and we shook hands when I left him. I think he has his wits about him but I just wonder if this is his best choice?