Sunday, 18 December 2016

Christmas on the other side of the world

There is no Christmas this year Bobby.”   
Vicky, his elder sister laments. She explains that she had over-heard Lucy`s mother telling auntie Chipo that she had over-heard her husband talking to Ziyepi the kraal head that the bread delivery  van was stuck in the mud across Nyamachesi River.
Even if they pulled it out, the river is in flood.   It is Christmas Eve. 

Monday, 14 November 2016

A Minute's Silence

High Wycombe, 8th November 2015



A Minute's Silence

Stand here a while and I'll tell you
If the guttering's clogged up with grass
Or if a shower of pigeons passed
While those two still necking on the ridge

Saturday, 27 August 2016

I never liked Leonard Cohen back in the 70s......

guess you mellow with age......

RIP Marianne Ihlen

Post Olympics foto

Not sure if anyone can identify this picture?

Year, place, anyone in the team?

(I'm front row, 2nd from the Right)

Answers on a post card.

Friday, 19 August 2016

And We Were Kings

Each Autumn, the local farmers would look for ‘potato gatherers’ to gather the ‘praties’ as we called them. Imagine a cold Autumn dawn, the sharp frost broken by the early sun and the tractor as it ‘ raped ’ the field.
The most empowering sensation, was not the toil and the tedium of back-breaking work,  but the clutch of the 10s 0d shilling note you were paid as you raced home with the ‘Queens’ ten-shillings.

We ate that day with grubby hands
Silken- floured farls straight from the griddle
The earth our table, the sky our roof
The farmer’s wife rough-red and rude

Friday, 1 July 2016

Tuesday, 14 June 2016


" Hi Mervyn - I was actually listening to you reading your poems yesterday and I really enjoyed them. I have to say my favourite is the one about the Sunday afternoon sleeping uncles and also the one about going to the moss on the back of the tractor (sheep, crow etc).

I guess any time I want to wander down memory lane I can just listen to them all so keep writing. I can't really put into words how much I enjoy them but you know I was there so can really "see" a lot of it as I read them - pictures in the mind never go away. I suppose they are always there and then you read something like one of the poems and it all just comes back cos it was never gone - just lying below the surface somewhere.

I'm so glad one of us was able to put into words how much we loved being on the farm when Mum was ill and we were "farmed out" as it were - only it was such an enjoyable part of our lives and one I still miss - not being able to go there any more - guess it's a part of growing up and moving on, maybe I didn't really want to grow up If I had known that some things wouldn't stay the same for ever but they can't. "

Well done
Love from Helen x

Friday, 20 May 2016

Book review / Feedback

O Derry Boy - People write poetry for as many reasons as there are poets in the world.
Some write to exorcise demons, some to express a viewpoint.
Some do it to charm their readers, while others set out to shock.
Mervyn follows none of these paths, but his passions are equally as valid.

O Derry Boy sets out to capture a lost moment in history; a hitherto forgotten time
and place that most of us will never have experienced; a harsher time, yet a time
afforded a seductive allure by his evocatively wistful reminiscences.

Is this Mervyn's childhood in 20 th century rural Northern Ireland or is this a magical dreamworld that only those with true poetry in their souls will ever visit?

You'll have to buy the book to decide, but before you do, spend an evening in his company and let him tell you his story in the accent that matches the pictures.


ACOUSTIC CAFE ARTS4EVERY1 Friday 27 May, High Wycombe, UK 

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Butlers Bridge

They closed the line and shut the station
Built a better road too, straight and true
And left the bridge a gaping maw
Staring across its former fields,
Yellow riot of prickly gorse
Ivy strained sadness of Ulster stone

Friday, 6 May 2016

Eden Rock By Charles Causley

They are waiting for me somewhere beyond Eden Rock:
My father, twenty-five, in the same suit
Of Genuine Irish Tweed, his terrier Jack
Still two years old and trembling at his feet.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Uncle Dimitrio 's staircase

" Somos guardianes de nuestras emociones, del nuestro voz interior, los guachimanes  de nuestra alma *"   Lima , Peru enero 2016
*we are guardians of our emotions, of our inner voice, the watchmen of our soul

Hay un zumbido, una vida
Un animo un intercambio
De los bienvenidos del dia
La intensidad de las cosas pequenas