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Norwich Notes

Repeated failure
And rejection; rebuke to
The ego: God's will?


Put your dream into
A sack; take it down to the
River and drown it.
Write haiku: three lines,
Seventeen syllables: more
Succinct than Twitter.


Take a dark thought and
Nurture it - let it grow and
Grow; typical me.
Surround me: old faces and
Places bubble up.


Arbitrary signs
Imbued with significance
Turn into omens.
Try the bars of the
Cage now; see whether the old
Cold steel will bend.


Norfolk Shock Horror
Probe! Pudding Norton to be
Twinned with Dumpling Green.
In the staithe, flatfish
And ruffe. Among the bones of
The old wherries - pike.


Retreat now into
Old Norfolk: let the sluggish
Waters absolve you.
Aberdeen; Grimsby;
Cherry Hinton and Norwich:
Bad blood in the East.


Yes, I was much too
Far out of my life and not
Waving but drowning.
Same town; same job; same
House; same woman: illusion
Of stability.


Discard all hopeless
Hopes; smile now at your old
Face in the mirror.


No lottery win;
No last minute reprieve - just
Work and family.


At first, a place to
Go fishing - then somewhere for
The mind to wander.
I plough old furrows
Repeatedly - throwing up
Fragments of Norfolk.


Everything has
Unravelled now: the dream has
Died; life is just life.
At forty-seven
Still discovering new ways
Of being nervous.


Auden said: 'In the
Prison of his days teach the
Free man how to praise.'
Skull-shaped, sea-bitten,
Wide-skied, church-towered, unkempt;
Older than England.


Be hopeful only
For that which won't disappoint
You when it fails.
Be mindful only
Of this moment - let the past
And future vanish.


Forgive your parents;
Be good to your lovers and
Friends; horseman pass by!
My destiny is
To have no destiny - just
Its taunting shadow.


Untouched; untrammelled;
Uncompromised by success:
Freedom is failure.
Albino blackbird
In Chapelfield Gardens;
Being different.


On the road today
A dead damselfly - its blue
Wings unflickering.
Nothing else exists
Now - only these Norfolk lanes
Rife with cow parsley.


No fame, no money -
Just the daily uploading
Of words and photos.
I grew up between
Two rivers: the wide, slow Yare,
The secretive Tas.


Heat-haze shimmering
Over the tarmac: time to
Drive out to the coast.
Hunker down and stay
Still - wait for the weather to
Change: my life story.


Between the shaking
Hands and the nervous stomach
Life is fitted in.
Capture the image
In seventeen syllables:
Five, seven and five.


Don't push; don't try; don't
Expect; stick to the valley;
Copy the river.
Old Norwich persists:
Its medieval churches;
Its bulging graveyards.


New Norwich insists:
Its wi-fi, its malls and its
Mobile phone shops.
Reflected spire;
Small enough now to pick up
And carry away.
Rediscover life;
Take your coat from the hook and
Walk to the viewpoint.


St. Etheldreda's
Old brick tower - indistinct
With cherry blossom.
In the underpass
A sudden gust of air brings
The smell of urine.


Re-emergence in
Spring of that which was buried
Under ice and snow.
Fit the new strings and
Turn the tuning pegs; listen
To the full crisp sound.


Outside the office
Block - cigarette stubs litter
The ground like blossom.
On the path today
Clean-licked chicken bones lie next
To a ripped bin bag.


Buy a camera;
It will help you to see the
World differently.


Aimless; effortless;
No direction; no time; no
Place: glimpses of Zen.
Wrap up the Tarot
Cards and put them away; face
Life without false hope.
Today on Mousehold
The chiffchaffs are back; listen
To them zip-zapping.


City till I die
City till I die - I am
City till I die
Order is restored:
Sir Thomas Browne is wearing
His striped traffic cone.


Which one came first: the
Raging anxiety or
The deep depression?
At Gildencroft the
Gurney family - asleep
Amongst the nettles.


Northerly - turns the cherry
Blossom into snow.
Reclaim the morning
From the tyranny of the
Stomach's restriction.


A breeze catches the
Venetian blind - sending a
Shiver across it.
Today the swifts are
Back - screeching and circling
Over the rooftops.


Intimations of
Mortality: white flecks in
This morning's stubble.
This morning's shattered
Shop window - its crystal web
Broken but still whole.


Beyond the City
Norfolk waits - resolutely


Wensum-side magpies -
Hopping and chattering: two
For joy, two for joy
Thong-tops; bra-straps; small
Tattoos on the lower back:
Desire smoulders.


Blustery, rainy,
Iron-grey Monday morning:
Hard reality.
Scattered around the
Riverside bench lie empty
Cans of Special Brew.
Noon sunshine, and the
Undertaker comes out for
A cigarette break.


03.42 -
Woken by blackbird singing
In the dead of night.


Say it this minute,
Say it clearly: I love you
Nicola J. Bushell.
Settle into the
Cold: the sore throat, the streaming
Nose, the barking cough.


Look at it closely:
Unalloyed reality
Here and now; always.




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