READING IN A TIME OF PLAGUE (R18)


It is suggested that one result of Lockdown is that people are reading books. Wow! They haven’t been doing that? In the last three months I’ve had my habitual average read for the last 60 years – 15 quite demanding books. I have been described as a ‘chain reader’. Having completed my third or fourth […]

Plaguetime 10


Rain Upon Godshill Nothing is truly real in this world but living creatures… (JBPriestley 1939) All the talk about ‘not going back’ to the toxic normality that existed before [the Plague] will be tested by the ruling class’s insistence on reasserting a world where their profits and their power prevails. (Socialist Workers’ Party 5th July […]

PLAGUETIME 9


I write a fairly regular ‘essay’ in a series called RANSACKING THE PAST for display on The British Haiku Society Website. Sometimes I dredge books of my own early haiku for ones I could have done better (most of them) and write a critique, sometimes I look at old articles in Blithe Spirit (the BHS […]

The Quest (R17)


Pursuing my private intention to discover what it is in Hilaire Belloc that I love so much, I’ve read some of his minor novels and returned to the essays. Apart from some supremely outstanding poems, his verse is negligible but the man is a poet through and through – a ‘maker’ of profoundly affecting prose […]

IN THE PRISON OF THE MIND (R16)


I re-read Mark Epstein’s Thoughts without a Thinker. I made noteswhich gradually formed themselves into a poem. I laced it togetherwith haiku from a forthcoming book of my own; I suppose the result could be said to be a sort of haibun. ❁ in the prison of the mind we’re too busy survivingto confront the […]

CLEARING THE SHELVES (R16)


Apart from my library, I have three comparatively small bookshelves which I visit every so often when my chain reading habit has ground to a halt for some reason. The books on these shelves are not in alphabetical order nor are they classified by subject matter, so that, starting from the top left hand corner, […]

I have been busy (R16)


…reading the many and varied books in my ‘To Be Read’ shelves. The latest one is an edited version of Leo Tolstoy’s marvelous anti-war Sevastopol Sketches which I see I bought in 1974! All books yield up something worth recording and, apart from Tolstoy’s incisive anti-war rhetoric, this one gave me a ‘Found Haibun’. A […]