POEMS
Epitaph for an Astronaut
Bury me // In the wastes of interstellar space. ...
A reflection on the vastness of the universe and the insignificance of my home planet... to anyone but me.

Eleusinian Mystery
In silence is the seed of wisdom sown. ...
Written at Alban Elfed (the Autumnal Equinox) 2003. The Eleusinian Mysteries, which took place at this time, represented the most important personal development programme in the ancient world. They were open to anyone, of any nation or religion. Little is known of them however because to reveal details was a capital offence throughout Greece.
The climax of the rite was thought to entail the uncovering of a dish containing a single ear of corn, to the words of the first line.

To the South Tyne at Corbridge
Still river, // Shimmering in the sunlight, ...
Offering idyllic scenes on a warm sunny day, this is nevertheless one of the most destructive rivers in Britain.
The poem follows an ancient Egyptian format, as evinced by "The Discourse of a Man with his own Soul".

Fossils
In darkness, deep within the stone, ...
My son Max used to fly gliders off Sutton Bank. In his tender years he drank in the evenings with a load of old fossils in the club bar, who imparted wisdom far beyond his years. My poem is a homage to his short story (2001). I recommend you read it first.

A Child’s Advice on Dangers Lurking in Unexpected Places
Never take a paddle in a jungle pool! ...
Max, at the tender age of eight, published his own book on the dangers lying in wait for innocent children. Beautifully illustrated with blood-curdling drawings of what might happen to the unwary, it deserves to be more widely read. The excellent Ladybird series included a book entitled "Lions and Tigers", which revealed that life isn't all one long jolly party for those magnificent big cats. Acknowledgement is hereby made to its revelations from the private life of a tiger. The poem (co-authored by Max) has of course been augmented in adulthood with additional priceless gems of experience.

Sundown
Solemn finish // To a shining career. ...
A Roman leader, speaking about an aged general, announced his preference for worshipping "the rising, rather than the setting sun". In this he was following venerable Egyptian tradition, which saw sunrise and sunset as metaphors for the beginning and the end of dynasties and reigns.

Sunrise
Tell it to the birds – ...
Sunrise, in ancient Egypt, was a metaphor for Pharaoh destroying his enemies.

Karma
I am the million-year-old Man: ...
Written in 1999 at the time Slobodan Milosevic, First President of Serbia, instigated the expulsion of a million native Kosovans from their homeland. The poem comments on the apparent conflict between Lex Talionis, the law of just retribution, and the so-called Law of Love.

The Battle of Mars
Old men reminisce // On their campaigns and wars, ...
A poem about the suffering and futility of war. (Kitty quotes it when preparing her visuals in Chapter 8 of The Titan Kiss.)

I Am Who Am
I don’t remember ever being born. ...
A reflection on the immanence and transcendence of the godhead and the illusion of personal identity. The poem is written in an irregular metre which is strictly repeated in the second verse.

On choosing poems for Janice
I didn’t really know her // Except through her poems ...
For a recent reading of Janice Sinson's poems to commemorate her life and poetry, we, her fellow-members in the Whitby Writers Group agreed to select our favourite poems of hers. Now when I buy a book of poetry, I consider i've had my money's worth if only two or three poems appeal to me. But there were none of Janice's poems I didn't like, and I found it a hard choice. How much I liked her poetry was something I hadn't been aware of. Now her voice is stilled forever...

Thoughts of profundity set down on waking up in the middle of the night
Piston rings need vitamins ...
Everyone has had the experience of being vouchsafed stunning insights into the nature of things in the depths of sleep. Keeping pencil and paper beside the bed allows one to capture these fleeting moments of wisdom. Here's what transpired when the poet did just that...

Why don’t you sleep?
Why don’t you sleep with a sword in your bed? ...
An elegy for the days before everything got too much bother.