Sunday, 18 March 2018

Dark Horizons

How many will cry beneath darkened skies?
The zephyr’s warmth chills to a frosty blue
the fragility’s there for all to see;
war words in the game of diplomacy:

politicians talk for the populous
and now, escalation, incredulous!

And there, lost within a volley of words
hides a greying truth, a boil laced with lies
and the tears will fall under cloudy skies.
How many will die beneath darkened skies?

Julian Clarke © 2018

Sunday, 11 March 2018

I hear your song

Gone, gone: on the west wind I hear your song,
The breath of your soul sweeps through to my heart
As winter leaves danced and scattered, then settled,
Lay frozen, crystallised in pure white snow.

Your life had reasons laid out in a line
Many of them good ones bearing no lies.

Spring exudes beauty, only you compare
Like nature nurtures new life to the world,
And smiles, with sun flowers of summer;
Gone, gone: on the west wind I hear your song.

How ever you decide to interpret my poem, it is not one of sadness, but full of wonderful memories of an exceptional person.

Julian Clarke © 2018

Linked to Sunday Pantry at Poets United

Sunday, 18 February 2018


And the guns of dysfunction still clatter
And the forked tongue of dysfunction still spurns,
And the minds of the sick are left mindless:
And the dysfunction of politicians
And the ignorance of consequence . . . no matter?
And the guns of dysfunction still shatter.

© Julian Clarke 2017

Why not take a visit to Poets United

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Robyn Hood

            The lady pushed her hair behind her ears and then slipped the incriminating photos back into the envelope. She knew of, but did not agree with the back-handers Jason had taken over the years; it was his infidelity and devious lies that cut her right to her core.
    “Damn you,” she muttered, and sitting forward looked from keyboard to screen as she attached the scanned images to the E. mail. Momentarily her manicured finger hovered over the mouse; she paused, took a deep breath and clicked send.       
            Councillor Jason Hood placed his Audi keys on the glass topped desk and took the post-it his P.A had stuck to the monitor. Don’t forget Robyn’s wedding anniversary present, table’s booked at Pierre’s 7.30 pm.
            Coffee in one hand and mouse in the other Jason navigated the cursor to the E. mail with, URGENT, in the subject bar.
    “What the …” he said, as he stared in disbelief at the images of himself and the wife of a prominent businessman in a compromising embrace, he read the text. Tomorrow, 7am usual routine, health suite, leave £10,000 in used notes in locker, swim, go to work, deviate from instructions your wife and newspapers will receive copies of images. Jason’s usual coolness of character left him as beads of cold sweat soaked his armpits. He felt sick to his stomach at the realisation that his rising political career was about to take a huge nose dive into oblivion if he did not act wisely. Robyn, well, he had to admit she still looked a charm on his arm, but he was starting to get quite bored of their marriage.
            Robyn put down her glass of Chablis and picked up her mobile from the table.
    “Jason?” Cheryl asked.
    “Yeah,” she said, then pressed reject.
Cheryl reached across and gave her friends hand a reassuring squeeze.
    “I’ll be fine, Cheryl, honestly”.
            Robyn sat back feeling relieved that she felt no guilt about the package containing ten thousand pounds she’d shoved through, ‘Night Shelter for the Homeless’ letter box earlier that morning.
            As they left the wine bar and crossed the road Cheryl heard her friend drop something, it hit the gutter with a clink before disappearing down the drain.
    “Robyn, you’ve just dropped something down the …”
    “Oh, it’s nothing, just a meaningless key I should have thrown out ages ago”.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Sunday, 21 January 2018


The passenger ship approaches Guernsey,
Picturesque Isle of Herm off the port side,
Old Castle Cornet full of history
The militia once defended with pride.

At anchor, a cruise liner in the bay
Ships tenders, like ants in comparison,
Bringing tourists ashore for the day, some
Will visit Fort George, the old garrison.

Standing to attention the stevedore cranes
Harbour walls embracing the yacht basin,
Fishing boats offload the catch of the day
To meet the ebbing tide they must hasten.

Locals having fun in their pleasure boats
Coming and going are the visiting yachts,
Diving cormorants hunt in the harbour
Flying high is the common guillemot.

A bump and a nudge the ferry makes fast,
Smiling passengers eagerly alight.
Off to the town with its cobbled high street
Flowers in bloom are a delightful sight.

One can feel the influence from France
Dan’s Le Pollet est le Petite Bistro,
Up from La Plaiderie a Sarnian dance
The accordionist swaying to and fro.

Narrow Cow Lane leads to the old harbour
Livestock once passed here for slaughter,
An arched entrance has long since gone
Once led to square riggers on the water.

Al fresco lunch at the Terrace Café
Amazing views to Herm, Jethou and Sark,
Local lobster’s the fresh catch of the day
Or a traditional dish of Guernsey Bean Jar.

Visit the museum of Victor Hugo
At Hauteville House his home in exile.
Poetic decorations, preserved, on show
Wonderful wall hangings of rich textiles.

The old quarter with its quaint narrow streets
Second hand wares and antiques on sale.
Alleyways twist and turn with steps so steep
Lamp light walks with many a ghostly tale.

© Julian Clarke 2017

Linked to Poetry Pantry

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Your Gift

the space in your soul,
where love
 flows like a summers babbling brook;
where glistening stars
star in a warm velvet night.
The sprinkle of
 a sparkle of compassion,
absorbing the gift of the breath of peace.
And sharing a true love . . . most whole heartedly.

Julian Clarke © Dec' 17

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Yellow Affairs

The weather here is quite ghastly, wind, rain and just pah! and so I thought I'd post a piece with a Summery feel.

The Provencal sun lights vibrant blooms golden saffron, 
a Van Gogh, a picture so perfect;

a buzzing bee follows the scent of the sunflowers’ nectar
wafting on a warm southern breeze.

Splodged on an artist’s palette amidst the whites and ochre's
a squeezed tube spews cadmium lemon,

light delicate brush strokes capture the bees’ colourful bands
in shades of blacks and deep yellow.

The beauties of nature’s distractions momentarily lure him,
a painted lady teasingly bathes in warm summer rays . . .

the artist sits back and ponders on where to paint next year,
they say Italy’s nice, but is Naples really yellow?

Julian Clarke © 2016

Linked to Poets United  and  Real Toads

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Not one ounce of inspiration

As writers block strikes my mind it feels quite unkind,
hence the reason why I've nothing new for you to view.
I guess I'll keep searching the depths of my barren mind
And not get myself worked up in a lather or a stew.
I hope the jumbled letters will sort themselves out soon
For it feels like I'm writing with a damn wooden spoon.

© Julian Clarke Nov'2017

Sunday, 19 November 2017

And Then A Skylark Sang

The following is a remembrance poem for Novembers Guernsey open mic evening.

And Then A Skylark Sang

I picked a soft red rose today,
It made me think of you.
Even though my heart felt sad
Its colour warmed the blue.

I felt the prick of blackthorn tree
the day that you fell.
And then one Skylark sang so sweet
In the bloody depths of hell.

I saw a soft red rose today
Strong and vibrant in its hue,
I pursed my lips and blew a kiss
For it made me think of you.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to Poets United

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Jack o' Lantern

Samhain, Night of the Dead, All Hallow's Eve, Halloween, call it what you will. A scary time when ghouls and ghosts return to earth. However, for many an enigmatic time when our parallel worlds a-line for a short while so we may reconnect with passed souls.

Jack o' Lantern

Jack o’ Lantern sits on the old oak sill;
scary hollowed eyes blaze orangey bright.
Circle cast with hawthorn, and all is still,
even-tide folds to the darkening night.

A soul long passed we'll merry meet once more
and ride as one on the winds of winter;
the biting chill, no match; for love will thaw.
Jack o’ Lantern wards dark spirits thither.

And now the time is nigh to bid goodbye,
we’ll meet again on the wheel’s full turn.
So the sun rises in the eastern sky
Jack o’ Lanterns eyes, dead, no longer burn. 

Now Jack o' Lantern your work is complete
back to Will-o-the Wisp on the bogs of peat.

© Julian Clarke 2017

A new piece I penned for this season and is loosely inspired by Irish mythology.

Linked to Poets United Sunday Pantry

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


The dew soaked grass feels soft as silk
Shrouding the valley floats a ghostly mist.
Just for a breath the sun rests on tree tops
Climbing slowly for a new autumn day.

Golden brown leaves fall from the trees
Dancing in a frenzy swirling around,
Foreboding clouds sail on blustery winds
A watery sun hides behind one, it rains.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to Sundays Pantry at Poets United

Sunday, 8 October 2017

1973 - 74 : Up The Creek

One ha’ penny in his begging bowl
dirty finger nail scratches his soul.
Oi mate! can you spare me a smoke?
Get a job, snarled a grey suited bloke.

The call of the ballot, eighty one percent
unions have given their consent;
the radio broadcasts a stark news flash,
miners on strike, there’s no more cash.

See ’em all on a 3 day week,
the lights have gone out
we’re right up the creek.

Disgruntled bean counters on the 3rd floor
the plaques fallen off  the directors door:
Rod Stewart bangs on, You wear it well.
From his ivory tower the grey suit fell.

See ’em all on a 3 day week,
the lights have gone out
we’re right up the creek.

Dirty finger nail scratches his soul
two ha’ pennies in his begging bowl,
he looks on the suit with little care
Oi mate! I've got a ha'penny to share.

See ’em all on a 3 day week,
the lights have gone out
we’re right up the creek.

To help conserve coal stocks and limit the commercial use of electricity the prime minister of the day,  Edward Heath, on 31 December 1973, implemented the Three-Day Work Order which remained in force up to 7th March 1974. Along side the miners strike the government had to deal with the 1973 - 74 oil crises / embargo.
(How those glasses become more rose tinted as time passes with age)

Julian Clarke © 2017

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Poets United, Sunday Pantry

Friday, 22 September 2017

Reapers Wall

Written to: Fireblossom Friday writing challenge "The Distorted Lens"
follow this link for more details Imaginary Gardens

Reapers Wall

Today started crispy cold, but nice, as
weather warnings came on the car speakers.
The grit truck missed a patch of black ice and
slowly my world turned topsy turvey. You
stole my ride with your phosphorescent eyes
in the bright velvet darkness of night, and
I saw my life dance to the ice maidens
tune waved along with her slim finger tips.

A scribe in a white coat spoke in strange tongues,
as a quill wrote in transparent black ink
filling an empty scroll full of weird scribbles.
And all the while the Tappers kept tapping
tappity tap, tappity tap, all night
long under a meridian green moon.
I looked through your hot phosphorescent eyes
when something cold burned against my chest.

Stone by stone up went a charred wall to the
monotonous rhythm of, beep, beep, beep.
At the topping out ball the Tappers skipped
to the frantic swish of the reapers scythe.
But from golden fields with ears of rye corn
came a warm whisper, hang in there my love.
Through snow winters blue and red summer nights
I fought with an electrical maelstrom.

The reaper was grim and seemed to weaken
as the scribes apprentice knocked down the wall.
And there was the green moon on a white screen
as my lightning bolt swords flashed up his scythe.
And soldiers clad in green gathered around
and cheered me on in victorious song.
Now golden fields smelled fresh and soft as silk
as they brushed across my tormented face.

Julian Clarke © Sept' 2017 

Linked to Imaginary Gardens
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Future is Imminent (acrostic)

The brass key turns tightening the spring
How the second hand races, chasing dates
Evenly stitching together the edges of time:

Facing its face, no smile, no frown
Unzipping the seconds into minutes
Tormenting, teasing, running late
Unperturbed silently setting the day;
Relentlessly sweeping round and round
Each hand turning towards the future:

If the clock work were to stop, no tick-tock
Suspended in time the hands would wait.

Ingeniously, somehow they will always turn
Magically pointing to impending events
Mocking us, they will never age . . .
In time zones across the lands these hands
Never stuffed in pockets in perpetual motion
Engraving the past and sealing the present.
Now the digits twist in time, one understands
The future is imminent . . . (it’s not in our hands)

Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to Tuesday Platform Imaginary Gardens

Tuesday, 5 September 2017


The following piece is not autobiographical. However, I tried for a period of time spread over several days to imagine what it would feel like to be in love with someone for many years, someone whose love was given completely to another and blind to me. Perhaps, in hindsight, this is not a good thing to do as it left me feeling quite low for a while. 


I shall tell you a tale of forbidden love.
Letters, you never wrote,
words, my eyes never read.
For two and twenty years I was blind to all others,
but your rainbow heart was in love with another.

Now I am a dreamer in a dark lonely night
caught in every catcher where shadows always fight.
I am but a dreamer looking out from within,
glazed in every mirror that will not let you in.

Time passed as shooting stars crossed a blue velvet sky.
Words, weighed on summers breath
that never kissed your neck.
Today, I wept as I swept autumn leaves from your grave
and touched the pot of gold where your heart now lays.

Julian Clarke © Sept' 2017