The Very Opposite.

It is fair to say that I do not usually explain my poetry. I like to sit and wonder what the reader makes of my words which leave my mind, my pen (for pen, read computer)

meaning something to me but will, almost certainly mean something different – and why not? – to you, the reader.

I am happy with this as a situation: we can all be right, perhaps.

But this piece is posted here as a tribute to Nelson Mandela and was written on the Victoria and Alfred Docks, Capetown after a visit to Robben Island, where I learned such a lot about the history I have

lived through. It reminded me that opinions can change with knowledge; that the best people do not seek retribution.

It was intended as a thoughtful piece: I had a great deal to think over, not least the glorious sense of humour of the guide (a former in-mate). It was not written solely about Mandela, nor, indeed for public consumption.


The Very Opposite

Delightful play of

Evening light ripples

On Africa harbour water;








Reflections of

Freedom’s forgiving tides

Turning over:


Bright and dark:

Determined to avoid bitter

Silence; to exact the very

Opposite of Vengeance.

Most Influential Blogger? Me? Really?

Happy as a sandboy,” my grandfather would say when he was cheerful (he usually was, autumn morning light, the warmth of cattle in the cowshed, a flight of mallard, a fried breakfast, a harvest sunset or rain ripples in puddles would set him up); or “happy as a pig in mud.” Well, let’s say I remember it as mud, but could be wrong.

That’s me – at the moment! A sandboy in … well you work it out eh?

I am truly enjoying the challenging, liberating, thrilling experience of being a blogger. That is largely thanks to you (dare I say “Dear Reader”? – yes, dammit I just did!). Your feedback: love the “likes”, devour the comments, always positive and helpful. Some of them short dialogues, some banter but all enjoyable. It’s an unusual place this Blogosphere, part intimidating, part liberating part some fairy-dust thing else entirely.

I am just not good at dealing with the awards I have been given: my genuine apologies for that – and my thanks too. It is really not that I do not appreciate the genuine thinking that goes into them: I just always seem too busy doing something else … and the moment seems to have gone like Comet Ison. and I missed it.

But this time I will accept and respond. (Who said “it’s about time” ? Whoops maybe that was me!) and add my sincere thanks to others who have been kind enough to “throw” awards at me in the past.

For I have had the Most Influential Blogger Award bestowed upon my efforts by Morgan who has a beautifully crafted blog at

Well worth a visit or six, you cannot fail to be enchanted by the words, thoughts, skill and or images; the industry that goes on behind the articulate, well presented blog.

Morgan, my thanks to you: may your words continue to reach us all.

As with all awards, the rules are simple:
1. Display the Award on your Blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment.
5. Answer each of the 11 questions that your awarder asked, and then write 11 for your awardees (or use the same ones up to you!

So, Most Importantly, My Nominees Are:

1. worldly winds at
2. Whocouldknowthen at
3. Colour Me in Cyanide at:
4.horselearner at

5. poetscorner at

6. iggandfriends at
7. Chattyowl at

8. notyethere at

9. bartwolffe at
10. The hour of soft light at


1) What makes you happiest?

Family, Peace, Travel, Writing and Music
2) Do you love the Oceans or Mountains more?

Impossible to say; and are we talking real mountains here, real seas – or those of the imagination? I love seeing natural sights and seas and mountains can be terrifying (making me feel fully alive) or beautiful: it is the moods and thoughts that both inspire that are the important thing, don’t you think?

3) What has been a special moment in 2013?

Physically travelling to new places (especially New England), re-visiting places previously visited (and friends there) and the resurgence of my football team.

4) What’s your favourite quote?

Can I ask for a couple (though I am sure I will think of more as soon as I press the Publish button:

“Stranger than usual things are happening all of the time” Terry Pratchett


“Sun, sea air and patience Watson; all else will come to pass” Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

 5) Do you like yourself?

Find myself a mystery sometimes (is that possible) but if I didn’t I ought to do something about it eh?

Yes, I get along with myself just fine. Not sure any other answer is possible.

6) Do you stay up till midnight on New Year?

Doesn’t everyone? I know that they don’t because stepping outside my (English) house to hear the local church bells and watch the fireworks I am always surprised that I am not met by all of the neighbours to toast the New Year.

But seeing out the old year and the new year in is traditional for me.
7) Something you wish could be done ASAP?

Finding a definitive list for the eleven bloggers I have to put down here…

 … oh and putting the badge/logo onto my blog.

and notifying those I have recommended

And did I mention finding a way to add my second blog ( ) to my Gravatar page

8) What was your favourite class when still at school?

Class means subject right? Have to go for the “library” lessons part of our English, because, while most of the others took it as an excuse to mess about I travelled in new worlds, different times and in different shoes, sitting reading in a corner.
9) What musical instrument have you tried to play? Keep learning to play the guitar – from scratch every time. Enjoyed it and forgot it every time so far.10) Anything you had wished to have learned earlier? It’s not the way I am programmed to think. It’s a deep philosophical question of course and a good one, but – usually happy with things as they have happened, except, hang on, there was …
11) Do you like to do Crafts, Drawing or Painting? Drawing, but mostly starting off as aimless doodles that become patterns or, honestly just trash.

My questions:

  1. What was the last non-fiction book you read?
  2. What song would you like to hear first thing in the morning?
  3. Imagine three things that are always green: write them into a single sentence.
  4. Horses? Love ‘em or tolerate ‘em?
  5. Zoos in the future? Yes or no?
  6. What is your take on science fiction?
  7. Have you seen a film that made you change your mind about a book?
  8. Which three fictional characters would you invite to your house for a meal?
  9. Have you ever met any of your heroes face to face?
  10. What is your favourite colour and why?
  11. What five books would you give to aliens visiting the planet to help them understand the way you think?