I’ve nearly completed a collection of concrete poems and other playfulness with words/phrases/precursors. The following is one I’m not sure is a fit for that manuscript, but I do like it. I often post work here – always to share – but also to have it on a page which for some reason prompts me to read and consider it in ways I don’t always manage on/in a Word document.


Birmingham Found

I’m looking forward to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony tonight, created/organised by Steven Knight.

The following is my found homage to the city and surrounds, a poetic journey written a few years ago.

I looked in this city and found

a rub of quintessentially English
forested country
remote and marginal meaning
the grassroots of being

I looked through history and found

eavesdropping in the Domesday
Roman conquest of hope
air ever-changing
tree felling appeal

I looked at landscape and found

modern humans
the Plateau of can goods
Beormingahām beginning
primary people legacy

I looked within corners and found

Edgbaston in its AD
many burnt mounds
a celebration of free
progressive importance

I looked with its people and found

early human Britain
artefacts suggesting names
hierarchies of the established
collaboration in a blossom

I looked down side-streets and found

heavily bombed foundations
an economy dominated by people
a beautiful leading to the clearance
culinary scenes

I looked by watching and found

river valleys of the tribal
our world’s past
cultural pluralism in bloom
transition and growth of a period

I looked from day and night and found

a built-up area
an influx of the stylish
digbeth dining

I looked inside books and found

the Guarded Font
Sherlock seeding roots
Highfield on its high
a Ring of Arden trees Lording

I looked through opened eyes and found

the dialect of its name
an infrastructure of planners
a sector of service
a fabric of shaken privilege

I looked for Birmingham and found

the stretching of forges and furnaces
a single bulk commodity of creativity
a wide variety of specialised
exceptional levels of the heart

Word on the Voice

And the
chipped rim
of the
is alive in
the writing

and light,
tone of the grain
seen and heard
and a
tenor of things

Words dense
in found
are content
in the voice
you and I

an agreement of
binding touch
in this

I have chipped
at the meanings
random and raw and extending,
a treaty of touch
on others’

It is the tone
of the tissued grain
from the
simplest surface
as you see
a wick of light

as you
imagine the word
on the voice.

(cut-up: Underworld – Don DeLillo)


The wrong
that is living

is living

right and
the right toes and
along for the right ride and
dazzling in the right illusion and

we’re wrong,

The wrong
that is living

is this –
is it

(cut-up: American Pastoral – Philip Roth)