Today I am pleased to host a poem from fellow Maytree poet Clint Wastling, whose first collection, Layers, will be published shortly. Welcome, Clint!

Hi Tim, thanks for the spot on your blog. As many of your readers will know I’m an East Riding of Yorkshire poet. I think a sense of place and our place in history is important to point us forward. As a poet I have two types of work: poetry for the page and poetry I perform—though there is always a crossover! Thursday 10th October, it’s performance, when myself and a few guests do an annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Research. Nearly 12000 men died from this last year, a statistic we should never forget. The event is at The Monks Walk pub in Beverley and starts at 7.30pm.

I’m also looking forward to becoming part of the Maytree family with my first poetry pamphlet, Layers, due out later this year. David Coldwell has worked hard on editing and choosing the poems. I’ve decided on Sorting to illustrate my work as it has layers of time and is set in Whitby – my favourite place. Hope you enjoy it! 

When I walk by The White Horse and Griffin
on Whitby’s old Church Street
I remember trinkets found
when mum downsized to a retirement flat.
She snatched the box from me.
You can’t throw that!
This will give you some idea of our task:
place card holders, a receipt for grandparent’s honeymoon
dated 1935, confetti, a tarnished lapel pin.
Throwing away the past can be cleansing,
can be painful, always a little loss
and if we are preservers of the past
then I am growing toward mother’s view:
let others decide, let the future obliterate.
Letters read again, photos seen,
all the love there was evidenced
in all the love there’s been,
spent in a million kisses
a hundred thousand wishes
preserving all that’s gone before.
Names from this box of trinkets.
Now when I walk by The White Horse and Griffin
On Whitby’s old Church Street,
I remember that hotel bill and pause--
my grandparents walked through these doors
took their honeymoon here
where past and present meet.

More Poetry News

A round-up of some new developments on the poetry front:

First of all, I’m pleased to announce that I will be doing a joint event with fellow Write Out Loud poet Alan Prout at Honley Library on 15 October, 7-9pm. We will both be reading from our recently published collections. There will be a guest spot from another fine poet, Anne Broadbent, refreshments and an open mic.

Another exciting event in prospect is a poetry evening by Holmfirth Writers, at Globe Arts, Carr Lane, Slaithwaite, at 7pm on Wednesday 2 October, on the theme of Colour.

Still on the subject of events, it was great to be part of the launch of the Cotton Grass Appreciation Society anthology, at Marsden Library on Saturday evening. There is some great poetry in this book, from such names as Simon Armitage, Gaia Holmes, Jo Haslam, Alison Lock and my good friends Anne Steward and Sally Brown (pictured, centre and right below). I’m thrilled to be in such company, and it was great to meet some of the other poets.

Finally (for now), I’m delighted to have a poem, Light Years, in this great collection from Dempsey and Windle – and what a lovely cover!

Cute Aggression

Today I’m pleased to host a little piece of sci-fi flash fiction from Owen Townend, a fellow member of the Kirklees Author Forum. Our future interactions with alien species may not be quite what we expect ….

Cute Aggression

Oh! I want one in my arms! A little face to smush!

            I did have one some time ago but it ran away. A real shame: it was a great big furry beast. All you could see were its little eyes shining up at you. It wouldn’t climb up on my lap no matter how often I tried to encourage it. 

            Which is funny as they aren’t at all fussy about most things. What they eat, for example: they just love flightless birds. I suppose they were the natural predators of such things back where they come from. 

            It’s a shame when they fight you, though. I had a friend who had a little one: tiny black eyes on this pale squeezed oval of a face. It wouldn’t stop grabbing sharp objects and attacking her with them. There was only so much a light bop on the nose could do.

            Then again, I’m not one of those trainer types, you see. I haven’t the strictness to break them in. Probably why mine escaped so quickly. 

            Capable little critter though. Managed to commandeer my THRU vessel and set off for The Inevitability. And he only had two arms and two legs! Still they found the vessel not that far out. The limits of a human brain, I suppose. Have you seen one? You can fit two into the tip of your average tendril.

            Still they’re gorgeous creatures. Plenty of fat to be good for a cuddle at the end of a long trek. Shame about all the fluids though. 

            If you want an intuitive pet then you could do a lot worse. Just make sure you keep the little dears indoors… 


You can find out more about Owen and his work via:

his blog –

Twitter – @mrpondersome

Owin is the secretary of the Huddersfield Authors’ Circle


I've had a good response to my invitation for guest poems and stories.
(see come on over). First out of the blocks was Sue Barnard, with this
unashamedly political version of Jabberwocky. Fans of Brexit look
away now!


’Twas Brexit, and the slithy Gove
did drone and prattle all the while;
All creepy were the Rees-Mogg’s leer
and the Farage’s smile.
Beware the Brexitbus, my friends –
the figures lie, the words deceive:
“A fortune for the NHS”
to tempt you to vote Leave.
Beware the immigration meme,
the poster that incites to hate,
the promise to “take back control”,
the lies exposed – too late.
As Leavers gloat, Remainers weep.
The country can do naught but fall.
Meanwhile, the snarky Maybot
seeks a way to please them all.
“This is my deal,” the Maybot cries,
“Trade, backstop, and passports of blue!
Three times I set it forth to you;
therefore, it must be true.”
Cockwombles all refuse to see
the UK dying at a stroke,
and turn deaf ears as through the land
six million cry: “Revoke!”
"Oh loathsome day!” the red-tops scream
when Leaving Day doth come and go.
“Tusk, Tusk! What will befall us now?”
Response: “We do not know.”
And all the while the Cameron
(creator of this clusterfuck)
writes memoirs in his garden shed.
As if we give a **.
’Twas Brexit, and the slithy Gove
 did drone and prattle all the while;
All creepy were the Rees-Mogg’s leer
and the Farage’s smile.

pic: Bulverton 2016