Stop Press! I will be launching my new poetry collection, LifeTimes, at Marsden Library on 28 April, 730. Miriam Drori has kindly hosted a poem from the collection on her blog today.

Miriam Drori, Author

I’m delighted to welcome back novelist and poet, Tim Taylor, to tell us about his new collection of poetry, due out in two days.

Hello Miriam, thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog today. I’d like to share a poem from my second collection, LifeTimes which will be published shortly by Maytree Press.

LifeTimes is a collection of poems about human life: its phases, from birth, through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and middle age to the final years and beyond; and its pivotal moments: the shifts and connections between one phase and another, and the events that can change its course irrevocably. These themes are explored from a wide range of perspectives and through different forms and styles of poetry. Here’s an example:


There is an art to being a child:
to play heedless of consequence,
learn without toil, love
without possession.
Skills we gather, unaware

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Unrequited Love

I'm pleased to host two sonnets today on a similar theme, from two fellow members of Holmfirth Writers' Group. First this one written by Maggie McLean on the theme of Searching:

I seek to win your love in many ways
Perhaps if I get thin you’ll see me then?
My hours are spent in dreaming of our days,
the ones in which we’ll wander hill and glen.
How often do I walk along your street,
a winding way to do my mother’s shop
In truth, I dread the thought that we might meet
that you will gently ask if I could stop.
My cheeks would blush an unbecoming pink
whilst trivial words will issue from my lips.
How can I tell you what I truly think 
I see you and all common sense just slips.
One day, someone might love me as I am
by which time, maybe, I won’t give a damn.

Maggie's poem prompted Vincent Johnson to write this riposte:

Unrequited Love

I think of you throughout my nights and days,
your lovely bones my lodestones, so that when
I see you passing by (how your body sways
with heart-stopping sexiness), I’d plant ten
thousand kisses on your brow and feet,
if I knew you felt the same. Yet I stop
myself in chilly silence, as you retreat
with burning cheeks, seeking refuge in the shop,
your perfume hanging in the air. Ohhhh… think
of me as you eat your fish and chips.
You’re way beyond my league; your pout could sink
a whole armada. Now, your gorgeous hips
sway down the pavement, away from where I stand
in this sad and endless never never land.

The Fixed Stars

Today I thought I’d share this poem, one of two just published in Stardust: Award-Winning Poetry and Songs, by Hammond House Publishing (see cover pic below).

The Fixed Stars

They seem serene: pinpricks
in a slow-turning sphere,
sedate and constant backdrop to 
the dramas of this earth.
But time, for them, is something vaster,
far beyond the eye-blinks of our lives.
Within it they swirl, collide, give birth,
fulfil themselves in white-hot glory
then, like us, grow old and fade 
into senescence endless 
even in star-time. 
		                  Or else, 
bloated and rebellious, they 
choose apocalypse, achieve
a lifetime’s brilliance 
in the moment of destruction.
How strange that in these 
orgasms of death is born
the stuff we breathe, that forms
our bodies, gives us life. 

Stardust cover pic by Ted Stanley

Stars pic by Mathias Krumbholz. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported


I’m pleased to host a short prose piece today by J Johnson Smith – a character outline for his linked novella, ‘Connections.’


I am Herian

I should tell you right away that I am known by several different names including Cernunnos, Jack-in-the-Green and Herne the Hunter. Or choose your language for I am others too. It is more a matter of what people have known of me, seen of me or just imagined; found a synonymous name and expectation of who I am or what I am: a myth.

In this instance you might come across me as Henry Park or pick me up as Heinrich, or Sergeant; young or old, popping up in uniform or sombre dress.  However there are more mundane sightings of me but not always recognised in my weeds of green.

When it comes down to it, I think my preferred name is Herian. Probably my favourite because it gives a sense of place, at least in this world.

Who am I. What am I? That’s your choice. In those days and still today, I am known as the ‘leader of fallen warriors.’

I am not Death, perhaps I am Hope, nevertheless I can only lead toward the inevitable.

I may never be recognised, but for me, it means I still have ‘purpose.’

Without purpose I would be forgotten. Without  purpose I would not exist. As I said, I have many names but my natural place is in the forest, the undergrowth within the haunting ring of trees or beside beasts that need comfort; not life or death but compassion; for that is the way it is.

J Johnson Smith is the pen-name of David Smith. He is a member of the UK Poetry Society, Poetry ID and The John Clare Society. He runs the online ‘poetryparc,’ publishing reviews and poetry. He has been published in a few places, including an Australian Review Journal, in P.I.D. anthologies, and in the forthcoming ‘The Unchanging Traveller’ by the artist Carolyn Blake. He has also written  a collection of short stories and two linked novellas (yes, currently unpublished.)