Plans, Trains and Lovers in Turmoil: the story of two

7 174055936_10217013696932974_6618515007772475858_nTwo lovers part on bad terms with an agreement to meet in a year to see if they have a future. Both travel to the meeting on the London Underground, but one is delayed without any way of letting the other know.

Failing to arrive in time could be plenty enough to seal their fate. Do they make it and what caused the rift to begin is told in a sequence of poems from the two perspectives.

The poems originally formed the main body of a review for Ian Arkley’s album ‘two’, the music inspiring a poetic narration rooted in my experience of using the Underground before leaving London at the end of the last century; the tracks remain available in this post, also providing the name for each verse. Continue reading

A review of Ian Arkley’s second solo album via poetic journeys on the London Underground

ArkleyII_COVERIan Arkley’s second solo album two is compellingly converse. Frequently touching on fiercely hunting, it equally remains subtle throughout. two picks up where one left of with bells on thanks to the addition of a dulcimer, lyre and pitched down acoustic guitar for bass. Mastering and layout are by Michael Shaffer of label Opa Loka Records, on which two is released; beyond that, Ian is responsible for all aspects including photographs and artwork. Continue reading

Walking the Dog

juuso-salminen-zA50EwhSCgg-unsplashWith thanks to Juuso Salminen for the header image. As is often the case with the image used, it’s chosen for its own merits as much as its relationship with the words. When first seeing, I thought it digital, a black on white image, not a photograph. Apparently much hanging around on a freezing cold lake was needed to get it.

Like the photo, the following is also true. Though it took place in the early 90s during a summer when I lived on a council estate in London. Numerous flats in different buildings of various sizes and ages looked onto a communal area with grass and also a high-walled brick area with benches built in. Meant as an outdoor meeting area, local kids used it to play football as the high wall at one end made a great goal where the ball bounced back instead of flying off into the distance anytime someone scored or missed (I often joined in while Ed—a Rottie named after Eddie Cochran—did his business). Continue reading

The Shop next to the Tower on the Top of the Hill

rocky biggs 1280px-Croydon_Transmitter_IIA poem written in November 2020, prompted by what exactly I can’t remember; there is truth to a degree in the words, and while this matters not to the reader, a need to expand on the actual facts took hold, from which followed a jaunt across the tobacco industry, teachers always being a-holes, a picture of my favourite gate, cheap snacks, Big Foot, how I used to live in the Lord of the Rings, laughing at my mum (sorry, mum), a real size but pretend Canadian Parliament, the world’s first dinosaur statues, and London’s most popular gorilla.

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Elephant and Castle, Stick It up Your Arsehole!

A Life of Crime vs. The Free Market Supplemental

‘The Elephant and Castle shopping centre, once a symbol of hope and regeneration could be on its last legs…’ started a BBC article published while I was in the throes of finishing the A Life of Crime… series.

If hearing a similar statement when living nearby—permanently 1984 to 86 and then again 1988 to 99—I would’ve partied hard like it was the latter year.

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