music Poetry

“The Known Great Composer”

A few years ago I was online scanning the concert listings at a world-class venue in London. On this particular occasion I was looking for small scale music-making. The Baroque era is a favourite of mine, and I chose a recorder and theorbo programme.

On the day of the concert I was early, and so decided to spend some time in a book shop. Afterwards, I went to the concert hall and started my packed lunch. Before I could finish it was time for the concert to begin.

During the concert sometimes the instruments played together, sometimes they played solo. For one recorder solo, the recordist played two recorders simultaneously! When the theorboist played solo pieces, one of them was introduced as a passacaglia – which, to my amusement, collected philistinic giggles. If only the pictures of musical aristocracy on the walls of the concert room had ears of flesh!

This poem, The Known Great Composer, is about the concert. Head and shoulders above, one composer and his music made my whole time in London memorable. Memorable for the right reason – music.

No prizes, but if you can guess the Great Composer I don’t mention, you are a winner! Clue: Imagine the accompanying music in this clip being played two octaves lower on a solo cello…

First verse

“The Known Great Composer”

“The window blinds close

The stage lights are adjusted

Two musicians walk on stage

And we welcome them warmly…”

On the way home, I happened to see someone I knew. We talked for a while, and I expressed that I would be writing a poem about the concert. By this time, my mind had already begun putting the poem together.

Furthermore, before arriving home, I visited a local art gallery and talked more about poetry to the exhibiting Artist, referencing the couple of books I bought earlier that day written by the Poet Laureate.


‘I Have A Nikon Camera’

‘I Have A Nikon Camera’ is an art poem about a camera which also tells you a lot about me!

The first verse reads:

I Have A Nikon Camera

I have a Nikon camera

That captures photons new

The light sensitive sensor

Is sharp, accurate and true…

Let’s wind the clock back several years…

There was a time in my life that lasted decades when I was passionate about all things photography. I studied it acquiring many qualifications, amassed stacks of magazines, joined a camera club and three photography organisations, and purchased a good quality Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.

When not in use, I would store the camera in the airing cupboard with other items. Just above the cupboard is the cold water tank. One day this water tank developed a leak that saturated everything in the airing cupboard – including my Nikon camera.

Soon after this I found myself writing poetry. Up until then my poetry writing had only been now and again, on the odd occasion. But now, more frequent poetry started emanating from me; I was falling in love with the process of writing poetry! At the time, thoughts like “this is going somewhere” were floating around my mind.

As high level photography had been evident in my life for a long time, writing poetry about it came quite naturally. There was a transfer from one type of creativity to another. Further still, an easy leap to producing videos of my poems – including this one.

The video version of this poem is an arthouse production, with music by J. S. Bach recorded on my acoustic piano. All visuals and audios have been artistically altered during the editing stage.

Here is the first verse from my videobook: I Have A Nikon Camera


‘The Sky, The Sky’

When you look at the sky, what thoughts go through your mind and what feelings do you experience? Could you put words to any of this, or not really? In many respects the sky is nebulous, which implies that it can be described in a multiple of different ways.

And the imagination…

Maybe try this as an exercise:

  1. Go to the sky
  2. Close your eyes momentarily
  3. Open them and write down the first thing that comes to mind

Many years ago on my walks around a large office complex, I felt drawn to look out the windows at the sky. I cannot necessarily put it into words, but it did me good; her other worldliness, her perceivable yet unperceivable character, her secrets and mysteries, her colour spectrum…

In my first poem about the sky, I use a mono-rhythmic tercet scheme:

The Sky, The Sky

The sky, the sky in all its many shades of blue

Spectacled scientists tell us it has to be this hue

Much praise, I think, to them is certainly due…’

(verse 1)

Here is the first verse from my videobook: The Sky, The Sky

The music in the video is J. S. Bach’s Minuet in G.


‘A Natural Virtuoso!’

I went to the National Poetry Library in London earlier this year. I was on a mission: to find out which magazines published similar poetry to mine. For the next two hours I looked at everything that was available. All, bar one, had absolutely no poems about music — not even remotely! In my first poetry book ‘Soaring Higher’ (see ‘books’ page) there are six full length poems with such tasty flavours!

This poem is about a musician — and no ordinary musician at that — but a Virtuoso. “But what is a Virtuoso?” I hear you cry. According to Grove Music Online:

Virtuoso ( It., from Lat. virtus : ‘excellence’, ‘worth’ ) A person of notable accomplishment; a musician of extraordinary technical skill. In its original Italian usage (particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries) ‘virtuoso’ was a term of honour reserved for a person distinguished in any intellectual or artistic field: a poet, architect, scholar etc. A virtuoso in music might be a skilful performer, but more importantly he was a composer, a theorist or at least a famous maestro di cappella. In the late 17th and 18th centuries a great number of Italian”

“A Natural Virtuoso!”

“Just a few words I’ve penned over tea

That I hope will warm your heart and bless

Who in all the wide-world could it be?

An appreciative music lover no less…”

A piece of music that requires virtuosic technique is J. S. Bach’s famous showstopper: Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Fragments of the Toccata are included in a video of myself performing the poem.

For the full poem click here: A Natural Virtuoso!

This video is one of eighteen poems available in my VideoBook. Click here for more details: Soaring Higher (videobook)