Monday, July 31, 2017

bright green caterpillar

I am an aged and disabled pillock,
And I was dragging a loaded shopping trolley,
Up an urban hillock,
When a bright green caterpillar appeared before me,
It was just there,
Level with my eyes
In mid-air.
I stopped, glad for a chance to catch my breath,
As my puzzled brain computed,
How could the caterpillar just be there,
Defying gravity as far as I could see?
But the laws of physics were not dead,
It was hanging by a thread,
Writhing and wriggling,
Struggling and striving,
To climb up its thin thin lifeline,
To regain its footing and food,
From the laburnum bush above.
A green heaven it loved so much,
That it never gave up
Its aim to return from airborne exile.
I watched it win,
Then dragged my shopping home,
With renewed determination,
And wondered if the caterpillar would now,
Stay in the bush
And save the silk
That it used to make its own rescue rope,
To later encase itself in a chrysalis.
Soon I too may enter a rigid container,
But, sadly, I won’t burst from coffin,
To fly away on brilliant wings,

Surprising those at the graveside.

Friday, June 02, 2017

'A Free Moment' is a summer pop-up exhibition from art group the Free Painters and Sculptors (FPS).

'A Free Moment' is a summer pop-up exhibition from
  Free Painters and Sculptors (FPS). 
 Celebrating its 65th year,
 FPS is delighted to be exhibiting for the first time in 
the gallery@oxo 
in the iconic Oxo Tower building
Exhibition dates: June 7 - 11 
Open daily 11am-7pm 
Free admission 

 Private View: Friday June 9 Open 6.30-8.30pm 
 gallery@oxo | Oxo Tower Wharf |
 Bargehouse Street | London | SE1 9PH

p.murry invigilating 10/7 11.00 – 14.30

Monday, May 22, 2017

ART EXHIBITION at the Trafalgar Rowing Centre

ART EXHIBITION at the Trafalgar Rowing Centre 11-13 Crane Street SE10 9NP 

also open on JUNE 11th, 17th & 18th june FROM 2 TO 6PM 
on SATURDAY JUNE 17 2017 FROM 6 TO 9 PM 
at the Trafalgar Rowing Centre 11-13 Crane Street SE10 9NP 




Wednesday, March 01, 2017


Once a riverran
Like cord of grey churning muscle,
Through a valley
And a city.
Current rolling, pulsing and twisting muddy waters
To the sea and back again at the same time
Running with and against the tide,
Like the city, it never ceased,
On cold winter nights, it sweated mist;
But, if the night was still,
The mist could not rise.

Every house in the city burnt a coal fire,
Nearly every adult who lived there smoked,
And then there was a time
When all the cars, buses and lorries
Smoked too.
Smog was born
And the mist and smog embraced each other
And lay down like satisfied lovers
In a sleeping yellow embrace
Above the city,
Smothering breath and life in a poisonous blanket
So every still night when the smog laid down
Hundreds died beneath.

“Give us clean air!”, the people cried
“Stop the coalfires!,
And clean the car exhausts!
Stop smoking! Cut carbon monoxide!”
Then the old smog, made illegal died,
And fewer people did.

But death was just resting for a decade or two,
Then it smiled and said:
“I’ll find a way to return,
And choke the life from your lungs and heads;
 I’ll make a finer blanket now
Than the smog of old
And when the sun is bright
And the air is still,
I’ll weave a cloth of car fumes,
And light
And lay it over the city
So that they’ll gasp for breath and cough in vain,
Again and again,
Just like they did when my smog was thick
My clear killing veil
Will hang invisible above the city
So they’ll still die for me
As the river rolls on and on
And passes the poisoned people by.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Westminster Abbey November 2016

I walk through the grounds of the abbey,
Lost in my meditations,
With the burden that I carry,
A banner for a demonstration.

Tourists swarm around me,
Some move in files like ants
Crawling over history,
Consuming what’s left behind.

Perhaps they see the grand buildings,
The cornices, gargoyles and spires,
But I see through this feudalist frippery,
To class power that lurks inside.

I unfurl my flag of protest
Hoist on a telescopic pole
There are slogans and placards around me
Parliament’s  close and remote.

We are free to shout on a pavement
Orators can urge and rant
But concrete barriers and armed police,
Keep power and powerless apart.

London traffic never falters one second,
It’s always got somewhere to go,
Solidarity with strikers,
Shall not obstruct its flow.

The tourist buses pass us,
And phones and cameras click,
A demo is turned into data,
Impaled on selfie stick.

We’re all just part of the spectacle, that the tourists may later replay,
They saw a real genuine protest, and heard protestors shout,
With flags and placards and banners,

But what was it all about?”

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wagtails wag their tails warily,

Wagtails wag their tails warily,
Stonechats chatter,
Storks talk about it,
And magpies natter,
In both Eurasian and Iberian tones;
but, these species are not alone,
And down on the strand,
Things are getting out of hand.
Turnstones have turned every stone,
Sad sandpipers pipe despairing laments,
Grebes, shag and cormorant all duck and dive,
But snipe do not snipe,
They swerve, dodge and sneak away,
Through reeds and sedge at the water’s edge
Gulls rise in skeins
From the slipway,
And ride the wind out over the cape,
To join the wild geese,
Far, far away
For exile is their destiny.
Since none can cope,
With prying bins and scopes.
Birds are themselves,
And do not exist,
Just to be ticked off,
On your list.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Orange Fly

Orange Fly

A ten millimetre fly
flew onto the window at
fifteen hundred hours
as from its rest in Ashford Kent
the blue train moved

the fly
head legs
back belly (pale)
proboscii (paler still)
and wings translucent
was in fact all over orange

as we increased speed
the fly seemed to position itself
head forward
feet clutching the window

I put on my spectacles
science of flies in extreme conditions
there must be a name
for this determination
to hold on

as the wind strengthened
so did I’m sure its tiny adrenalin
how would it breathe
battered by motes of dust and pollen!
and its grip is slipping

let go I shouted
in deafening silence
so not upset fellow passengers
who might have had
seizures of anxiety
had they come aware
of the perilous predicament
of the orange fly

to the seismic new
technologies of travel
(no longer the slow gait
of plough and carriage)
as it searches pastures new

and now as the train
accelerates again
its eyes are closed
its cheeks rippling in
the ferocious slipstream

Oh two of its legs
have lost their purchase
Let go I cried
soundlessly again
my body arched in sympathy
my hands clenching
the seat in front
and moist eyes
reflecting round its tiny form!

now clinging
by two legs only
go home!

and it was gone.

(©Emile Sercombe)