Today, hurricane Desmond has brought us a flotilla of sea-creatures called By-the-wind-sailors. This happens every few years. These beautiful blue jellyfish have two odd features. One is a curious triangular sail that enables them to cover vast oceanic distances. The other is that they are either right or left handed. The righthanded ones end up in Florida and the left-handed ones finish their lives on our beaches and in our rock pools.
Blown here by unusual trades
And wrecked on this curious shore;
Washed by these tidal cascades,
We’ll cross the wide ocean no more.
Our families are far beyond reach:
They sailed on a contrary tide.
You can’t see so far from this beach
And the ocean is so very wide.
And for once we have no enemies,
In this pool with the sea anemones.
With the ebb and the sun’s fiery glare,
There’ll be not be a lot left to find.
Our bodies will transmute to thin air
Leaving naught but a shadow behind
I shall be reading my latest Sir Reginald story – Sir Reginald’s Christmas Carol at the Poetry on Spot night at Chaplin’s Bar in Boscombe on Tuesday 8th December at 8 o’clock. See you there.
It’s a cold, wet, windy November afternoon and the light is fading fast. I nip the top off the Bottle of Bass and pour an inch or two into a glass to sample it. It is bitter and smooth as cream. And suddenly, exactly like Proust and his madelaine I am transported back in time to a world long gone. Fifty years pass in a moment. It is another cold wet November afternoon. I am twelve or thirteen and I am a beater for a big shoot on the estate where we live. My hands are numb with cold and the rain is trickling down my collar but I am deliriously happy. Working on the shoot was a great event and with the other twenty or thirty people from the village I feel entirely grown up. There is no division between the older men and the boys. We are all paid the same (A good wedge for a day’s work). We all get a brace of pheasants to take home and at dinner time (twelve o’clock) the back of one of the landrovers is opened and there are boxes of sandwiches (thick generous slices of chicken and ham) and crates of pale ale and brown ale. Somebody asks me what I prefer and, not really having tried either, I opt for the pale ale. Yes, that first taste, as bitter smooth as today. We sit on bales on the trailers that are our transport around the Hampshire woodlands and I think “This is the moment. This is it.”
Several lifetimes later, as a vegetarian and against bloodsports I couldn’t be further removed from that day. But the bottle of Bass reminds me who I was and I am content with that.
Welcome to my website. I hope you’ll find all sorts of things to amuse you with links to some of my poems (“Poem of the Week”) and projects as well as my history and publications (“About”)and, if you are a booker, information under the heading “Press” that you can use directly for publicity. Any events that I’m taking part in with dates and so on in the “News” section but if there’s anything you like to know then just go to “Contact”. Meanwhile I’m working on my Blog “Blood and Bones” on spyway.blogspot.com on being a playwright in this crazy new world we find ourselves in. I am also uploading an edited spoken version to YouTube. I think I’m getting better at making these little videos so do “Like” and “Share” and, above all “Subscribe”. It helps other people see them.
“Listening to Peter John Cooper was a mini-masterclass in how to combine wonderful words with a powerful delivery”
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