People wondered why I traveled
to a remote part of Wales
for a writing workshop
when there were a limitless supply
at home or in touristy places in the US.
I could tell them I was impressed
with the two teachers, I could say
I was to be in Lloyd George’s home.
I could say all of that, but in truth
although I didn’t know it when
I registered for the week living
in as close to a monastic cell
as I ever want to get, the real
reason was to have an afternoon
sitting on a window bench in the conservatory
looking out in the distance at the Irish sea
a house cat curled in my lap, my notebook
slowly filling as my pen ran dry.


When you ask me of the sea,
living, as I do, fifteen miles
from the nearest ocean, it
is not the sandy beaches
of Hutchinson Island I recall,
nor the crowded sandbox
that is Fort Lauderdale’s beach.

If you ask me of the sea,
it is perched on the horizon,
far in the distance, looking
out of the kitchen window,
or perhaps that of the library,
over the yard, with its
deflated soccer ball,
the fence, and finally
to the Irish Sea, cloud
shrouded at the horizon.

This is what Lloyd George
saw each day, so it is
little wonder eschewed
burial in London or even England
for this hidden estate in his
beloved Ty Newydd in Wales.

First published in Dreich, Issue 10, Autumn 2020 (Scotland)



I fell deeply in love with her, I
standing in a small jewelers shop
in Bangor Wales on a November morning.
In truth, cradling a small silver
Celtic cross in my hands
I knew then that I,
taken that plunge
within moments of our meeting
and recognition was all that remained.

We poets stood around the kitchen
slicing vegetables and words,
laughing at everything and nothing
and occasionally peering out
the small back window
across the yard onto the now
no longer distant sea.

In the sofa in the library
I wrote words that seemed
almost alien to my hand,
pulled by her smile, now
3,300 miles distant, under
the watchful eye
of the large orange tabby
whose gentle claw edited
my hyperbole.

We wrote haiku
walking the ramparts
of Castell Cricieth
on a dank chill morning,
staring down jealously
at the tea house
in the village below.

Lumsden drove out
from London to do a reading,
opted to stay on
a day, laughing as we,
in turn, drew the knives
across the whetsone
prepared the food for

the impatient, smiling cook
and the wine flowed
into the evening meal.

Down by the Afon Dwyfer,
at the end of the path
to his old house,
Sir David listened
from beneath his headstone
and had no arguments
to dissuade me.


On the train back
to Manchester I searched
for the words to tell her
how I felt.
Picking up the phone
words failed me
but she heard my heart
through the silence.