Today words are slowly
drifting from my pen like
dead leaves quietly spiralling
to the ground, where
they add to the discarded
carpet of poetry at my feet.

Ideas are crumbling like
ash dripping from the
end of a neglected cigarette.
I watch the ashtray fill
with spent verse that
waits to be lost to the breeze.

Inspiration should come
naturally here.
but nothing stirs except
inquisitive wasps keen
to sample the dregs
in my beer bottles.

I feel I should put down roots here,
join the brotherhood of trees in
their silent contemplation.
But I know if I was to stay here
for a hundred years,
I would never capture the
beauty of this place.

Carnac Stones

Written after a visit to Carnac Stones

Seagulls on Parade

On the chalet roof opposite ours
the seagulls strut and march,
patrolling their runway.
Machine gun cackles warn
errant pigeons to land elsewhere.

On a signal known only to them
the seagulls take off, flying high.
Then feathered dive bombers peel off out of the sun,
screaming they swoop
no ice-cream cone is safe.

Observation shows the seagulls have a strict hierarchy.
They know who should have the best perch
who screeches early to wake the tourists
but most important of all,
which of them gets to shit all over our cars.


A companion piece to this poem can be found here

Easter is Coming, Brace Yourself

According to my local supermarket
Easter always starts
at exactly 9am on Boxing Day.
This is when the creased wrapping paper
and half-pulled crackers are
tossed unceremoniously into
the store’s reduced aisle
and pushing them aside
showing no mercy
comes the inevitable tide of chocolate eggs.

So you could easily be fooled into
thinking that Easter is imminent and
to confuse matters more the weather
decides it would be fun to be unseasonal as well.
Unexpected sunshine plays tricks
making you believe it’s time to put
your winter coat away.
Then the cold weather returns with a snap
violently blasting waves of wintry wind
while the rain beats a tattoo on windows and roof

So the only thoughts in my chilly brain
when Easter really arrives are
that I’m getting sick of the unpredictable weather and
I’m also horrified to discover that I’m
growing sick of the chocolate mountain in my house.
Although I reckon that when Easter departs
I’ll probably still be sick of the weather
But I know one thing is certain
I will never stay sick
of chocolate eggs.

Happy New year Poetry, We’ve Survived Another Twelve Months

Happy New year Poetry
It’s not been a bad twelve months has it?
Remember how it began when
I updated my Facebook status to
Richard Archer is
in a relationship with Poetry.
We we’re inseparable
pub, cinema, bus, work, everywhere.
People stared, some smiled,
others whispered,
“This can’t last, he’s embarrassing himself,
remember last year.”
I’d heard it all before so
didn’t pay much attention as
I’d taken you to the pub to meet my mates,
who grinned, raised a pint and told us
how pleased they were that we were back together.
Yes back together.

Because poetry for me and you it wasn’t
always rhythm and rapture and rhyme and romance.
We’ve spent more time apart than together.
Times when I’d often jolt awake
reaching for you, not realising you’d gone
until I’d shaken the dreams from my head.
Then for the rest of the day I wouldn’t
be able to focus, wondering what
you were doing or who you were with.
Because you left me without a word,
so I took all we had made together
and burnt it.
While telling myself

Then I won’t forget when I woke up
the next day, I found
you curled around me
and you looked up at me
smiled and placed a pen in my hand.
It was just like we had never been apart
as we started all over again.

M6 Motorway Blues

The cars seem to be made of lead
Petrol tank’s gummed up with treacle.
The motorway’s smeared in super glue,
Like fly paper it catches people.

The vans look like bloated slugs,
The lorries seem to be oversize snails.
Straining so slowly forward,
Hands glued to horns, to no avail.

The M6 is stuck like a scratched dvd on pause,
While we turn the air blue and vegetate.
We’re fossilising on the motorway,
Trapped helplessly at Junction Eight.

Happy International Day of Happiness

Happy International Day of Happiness, here’s a poem I first wrote in 2011 that still stands true for me today. Apologies to the Sound of Music!

Mayo on chips and strong real ale pints,
New Dr Who and buses arriving on time.
Parcels from Ebay all tied up with string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Chicken kebabs and strong mocha coffee,
Clean public toilets and treacle toffee.
Pushing my daughter on her new swing,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Time off work and weekends that go slow,
Rainy days so the lawn I can’t mow.
Freshly cooked beer-battered onion rings
These are a few of my favourite things.

When my internet’s down
When my alarm rings
When I’m feeling sad.
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

It’s 5pm at the Seaside

5pm at the seaside

It’s 5pm at the seaside.
Bikers lick ice creams
As jet skis go for one last spin,
Frothing the water a final time.
Beach goers pop beers
And nibble on fish and chips.
Keeping a wary eye on the gulls,
Who swoop in anticipation.

Toes are dipped in the sea
An electric shock of cold
Delightfully refreshes feet.
The world seems content
To stay exactly where it is.
So I do the same,
My pale limbs proudly out
Slowly reddening.

Another quick holiday story – See here for the last one. While watching the world go by at Herne Bay as it came time to think of going my wife noted it was five o’clock and the phrase it’s 5pm at the seaside popped into my head. After an ice cream and the drive home this poem was written.

Epitaph for a Roman Girl

tombstone of a six year old Roman girl

May the earth be lightly on thee,
May your sleep be undisturbed.
May your spirit run free,
May you not be lost in the earth.

Publia our beloved little girl,
It’s hard to believe you’ve gone away.
Your loss has shattered our world,
May we be together again soon one day.

Quick story. While I was on holiday the other week I visited the Canterbury Roman museum and saw the tombstone in the picture above and read the details about it pictured below.

tombstone of a six year old Roman girl 2

The phrase “May the earth be lightly on thee,” stuck in my mind and that afternoon the rest of the poem/epitaph came to me as I tried to imagine what might have been going through Publia’s parent’s heads, those thousand and so years ago.


My Guide to Packing for a Holiday

Hesitantly I Google next week’s weather.
Placing my trust in the digital forecast,
I hold its images sacred
As I begin my holiday packing.

I hunt down old wellies,
Finding them hiding under the stairs.
Next to optimistic sandals,
Which still have the price tag on.

I wonder that if I pack sun tan lotion
Then the weather gods will smite me with rain.
But can I run the risk of having none
And my body slowly turning a patchy lobster-red.

Don’t forget the charger I think,
Finding it in the usual plug.
An electrical umbilicals
Restoring life to my phone.

Phone, I can’t go on holiday without that,
It would be like leaving an arm behind.
It’s a Sat Nav, my weather forecaster
plus connection to the world.

With all the packing gathered,
Like a tired magician who knows only one trick.
I force my holiday gear,
Into a suitcase that looks too small.

I place the bulging case in the car boot,
Ignoring the precarious roof rack.
Hoping the case doesn’t bursts open and
My underpants cause a tailback.

My holiday awaits, hope I packed enough.


So with those wise words I’m off on my hols, normal service will be resumed the 1st August, take care folks.