For the New Season

I thought I would celebrate the start of our new autumn with two recently written poems.

The first poem here, FOR KINGFISHER ART, celebrates the work in Woodstock of Richard Brownsill, known to his friends as Rick, who is not only the best picture-framer ever, but the best friend and kindest of neighbours. Rick has just opened and closed his pop-up art shop in Woodstock, and will reopen it for a month in the middle of November. He sells online, but for me standing in the shop surrounded by some really stunning work has been inspirational.

So here is my tribute to Rick’s work.

For Kingfisher Art

He pops up here, he pops up there –
Our Richard pops up everywhere!
Is he a fisher or is he a king?
Is he an art or a craft or a bling?
Framing the framer and whispering low
Where does the pop-up go?

He pops out here, he pops in there –
Our Richard pops through everywhere!
Where does he fish at night under the sting
Bringing back pike and bream, long on the wing
Ever mysterious, whispering low
Where does the pop-up go?

He pops up here, he pops up there –
Our Richard pops up everywhere!
Is he a wanderer going to seed?
Is he the searcher of truth we so need?
Tell me, I beg you! … Ah! Now I know!
Long may he pop-up go.

Today also marks the opening of the new Hely Hutchinson Centre in Didcot. With my poem IT’S DIDCOT DAY I send everyone who made it possible my best love and enormous gratitude. My own particular Publisher, Orion, have just told me they are reprinting my first historical novel LARKSWOOD for the tenth time. So today is also very special because one of my titles will be among the thousands of others. Thank you so much, Orion, and especially Malcolm Edwards and Juliet Ewers.

It’s Didcot Day

It’s Didcot Day at the Races
We’re all of a flutter and more
It’s Didcot Day and the pace is
Like we’ve never known before
The packing the boxes the counting
The heave and the ho and the swore
It’s Didcot Day and the race is
To get every book through that door.

It’s Didcot Day at the Races
I’m praying there won’t be a hitch
Gollancz and Orion look different
But what if some viper says switch?
Did we print enough labels where are they
Whose driving our lorries today?
There are leaves on the road Mama Mia
What if Donald Trump’s on his way!

It’s Didcot Day at the Races
But it’s much more important than that …
It’s Hutchinson Day in the tea room
So put on best frock and best hat
Salute as the crates are decanted
A bow or a curtsey will do
We’ve made it! We’ve won at the Races
So, Didcot! It’s over to you.