I’m a Poet


I have anger, sore opinion,

Nudge it and I go vermilion.

I am special, I’m a poet,

Folk revere me. You should know it.

These are my words on the paper:

Worship them, you brainless gaper.

What I hold you must not question,

Not by statement nor suggestion.

I am special, I’m a poet…

Keep your bile bottle. Stow it.

Copyright Simon Banks 2013

Written after an exchange on a LinkedIn discussion group!

Estuary Shore


Where river suspects salt, land shakes the sea

Revealed expanses lie

Out of the lifeborn mud, worms rise

Ribbon weed aligns, rigid heron stalks

Woman cries, crews die

Remember the dragonflies in the winter

After the last bright body, shimmering wing dies

Under the dark water, waiting, rise

Man gathering shells, sharp stab in the chest

Like a bugle-call, clock struck

Is that the hour?

Turmoil of voices

When shall we hear, where shall we hear,

Now, here?

Rain slants, seeds rebel, green grows

The earth of shells and friends is covered in flowers

Under the pale moon, what cries?

Dust in marble halls, dust of marble halls

Ground jewels, rose roots strike

Lustre withers, slow-burning amethyst escapes

A lost note cries in the dark and I cannot find it

Out of the deathborn mud, worms rise

Boat bumps against the jetty with the waves.

Copyright Simon Banks 2013

I’m just going to leave this one for you to make of it what you will.

Book Review: Paul Adam, Paganini’s Violin

A French antique dealer is found dead from a blow to the head after attending a concert in the small North Italian town of Cremona. The head of the local police investigation has an old friend who is an elderly, widowed maker and repairer of violins and the policeman seeks his advice.  This leads to further deaths and the unravelling of a mystery which is as much about the fate of a valuable antique and of a lost piece of music as it is about the identity of the murderer.


It’s just brilliantly done. The violin man, who tells the story, is a finely drawn character down to his quiet pride in his little meals and his fear of his detective friend’s driving.  The description is good. I’m not familiar either with Northern Italy or with Paganini or (much) with Rossini, but the book seems like the fruit of much research or expert knowledge.


I strongly recommend this book.


NOT RECOMMENDED: I began at the same time THE CORRIGAN LEGACY by Anna Jacobs. It’s gawkily written (for example, she tells us far too much about the characters rather than letting us find out). One character, a man who has just split up with his wife, is portrayed so purely negatively that I felt there might be an agenda working. There are people that nasty, vindictive and mean, but a bit more shading in the portrayal would have been welcome. By 20% of the way through I’d so lost interest I just stopped.


My big question is: how did it get published?

Thomas the Rymer


If you would ride into the borderlands alone

Or following a queen or an indistinct light

If you would be separated from the sun

Remember the sound of the waves and, Thomas, ride on.


If you would be free, then follow

If you would live, then die.


If, Thomas, you wish to feel the rough texture of bread

Rasping your hands, the tang and sweetness of wine,

Wind in the leaves, hair in your face, stroking fingers, soft rain,

Ride on.

Remember, and sing the song.


Thomas the Rymer is a figure based on a historical medieval Scottish bard rumoured to have magical powers. One ballad describes how he meets the Queen of Elfland/ Queen of the Fairies/ Queen of Heaven who takes him on a journey out of the known world through darkness where he hears the sea.


I wrote this poem during a rush of uncontrolled creativity along with “Borderlands” and (to come) “Estuary Shore”.


Copyright Simon Banks 2013