Lancashire County Council are planning – or do I mean scheming – to close half of the public libraries in the county. 

Incredible? Yes. Not their fault? So they claim. It is all to do with central goverment cutting the cash allocated to local authorities. Each year they are allowed less and less, while the services they have to provide cost more and more. David Cameron calls it “Austerity” – some of us can think of more accurate and less repeatable names!

Here is something I wrote about this situation in a hurry one Sunday morning. I don’t know where it will go …yet.

There are those who cannot read
Because they are blind:
They have braille and talking books.
There are those who cannot read
Because they are dyslexic
They have special classes.
There are those who do not read
Because they don’t like stories, plays, poems,
Anything that is not dry and factual.
There are those who cannot read
Because they have no schools, no teachers, no books.
Bare existence all they can hope for.
They have my prayers and my Oxfam donation.
Then there are those who cannot read the books they want
Because they live in Garstang
And their library will be shut
By Government edict.







Midnight Ramblings

<a href=””>Stroke of Midnight</a>

Where am I at midnight?
On this so-called special night
Last of the old year, first of the new?
Not outside in the cold, the dark
I prefer to walk in the light
To see the field shining bright under snow,
Or this year under water
A drowned landscape.
At midnight where I want to be
Is warm and snug
Curled up in bed
With YOU.





Good News

<a href=””>Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious</a&gt; I get some wonderful, marvellous news and what’s the first thing I do? Well I suppose it depends on what sort of news it is. I remember years ago when I won a poetry competition I could only gasp “Oh…oh. I’m overwhelmed!” I hope I could come up with some better reaction if the same thing happened now. But it comes back to what sort of good news and how far-reaching it is. If your village wins the Best Kept Village Competition you want to tell all your  friends and neighbours (including the people in the next village who didn’t win)  but it won’t make headlines in the international press. If the great news were about someone close to me who recovered from a serious illness, then  my first reaction surely  would be to give thanks to God for their recovery. My second reaction might be to go and visit them with a bunch of flowers or a box of chocs. Some pieces of wonderful news are for sharing with the world, others only affect a small circle of friends and relatives, The birth of your first grandchild is a cause for rejoicing but the celebration is limited to your immediate circle. (Though it might be a little different if the baby in question is fourth in line to the throne!) Even with the more mundane sorts of good news, there are people who are interested and those who aren’t. Imagine winning     the Booker Prize, rushing home to tell your friends only to be met with blank faces and the query “What’s the Booker Prize?” I can’t really predict what my reaction would be without knowing what the Good News is.