If you want to look good, you go to a beautician at the salon.  If you are looking for a specific style, of course, you should go to the hairdresser.  If, however, you simply want a haircut, look no further than the barber shop.

I have been going to the local barber now for close on thirty five years.  I know him.  He knows me.  I knew his father.  He knows my children.  This is a family business.

I usually go to the barber shop about once a month.  Short back and sides ever since I was a little kid.  Nothing much changes in my grooming.

The price certainly has though.  From a couple of shillings to a tenner for the job and a kindly tip in appreciation for his service.

But I have absolutely no complaints.

I wait my turn before taking my seat in the chair and take reflection in the long panelled mirror to the tune of the panpipes liked so much by the barber and his father before him.

I look at myself long and hard during these thirty odd minutes.

The barber is meticulous in his actions, an artist at work, an observer of men, a symbol of life.

In these memorable, passing minutes, I can contemplate my whole life, who I am, where I have been, where I am now and where I am going next.

The other waiting customers are my audience and this is an uncut, unrehearsed, uneditable dress rehearsal where no appointment is required and every paying customer plays his part.

Smartphones have inevitably replaced magazines over recent years but there is still  a place for the local weekly newspaper.

Electronics have, not yet anyway, replaced the manual templated sign which traditionally advertises the business tradename of father and son.

The barber assistant of tender, teenage years sweeps up the fallen hair  of those that has come before and prepares, tools, towels, razors at the ready for the busy barber.

The barber is a skilled technician in the engagement of his clientele.  He knows everything, a module of working class intellect, bearded, moustached, stout, immaculate in his instrumental implementation.

Accreditations achieved with no lack of endeavour or enterprise line the walls of what the barber still calls his cabin and blend in timelessly with posters from another era, one in sexist glorification of French beauty Brigitte Bardot, another a framed, autographed picture of Sean Connery.

The barber’s cabin sits astride a bookies and a laundrette with a bakery on the corner of the precinct.

The barber’s cabin is the solicited abode of the working class man and has pride and place in his life.

Shamefully, once, just once, I did visit a salon a few years ago but I am a man’s man and the thought of a made-up woman attending to my needs felt abhorrent and wrong.

Once the haircut is done, nothing quite beats the close shave given to you by a barber.

The barber shop is where you come to die under the dressing of a cut-throat experience  and yet you leave feeling alive, refreshed, rejuvenated, a man reborn.

Until the next time.




I am a desert island in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the ocean whose waves tidally wash up on my sandy shores.

I am beautiful, both flat and mountainous.

I am as vibrant and voluptuous as you can ever imagine.

I am not alone.  There are other islands nearby in my company and together we form an archipelago.

No people live here but sometimes they come and visit and wonder.

I am a dream.  I am their dream.  Humans are tired of living in crowded cities.  I am seen as their alternative.

Those that come, see me as Paradise.  Whatever Paradise is.

I am nature’s own with trees amid a dense forest, streams and rivers, waterfalls, abundance of vegetation and food,lagoons, caves.

Wildlife flourishes without interference from mankind or pollution though sometimes it (pollutant waste such as oil or plastic)  does wash up upon the beaches  and the damage can seem destructive in its wake, no less shameful to the eye.

Tropical climate temperates existence for all, a blend of sunshine, rain and wind, a calm to prevail before the storm.

I have existed this way for thousands of years, developed only by nature itself, undeveloped by mankind.

And I will exist this way for another thousand more at least.

Because I have no evaluation of real time.

I am curious about mankind and its impact upon my world but I have no craving to change.  And nor will I change.  Not ever. This is my visage to the world.

I offer peace on earth, harmony, sanctuary, perspective.

The fish, the birds, the land animals which inhabit my geometry are fearless because they have nothing to fear.

All living things within my domain from the animals to the plants speak with one voice.

This is me as a person experiencing a metamorphosis and speaking out to you in an anthropomorphic way.

I am an island.  A desert island.  Let me be.  Just let me be.


Good morning, distinguished guests, respected teachers and dear friends.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is ……………………………….. and I am a student at the …………………….. /Junior/Senior School.

Today is World Health Day.  The topic of my speech is Perfect Health.

One day I want to be a doctor and help people get better who are sick, catch a disease, virus or infection, get hurt as a result of an accident.

If we have perfect health, we won’t get sick, catch a disease or ever  have an accident

But that notion would mean we would not need doctors anymore and my ambition to be a doctor would be in vain.

Such a notion is surely idealistic and unrealistic.

It is often said that prevention is better than cure.

Let us take a look at both prevention and cure..

It almost goes without saying that if we can prevent the cause in the first place, then we will have no need of the cure at all.

What are these preventative measures that we must take?

Eat a balanced diet

Eat healthy food free of additives and supplements

Drink lots of water

Exercise regularly, play sport, keep fit

Sleep according to your body clock and take short rests

Be hygienic, wash your hands, play safe

Be alert to contamination and affect from the environment

Maintain physical immunity to your body

Top up your immunity with necessary vaccinations

Don’t underestimate the value of faith, prayer, spiritual healing

React to symptoms as and when they arise

Respect a professional diagnosis from a physician

Be a student of science virtue of technology at your disposal

Refresh daily living with rereation, socialisation, a holiday

If we cannot achieve prevention, we can look to the cure:

The first-aid box in the home or  car might come in handy

Everyone needs to take a rest from time to time

Age-old remedies using lemon and honey never go amiss

Not just babies need the benefit of natural sunlight

Aromatherapy using essential oils should be considered

A massage, a body-rub, can do a ton of good

We can, of course, take medicine prescribed by the doctor or the pharmacist

Surgery or an operation might be needed to achieve wellness or prolongment of life

Of course, all of this you know but the reality needs to dawn on us to take the necessary action in order to achieve perfect health.

On reflection, what are our objectives in our pursuit of it?

By being healthier, we should be happier and therefore be able to enjoy life more as a direct result.

Hand in hand with that, this means that we will visit the doctor less or hardly at all, spending less money on healthcare and using that money for a greater need in our life.

If we are healthier, then our level of focus and concentration will surely be higher and we will have less absent time from work and school,

In truth, the reality can and will dawn on us that we do not need to rely on supermarkets and corporate giants to feed us but we can grow our own food and be in control of our own destiny for health.

We need to be responsible as a member of society both for ourselves and for others while not ignoring what we are doing to our health by mis-management of our waste and the pollutant effects.

It does not mean that we do not need doctors in the future.

On the contrary, by optimising our own personal healthcare plan, each and every one of us, then the doctor can focus his professional expertise on providing a much higher level of healthcare to those who really need it.

It simply means that we might need to see a doctor far less than we do today and that we perhaps change our mindset about healthcare in general.

The onus lies with us as an individual to achieve that perfect health and not with the doctor by way of diagnosis, prescriptive medicine and eventual cure.

Healthcare is a primary factor in our life.  If we are healthy, we can achieve so much more in life for ourselves and for others.

Education and the field of science in particular gives us the genuine opportunity to understand what having perfect health really means and to value it.

One day, I will be a doctor and I believe that my vision expressed within this short speech to you today will come to fruition and become a reality.

God bless you.

It has been my privilege and honour to speak to you today

That’s all.  Thank you for your attention..


There are stars in your eyes

That twinkle and shine.

That reach for the skies

And light up a world just begging to be mine.


Venture to look into those starry eyes, and I see

As well as feel a wondrous woman much.

A lumineum of light so fantastic and free

Transcendant and tantalizing, tempting to touch.


One stellar among a million stars

That dares to shine this bright

That nurtures the nouveau of my memoirs

On this and any numinous night.


Oh she (and who is she?) that has touched a nerve

And pulled a heartstring?

Who is she that serves the Hors d’oevres

To another living being?


This is that special moment, when

Vision is captured by the imagination.

When a door to another world doth open

And poetry doth salivate sensation.


Yes, I have seen your starry eyes before

In another time and place.

But now, within,  I see the glory of you and so much more,

A gentleness, a grandeur no greater grace.


There will never be another moment such as this

That your world will capture so.

That takes your breath away in the portal premise

That will ever be your shining starry shadow.


You are indeed a lumineum of light so truly blessed,

This darkened soul of thou you do so illuminate.

Your presence today is like a time-honored guest,

This mortal man can only behold and contemplate..


I can see what others cannot

And I can know beyond the portrayal..

I can understand what has long been forgot

In every intricate, intimate detail..


Thank you dear lady for your company today

And for the providence of your luminous light.

Now grab the reigns of your horse and make your way

Through the darkness of the night.


So many things in our life are contrived

And are never meant to be.

Fate  plays the cards of compromise

And we dare to call it destiny.


Catch a poet in such a mood as this

And let his vibrant voice be heard.

The reality of any moment is truly his

For the wise and whispered word.


It is  like nothing else in the helpless harshness

A wonder to take away your breath

That feeling of standing on the edge of darkness

As a  depository for all your loneliness…


As mortal men we take a route

And we follow a perilous path.

Happiness and harmony are our prized pursuit

Fire and  fantasy our wretched wrath.


I have travelled this far, this distance

To draw from the echelons of experience.

So bold am I to write this poem, with every sinew of my existence

And express these simple, solemn sentiments.


It is not an illusion in the sky I see

But a radiant red rainbow in the late afternoon

A marvelling memory in the shadow of the old oak tree,

A treasure of time for which any one of us would swoon


Clouds can block out the scorching sun

And raindrops can flood the earth

But when all things are said and done,

Nothing can lessen its worth.


Magic is the momentary masquerade of mystique

For something symbolic in its conception.

Utterly, unequivocably unique,

Perfectly poetic,in its radiant reflection..


The red rainbow means so much more

Than is visible to the naked eye.

Delivers a meaningful message to devil’s door,

And makes us wonder why.


Paying homage to the radiant red rainbow

Which adorns the silky sky ayonder.

A  spectacular sumptous, silent show,

A phenomena and a wonder.


There is a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow

If you care to look ever so closely

Beyond its gesturing, graceful, glorious glow

It’s yours to capture. Capture it and approach me.


I am a Stone and this is my short life story.

They say that I have the heart of a stone.

Who knows?  Stone the crows!

They say you can’t get blood out of a stone.

Stone me!

So I must be done for then,  well and truly,

Because take a look at this Rolling Stone that gathers no moss.

Ok I know.

I can sink like a stone

And I am only a stone’s throw away from infinity.

In fact, everything I do in this life is a stepping stone ‘indeed’ to the next.

And my legacy might be carved in stone.

Am I really stone-cold sober as I pen this?

Or am I just stoned?

Hey good people, they say that if you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones

And that sticks and stones will break my bones, but do you know, words will never hurt me.

So let me remind you then that he who casts the first stone

Might just leave no stone unturned.

Ridicule is a funny thing.

And I might as well kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Stone me!

Alas, a stony silence prevails.

I’ve reached my milestone, the end of my life story.



It is the mourning after the day before.

There is a vacant berth at the quayside in the harbour.

The Taurean is missing

Whereas yesterday was destructive in its wake with strong gusts of wind and torrential downfall of rain, today is infinitely calm.

A local reporter is quick to the scene.  He senses a sensational story

The local reporter can ask all the questions he wants but he will not get the answers he yearns for

I was once he, inquisitive, curious, fresh, ambitious, determined, brazen questing fame but I charter a different course now.

Freedom is a wonderful thing and you can only really know what it is once you have removed yourself from all the shackles which are placed upon you in a lifetime.

As a human or as a boat, you are as one.

In life, you do not choose where you want to go but the place inexplicably chooses you and you must allow fate rather than faith to blindly lead you..

Now I am totally free to go wherever I wish to go, with whoever I choose, whenever I choose and in whatever form I choose.  There are no perameters.

Believe me, I am a vessel at peace.

It was many years ago that I left my homeland and sailed to foreign pastures thousands of miles away to a place with a different culture and set of customs alien to anything I had previously experienced.

I have been accepted within the community of the harbour more for heritage and privilege than sociality because the locals boast of having an Englander in their midst.

We refer in life to baggage and I carry a burdensome cargo of three marriages and four children.  This is where my journey took me.  I can thank my lucky stars that I was blessed.

The woman who reported my disappearance yesterday to the local constabulary, has returned to the scene and is questioned by the reporter.

The bouquet of flowers she lay at the scene yesterday at day-break has long been blown away.

The odd thing is that she can still see the Taurean at its moorings.

The reality is that her vision is not shared by others.

That which has perished is still with the living world  and has become an onlooker to the mourning of its passing.

If a man can be a ghost, then why not a boat?

The woman loved the Taurean with all her heart and soul, offering humble sacifice in the knowledge that her rewards in so doing would never be just or tangible.

She sailed on the Taurean more times than she will ever wish to divulge.  She was his mistress in every imaginable sense.

Her children know not.  It was a well-kept secret.  For harmony sake.

How ironic is it that I cannot swim and that  I have had a fear of deep water all my life.

To be therefore a boat upon the ocean waters of the planet, there can be no greater contrast.

Or indeed any greater legacy.

Sixty years is a lifetime.  Photographs, letters,documents and a family tree are testimony to that fact and the marinology of life itself.

The realization is that my journey in life has not ended but that it has just begun.

The Taurean has entered a realm of eternal freedom and peace.

So much for the Mourning.