The Cold Tap Sings

the p-word

Tag: Sun


ben eine u

After completing the O section of my suite of univocalist poems I was worried that the U section would be the hardest. And I was right. No pronouns or articles this time.* Ouch! Well, here goes…



Plump gulls must sup.
Suck up luxury hummus.
Chuck up burgundy mucus.
Lungfuls. Such tumult!
Dumbstruck ducks cuss.
sunk thru cumulus
Cumulus turns succubus.


And there we have it. Read the other poems in the suite here. And stay tuned for an audio recording of ‘Oiseaux’.

*well, technically I could use ‘us’, but I didn’t.



Happy New Year! To celebrate here’s a poem about time – or, more specifically, about eternity. It’s a translation, by yours truly, of a poem by Arthur Rimbaud. There are two known versions of ‘Eternity’ which differ slightly – this is my preferred version from A Season in Hell, the only collection of Rimbaud’s poems published in his lifetime.



by Arthur Rimbaud, translated by Robin Boothroyd 

What? Eternity.
It is the sunrise
Soldered to the sea.

O eternal soul,
Despite lonely night
And fiery day
Keep your vow.

Keep it to escape
The ballot box,
And buck the trend!
At your wish take wing…

No ‘Christ has risen’.
No hope––not ever.
Just science, patience
And certain suffering.

No more tomorrow,
Embers of silk,
Your duty is
Vim and vigour.

It is the sunrise
Soldered to the sea.


Perfection is an eternal dawn without hope or expectation. Click here for more Rimbaud translations.


So I spent the weekend down on the Sussex coast and it gave me the chance to do some concentrated writing and research into the new project I’m pretty excited about: ‘Fathom’. The idea is for it to be a longer poem (as in longer than my usual 1o lines!) about the sea and about Sussex – about Sussex by the sea. Here’s one of the sections in draft.



Years ago
we were walking
boots bouncing
off the Seven Sisters’
soft turf
when a fresh
wreath of mist
rolled in
off the sea
to cloak us
in coolness.

Do you remember?

The sun shone down
as if through milk.

Then as quickly
as the dream-stuff
it dispersed
and we danced through summer
once more.


Click on the tag below for previous drafts from ‘Fathom’. I’ll be posting more content soon, including an expanded version of ‘Salt-Blood’ (scroll down, or indeed click here).