☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.





‘When speaking, writing or thinking in English the word Home always means for me the hospitable shores of Great Britain.’


- Conrad N. Korzeniowski, 13th October 1885, Singapore


for Peter and Andrew


-       Peter Robinson (U.K.)




Grey miles of plain-looking streets are home

for two girls laughing on the 73

or child at a till in your Turkish deli.

She picks correct change from my open palm.


They’re home for the drinkers passing their time

in the Daniel Defoe or Vortex Café,

for an out-of-work actor who fills his day

writing a memoir, me doing the same …


or the next best thing, they’re the place to be 

surviving a brain-tumour relapse

when hours would pass wondering if perhaps

I could make it back over cloudscapes and sea,


be pronounced fit enough to set off towards

pine groves, bamboo leaves, the Japanese words …





Our jet-lagged babies asleep on the floor,

this was where we would come to hide

from overseas, as had Conrad before.

Remembering when I nearly died,


gratefully we would catch those signs

of Robinson and Friday in the street,

pretty rooms, privets, the clothes lines

welcoming us to an exile’s retreat,


my fallen face, my wounded head …

and though our last waking here tends

to sadness now we’ve left the bed


pristine, inspired, each understands

parting and bidding adieu, as you said,

it isn’t that the friendship ends.





One final waking in your attic room

finds sheets rumpled at a Velux skylight

(its name from lux-lucis, I assume)

conjuring behind the rooflines opposite


a glow as if from some famous aubade

for lovers who would have to leave

their safe house, a homely abode,

because you are about to move.


Slanting a promise through the usual cloud

like a bonus payment in kind,

daylight sends us out on Lavers Road


between properties and, to my mind,

this last brightness in its flood

accumulates all of our stays combined.