Three quarks for Muster Mark

‘Three quarks for Muster Mark’,
They say,
But I found six,
One fortuitous day,
Full of charm,
And a little strange,
With infinite beauty,
That’s the truth
Up and down
I searched the dark
And found at last
The ubiquitous Quark

Bound by colours,
Red, blue and green
In combination colourless,
Never to be seen
From top to bottom,
I had searched,
My perspective then,
Suddenly lurched
And folded up,
Into eight different ways
Thus ending my search,
After many days.

Tangled Adventures – New Release

‘What a tangled web we weave’
When we start to color these
Select your favorite shade or hue
A coloring book just for you.

J and I Publishing

Tangled Adventures


Color in these complex tangles to help you rest and relax and create mindfulness as you make them your very own. With images hand selected by a tangle artist, these are sure to please any fan of black and white designs. The only limit is your imagination, so pick up your favorite color tool and begin. Featuring single-sided pages to avoid bleed through.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Happy Coloring!

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So proud to be yours,
For all of my life,
Through trouble and strife,
To call you my wife.

So proud of you,
Your talent and skill,
My heart you fill,
My soul you thrill

So proud of us,
The perfect pair,
Always there,
Our life to share.

For the most beautiful woman in the universe. Ionia. My one true love.

A Vision of Beauty

Watching you there,
Oh beauty so fair.
A vision so pure,
A grace so rare.

The body of Venus,
Aphrodite combined.
Intellect and humour,
A mind so refined.

A love eternal,
A soul so pure.
Our love will endure.

My one true love,
My forever after.
You fill my heart,
With joy and laughter.

One final word,
From deep in my heart.
Always together,
A work of art.

I love you, Ionia.

Me with you


Me with you,
For all our days,
To navigate,
That worldly haze

By your side,
For all my life,
I your husband,
You my wife

My eternal love,
Is yours to keep,
In heaven above,
We make angels weep

A love so deep,
So pure, so true,
The perfect woman,
For me is you

I love you so,
With all my heart
Eternally yours,
Never apart

I love you, Ionia.

Why We Write Poetry

With the release of my poetry collection, ‘A Poetic Proposal’, I have been pondering, musing if you will, on why it is that we write poetry. Reflecting further upon what I consider a rather interesting question, I came up with a few reasons why it is that I like to write poetry.

We will get on to some of those thoughts shortly. I figured that there must be as many different reasons for writing poetry as there are poets out there. What is it that motivates us? Is every poet different or are there commonalities that can be observed? What is it that gave each of us that first initial spark, that push to write poetry?

Not satisfied with just my own thoughts and opinions I decided to garner those of some of my favourite, blogging poets to help me answer this question. It was very illuminating to discover why it is that each of them writes poetry.

Personally, I have always had a fondness for words, and for language in general, for puns, wordplay, and rhymes. I used to invent myriad little rhymes, couplets, and wordplays, but being the lewd Englishman many of them are not suitable for public consumption, not even here in the sanctity of this blog reserved for ‘Life, Literature, and Lewd Comments’.

I also enjoy the intellectual challenge of trying to convey my thoughts, feelings, emotions, in words.

I never really found that I had much to say in the past. Then one day, like a blinding light from the heavens above, I went and fell in love. It was as if my heart and soul exploded in a shower of coruscating light, an iridescence of bright, blinding colours, and just like that I suddenly had something to say.

There were a million raging emotions coursing through my head, trying to escape the confines of my mind, my heart, my soul. I now had a reason. A reason to write, to express myself to someone, to the woman that I love. I wanted her to know how I felt about her, for her to be able to experience the emotions that she excited within me. I am fully aware that mere words are insufficient to fully relate these emotions, but I want to do my utmost to convey these feelings to her, and also to others. To show the world how I feel.

So, that is me. My motivation for writing poetry, but what about some others. Below I have quoted the thoughts of three of my favourite poets, Dominic, Pamela, and Ellespeth. I heartily recommend reading their blogs and experiencing their poetry for yourselves.

‘I have written poetry since I was a pre-teen, primarily because I loved words, but also because I felt that I had something important to say, at least as much as any pre-teen boy could.  As a very shy person by nature, I was never comfortable speaking my thoughts and feelings verbally, though I was quite comfortable putting them on paper and I found poetry to be the perfect avenue.  I stopped writing poetry through much of my teenage and adult years up until a few years ago and from the first moment that I put pen to paper after this long absence it has almost become an addiction.  I guess in the end I write poetry for the sheer love of it.’Dominic DiFranceso, Black and Write

‘I think that writing poetry started as a way to get my feelings out of my heart and head. The longer I have written though I find that I need to write. Writing poetry has been a way to express myself. Poetry (at least the forms I use) forces me to be very intentional with my words.’Pamela Beckford, Poetry by Pamela

Despite her lovely words, Pamela prefers to use poetry, in this case a tanka, to express herself and has written this beautiful poem to help us understand better why she writes poetry.

Words and emotions
Entwine to express myself
Feelings are heartfelt
Words tumble out of my lips
Nothing can stop their free flow

and finally

‘The older I get, the clearer the answer becomes:  I write to honor life.  There are also moments when something I’ve been questioning is suddenly distilled into a very short poem – just enough words for my heart to manage then and there.  I used to kick myself for not keeping a journal.  Now I realize that my poetry is my journal.’Ellespeth, Views From A Poet

So there are, it seems, many varied reasons why we write poetry, and I am sure that we have not even scratched the surface here. I hope that this has given a little insight into the mind of the poet, whilst highlighting that there is no single answer to this question. Thank you so very much to Dominic, Pamela, and Ellespeth for taking the time to contribute.

If you have ever written poetry why not take a few minutes to reflect on why that is. What attracted you to poetry as a form? Was it a one off, or do you write poetry consistently? Do you write both poetry and prose, more of one than the other? Have a think and please share your thoughts in the comments. Add to the body of knowledge.

Tree Stump Collision

Here is a short story, for your enjoyment and pleasure, my first foray into this medium. Note that the place names have been obscured since I would never forgive myself if any of you were subjected to the same terror, or worse, as a result of reading this. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Please be gentle with me.

stumpTree Stump Collision.

It’s a curious story. I will warn you right now. You may not believe it. I know that if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it either. But I did, and this is the only reason I am telling you now. It is a story that will fill you with incredulity and disbelief. You may laugh at me pitifully. You may call me a liar, a crackpot, a man of diminished capacity even, but I assure you that every word you are about to hear is true. It may be a short story, but it is a chilling one.

It all began back in August when we were on a family vacation. We had decided to take a road trip up Highway 101, the Pacific Coastal Highway, starting from Northern California and continuing on up through Oregon and Washington state to the Canadian border. It was the trip of a lifetime. The car was a very serviceable vehicle, although a little small for the six of us, along with all the camping gear. We had rented a Dodge Grand caravan, a dull grey colour. This was probably a good choice for us, with our penchant for getting lost and taking random roads that lead, well, we never know where they lead. That is half the fun of a road trip with us.

So, on with my story. Everything began as one would expect. It was a trip where the only plan was no plan. We had meandered slowly up the North Californian coast until we reached XXXXX, Oregon. This is our favourite place in the world. My incredible, beautiful wife loves it there. Our four amazing children love it there. I love it there. We had intended to stop there for a few days, maybe even a week or so, this being the only part of the trip that was planned. And I use the term planned in its loosest sense.

We spent the first night at a hotel, having arrived late in the day, figuring that we would get a good night’s sleep before the rest of the family were subjected to the thunderous, bear like snoring that I am apt to make whilst camping.

The next morning loomed foggy, but with the distinct impression that this would soon burn off to reveal another fine day. We had decided that we wanted to camp for a few days at XXXXX Beach camp ground and went to make the necessary arrangements. This was where we hit the first hurdle. There was no room at the inn, or rather no room at the camp ground. This was disappointing news. The whole family had been looking forward to camping there, close to the ocean. There were camp fires to be had, with potatoes baking in the embers, hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks, pancakes with freshly picked blackberries. What were we going to do?

There was another option. It was not really one that we wanted to take, since it meant camping on a site that was eight miles from the coast, up a long, bumpy road that was in a terrible state of repair. Still, we had little choice, so we set off up the long, windy road, avoiding the sunken grades and dips as best as possible. I have to admit that the views of the azure coloured, gently weaving river we followed were breath-taking. At least the parts that I saw whilst trying to stay on that abominable road were.

Eventually we reached the XXXXXXX State Park. Our destination. We slowly cruised around the main ring of the camp ground looking for available pitches. We made an entire circuit, noting down any of interest, and then began our second loop. We had spied a couple of sites that piqued our interest, and we stopped at the first to gain a closer look. My darling wife and I stepped out of the car and indulged in a cigarette whilst inspecting the earth. Too uneven and mainly rock was our considered opinion. That would not do at all. We returned to the car.

On to the next pitch that we had liked the look of. Hopefully this would be better and the ground would be soft enough to sink tent pegs into, and to sleep on. Now this is where the story gets interesting. You will have to excuse the sense of confusion that may creep into my writing here. I experienced a great shock and my thoughts may appear muddled and incoherent in places. This is, I believe, only natural. I still get a shiver down my spine when I recall the events of that day. My heart begins to race and my mouth goes dry, a feeling of nausea rising rapidly.

I pulled the car up just past the entrance to the camp site, pitch number 11, and prepared to reverse into it. Nothing behind me. At least nothing that I could see. Long experience of Dodge’s has left me with the certain knowledge that there is always some pivotal blind spot, some obscuration. I slowly pressed the gas pedal and the car began to move backwards. I checked the rear view mirror, then the side mirrors, and deftly guided the car in to the camp site.

Bang! The car stopped dead and we all jerked forward in our seats. I looked around the car checking that everyone was alright. I glanced into the rear view mirror again and that is when I saw it. I froze. What was that? I could see a face. A gruesome looking face that sent a chill through my whole body. It was a mottled pink colour, more brown really, and resembled a human face. But what a face. The most disfigured, deformed human face that one was ever likely to see, with great teeth protruding from the overlarge mouth. And the eyes. I cannot bring myself to describe the look of sheer hatred and loathing that emanated from them. The face was surrounded completely by dark brown, almost black, hair. But this was not just some ugly guy with long hair and a beard. This was something else entirely.

Then, to my shock and surprise, a massive arm appeared beside the enormous head, furnished with a hand, proportions the like of which I had never encountered. The hand was clenched into an angry, furry fist. As I watched transfixed, the creature shook its fist menacingly. Uncurling its long fingers, it pointed one at me, then clenched its hand into a fist again. Virtually catatonic with shock I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, I wasn’t sure I was still even breathing.

Then, rising up and drifting around the creature there appeared an ominous mist, that began to thicken and swirl. Round and round it swirled, faster and faster, becoming ever more thick and opaque. For what seemed like minutes, but was probably only a few seconds this continued until the creature was completely obscured. I remember thinking, and this is possibly the only coherent thought I remember actually having during this experience, ‘Wow. The fog has really come in thick and fast.’ Then suddenly the mist vanished and there was no sign of the creature, a creature that I was now positive was the mysterious Bigfoot of legend.

It was as if I was released from stasis. The moment the mist, and the creature, vanished I could move again. ‘Is everyone okay?’ I realised I was saying. It didn’t sound at all like my voice. My head was blurry and my heart was pounding, but I was back. Everyone seemed to be okay. I nervously stepped out of the car to survey the damage and to see what had happened to the creature. I inched my way toward the rear of the vehicle and peered around the back. No creature. There was, however, a tree stump.

Old and knotty, about three feet high, it looked of an identical type to the trees that surrounded the camp site. There was something odd about it though, something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Certainly it was in an odd position, right on the parking area. This could just have been a feature of the site, a curious one if it was though. But where had the creature gone? I knew that I had seen it. There was no way that I could have imagined that. In fact, looking at the ground I noticed large humanoid footprints leading to the tree stump. As I watched, these footprints began to disappear, dissolve almost, for want of a better word. As they vanished, right before my eyes, a small wisp of mist rose from each one, until eventually it was as if they had never been there.

How had I hit that tree stump? How had I not seen it? I could have sworn that it hadn’t been there when I began to reverse into the spot. In fact I began to swear now, profusely. Especially when I saw the damage to the rear of the car. I turned and kicked the stump, expletive following expletive. Kick following expletive. Where had the creature gone? Had it really been there? I began to doubt my sanity, as I am sure that you already have. Then it slowly dawned on me. I had not seen footprints going away from the tree stump, before they had vanished. How could that be? Wait! The tree stump had not been there before, I now realised. It was not the tree stump that the car had hit.

I began to shake, beads of sweat appearing on my brow, as I looked closely, and more than a little fearfully at the tree stump. My mind faltered as I clutched at thoughts, the feeling of terror and confusion taking over. I turned and jumped back into the car. Starting the engine I put it in to drive and pressed the gas pedal, hard, the wheels spinning on the dusty road.

‘What’s the matter, my love. Are you okay?’, my wife said, shocked at my hurried, uneasy manner, my deathly pallor, and the droplets of perspiration now visibly trickling down my forehead.

‘I am fine’, I replied. ‘I will tell you later. We have to get out of here’

She put a worried hand supportively on my knee and squeezed it tightly.

We got out of there as fast as I could manage, and we didn’t stop for nigh on a hundred miles, until we got to XXXXX, Oregon. I was still on edge and nervously looking over my shoulder, jumping at any and every sound. My wife and I had fortunately managed to conceal my anxiety from the children.

We finally found a hotel that had vacancies, although it only had suites left, and we booked into suite 110. One look inside and we knew that this would be a most special place. There was a living room with a fireplace and kitchen. A pull-out sofa for the children to sleep on; a bathroom for them also. Then there was the master bedroom with a king size bed and an en suite shower and bathroom. A balcony overlooking the ocean completed the magic of the suite.

Later that night as we lay in our bed, my wife in my arms, her head upon my chest, the sound of the waves breaking on the shore coming through the open window, I related the strange events that had so affected me. It was difficult beginning, difficult to make sense of the strange things that I had seen and the even stranger thoughts I had and unbelievable conclusions to which I had come. Lying there in that bed though, the soothing sound of the ocean, the feeling of safety that my wife brought, knowing that together we are invincible and can deal with anything, I began to cry and tell her everything.

After she had listened and comforted me, holding me in the supportive manner that was her wont, we lay together for some time, just talking, before making love. What had begun as one of the scariest, most terrifying of days ended with such feelings of intense bliss as I have ever known. Our love making was passionate, but tender, and we climaxed together with the most incredible, explosive release of ecstasy. We fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms, warm and safe, together where we belong.

So that is my tale. It is an odd one, I grant you, but as I have already said, a true one. I felt calmer by the ocean, since as everyone knows, Bigfoot hates the sea. This I feel is as good a reason as any to spend the rest of our lives on the coast. But then if this story tells us anything it is ‘What does anyone really know about Bigfoot?’

There are many things that cannot be explained in this world. One of these is why there have been so few sightings of Bigfoot, and even less reliable documentary evidence such as photographs and video. Perhaps my strange tale, in some way, explains this.