Author Archives: Steve O

The Commute

The commute is an amble, pine trees, birdsong, a blue sky, palm trees catching the sunlight, a busy road, the smell of petrol, an empty platform, a steady and serene curve around the bay, salt marshes, horizons, the bridge of the constitution, gangs of port cranes, screen time, heads down, a man with a large beard drinking a large tin of lager, a brisk walk, a park with ducks in the middle, a removing of sunglasses and my reflection in the academy window.

Cádiz? Jerez?

Is Cádiz a city?
Is Cádiz worth visiting?
Is Cádiz a must see?
Is Jerez in Cádiz?

What is Jerez famous for?
Is Jerez worth visiting?
What is Jerezana?
Is Jerez a word?

Is Cádiz an island?
What is Cadiz biggest beach?
Is Jerez on the coast?
Does Jerez have a beach?

Is Cádiz the oldest city in Europe?
is Cádiz safe?
Does Jerez have an airport?
Is Cádiz a nice place to live?

Constructed using auto-complete searches on Google.
Inspired by Brian Bilston

Our Garden

The grass in our garden isn’t very green
Despite it being March
Not a lot of rain has been seen
The grass in our garden isn’t very green
To see it come back – we’re both very keen
Though it looks so worryingly parched
The grass in our garden isn’t very green
Despite it being March


He needed to be more creative
but he couldn’t think how to be more creative
so in his head he imagined a factory
a factory bigger than you can imagine
and inside were a number of outlets
and all he had to do was go to work in one of them
and no matter how dull or boring the process
he just got to work on what he wanted to do
and then like magic creativity would come and find him
instead of him looking for it and so out the
creations would pour and so they poured
and how they poured and it was that simple.
Just get to work.


Early morning on Playa de Valdelagrana
The sun is rising behind
the high-rise apartments
that shade the tidy, sandy beach

The sea is as flat as an envelope
sent all the way across from Cádiz
A gentle hum of blue meets the sunlight
where I paddle my feet

I watch her swim left to right
changing from front crawl to backstroke
and then before the masses arrive
and the noise and temperature soar

We head home for breakfast

7 ways of looking at Midday

It is 60 minutes past 11

On an analogue clock
In a room with no windows
I could be forgiven for thinking it midnight

It is all downhill for the sun
from here

Both her arms and hands point to the sky
she dives into the afternoon


Thoughts turn to lunch
Two hours to go (on a weekday)

Palms clasped together above her head
A farewell to the morning
A greeting to the afternoon
Anjali mudra


By the time I was one
I weighed more than my mum
By the time I was two
I’d eaten nine tonnes of food
By the time I was three
I had supports on my knees
By the time I was four
I couldn’t walk anymore
By the time I was five
I had a huuuge backside
By the time I was six
I’d scoffed a million chips
By the time I was seven
I could roll like a melon
By the time I was eight
I had such excess weight
that by the time I was ten
I never moved again.
What a terrible shame
that was then.

We are from…

This poem is inspired by ‘Where I am from’ by George Ella Lyon. With the help of my brother and sister we put together some memories growing up and i put it into verse.


We are from mince and mash
from Mr Sheen and the gold carriage clock

We are from bonfires in the back garden on Saturday night
from fir trees with bobbly seeds and sweets on Sunday.

We are from Snapdragons, Forsythia and Cherry Blossom
from cycling around the block and footballs hitting fences

We are from sitting by log fires in the living room
from Saturday lunch in the kitchen and pheasants hanging in the garage

We are from up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire
from brush those pegs and Father Mother God, guard me while I sleep

We are from dinners ready!
from suet sponge and I beg you pardon Mr Arden

We are from musicals and music
from oh gentle presence and halfway down the stairs

We are from Dennis Dennis find that ring
from Song for Guy and London trips to the King Singers

We are from the weather thermometer at the bottom of the stairs
from the heavy green toolbox and the name of the left hand side of a boat

We are from making camps
from dressing up and pillow cases full of christmas presents

We are from calamine lotion
from crab apple trees and eggy bread with sugar

We are from from Oliver and Castle
from Goldsmith and Kincaid

We are from wonders that will never cease.


17 random sentences that include the word gloves.

She wore special gloves that attracted the butterflies.
He picked up the vase with the gloves so as not to leave any fingerprints.
The gloves are off for today, meaning I’m done with today.
The gloves were kept in a basket in the cupboard under the stairs.
She had suggested wearing gloves and he had really enjoyed it.
‘Jill! Have you seen my gloves?’
The weather was conducive to wearing gloves.
All you need is gloves.
We had to wear gloves or we’d get blisters.
She squeezed into a new pair of gloves for every patient.
I often have cold hands and should wear gloves.
‘Shit! I left my gloves in the pub.’
The gloves were great but when they got wet after throwing snow I couldn’t stand it.
You are the hand that fits my glove.
‘How many pairs of gloves do you need?’
‘We’ve never had to wear gloves this late in the year!’
It was the one time that he had forgotten to wear gloves: the infection had killed him.


01 Cold
She was as cold as a sledge left out in the snow all night, as cold as an empty church first thing on a January morning, as cold as the first touch of the sea on her feet and ankles. When she got home though, she at last warmed up.

02 Hard to find
She had looked everywhere for her glasses but sometimes they were as hard to find as a yacht in the desert, as hard to find as stairs in a bungalow, as hard to find as a fire without smoke. Yet when she found them the world was crystal clear again.

03 Slow
Time went slow, as slow as traffic on a motorway suddenly reduced from three lanes to one. As slow as a candle melting, as slow as the time left in an exam when you’ve already finished. Time went slow and he was killing it. Really though, time was killing him.

Life is like

Life is like a letter, it’s exciting to receive but one day it rots away.
Life is like a credit card, yours for free but you soon have to pay.
Life is like a leader, it comes and then goes.
Life is like a hinge, helping one door open and another close.
Life is like a slide, you’re up and then you’re down.
Life is like a button, you’re lost and then you’re found.
Life is like a fact, it’s said to be true what we’re told.
Life is like an accident, unexpected things unfold.
Life is like a cliff, ready to crumble and fall.
Life is like a bible, it’s not something most pay any attention to at all.
Life is like a race, for some it’s over faster.
Life is like a recipe, one that sometimes leads to disaster.
Life is like a dodgem car, you can’t always avoid it.
Life is like the opera, it’s dramatic but some can’t abide it.
Life is like a plate, sturdy yet fragile when it falls
Life is like a roof, it’s nothing without walls


He was ramping up the music full of rum and coke
when a voice at the door it suddenly spoke
It said turn that racket down or I’ll call the police
but the noise of the music it did not cease
so the voice got louder and shouted who he was
was the downstairs neighbour so i said i’m very soz
He said all year long i’ve been putting up with this
And that was my first year living in Cádiz


Although we had had chips the night before we had them again that night. Our appetites had got the better of us so the oven worked its magic on our sliced potatoes. Is there anything better than chips? The smell was golden as they sizzled quietly from the heat before falling in sturdy disorder onto our not quite big enough plates. We sat down, we ate them with dry, spicy roast chicken and freezing, fizzy-natured fine white wine from Portugal. Over and over again we groaned at the fabulous flavours, over and over again we noted how well the wine went with the chicken, over and over again we thought how good it was to be eating chips: Hot, salty, crispy, crunchy, sturdy, golden chips.

I wish

I wish you were here with me
I wish I hadn’t said what I said
I wish you would reply to my messages
All my messages that remain unread
I wish I could turn back time
I wish you were still mine