Adrian has published three books, two of poetry and one prose.
The Call of the Unwritten
‘time would take me up to the swallow thronged loft’ Dylan Thomas
A feathery uncertainty
in the swallow-thronged loft,
I am tongue-tied in a company
of singers, these fleet poets of the air.
Yet well fed and ready for flight,
I tremble on the claw-pocked ledge
and wait. Wait for my turn to squeeze
through the tiny round chance
that leads to the sky.
Never before has the call felt
so inexorably feral nor the wind so
giddy. Then the instinctual draw rises
in my feather-bound chest,
and I burst out of the loft
like an arrow at a target, though
no target I have ever seen. Sweeter
than the nectar of the honeysuckle
is this jubilation of flight. Suicidal
to the praise-seeking self that kept me
loft bound for so long, in constant
comparison to finer feathers. Can I trust my
inner compass and continue this
migratory flight to a rewritten me?
Can I accept the unnamed future
whispering in fragile beating wings?
A flight that captures the fierce jeopardy
of living so I can render its path for
others to read, a slow crossing to an
undisclosed country, with a chorus of chanters.
In whose throng I have found my voice,
and besides the loft is behind me now.
Arriving in Magic
Second Collection published in 2013 – Here is the title poem
Arriving in Magic
Why do I always turn to the stone
to try again for a king’s sword,
when wizards wait out in the wood
set to take me into their service?
Again and again I am snatched
by flattery to step up and lead,
be on the team, sit on the board,
ignore the space that incubates.
No more can I pass the gap that gates
the path unnoticed, stepping through
towards mossy trees and fish’s glimmer,
novice to the green flame in the bud.
Magic is the fierce acceptance
of all that makes up this life’s course,
uttered bold in faith to the deep
unsleeping witness of the dark.
That unyielding and steady gaze lays
bare the me I really am and
not the me I would have you see.
Finding the dragon’s shadow dancing
vast on my small room’s wall and see
how often I’ve pinned its tail on you,
and as his scales form bright on my skin
I breathe deeply from his secret fire.
An old skin sheds no longer needed,
a way of good belonging now
outdated, letting go its grip I
find my orbit round a greater force.
No more am I a hub for hubris
to build its castle on, no longer
a beggar for attention but an
owl-eyed hunter for the untamed space.
The ring you place upon my finger
is a vow to serve the magic
in which gladly I now arrive.
Knowing too it was always there
waiting quietly in the trees beyond
with the wizard that is the forest
and inside the shadow I now own
with the magic graced to me on loan.
The Mark Widdowson Blogs
A retelling of the Gospel of Mark, set in South Yorkshire, where Jesus is called Jess – An Edlington Hairdresser.
A young South Yorkshire journalist, Mark Widdowson is sent by his editor to
follow a developing story in an ex mining village called Edlington. Th e woman at the
centre of the action is one Jess Jennings, born and bred in the village, a hairdresser
and now dubbed revolutionary, agitator, healer, prophet, even guru! Beginning with
mild curiosity and leading to near obsession Mark is drawn deeper and deeper into
the strange phenomenon that is Jess, a journey that takes him from South Yorkshire
to the Peak District, Harrogate, Birmingham, and to a fi nal incredible denouement
in the Capital.
A Night Sea Journey
A Night Sea Journey
Back in the hospital, laid up on a trolley.
black plastic mattress, me, then a thin
acrylic blanket, my feet sticking out,
Palpitations brought me this time,
racing heart, thumping its rhythm through my ribs,
another ambulance to my anxiety,
Prone, washed up in a corner of the
Medical Decision Unit, eight hours
whilst they rule out heart attack,
to be covered.
They calm me down, but not with attention,
benign neglect for a man in his fifties,
not serious just needs to see his GP,
in the morning.
No sleep, they are removing a plaster cast next door,
and a man has just gone off his head,
further away, his moans mingle with
the incessant saw.
This is what the mythologists call a night sea journey;
I am on a gurney bark sailing
through the dark into
an uncertain dawn.
Courage brother, I say to myself and grin and bear it;
not realising the irony
I am doing it to myself, my panic is
a self-induced reality.
Stepping out into the mizzle wet day
and my wife’s Volkswagen I am left to myself,
disgorged, spat out
into quotidian dread.
I witnessed all the watches of the night,
endured the A&E nether-world and returned
to Ithaca’s despair,
where only my dogs like my scent.
Yet the myths propose a different ending,
the wrecked hero makes his return
to discover that now he has
a scintilla of choice.
The Egyptians named each sunrise
as the emergence of the Sun God
from the charnel houses of
But I see the GP; he gives me Beta Blockers,
‘Should I risk Northumberland, to see my Father’s
and his New-Biggin sea?’
He can’t diagnose if my panic will strike again,
but the long night’s sailing
has shaped a resolve, I need to pass under the
iron angels’ rusted wings.
My clothes are acrid with sweat
but the pull of another night sea journey
up the northward track of my DNA is
a fresh tang on the air.