Displaying items by tag: poetry

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Super Blood Moon

Super blood moon over Dover 28 September 2015

Amarone moon

Dark fermented red

A couple whisper in the doorway

Before they go to bed


A fox stops in the arches

Glances at the moon and back

To the red eye of the signal

Hovering over the track


3.14 am 28 September 2015


Published in Original Poems
%AM, %04 %041 %2006 %00:%Oct

A Poor Poet



You thought I was a poor poet

The first time that we met,

Upset to discover

The catastrophe of success


As soon as you walked in

You knew there was something wrong

Something has to give here



A poor poet has to lose it

Sell his soul for a song

Possessed and dispossessed

Before - to long


But what they never told you

Is you would pay the price

Abandoned so I could recover

My voice


For a poet is born

Of things that are not

From losses not from profits 

And you were the cost. 


You thought I was a poor poet

The first time that we met

Upset to discover

The catastrophe of success



You can't buy truth

You can't buy love

You can't buy this


But maybe you can earn it.



Published in Original Poems
%AM, %04 %041 %2007 %00:%Oct

Stumbleupon Poetry Blog

This is shattered fragment of a stumbleupon blog, long since now defunct, where I used to store favourite images, and attach poems to them (or vice versa). Just goes to show that for all its claims of ubiquity, the digital domain doesn't give you much of a purchase in permanence. 

PeterJukes's reviews

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Published in Old Webs
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Together or Apart


Images by Alyssa Monks


Much easier to see
Just one dilemma
In the frame of forever
See it now



But unpick the words
Suspect the simplicity

Apart could be
Communing despite miles
A constant presence
Like a subtitle in your life
Apart could be
The meaning you hold
Like two strings vibrating
To the same note


Unpick the words

Together might mean
Cleaving down the middle 
Inseparable as a wound
Dependent as enemies
Demanding as
A beggar's bowl
Imploring the pennies
That make you poor


Unpick the meaning, unpack the words
Go beyond the dilemma

See us both 
Standing here

And listen to the world
Beneath the footsteps
And murmur of voices
And the passing cars
The world is so quiet
So quiet

And we have to keep

And stop
A part

Peter Jukes 1999

Published in Original Poems
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And when I go
leave the window open

The boy is eating oranges
(I see him from my window)

The reaper is cutting down the corn
(I hear him from my window)

So when I go
leave the window open

anothersunrise9cu1Translated by Peter Jukes from Lorca's Despedida

Published in Translations
%AM, %22 %041 %1999 %00:%Jan

In Step


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And one time he was leading her through the darkness
And then another time she was leading him
The first time he reached out to touch her
She withdrew but searched and found his hand again

Towards the certainty of never
From the uncertainty of now
Through the certainty of pain
To the uncertainty of joy

Not Orpheus and his muse
But two lost children
Like Hansel and Gretel
Walking through the dark

Their hands only parting
Searching on the path
For whatever breadcrumbs
The birds might have ignored

Peter Jukes 1999

Published in Original Poems
%AM, %22 %041 %2010 %00:%Sep





I’m like the king of some rain swept terrain,

Rich but impotent, young yet ancient,

Detesting the fawning of his teachers,

Tired of his lap dogs and other creatures.


Nothing amuses him, hunting, falconry,

His people expiring in front of his balcony.

Even the jests of his favourite fool

Can't smooth the frown of this cruel recluse.


His petal-strewn bed has become a tomb,

And his handmaidens, made to make princes swoon,

Can't find outfits scandalous enough

To raise a flicker from his immaculate corpse.


The alchemist who transmutes gold from lead

Fails to draw from him that poisonous element.

And those baths of blood the Romans conceived,

To give decrepit tyrants some relief...


Can't even stir the veins in this lethargic flesh

In which the green sludge of Lethe runs instead.


Translated by Peter Jukes from Spleen by Charles Baudelaire

Published in Translations
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Lorca and Duende


From Theory and Function of Duende

Once, the Andalusian ‘Flamenco singer’ Pastora Pavon, La Niña de Los Peines, sombre Spanish genius, equal in power of fancy to Goya or Rafael el Gallo, was singing in a little tavern in Cadiz. She played with her voice of shadows, with her voice of beaten tin, with her mossy voice, she tangled it in her hair, or soaked it in manzanilla or abandoned it to dark distant briars. But, there was nothing there: it was useless. The audience remained silent.

In the room was Ignacio Espeleta, handsome as a Roman tortoise, who was once asked: ‘Why don’t you work?’ and who replied with a smile worthy of Argantonius: ‘How should I work, if I’m from Cadiz?’

In the room was Elvira, fiery aristocrat, whore from Seville, descended in line from Soledad Vargos, who in ’30 didn’t wish to marry with a Rothschild, because he wasn’t her equal in blood. In the room were the Floridas, whom people think are butchers, but who in reality are millennial priests who still sacrifice bulls to Geryon, and in the corner was that formidable breeder of bulls, Don Pablo Murube, with the look of a Cretan mask. Pastora Pavon finished her song in silence. Only, a little man, one of those dancing midgets who leap up suddenly from behind brandy bottles, sarcastically, in a very soft voice, said: ‘Viva, Paris!’ as if to say: ‘Here ability is not important, nor technique, nor skill. What matters here is something other.’

Then La Niña de Los Peines got up like a madwoman, trembling like a medieval mourner, and drank, in one gulp, a huge glass of fiery spirits, and began to sing with a scorched throat, without voice, breath, colour, but…with duende. She managed to tear down the scaffolding of the song, but allow through a furious, burning duende, friend to those winds heavy with sand, that make listeners tear at their clothes with the same rhythm as the Negroes of the Antilles in their rite, huddled before the statue of Santa Bárbara.

La Niña de Los Peines had to tear apart her voice, because she knew experts were listening, who demanded not form but the marrow of form, pure music with a body lean enough to float on air. She had to rob herself of skill and safety: that is to say, banish her Muse, and be helpless, so her duende might come, and deign to struggle with her at close quarters...

Lorca translation's on this site

The Silent Child


Song of the Arid Orange Tree

Every Song

Published in Culture and Arts
%PM, %22 %625 %2008 %14:%Sep

Why Must I Write?


Paris, February 17, 1903

Dear Sir,

Your letter arrived just a few days ago. I want to thank you for the great confidence you have placed in me. That is all I can do. I cannot discuss your verses; for any attempt at criticism would be foreign to me. Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism : they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings. Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.

With this note as a preface, may I just tell you that your verses have no style of their own, although they do have silent and hidden beginnings of something personal. I feel this most clearly in the last poem, "My Soul." There, something of your own is trying to become word and melody. And in the lovely poem "To Leopardi" a kind of kinship with that great, solitary figure does perhaps appear. Nevertheless, the poems are not yet anything in themselves, not yet anything independent, even the last one and the one to Leopardi. Your kind letter, which accompanied them, managed to make clear to me various faults that I felt in reading your verses, though I am not able to name them specifically.

You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are upset when certain editors reject your work. Now (since you have said you want my advice) I beg you to stop doing that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you - no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. Don't write love poems; avoid those forms that are too facile and ordinary: they are the hardest to work with, and it takes great, fully ripened power to create something individual where good, even glorious, traditions exist in abundance. So rescue yourself from these general themes and write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember.

If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world's sounds - wouldn't you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it. So, dear Sir, I can't give you any advice but this: to go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take the destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and must find everything in himself and in Nature, to whom his whole life is devoted.

But after this descent into yourself and into your solitude, perhaps you will have to renounce becoming a poet (if, as I have said, one feels one could live without writing, then one shouldn't write at all). Nevertheless, even then, this self-searching that I as of you will not have been for nothing. Your life will still find its own paths from there, and that they may be good, rich, and wide is what I wish for you, more than I can say

What else can I tell you? It seems to me that everything has its proper emphasis; and finally I want to add just one more bit of advice: to keep growing, silently and earnestly, through your while development; you couldn't disturb it any more violently than by looking outside and waiting for outside answers to question that only your innermost feeling, in your quietest hour, can perhaps answer.

It was a pleasure for me to find in your letter the name of Professor Horacek; I have great reverence for that kind, learned man, and a gratitude that has lasted through the years. Will you please tell him how I feel; it is very good of him to still think of me, and I appreciate it.

The poems that you entrusted me with I am sending back to you. And I thank you once more for your questions and sincere trust, of which, by answering as honestly as I can, I have tried to make myself a little worthier than I, as a stranger, really am.

Yours very truly,
Rainer Maria Rilke

Published in Translations
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Selected Poems 1976-2006

Below  Stolen Moments

 Book cover


Thirty years of poems
Almost like a photo album
Except the pictures keep moving

The person who wrote them
The person who revised
The person who reads them now

They are all different people.
They keep shifting, leap out
Or step back into shadows.

And in this family album
Of my different selves
I don't know who I respect:

The adolescent full of himself
So full he betrays himself
And almost sees his future;

Or the husband and father
Doing his best, by others standards,
Hiding behind his kids;

Or the mid-life crisis lover
Shrugging it all off with a sudden ardour
Leaving tragedy in his wake.

There are some resemblances.
They must all be related somehow.
They speak with the same accent.

But which one is the more honest?
Which the better poet, let alone
The better person? I don't know.

So I'll just have to accept them
In all their strangeness
Familiar but unknown

Even the strangest one of all
The knowing one
Who writes this. 

Peter Jukes 2006


Stolen Moments

Published in Original Poems
Page 1 of 2

Links and Contact Details

Live Tweeting

Over the last few years I've created some attention with my live coverage of the phone hacking trial in London, the most expensive and longest concluded criminal trial in British history. There are various accounts and articles about this on the web, including a radio play. My Twitter feed can be found here, and a collation of evidence from the trial, and all my live tweets, can be found at my Fothom Wordpress blog. There's also a Flipboard magazine and a Facebook Page. My Klout ranking is here.

More Journalism and Books

Various journalistic articles of mine are scattered throughout the web. There's some kind of portfolio at Muckrack. The most extensive reporting is for the Daily Beast and Newsweek, but there's more at the New Statesman, the New Republic, Aeon etc. I have two non fiction books published in the last year: The Fall of the House of Murdoch, available through Unbound or Amazon, and Beyond Contempt: the Inside Story of the Phone Hacking Trial, available via Canbury Press or also on Amazon. I am currently contributing to a new site for open source journalism, called Bellingcat, and advisor (along with Sir Harry Evans and Bill Emmott) to an exciting new crowdfunded journalism startip Byline

Getting in Contact

My generic email is my first name at That should get through to me pretty quickly. My Linked In profile is here. For non journalistic inquiries, for television stage and film, contact Howard Gooding at Judy Daish Associates. Examples of my television work can be found on IMDB. This links to the site for my forthcoming musical, Mrs Gucci. My radio plays can be found in various audiobook formats on Amazon and elsewhere.


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