How can one best respond to a time as troubling as these past few weeks have been, with a series of acts of terrorist violence and the appalling fire at Grenfell Tower?  The attack on Borough Market was very much on home territory for us, on streets where we go about our ordinary lives.   My wife was driving by there, on her way home from work, at the time when it was all happening.

We have been here before, of course.   One of the IRA bombs went off only 3 or 4 hundred yards from a house where were living at the time, and we had rioters attacking places on our street in Brixton in the 80s.   It is among the risks of urban living.   Yet the burnt-out shell of that tower block seemed to be something off another scale altogether.

Do you try to write about such events?   Some might say it was trivial to try and write about anything else at such a time.   And yet there are few who truly have the skill to handle such raw emotion, without falling into platitude, or into a political rant, or just seeming to make use of the suffering of others as an excuse for their own emotional indulgence.   I recall someone who was a regular judge of poetry competitions saying that one of the first tasks was usually to weed out all the pieces written about whatever had been the latest disaster in the news.

Anyway, with some hesitation, I am putting a couple of items on the Poetry page of this site.   One is an older poem, related to bombings in London and how life carries on; the other is a small reaction to recent events.


The Cookham Festival anthology call Stanley Spencer Poems duly appeared last month, including the piece I wrote on one of his Resurrection pictures.   The book has turned out very well, nicely produced by Two Rivers Press, and with a strong selection of work by well-known and less known writers.

Rupert Loydell, posted my longer poem A Short History of Rock n’ Roll  on the International Times site and it should still be possible to read it there at http://internationaltimes.it/a-short-history-of-rocknroll/    (Rupert’s own new collection from Shearsman, called Dear Mary, is well worth getting hold of, by the way).

There should be work of mine in the summer edition of DreamCatcher, out soon from Stairwell, along, no doubt, with much else worth reading.

Meanwhile Unsettled Accounts, my recent collection, continues on sale.  It brings together new poems with work that had been in print, in a range of journals, anthologies, magazines, competitions, over the previous decade or so.   Priced at just £8, it is available for order through bookshops, on-line, or direct from http://www.stairwellbooks.co.uk   (ISBN 978-1-939269-38-6)  

“…consistently luminous and observant poetry…reminds us that we all have a span and living is a form of unfinished business…”


Place Setting – a collection of my poems, paired with pictures by Carolyn.  The book is illustrated with full colour pictures and is in landscape format.   Place Setting  is available from us for £12.50 (inc. post & packing), at 23 Clements Road, London SE16 4DW, or tonyslucas@btinternet.com

Waiting for the Comet – “a beautifully sculptured scholarly gem of a book” (Dreamcatcher Magazine).  You will find it listed on Amazon, etc. or available through bookshops (ISBN 978-1-4716-7737-3) or it can be got direct from me for £5.99 (includes post & packing) – on tonyslucas@btinternet.com or from the address above.

Special Offer – Get both these books for just £18 (inc. p&p.) !!


You will find new material on this site, if you click the Poems tag at the top of the page.