new poetry, vibrant poems


Although all by me, DAVID GOULDING, there are different moods and, I hope you'll agree,  a variety of content.  The one thing (or two things) I do try to avoid is being elitist (writing for the 'special few' who read and praise each other's work) or populist (the opposite... I don't want to define this in case I offend!)

What I do believe is that writing "light verse" does not bar you from producing more serious stuff, and vice versa

JUST CLICK on any titles   

      LISTED ON THE LEFT and the BOTTOM   of the page

                 to get to that particular page at once.



This page will be completely revamped soon..with fewer and mostly shorter poems


The red sun

beckons the black clouds

to cover it’s embarrassment

and begs the warm winds to assist.

The undamaging storm is my friend,

although my cobwebs may be too thick

for hurricanes to rip.



I look down vacantly from a height,

     supplied by standing on what seems a meaningless brick  


     grassed over by time

     and accidentally, or by luck, in a graveyard.

Above and behind the sun casts a sharp and perfect shadow of myself

     on the hallowed ground below.

     But this shadow is exactly me at 20,

    a thousand years ago.


It is not a Dorian Gray silhouette

    but just an outline that hasn’t changed,

    whilst every single thing inside has.

Or is the opposite true:

    that only appearance has aged

    when, for good or worse, my elements are the same?



I say that I am tied and long for freedom.

But I am not and I don’t.

I am frightened of freeing myself

Just in case there is nothing there.


I mark the hours and dream of leaving prison.

But when the door opens, I am fearful of going out.

Maybe the person in the larger busy space

Will not be different or achieve any more.

Nightmare: he may be even less or disappear completely.

Perhaps my personality owes all to my confinement.



Self-thoughts made in moods from passionate to indifferent

But always with the belief of doubtful sincerity

And always, always, late at night.

I would say "last thing" but my nights are often sleepless

And "last thing" and "first thing" can become confused.

Even if the promises have been eternally unfulfilled

There could, with miracles, be one day when……



EXCUSES (in the morning for breaking the promises made last night)

The     wounded     larch
                   and the unseeded laburnum
       are    all    unseen.

Skies    that     stretch     beyond      morning
                 and deafen the benighted blackbirds
      are    all    blocked    and    trivialled.

Impotent    ambitions,    nature’s    abstraction,
                so easily fogged and smothered.
Relief    and    habit    are    both    excused
               in a forged teacher’s letter,
and the altruistic rose is blatantly seduced.

Raise eyebrows at a superficial question;
      hot chocolate is forgotten in the cornflakes
      and the spectred sleep not blinding,
              but     merely     disappeared.




Sunset on a guilty day

                             with no dreams collected.

The fall of night is only the pre-dawn curtain

          where resolutions offer sumptuous fairy tales.


          the morning twitter of sanity:

                   a black ripple of a shadow on grey water.

The only certainty is drowning in a trivial lake

          and coming up for breath again to see the setting sun.


Poetry is dead
                        He said
Poetry is dead

Poetry is dead in me
Not JUST in me
                       He said

But anywhere and everywhere 
                       In black and white and red
Colours shine in brightest grey
                       With flat screen pictures 
                       In my head
And all’s the same 
                       He said.

Why don’t you come to bed?
                      She said
At once he knew
                      And she did too 
                      That poetry’s not dead


The stars

                        the galaxies

                                                the million other worlds

are no longer beyond

                                    belief or understanding


The weeping mother’s empty face

          in a limitless


                                          and shapeless war



Time passes
        Life passes

There is past and there is future
         The present never is or was or will be
                     Heraclitus was right 


His schizophrenia came and went
     Through variable health and night and day,
     Through coffee hours and menial bathroom rites,
     Through warm duty times with pets and family,
And then to radioed travel and repeating work
With convivial splashes; even his sofa divided between
                   blinkered reading and his blind TV.

So many lives, selves, characters to play:
His personality not split but splintered
      And sent to infinity, like big-banged galaxies
     Cavorting away and away from each other for ever.

He could not learn that he was only one,
             Though all his parts would still die on the same day.


      They say  Macbeth has murdered sleep 
               may be, but I wish I could
      I can’t get close enough 

      I don’t slip into sleep 
               sleep slips, slips, slips away
     disappearing beyond an ever edgy horizon
     a watery cloud not seen
              but sly rumour says it's there, not far 
     and I must believe all rumours
              or I’d be eye-poppingly awake
     or stand eyeless as a hollow statue
              unseeing and unseen 
              unmoving and unmoved 
     all still, no breeze or breath


My own memory is without me in it

                     I do not feature

          Just a lot of regurgitated stories

                   That may have a crumb of truth

When passed on they survive

                    But ever fainter, in another’s failing memory

          But collect them: not for hoarding but dispersal

                   If they’re not told now

                   They never will be.

I walked one night in town,

Passed 50 men if they were a day.

Glared past one who hated his wife.

Danced past another in love for the ninth time.

Stared red-eyed at the tv watcher.

Grinned at another without any money.
They all get hungry and eat.

Winked at the suit who’d come from his mistress.

Scowled at the prim one just because it was Sunday.

One was boss-eyed – perhaps I’d been drinking.

Dragged past another who lived like a habit.
They all get thirsty and drink

I jumped past the one who was getting promoted.

Had a job getting past the one with eight children.

I smiled a bit at the man with no clothes on.

And I think I made the man with the dog itch.
They all get frightened and hate


The heart ticks
           whilst no clock beats.
The life moves on
          though curtains are drawn,
not caring whether the day-light sun pours bright or filtered
          onto north or south,
or is moon-bounced and sickly flickering east or west.

The cell splits
          to grow and sub-divide
The organ forms
          to be a part of you,
that is itself, in part, a part of swirling gaseous
          all or nothing.
And what’s complete then?   Never you 
        who cannot see today the microscopic stars
                    Or feel the dying atoms of your distant brain.

Then float with the ceaseless movement 
          and sink with straight-lined circles
     and with those spiralled ripples into tiny space.
Do not grieve for lost visions that have never been; 
  when, after all, you are the abstract movement 
of an instant comet:
                    gone before your own arrival. 

when daffodils die

when daffodils die
        next winter is seen
when crocuses cry
        grey suffocates green

when snowdrops flop
        swallows pass through
when bluebells drop
        snowstorms ensue

as each spring ends
        Christmas is there
summer only pretends
        autumn is where?

as first youth is lost
        old age can be seen:
your prime is a ghost
        middle age a has-been


Vain bargain for the hour that death is due

Though: “she has time to come to terms with  


For headlines blazed in black are always true


Minutes for sale, each one can buy you two

We haggle with, not for, our final sighing

Vain bargain for the hour that death is due


In Third World  floods ten thousand dead too few

Whilst one lost westerner has nations crying

For headlines blazed in black are always true


So make your devil’s pact and see it through:

You may, but will not, stop the seconds flying

Vain bargain for the hour that death is due


Though death is old as hills and never new

It makes great copy with the ink still drying

For headlines blazed in black are always true


Dozens blitzed for a cause without a clue

From instant life to nothing without trying

Vain bargain for the hour that death is due

For headlines blazed in black are always true


You laughing and bad-tempered boys
   Your each exploded second a new universe 
   with one centrifugal atom:

You grumpy giggling girls
   Your every pose the peevish drama star.
   All human kind the planets round the sun:

Precious, immune and bubbled safe.
   But separated from old age by mere revolutions of the earth,
   And from dotage just by the bumps of crazy atoms. 
               Every second

How close you are, how imminent,
Behind the opaque curtain that protects you
With the blindness that you built by simply living.
               Every second

(note: full version on "Tenth or Unfinished" page)


                            Red are her moods
                                            Her trust is green
                                                  Black are her arts on me
                                           She broods unseen these colours three.

                          Brittle gold, her heart is yellow
                                          Her hate, fired up, glows white
                                            She’s fashioned into evil every hue

                                                      And yet I mellow in her sight 
                                                      just because her eyes are blue.

author's notemy form ..and no apologies for the colours!


    Your feet are clever: 
       they know just what to do

   There are no precious stones strewn before you 
      the streets aren’t paved with gold

   The gaping holes that scare you 
       aren’t in the road, but in your head 
          keep your feet on the ground, OK, but not your eyes 

   Look up, my friend, the world is level with your sight 
       imperfect, yes, but flawed not floored 

   Join in, accept, embrace 
 at least if you collide, you’ll see it coming.