Unattended baggage

This poem came out of a recent Suffolk Poetry Society¬† workshop, ‘Tree Ring Time- Clock Time’, led by the excellent Kate Foley.¬†¬† I wrote it thinking about the mass of empiric knowledge we have to accumulate in life.


Pine stacked by the cord


Hard won knowledge stacks by the cord:
The wedge runs in Oak but sticks in Walnut.
Straight grained Pine chops best to kindling.
A sack of logs costs half a crown
thirty-pence is half a crown, four sacks are ten bob.
Four hundred volts locks you rigid on the wire.
Frosted beet blunts the knives and blinds the press.
When sugar juice strings between finger and thumb
it will shock to crystal under vacuum.
A sack of barley weighs twelve stones.
When green malt flours between finger and thumb
the piece is ready to load to kiln.
Empiric baggage, packed and stacked,
paid for with patience, loaded with time

then abandoned.



  1. Pete

    How could I forget those Saturday night at Everards! I was the doorman, you were billed as Pete Winston and the band called itself ‘The Crescents’ (if my memory serves me) and for a short while the drummer was Tony Annis (Francesca Annis brother). The Hotel manager let us have the ‘ballroom’, as long as he could run the bar, and I wasnt yet 18 at the time. It’s good to hear from you, and pleased you enjoyed visiting ‘Versifier.’ Tony tells me that you are still singing, he is writing and last I heard of Roy he was involved in photography. If you have trawled through this site you will have some idea what I have been up to over the last 50 years.

  2. Pete Davies

    Ivor,nice to hear your voice again after fifty years!

    Tony Benge told me about your website ,I enjoyed your words, somewhat different to sitting in the caravan in your yard reading Mad magazine.In case you don’t remember I was the singer in a band along with Tony ,Roy Thurston and Gary Peck.

    Enjoyed your work,

    Pete Davies

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