Gordon Scapens

Widely published over many years in numerous magazines, journals, anthologies and competitions Currently preparing a collection. Lives in a suburb of Preston with his wife, who’s friend, critic, muse and editor. Plays acoustic guitar averagely to her singing.


This bed’s in a storm,
has been a ship
sailing the rage
of the night.

Sleep was lost,
washed away overboard
leaving the breakwater
of a troubled midnight.

Navigation charted
the straits of disturbed waters
when propelled by guilt,
visible for miles
from the vantage point
of hindsight.

I would have turned
against the current
I started myself
but such words
I could cobble together
were just not capable
of even seeing safety.

I should have heeded
the gale warning
in your voice
as the door slammed.


Hey persuasive jazzman,
hiding behind shiny instrument,
I think I understand you.

Improvising the story of life,
the shape of which outlines
roots going way back
to sounds of the earth,
you tease out subtle melodies
to lecture our well-ordered routines.

You flirt your skill, stirring
our feet to tapping rhythms,
hands into links of approval,
minds into a yearning
for the ability to express
such freedom on loan to us.

More than sound travels
across our differences.
I think I understand you.
More than that,
I think I understand 
what I have to answer
when life comes asking questions.
Out there is so close.


The bird sings of his heaven,
the tree full of delicate notes
hanging down like leaves.

He’s saying celebrate 
a precious moment of summer
but when he stops
there are secrets he can’t tell,
nothing I can keep.

So I find myself
staving off the brunt
of another hunger hidden
like words in a book.

I want a remedy for sins
raging like a mad storm
through this demanding world,
a loner wanting something
seriously satisfying,
satisfyingly serious,
to address our confusion.
I speak an ancient language
unknown called hope
and I have never learnt to wait.

In these uncertain times
it will never be reduced
to anything less
than my heartbeat.

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