Tag Archives: poems

Jocelyn Merivale – a tribute to an inspiring artist

“It’s not just that Jocelyn was contrary, she loved a fight, and was a good sparring partner. It’s that she seemed to me the opposite of just about anybody else I ever met.” – John Merivale’s Eulogy for Jocelyn, 23 September 2014

I can’t tell you how stunned I was to receive this piece of treasure in the post the other day:

Jocelyn Merivale book, John Merivale

Jocelyn Merivale, as regular readers of this blog may know, was a painter and friend, whose fabulous work inspired some of my poems in Up in the Air.

I got to know Jocelyn through her husband, John, with whom I worked for several years in Wimbledon and Morden. She died in 2014, tragically young, but carried on working right up until the end.

John set about producing a book to collect all of the paintings, sketches, and sculptures produced by his lifelong partner. He worked with Matthew Hollow, an art photographer, Martin Holman, an art historian, and Brother, a brand design agency. It was a true labour of love, much of it carried out during the enforced solitude of the coronavirus lockdown.

And look at the result:

Garden at Night, Jocelyn Merivale artist

I had been so looking forward to seeing this book. And the icing on the cake was the use of several of my poems, produced after I visited an Open House exhibition of Jocelyn’s work in Merton.

Scroll down to see my poems and the paintings they relate to, as well as the painting Jocelyn did for my wife and me on our wedding day. (Click on the images of the poems to read them more easily).

Every Bird is Singing, Steve Griffin poem
Field of Birds, Jocelyn Merivale artist
The Sea, Steve Griffin poem
Lighthouse, Jocelyn Merivale artist
Dotty, Steve Griffin poem
Dotty, Jocelyn Merivale artist
Green Ghost Girl at No. 9, Steve Griffin poem
No.9, Jocelyn Merivale artist

And here’s the beautiful painting that Jocelyn produced for our wedding:

For Steve and Anna, Jocelyn Merivale artist

To buy a copy of the Jocelyn Merivale book (£45 plus P&P) please contact John Merivale: merivale@btinternet.com

To purchase a copy of my poetry book Up in the Air, click below:

A Poetry Playlist on National Poetry Day

OK, so technically National Poetry Day was yesterday and I missed doing this Poetry Playlist post due to juggling 101 other things!

Whilst I love reading poetry on the page, it’s important to recognise that it developed from oral traditions, a means of passing down the values, wisdom and playfulness of humanity from one generation to the next before writing became common.

The Things We Thought Were Beautiful Poetry Book

So for me poetry exists in two very distinct states. The poem on the page, which emanates its power in a wonderful, still silence (if it’s good!) And then there’s the poem as read by the poet or avid reader, which can take on a wholly different feel. The pacing and the length of the end-of-line pause, the emphasis of certain words, the catching of the poem’s rhythm. All are shaped by the personal interpretation of the out-loud reader.

I’ve done quite a few poetry readings in the past – at festivals, schools, pubs and in such illustrious venues as the basement of the Troubador Cafe in Old Brompton Road, where Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones played (and Ed Sheeran and Laura Marling for you young folk!). But with Covid there’s much fewer chances of doing live readings, so why not take a look at this Poetry Playlist I’ve put together? In it, you’ll find me reading six of my favourite poems from my two collections, Up in the Air and The Things We Thought Were Beautiful.

And if they inspire you to read more, the books are available here:

The Things We Thought Were Beautiful poetry out now!

I’m excited to announce that The Things We Thought Were Beautiful is out now on Amazon!

The Things We Thought Were Beautiful is my second book of poetry. It includes poems on our changing feelings and connection to nature and the world around us, the beauty and strangeness of travel, and the places we look for meaning. Poems explore the challenges of living without love, as well as the redemption of home and family.

Here’s a taster:

The Things We Thought Were  Beautiful - Dandelion poem

These are some of the things readers said about Up in the Air, my first collection:

“Beautiful and thought-provoking collection of poems that speak of life, death, love and nature…” Amazon UK

“I love this book. I keep it at my bedside to read a passage or two before getting up to start my day or at night before the lights go out.” Amazon.com

Order your copy now:

Note – this link is to the paperback – you need to search in the Kindle store for the ebook as it takes a few days for the formats to link.

Up in the Air – poems on video: The Cormorants

Here’s the second in my series of videos in which I read poems from my book Up in the Air. This time, The Cormorants, one of the first poems I ever had published. It’s a short poem about yearning and restlessness, seabirds, and the remote and lonely Scottish island of Iona.

As always, if you like it, please leave a comment.

You can buy Up in the Air here: