War (The Tall Man Chronicles)

This is an excerpt from my Tall Man Chronicles poetry collection;


Tall man stands alone
and two
eventually three
The names that man give to its foul deeds

Tall man forgotten but not gone
Mourns for the time when a brother
was a man, neighbour and friend

Now in a back yard
His knowledge
His peaceful eyes
A secret buried long ago

War is the great false prophet
Seductively promising
tithes of gold

Civilisations never too old to learn
and grow
Yet enlightenment from mechanised slavery seems so very far away


“Cark”, “Cark”

The crow’s sardonic refrain
Indifferent to man’s great folly
Vanity leading to oblivion,
barren oblivion
Will it arrive before all the pain

Copyright John de Gruyther 2014

The Wasp

The Wasp

A wasp has made a home inside the rotten potato

I wasn’t happy about it to start with,

but now I think everything has the right to have a home,

so I donated it a tiny table. So it can have comfort when dining.


A wasp has made a home out of a common old spud

I’ve given it shelter, after

fleeing persecution from the genocidal pesticides

The headlines blare “British Jobs for British Wasps”

Government proposals want a cap on the number of “foreign” wasps entering our sovereign airspace


But who are we to judge another beings right to

survive and exist

So I offer asylum

and the wasp and I sit, sipping martinis

discussing the latest cabinet reshuffle

©John de Gruyther 2014

Please check out the Refugee Council to read about some of the excellent work they do.


Tales From The Edge Of My Living Room


As some of you may know I am currently working on what will hopefully become the first novel I get published, The Paisley Soul of a Stricken Man. However this book is not the first novel I have attempted to write. I started my novel writing plans with a story called Van Buren and I intended this to be the first novel I finished but creative impetus took me in another direction.

This is a very small extract from Van Buren, and I plan to re-visit my dystopian detective story once I have finished with my Paisley Soul.

Van Buren

As he strode across the train station foyer a man in a trilby approached him and handed him a leaflet proclaiming “If only I’d Known”

Van Buren smiled as he knew already. They probably knew different things but knowledge was key and faith was a slightly different issue.

He nodded to the man and placed the pamphlet into his inside pocket. He noticed from a medal on the guy’s chest that he had served in Korea, just like his Opa.

He could never equate his dear Opa, a jolly fellow who played cricket with him in the back yard, with someone capable of firing a gun, let alone being someone capable of killing a man. He supposed that he knew better than most what people were really capable of, when left with no other choice.
A distant noise drifted in, was it the sound of a river or maybe a Sangha chant, the heat was powerful and the feeling of familiarity washed over him. It was a warm sensation, initially it felt like he had pins and needles.

It reminded him of dozing under a tree on a sunny day. His head swooned and his vision blurred, he couldn’t remember where he was or why he was here

©John de Gruyther 2013

Top 5 Comeback Singles

Paisley Soul MEME


Top five musical crimes perpetuated by Stevie Wonder in the ’80s and ’90s. Go. Sub-question: is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins, is it better to burn out or fade away?  – High Fidelity

A quick and fun post today. These are my top 5 favourite comeback singles. I have broadly defined a comeback single as a significant hit for a band or artist that has been away from the limelight for a while, either through a hiatus from music or having fallen off the public’s radar. I love these records because they show that good music is good music whoever it is by and if you ignore what the mainstream radio stations and music magazines tell you, you can often come across some wonderful stuff.

If you would like to share your top 5 favourite singles why not share the above photograph on your blog, Facebook page or wherever and encourage others to share their favourite records as well. Perhaps when you have done this you can share the link to your post in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

Anyway here are my top 5 for you to hopefully enjoy;

5 . Lovestruck by Madness

4. Patience by Take That

3. Maria by Blondie

Debbie Harry has still “got it” at almost 70 years of age. And the band Blondie could certainly teach up and coming bands a thing or two if their recent Glastonbury gig is anything to go by.

2. Whatever Gets You thru the Night by John Lennon

This song reaching number one in the US prompted Lennon to make a brief live comeback during an Elton John concert.

1. You Got It by Roy Orbison

What a voice and what a comeback. This was the Big O’s first hit for over 20 years and it was co-written by Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, his fellow Traveling Wilburys. Orbison’s resurgence was sadly cut short by his death in 1988.


Honourable mentions go to George Harrison’s massive hit single Got My Mind Set on You from his 1989 comeback album Cloud 9 and Come Dancing by The Kinks. The Kinks didn’t make it on the list because although from the British public’s point of view this was a comeback single, for the rest of us Kinks fans they never went away, in fact they had a string of hit albums in the States and Come Dancing was a belated recognition by the UK that the Kinks still existed and as ever were still great. To find out more about The Kinks success in the US you can check out my Delayed Perspective posts covering their albums from this period.


©John de Gruyther 2014. All words and pictures on this blog are the copyright of John de Gruyther unless otherwise stated.


Bumble Bee

Photo by Aron Tanti

The honeysuckle is booby-trapped

a helpless bumble bee caught in a web

Why did you save it?

Does intervention disrupt the natural order,

or cause an effect of eco-diversity

They helped the bee recuperate

in a dish of wet sugar

Free to make honey and help the world breathe again

©John de Gruyther 2014