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Original Poems
Sunday, 22 April 1979 00:00

Fragment

 

One of the earliest poems I can remember writing, from my teens. 

"Love can never die",

You said before you entered
And left me, empty
Averting your eyes

But I keep all your letters.


Sometimes their manner recalls your voice
Promising, apologising,
Struggling to explain the gap between
What you could conceive and
Recreate.


This paper yellows and curls
Yet while the flickering hand feeds the fire
In time,
These words are only cinders

But I have made a place for them

 

Peter Jukes 1978

 

Published in Original Poems
Wednesday, 22 September 1993 00:00

Poole Harbour

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I hate the sea
Not for its salt or violence
But for its quiet desperation
It's terrible monotony.

Dad took us out from the harbour years ago
Cadging for mackerel on nylon lines:
When almost by mistake we hauled one in
It just wouldn't die
Thrashing in the boughs
Like a slice of battered aluminium.
Dad just laughed the more I cried.

He said he'd felt exactly the same
When he was my age and that
One day I'd be telling my son
The same thing he was telling me,
As we lost sight of land
The mackerel thrashing in the boughs
Like a slice of battered aluminium.

And that's why I hate the sea
Not for its salt or violence
But for its quiet desperation
Its terrible monotony

Peter Jukes 1991

Published in Original Poems
Monday, 02 October 2006 00:00

October

 

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After this long dark summer,
I feel the lightness of autumn approach.
The sun is slipping
And the leaves fall
In love with the cooling earth.

Sometimes you have to surrender -
It doesn't matter what
Your plans were, how you feel,
You just have to go with down with
The sun, in layers of coloured silk.

After our hot dry summer
How come I love you even more?
Why doesn't experience dim, or
Familiarity wither? Why do I
Sense my roots mingling with yours?

Our pain, like our sweat, binds us
Closer. You made me angry and
Jealous. But I'm not mad.
Like the leaves I fall
In love with your cooling earth.

october

Peter Jukes 2006

Published in Original Poems
Monday, 10 January 1994 00:00

The Smell of the Coast

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After our games had ended
In squabbles and in kicks,
Our mouths raw and garish
From too many boiled sweets,
Once we'd spied A to Z
On registration plates
Shimmering
Over the blistered tarmac,
Then up we would pipe
From the back seat:
When shall we see the sea, Daddy
When shall we see the sea?

Through by-passes, fields, industrial estates
Lay-bys where we'd stop to pee, stretch legs,
And sip a thermos of milky plastic,
We'd hark for the cries
Of gulls overhead,
Desolate for the smell of the coast
And though they only wheeled
Over rubbish tips
Not five minutes passed
Before we begged:
When shall we reach the sea, Mummy?
How far is it to the sea?....

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Hardly any closer, she'd say,
Since last time you asked. Or Dad:
The more you look forward
The longer it'll take.
So we'd pipe down, tune to the radio news
Bulletins unchanged all afternoon,
Stare out the window
Unable to credit or count
How many seconds make up an hour
How many waysigns between here and there
And if it isn't ages until we arrive
It won't be forever until we leave.

But over every ridge
Behind the tree silhouettes
The sky seemed to ripple, brighten
With a marine light.
And soon there'd be bungalows
With portholes instead of windows,
Yachts on the curtains, toothpaste blue,
Shells in the pebbledash. The street
Would dip away
And between b&b's, candy-floss, tar,
I see the sea. I see the sea. There it is.
Here we are.

What was it all about?
Two weeks to scour up and down the beach
Dodge turds bobbing by the outflow pipe
Lick sand off a molten ice-cream.
But nothing could defeat us,
Even at night
Sunburnt between the cool white sheets
We'd cup the shell
Of our ears to our heads
And drift off
To the waves milling the shingle
Tide rummaging the shore
Sounding like the ocean sounds
But louder.

brandt east sussex coast1

Published in Original Poems
Sunday, 22 November 1998 00:00

Heart Surgeon

Bad Times for Croquet by Deseriedo 

She's taking back her life
And only now it's starting to hurt


Every smile has to be paid for
Every touch, every word
Every molecule removed

And all her strengths must be turned against me
All her acuity and edge
Her silence and her deliberation
Honed like a knife

I see her take that knife
Heartsurgeon neurosurgeon
Without anaesthetic
She cuts her eyes out of my eyes
Her face out of my face
It's really beginning to hurt
Cuts her chest out of my chest
Memory by memory
She takes back her life.

She performs the operation perfectly.
She's practised it on herself.

And when I look in the mirror
All I see is the shape of her vanished face
The darkness where her eyes were
The old heart pumping failing
Gushing useless blood...

Look at it all. Here it is...
Out through those arteries
Which no longer are attached.

She doesn't leave scars. She doesn't leave fingerprints
She doesn't leave anything.

She's a good surgeon, the best.
She's practised on herself. Peter Jukes 1998

Published in Original Poems
Tuesday, 22 December 1998 00:00

The Border

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Who recognises this border?

A torn strip of shirt
Hanging on razor wire
In the spotlight of a searchtower
Fledglings feed and hush
Grass gapes through the broken
Concrete of a checkpoint

Do you recognise this border?

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I'm standing by the bridge
Looking at the river
Imagining what line I've crossed
What lines I've yet to cross
Will she search me
Refuse my excess baggage
Grant me temporary visa
When does my exile begin?

Writing on the water
Drawing on it

After floods in Honduras
The roads were washed away
But a bridge was left behind
The river flowed around it

Blood flows now
Where it shouldn't flow
The Atlantic Ocean grows
At the same pace as
Our fingernails

There is no border

FG16 Contrails1

Peter Jukes 2000

Published in Original Poems
Friday, 22 January 1999 00:00

A Poem Before You Got to Sleep

 

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If words
Could keep
You warm

If thoughts
Could take
Form

If letters
Could be hands

Figures
Turn to flesh

This poem would have
Unbuttoned
Your blouse and
Be half way up
Your dress

swimmer1Peter Jukes 1999

Published in Original Poems
Monday, 22 June 1987 00:00

The Open Window

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A window open
Onto the blue
Wide as an ocean
Far as a moon

Through the window
Into the sky
In the urge to fall is
The wish to fly

On perfunctory lovers
Fumbling in the night
The open window
Sheds its light

Into atmospheres stifled
With suppressed despair
The open window
Releases air

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Through silences so laden
They drop like weights
The open window
Reverberates

When walls close in
Without a sound
When feet feel unbearably
Anchored to the ground
The open window is
One way out

 

A window open
Onto the blue
Wide as an ocean
Far as a moon

Through the window
Into the sky
In the urge to fall
The wish to fly

Peter Jukes 1987

Published in Original Poems
Friday, 22 September 2006 00:00

My Soul in my Bookcase

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You won't find my soul
In my briefcase.
I checked it earlier
The lock was faulty and
Someone must have stolen it.

You won't find my soul
In my wardrobe either.
Somehow moths got in
And their hungry children
Have eaten it to shreds.

You won't find my soul in my cellar.
It's too dark and too damp
And a soul can't survive long
Among all that useless stuff
You keep but never need.

And my soul isn't useless.
I'm cold and poor without it.
It was supposed to be indestructible.
I'm sure I put it in a `safe place'
Maybe in my bookcase...

I pull out all the books,
Flick through all the pages,
Corners bent over, half read -
Something flutters out -

What was it? A moth?
An unsent letter? An illegible note?
Some dried seeds? Or a yellowed bus ticket
I don't remember buying
To a place I didn't visit.

Peter Jukes 2006

Published in Original Poems
Wednesday, 22 September 1999 00:00

Cold Dry Shores of the Morning

 

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Hit
By the big saline wave
Of night

Caught
In the electric fizz
Of its foam

Then washed
Deep into sleep
Drawn under the sheets
Spun by the currents and turned on the tide

Till some storm
Tosses us back
Here on the cold dry shores of the morning
Naked and raw

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Time to wake up!
Get into the shower
Wash the sand from my eyes
The salt from your back

The sound of the waves is receding

But there
On our mattress of sand
Our imprint is left
The curvature of your body
The restlessness of mine
Like a plaster cast
Of desire
Which these little words
Can't fill

cunningham bed1

Peter Jukes 2000

Published in Original Poems
Page 2 of 3

Links and Contact Details

Live Tweeting

Over the last few years I've created some attention with my live coverage of the phone hacking trial in London, the most expensive and longest concluded criminal trial in British history. There are various accounts and articles about this on the web, including a radio play. My Twitter feed can be found here, and a collation of evidence from the trial, and all my live tweets, can be found at my Fothom Wordpress blog. There's also a Flipboard magazine and a Facebook Page. My Klout ranking is here.

More Journalism and Books

Various journalistic articles of mine are scattered throughout the web. There's some kind of portfolio at Muckrack. The most extensive reporting is for the Daily Beast and Newsweek, but there's more at the New Statesman, the New Republic, Aeon etc. I have two non fiction books published in the last year: The Fall of the House of Murdoch, available through Unbound or Amazon, and Beyond Contempt: the Inside Story of the Phone Hacking Trial, available via Canbury Press or also on Amazon. I am currently contributing to a new site for open source journalism, called Bellingcat, and advisor (along with Sir Harry Evans and Bill Emmott) to an exciting new crowdfunded journalism startip Byline

Getting in Contact

My generic email is my first name at peterjukes.com. That should get through to me pretty quickly. My Linked In profile is here. For non journalistic inquiries, for television stage and film, contact Howard Gooding at Judy Daish Associates. Examples of my television work can be found on IMDB. This links to the site for my forthcoming musical, Mrs Gucci. My radio plays can be found in various audiobook formats on Amazon and elsewhere.

 

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