Click on a cover to explore a book
A couple of people have - independently of each other - suggested that I consider moving my "Poem of the Month" to the front of all the accumulative blurb. This makes excellent sense (now that this slot is becoming a very extensive 'historical' report on past poems!)
I'm getting happy about the signs of Spring, and therefore put this playful, simple poem in for this month. The bees aren't out yet - if they come out too soon they've had it; like this poor wandering refugee!


Slipped onto a bus -
didn't pay.
Went for a trip -
for about a day;
maybe football match,
The Lakes, Merseyside,
maybe Morecambe Bay.

Got trapped -
couldn't get out;
just doesn't pay
to buzz about.

Time drones on -
not a bee's chance,
not a hope in hell -
even if I buzzed
the bloody bell! -
'coz I'm not Lucky
Luke or Superman,
Batman, Robin
or Peter Pan,
just Matt Buzz the bee,
who'll not survive -
never get back
to his grand ol' mates,
to his buzzy hive.

Firstly, welcome. Please click once on the three collection covers in order to get information about the content and read (sometimes also hear) a sample from each. I will be changing the samples approximately every 4th week, so that other poems can be read, should you be interested.
It is now (1st of May 2015) possible to hear readings from both 'Tality' and 'Another', which I hope will link us closer together while adding to the presentation of the chosen poems.

The section "About Me" has been static - if not to say simply boring - since this "homepage" was started. From now on I will attempt to use the space a little more interestingly by adding thoughts and doings that engage me or have recently done so. The comments will be concise. I hope you'll want to read it.

As this homepage was started in December 2014: the first "poem of the month" was JOY.
 I come from the well-known historical, legendary town of Glastonbury. Every time I'm back there, I feel a special sense of peace - probably due to treading on the remains of saints with every other step I take. Two shorter poems, SACRÉD ISLE and CELTIC PRAYER, reflect the Celtic aspect sensed when in the grounds of the great ruined abbey or when on the Tor.
The peace experienced in the town of my birth that induced the two short poems is replaced with a poem that I hope reflects my social indignation.
I get particularly irate about the suffering of innocent victims whether they be individual 'outsiders', minorities, civilians trapped in warlike and/or despotic situations. When I respond to this kind of inhumane injustice and suppression I usually endeavour to write in a distanced manner, which often results in a poem I consider to be somewhat akin to a parable. MOB-SONNET is such a poem.
As I add a new poem to this page I look out and wonder at the beauty of spring: the brightness of colour, the silent energy of growth, bud-leaf- everchanging - not least, the magic of blossoming trees. This month's poem just has to be in praise of May: POSSIBILITY.
AT ONE reflects dithering confusion.
It's about time to give you a performance-style poem: SPECIAL OFFER that's akin to some of the poems found in the latter half of my collection 'Tality Tales'.
I endeavour to challenge myself by enforcing concision upon my poetry writing. This has resulted in "Memento", my second collection of published poems. This month's poem is short; characteristically combining nature and humanity: POPPY that I hope reflects my fascination and close study of nature, both with the naked eye and with my camera.
The autumn weather - having been fantastic - has now turned dark, damp and depressive and threatening; hence NOVEMBER - made all too pertinent by the present refugee situation.
We're now well into Advent - that "once-a-year" time when we are most inclined to make contact with those we consider friends, family or aquaintances who still remain on our 'list'! DECODING CHRISTMAS CARDS reflects this.
The refugee situation in Europe  remains critical and ineffectively redressed; with so many people suffering added worry as a consequence. The crass national-protectionist political response in the coldest season seems to make the following parable all too pertinent: SWEET SUFFERING.
I really don't know just how individualist, self-centred and cynical - not to say psychopathic - our western society is becoming in its obsessive need to experience as much and as extremely as possible; even at the expense of others! I found a tv-documentary about war tourism recently so obnoxious that I had somehow to respond to it: ABROAD-THOUGHTS FROM HOME (with thanks and no intended disrespect to Matthew Arnold).
There are signs of Spring: the earlier flowers are in bloom and the birds are booming out their song ... but what exactly is the purpose of this song? This month's poem tries to show that all's not rosey in the garden, in this commemorative year for Shakespeare! SPRING'S IN THE AIR reflects beauty and love as well as ugliness and hate depending on how one hears it.
We're again in the glorious month of May. Things are hotting up, not just weatherwise. KISS NOT SPEAK expresses a strong wish for constructive, peaceful 'meeting'; both the personal one-to-one and the political one-to-one between peoples and nations.
When one is woken up at 4 a.m. by birdsong, led by our wonderful resident songster the blackbird, and watches the sun rise on another beautiful summer day in June, the social and political worries are abated; but only for a while! BLACKBIRD is just one of a number of bird poems I've been writing recently. Attempting to copy the song-patterns of birds is proving something of a fascinating obsession, and will possibly end up as a section in my fourth collection of poems, which is at the moment entitled "Mad Bird".
I'll feed you more bird food in a month or so.
There's another 'obsession' of mine at the moment that I wish to share with you this month ... Mr Donald Trump! What I write about this man and others usually takes the form of performance-orientated fictional 'monologues': CASINO KING.
As promised, we return to birdcall. Dickie and Bill are still at it. So here is (based on an old wood pigeon duet): DO YOU RECALL?
Many of the birds are quietening just now - their procreative deeds done - and some are gathering to leave for the south. I met a ludomaniac in my garden earlier who wanted to bet on when he might get together with friends and move to the woods. I told him I didn't bet or play cards for money. He didn't take no for an answer! THE CARD DEALER.
The thuggish, respectless political tone reaches yet newer depths in the USA. I find this kind of verbal violence, as any kind of violence, antithetical to beauty! Now, it's male sexist belittlement of women, which makes me hasten to change this month's poem to what I hope is something more empathetic and unifying: GIRLHOOD.
While reading an amazing work entitled "Hunger" by the Spanish writer, Martin Caparros, recently, this drab month's poem came to me: POVERTY SONG.
TO ETERNITY and MOTHER of SINS have been trying to keep each other warm for reading during the darkest part of the year. They get replaced by ELSE, a Danish girl's name, but not so in English ... which results in this wordplay poem.
It's brightening up outside with signs of Spring - soon warm enough to entice bees out. Hence this month's simple poem, with a couple of serious themes in it!  



About me

Born in his own mists of time in Glastonbury - the Avalon of Somerset - to a Welsh mother and an English father, Ian David Lukins has been living for many years in the Mols Region of Jutland, Denmark, where he has primarily been teaching, writing, translating and doing photography...


I've just completed reading a trilogy for the second time by the contemporary Icelandic writer, Jón Kalman Stefánsson. A piece of literature has to be really good before I read it again - let alone read it again almost as soon as I have put it down!

I won't attempt to come (and, indeed, can't come) with a recipe for what makes a book of literature a potential 'classic' (in this case, a trilogy I've read in Danish translation - not even in English ; let me also praise the Danish translator, Kim Lembek, for such an enriching read), but a little can perhaps be said. Such an evaluative recipe of what works, what is relevant, is good, also includes a degree of subjectivity, sensority, that is vital when reading literature, but very awkward to define or evaluate when making a decision.
In my view, this trilogy:"Heaven and Hell", "The Sorrow of the Angels", "The Human Heart" (my translations) is definitely worthy of being considered a modern classic.

 Stefánsson's writing is stunning. He seems to master the craft of writing, the whole gambit: including superb narrative description, engaging characters and situational moods, wisdom of life. If I were suddenly to find myself on the Nobel Committee for Literature (and it was the turn of Northern Europe to be given the prize!) I would have no hesitation in proposing Jón Kalman Stefánsson for the award.

Maybe it is fortunate that I am not, as (though I am partial to Bob Dylan the singer/song writer) I just cannot seriously understand why Dylan's song texts are literarily worthy of the Nobel Prize in ... Literature. A good number of Bob Dylan's texts are great social commentary, fine pamphleteering - as effective and relevant as the writings of Tom Payne. But it does not, to my mind, make them quality literature in both form and content; untied to time.

When reading fiction of the crafted quality of Stefánsson and a number of other contemporary writers (including some excellent American writers, if it, indeed, has been the turn of North America to be given this award!) I'm reminded of this less-Nobel decision with dread as a wasted ticket; dearly hoping that it is a one-off, gigantic mistake (even outdoing a couple of other questionable choices in earlier years) that just won't (can't, please!) happen again ... not in my lifetime, at least!

I don't blame Bob Dylan at all. He has got the quality that might well deserve the Nobel Prize for Music - if there were such a thing. I blame, in my endless questioning confusion 'why-how? why-how? why-how?', a group of what I can only imagine to be semi-demented hippies in Nobel ticket-holder positions, with an unbending 'junkyfied' need to further their (generation's) 'self-appraisal' to an unbelievably farcical, dissolutional degree.
Though all of us know that politics and ideology is part and parcel of the whole Nobel Prize event, I sincerely hope that the degree of such bufoonery does not repeat itself in the field of literature and the humanities in future, and that serious writers seeking new and more precise expression through words will be justly recognised and rewarded.

PS: Everything is relative, Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939!


This year (2016) many events are being organised to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. I'm one of a small group who chose to read some of his sonnets for discussion. Afterwards, I chose to go further by reading all 154 sonnets in sequence. This proved so fascinating that I have re-read them all several times since.

I have consciously tried to disregard the many wild-brewed academic theories about: who Shakespeare really was, the 'correct' sequence of these sonnets, who the young man being addressed actually was, whether or not Shakespeare was a homosexual etc. etc. and have read them closely at face value for their beauty and craftsmanship.
The read has been stunning, and revealing both as a thorough-going study of the intricate, complex character and nature of love, and as a reflection of Shakespeare's own creative, sensitive character.
The 154 sonnets - comprising two sequences: the first one, of 125 sonnets and an 'epilogal'12-liner(no.126), that I choose to call 'the beautiful youth', attempts to comprehensively characterize ideal, spiritual love; a direct 'I'voice address from Shakespeare to a man; the second sequence, comprising the final 28 sonnets, that I call 'the dark woman', at times using third-person address, portrays the character of physical desire and its detrimental effect on pure, untainted love.
In my view the irregularities, particularly in the first sequence, reflect natural changes of emotion arising out of any intimate love relationship, and enhance the constant flux of intense emotional passion and helpless insecurity any lover might feel. Shakespeare's creative genius and sensibility presents the full gambit of conflicting feelings reflecting how affected, devoted and dependent the 'I' voice is. His object of love is reverenced, urged, chastised, worshipped; receives tributes and jealous warnings.
It is in this first sequence that I sense the presence of Shakespeare; the insecure human being, full of sensibility and imagination. He lives for me so that I sense a thrill at knowing him spiritually in a way I've never discovered in his plays. In contrast, I find the wit, bitterness and distanced tone of the second sequence much more akin to that of his plays. These sonnets reveal a close relationship between Shakespeare's poetry and his passion.

Unlike the Petrarchan commentary on the meaning of love, I find myself presented in these sonnets with the direct,dramatic, vocally-witten, Shakespearean feeling of love; highlighted so masterfully by the contrastive presentation of carnal love in the final 28 sonnets, where the mistress is a lusty, luring temptress threatening - even desecrating - the ideal of pure love. In this second series the mistress is distanced and dangerous; the 'I' voice wary, feeble, subjected to her powers of seduction. The 'I' voice also expresses irony and sharp-tongued bitterness, suggesting that this 'dark woman' might well compete with him for the love of the 'beautiful youth';Shakespeare seems doubly betrayed by his two 'loves'.

I have found these sonnets not only a fascinating presentation of the multifacetted character of love, but a further aid in appreciating Shakespeare's dramas; particularly his astute understanding and awareness of human nature.

"So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." (final couplet:sonnet xviii)'

Shakespeare has done it. In these love sonnets truth and beauty have in their way defied death and the ravagement of time. We're still reading and being enriched by the insight and beauty in them more than 400 years after they were written!
I hope you'll now wish to read them yourself; aloud, of course.*

* FOOTNOTE: Now, near the end of this Shakespeare commemorative year (with four full readings of the 154 poems, plus a public reading of 14 of them in 'dialogue' with six pieces of music by Dowland under my belt), I reiterate the joy and enrichment his love sonnets have given me.
Should you wish to buy a copy of my poetry or comment constructively about any poem, please contact me via my e-mail: "ian at lukins dot dk"