Welcome to Alan's blog! Below you can view my most recent posts...


    My new book for 8 to 12 year olds published by Fantastic Book tells of the  loving relationship between 9 year old Kirk and his Grandad, Sidney Mudge. After hearing a story about a rich boy’s rocking horse at school …Read More »
  • Cain & Abel

    Cain & Abel

    The land of nod is a small Humberside village. When I drove past the lane end it set off my curiosity about the Bible story. It's still not satisfied!Read More »
  • RIP David Bowie

    RIP David Bowie

    Bowie died on January 11th. Famous as a stylist and the owner of multiple personas, but most of all as an original musician.Read More »
  • India 4: Post Scriptum

    India 4: Post Scriptum

    INDIA: POST SCRIPTUM Apparently my three part account of India was enough to put my American friend off India for life. I wouldn’t want to leave it like that because I actually feel quite positive about the land and my …Read More »
  • India trip – part 3

    India trip – part 3

    INDIAN HOLIDAY – Part 3 The road to Jaipur, a four hour journey, consisted of UK quality motorway and third world village roads with small herds of cows stumbling across the road from adjacent fields. We were back in Rajasthan, …Read More »
  • India: Part 2

    India: Part 2

    From Delhi to RathnamboreRead More »
  • INDIA HOLIDAY : part one

    INDIA HOLIDAY : part one

    My 2016 trip to India with Abby. Part one. Two to followRead More »
  • To Paint a Portrait of Autumn (after Jaques Prevert)

    To Paint a Portrait of Autumn (after Jaques Prevert)

    I am trying to capture a complex emotion associated with autumn, its intense beauty and its strong link with death reinforced by attendance at a friend's funeral on the day of writing.Read More »
  • Suddenly the Swans

    Suddenly the Swans

    This is one of a suite of poems that I'm writing about 'village life'Read More »
  • Hubris, What Hubris?

    Hubris, What Hubris?

    Chilcot published 7/7/16Read More »
  • Public Servants

    Public Servants

    It's amazing what a fertile imagination can construct in a fleeting second from the comfort of a motor car.Read More »


    How an unexpected moment can live in one's head as a haunting memoryRead More »
  • The Bad Thing

    The Bad Thing

    If you don't know what the bad thing is, you don't need to read this poem.Read More »
  • John’s brain

    John’s brain

    Signing over somebody else's bits is not problem-freeRead More »


      CRUCIFORM A bird flew into the glass of my window today leaving its ghostly outline on the pane; I threw open the window and glanced below, searched in vain for its broken form in the snow. I have left …Read More »
  • A Yorkshireman I’m Not

    A Yorkshireman I’m Not

    After living in Yorkshire for well over half of my days, I reckoned it was time to capture the essence of a Yorkshireman. I've tried to use an unusual rhyme structure which doesn't quite always work out!Read More »


    Communication has never been so rampant and random. Is anything meaningful being shared?Read More »
  • RIP Robert Black

    RIP Robert Black

    A day after the death of 'hero' David Bowie came the death of anti-hero Robert BlackRead More »
  • RIP David Bowie

    RIP David Bowie

    On Jan 11th - Bowie - a man of many personas passed awayRead More »
  • The Young Parents

    The Young Parents

    THE YOUNG PARENTS the young parents rolling down the hill, a pushchair to the fore, in front a son on a trike. Suddenly the father is alert, senses danger lurking at the coming crossroads; suddenly realises eternal vigilance is the …Read More »
  • Isis: can the west defeat them?

    Isis: can the west defeat them?

    This was presented as a speech to the Scarborough Forty Club on November 26th. I hope it presents some enlightened thinking. There's not a lot of it around on this topic.Read More »
  • A Stroke Sonnet

    A Stroke Sonnet

    I am doing some writing for the stroke magazine 'Stroke Matters'. Stroke victims get a copy of the magazine when they leave hospital. I had my stroke in 2006 and made a fantastic recovery thanks to thrombolisation. Poor feeling in …Read More »


    About the mixed messages we give childrenRead More »
  • A Lorryload of Death

    A Lorryload of Death

    One of the worst news stories of the 2015 refugee crisis - 71 people left to die in a meat lorry. Two Bulgarians and a Lebanese trafficker simply locked them up and left them to die on a layby. My …Read More »
  • Downsizing


    A poem about moving house involving two people with opposed values!Read More »
  • The face we deserve

    The face we deserve

    Heard a chance remark that people finish up with the face they deserve. Thought it raised interesting issues - how our thought processes and emotions find permanent expression in our faces. I didn't even know that George Orwell had used …Read More »
  • Spotlight on East Ayton

    Spotlight on East Ayton

  • Snowbones


               SNOWBONES Snowbones are what is left When Spring warmth melts the snow body So earth becomes a gibbeted giant. Like badly-kept secrets Snowbones are scattered across moorland Or dashed along hedgerows, The rearguard of winter’s army. Seen from above, …Read More »
  • Caterwauling


    Considering a dear old cat who hangs onto a painful life which, in her own way, she loves dearly.Read More »
  • Bridlington Poetry Festival

    Bridlington Poetry Festival

    What a day yesterday was. Scarborough Poetry Workshop performed as the openers in Bridlington Poetry Festival. We took the first hour with Helen B acting as the ringmaster as we fulfilled an extended metaphor: the circus. We each took a …Read More »
  • The People’s Friend

    The People’s Friend

    Looking for new writing projects it makes sense to target the DC Thomson publication, The People’s Friend. It carries more original short stories than any other UK publications. Its values are very traditional, very safe, but that doesn’t mean that …Read More »
  • An Economic Refugee

    An Economic Refugee

    Politicians the world over are trying to ease our consciences in the face of terrible images. We must discriminate between genuine refugees and economic migrants they are telling us. Poetry can unveil the hypocrisy and inhumanity of such nonsenseRead More »
  • The 2015 Election Blues

    The 2015 Election Blues

    I feel warn out with it all. They're coming at you from all sides and without a break. A little rhyming poem that hopefully conveys my frust-rate,Read More »
  • Katie Hopkins’ Feast

    Katie Hopkins’ Feast

    Hopkins has combined the social media and outrageous comment to earn herself a cool £600k annual income. Another sad reflection on the values of our society that newspaper editors and radio producers use such means to stretch their audience ratings,Read More »
  • A Class of My Own: Kids in the news

    A Class of My Own: Kids in the news

    The media loves the honesty of children. Their comment can be very empowering as I learned through starting newspapers at two schools in which I taught.Read More »
  • In a class of my own: a dynamic lesson

    In a class of my own: a dynamic lesson

    The moral of the story is… you can teach in a passive way. Sitting kids down and ramming into them historical facts, great literary quotes and all the scientific and mathematical formulae. They might listen and learn and they might …Read More »


    A poem about the suicide of Ian Lam. An incident that highlighted all that is wrong with the age of social media. The poem's voice is a member of the mob.Read More »
  • The Boy Artist

    The Boy Artist

    A poem based on a story I am writing in verse form: 'The Scarborough Hound'Read More »
  • In a class of my own: Trevor

    In a class of my own: Trevor

    Trevor, a West indian lad at the school where I taught, showed immense promise as a runner, but the enthusiasm was more on the teacher's behalf than Trevor's.Read More »
  • In a class of my own: Ghost Busters

    In a class of my own: Ghost Busters

    Some of the most important lessons that you teach are not in the classroom. This story is about an incident that took place in an allegedly haunted bedroom. Illustration by Alan Stuttle.Read More »
  • In a class of my own

    In a class of my own

    An occasional series that looks at how life in the classroom has changed during the course of my teaching career. 50 years ago I started off at Rawmarsh Secondary. Illustration by my friend Alan StuttleRead More »
  • The Jeremy Kyle Show

    The Jeremy Kyle Show

    Jeremy Kyle's show was described by a senior judge as modern day bear baiting. In his show various individuals confront their nemeses - be they robbing siblings, irresponsible parents or men in denial of parentage. The far from squeaky clean …Read More »
  • Barbed Wire

    Barbed Wire

    A rap poem to be recited with a strong rhythmic accompanimentRead More »
  • Bad Breath

    Bad Breath

    Another performance poem. Made to be read aloud rather than for any deeper hidden meanings. Hope to perform this little number somewhere soonRead More »
  • Taking John for his morning walk

    Taking John for his morning walk

  • Be careful who you bully

    Be careful who you bully

    My latest performance poem. Here I try to compose a poem that treats bullying with wit. Not easy.Read More »
  • The Heck Bulls

    The Heck Bulls

    THE HECK BULLS Bulls that roamed Europe in times of yore: Aurochs – muscular, brown and shaggy; With horns that would pierce a breast, Puncture a gut or brain was best. They were fearsome things, these beasts, Breeding stock for …Read More »


    A poem about the Charlie Hebdo tragedyRead More »
  • Tales from the Chalkface

    Tales from the Chalkface

    I think I have identified my project for 2015: a collection of stories based on my 40 years working at various (mostly Yorkshire) secondary schools. Each ‘tale’ to be 1,000 words and giving an insight into schools, learning or individual …Read More »


    Always an exciting event when the postie delivers the first copy of a new book. ‘Red Card’ – out in January – has arrived from Barrington Stoke. They are thrilled with it and say it’s an outstanding story. I may …Read More »
  • The power of Facebook

    The power of Facebook

    What I've learned as a writer from my first ever Facebook venture.Read More »
  • Spirit Art / Psychic Art

    Spirit Art / Psychic Art

    Looking at what spirit art is and how I became involvedRead More »
  • Christmas cards

    Christmas cards

    the contribution of a local artist to Christmas card designRead More »
  • Childrens books & illustrations…

    Childrens books & illustrations…

    It is an accepted wisdom in submitting a script for publishing in the children’s market that, unless the author is also an artist, you do not submit graphics or illustration. The word is that should the script prove strong enough …Read More »
  • Writing a blog about village life…

    Writing a blog about village life…

    Writing a blog about village life is not as straightforward as I thought it would be. The aim was to present a one year diary about the events and villagers. It seemed to me that at 900 inhabitants (in the …Read More »

© Alan Combes, 2019. All Rights Reserved

Alan Combes