Ystrad Fflur: Dusk

    Aberaeron Book Festival - Friday 1st November 2019
    Broc-Mor, Aberystwyth - Saturday 2nd November 2019
    My Photo
    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I became a poet following a life during which I travelled the world as a deck officer in the Merchant Navy, worked on the farm where I now live, and then re-invented myself as an information scientist, working for Aberystwyth University and then for my own company. Born in Sussex, I moved to Swansea and, following time at sea and my marriage, have lived in the same farm cottage in mid Wales for the last 50 years. I would describe myself as a traveller - regularly travelling overseas and within the UK, regularly exploring life. This varied background undoubtedly contributes to my poems, which have been described as "[having] a directness, honesty and crispness of diction which enables the poet to communicate the most raw of experiences with a degree of sureness restraint and power" - Mostly Welsh is a collection rooted in the Anglo-Welsh tradition, although readers may also notice other influences. There are poems of place, but perhaps the strength of the collection lies in its series of powerful poems dealing with love and loss, and with time and memory. I am currently working on a second collection of poems and have published my first work of fiction, The Dark Trilogy (Sept 2022).

    Andrew Green: Gwallter
    Caroline Clark: Welsh Book Council
    Wendy French: London Grip

    Sunday, September 18, 2022

    The Dark Trilogy: Agon

     So, a beginning. The agon, that conflict of my personae, that conflict of my characters. Today the wind has been blowing from the west and the rain, which has kept me from the little garden surrounding my cottage for the past week, continues on and off: then it was sunny...

    As I drove slowly along the country roads towards home, through the leafy shades, between the high hedges and patches of sunlight, past hamlets and villages, my mind ran back to the many times I had passed this way before. Times almost half a century ago when ...

    Friday, September 16, 2022

    Introducing Trystan Lewis, poet

    In The Dark Trilogy, Trystan Lewis the poet, my fictional alter ego, has his work and his life examined through the critical lens of his scholarly friend and editor. Trystan's scholarly childhood friend knows him so well! So well that in explaining the poem at the heart of the story he puts Trystan's life and his writing under a microscope! As only he could! There is so much to tell in this partly fictional autobiography that makes up the first book of the Trilogy

    And in analysing the poem and setting it amongst other poems by the poet - many of which, including some unpublished works, are quoted in the book - the scholar also finds a hidden story, one that the poet did not realise he had told. So the book holds two life stories displaced by several hundred years, histories which interweave and come together in the Welsh mountains in the present day.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2022

    It all started with a poem...

     Retrospective was published in Mostly Welsh in 2019. It begins:


         he met a force


                it held him



    ... and wonder drained the world of substance

                re-arranged the pages of his book to give more radiant

    a reading.

    It is about a life: the poet's life, my life... and as The Dark Trilogy would have it, my lives.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2022

    Publication day is September 30th!

     ... but I have author copies! And it is available for pre-order from the publisher and on Amazon.

    A book that follows one man's life might be an autobiography, but what is a book that traces the lives of two men?

    The fictional autobiography which makes up the longest book of the Trilogy holds the two histories of one man displaced by several hundred years, histories which interweave and come together in the Welsh mountains in the present day. And a part of one of those lives is traced further in the play for voices which makes up the second volume. Book three brings our characters to a resolution of kinds.

    Chris Armstrong has blended fact and fiction to create a complex story with many strands... a story of the sea, a story of passionate love, a story about a poet, a story about his friend and editor, and a story about the past: a past that the writer only understands completely at the very end of his anabasis - his journey away from the sea. 

    Sunday, September 11, 2022

    Coming soon to a bookshop near you!

     Watch this space

    Monday, February 10, 2020


    time flows
    like currents in the ocean

    and crystallises in my mind

    old tears taste
    like the sands of an empty beach

    my memory is their salt

    Wednesday, February 05, 2020

    A Poetry Reading in Aberystwyth

    At the end of last month the bookshop in the Arts Centre staged a poetry reading/book launch for a poet who had connections with Aberystwyth going back to his student days in the 1970s. Chatting to him before the reading, I discovered that he had not only lived in Bronant but in one of the other cottages that were then on the farm where I live... and that we had a friend in common! If truth were told, we must have met each other back in the seventies too - but neither of us recognised the other! And here we were - both poets! Must be something in the soil!

    Dominic Fisher was reading from The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead - a slim volume thoroughly worthwhile acquiring! A couple of the poems he read during the evening can be found on his blog at https://dominicfisherpoetry.com/2020/01/28/return-from-aberystwyth/ but these are just a beginning - perhaps the most touching was one written to be read to a friend dying from cancer - 'Pictures of us that I haven't got'. But many others deserve a read... not just a read, but several reads. I particularly liked (apart from the two Aberystwyth poems - 'Llangurig' and 'Ynyslas' - in the blog) 'From Nowhere'.

    We are here on an apple on a tree in deep space
    or on some other kind of fruit or planet
    in the middle of what we call October.

     And the poem for which the book is named.

    Sometimes these skeletons are down on their kneecaps
                    praying for wings
                    to a bone moon...

    The poems are heartfelt and honest, and many are very moving. Go out and buy the book and enjoy the read!

    Tuesday, February 04, 2020

    Sea Song

    we scattered the ground with our desire
    the past soon buried in the warm sands of the day

    laughing, you held me

    breathless I plunged into the depths
    blindly tasting your love as you raised me in the surge

    we were quiet in the undertow