The Watcher (Poem)

The sun was high and bathing brick,

As smoke leaked from loose lips.

The crow was stood, fixed and steady;

A feathered Nelson on streetlight column;

An ink wash silhouette on aqua sky.

I couldn’t see its gaze’s aim:

Its eyes were covered, black and hidden,

And sounds that caught its quick attention,

Sent its pointed head to flicking.


It watched me while I sipped my drink;

I felt it stare, from safety, judging

If I was danger, food, or neither.

I told it, softly, not to fear us,

And felt a drunken understanding,

Between this free and peaceful bird,

And one man barely standing.


by Harry Husbands


Watercolour painting by Bee Mai – check out her other work HERE!


Between the Sleeves (Poem)

I heard a voice between the sleeves,

Where coats and hats were hung;

I moved in close to hear the voice

And listened as it sung:

“The key is not the past, my friend;

The key is every breath;

The key is not the future, friend;

The key is every step.”


Returning to my desk, I smiled,

And then I filled my lungs;

A joy began to lift my heart

And this is what I sung:

“I know the key is not the past;

There’s peace in every step;

I know the key’s not yet to come;

There’s peace in every breath.”


by Harry Husbands

Walk to Work (Poem)

The skies broke while we slept,

And covered streets a blackened sheen;

The wind is pushing silent walls

Of rain that soaks my shoes and jeans.

The parents hold their children’s hands

With hoods up and heads down;

They force their way into school

With sopping, frowning, wisened brows.

I carry on, despite it all,

With my umbrella tightened cold

Against the mundane chill of wind;

The metal arms, that shield me, bend.


by Harry Husbands


Nature is an Old Friend of Children (Poem)

Nature is an old friend of children;

The tree–that hid them

From a pelting rain–



Nature is an old friend of children;

The grass–that held them

When falling, laughing–



Nature is an old friend of children;

The dirt–that gave them

Castles, cake, and clay–



Nature is an old friend of children,

And friends are lost and made,

But how costly it is to forget

The clay, the laughter, the rain.


by Harry Husbands


For John Clare (Poem)

I am a wiser, better man for reading you;

For words that showed me all the beauty brought

In summer’s light and autumn’s quiet gloom;

For meaning, I’ve so often wrongly sought

In fancy things that flicker out

And leave me grasping, holding on to nought.


Your loneliness is shared through time

And passed through words I’ve soaked into my pores

And through your pain, you’ve softened mine;

My self-consuming woes and aching sores,

Eased by rhymes and soothed by stanzas sweet,

From those you wrote to others incomplete.


I hope you passed in gentle thoughts and prayers;

I hope you rest below the vaulted sky in death;

I hope your skin can feel the summer air

And nose can smell the meadow’s sighing breath.

And though you’re gone, I do not feel deprived;

You’re on my shelves and still alive.


by Harry Husbands


Eating Payslips (Poem)

In years that slipped with passing change,

I would have ploughed the field to eat;

I would have kneeled to dirt and scraped my life with mucky hands.

The empty greens, I pass them all;

With not a sign to what they hold;

Of what the rain or sun would mean against a gut that growled.


I harvest paper full of nothing;

I keep supplies of coloured clips,

To please a faceless name in numbing, dulling email chains

That say to keep on typing swift

And leave distracting dreams at home,

So families can be fed their warming soup on shining spoons.


I keep my payslips close to hand;

They’re all I have to live on now.

I haven’t seeds to sow,

Or sun-soaked brow,

Or crops to grow,

Or fields to plough.


by Harry Husbands


‘A Movie’ (Movie Review)


It was first announced that A Movie would be made some years ago and fans of A Book have been eagerly anticipating its arrival ever since.

You may have heard of A Movie before. You may have seen a trailer for A Movie. You may have even typed furiously on A Movie’s online message boards, arguing futilely the casting choices made without your consultation. Well let me tell you, it’s finally here, and it’s A Movie.

The film begins as most others do: with its opening scene. The main characters, central conflict and theme of A Movie were all soon introduced; not only audibly but, in a surprising twist, visually as well.

There was disconcerting talk regarding the dialogue in A Movie, but I can say with certainty that the script was written and most likely edited. There were spells of improvisation from actors who earned more money from A Movie than I’ll ever see in my life. The way the dialogue was typed beforehand and subsequently delivered in front of a camera is nothing short of remarkable.

Another discussion point for many was the acting, or lack thereof. However, having sat through A Movie, I can assure you that the actors were pretending to be the characters they portrayed and did it with their whole bodies as well as their voices and minds.

A Movie was based on A Book and controversy soon reared its head surrounding the depiction of a tale that remains loved by many. The producer of A Movie was unavailable for comment due to an injury sustained after slipping on the tears of disappointed thirty-somethings.

Thanks to many years of movie-going experience, I was correct in my prediction that A Movie would end and was shortly followed by a black screen over which white text went ever upwards, revealing names of those presumably responsible for A Movie’s production.

I found A Movie to be a use of my time and would be satisfied in discussing it in pubs to fill the void of an uncomfortable silence.

by Harry Husbands