The Realm of Photahsiamirabel

A home of inspirational poetry, music and video by Lisa Gabriel and her friends

A Pearl on the Isle of Thanet


This page is dedicated to the writing of a true friend. Someone who knew me long before I knew myself, who cared from a distance and kept the caring alive for thirty years, my friend Gordon….


Gordon Brenchley is a musician, singer and published poet. The poems here are copyright please so do not use or copy them without seeking his permission.

You can contact Gordon via his email address:-

There will be more from Gordon soon!

Keep Christmas song

Keep Christmas song
Bold voices shine
As people were
Past generations
They did
We shall
They shone
We sing
It's a christian thing.

 (c) G.Brenchley 2010


Birds of September 2001

When a sparrow lands on a gutter
It banks in a flurry
But when a swallow
Approaching  a platform of rest
Or its nest under the eaves
It arrives like and arrow
Straight to its goal
Casual, nonchalant, lethal.

So flew those Birds of September
Great birds Circling like vultures
Approaching those welcoming eaves of glass
Disappearing through wuthering towers
Nonchalant as swallows.

All Rights Reserved, (c) Gordon Brenchley


Sauna prison
Vaporises my energy
Into eight-stone-two

A rainless cloud
Moisture on a brow
Ice cold

Feet throbbing
An old injury
Planted in leather
Touching turf lush grown
Bird dry-lipped
Tying on the manner
Of an eagle

Filly near season
On her toes
Like boiling eggs
Twenty eyes all directions
I sense an equine vortex
Tart, jezebel, minx, sphinx
Against my concern
Smallness, empty stomach

All for a quick kamikaze dive
Down the Musselburgh chute
She's the favourite for god's sake

And cute.

(c) Gordon Brenchley, reproduced with permission

(Musselburgh is a racecourse near Edinburgh and boasts the fastest sprint track in Britain, being virtually all downhill).

A Pearl on the Isle of Thanet


Waters in the bay sparkling like sapphires

A suntrap

Catching the punters

The dosh

Hungry kids by day

Thirsty carousers by night

Chips and burgers selling by the tonne

Mostly ending on the benches

Devoured by pigeons and the majestic gulls

Who strut like racehorses with

Their long muscular white necks

Padding ever closer to the consumer

Waiting for the inevitable offering

Before wheeling in the sky, screaming,

The punter and the seagull

Laughing in careless sport


© All rights reserved, Gordon Brenchley



Gas Station Fling


Hundrum work brought us together

Our bonding stood

On the need to support each other

Fumbling cash like sister and brother

A hulk and much the older

A shrimp and more the bolder

Referred to my “sexy bum” the hussey

My thoughts got busy

And my heart to build

A rosebush in that empty field.


Not comely this gorgon

My first thought

Petite and very slim

Black hair music lover

Humour to the brim

With my bulk and

This figure tiny and trim

We made a single blood to flow

An erratic affair

The garden seemed to grow.


Repeatedly “I love you” she said

Tight arms about my neck

Later she’d be at my throat

I’d get the F word the C word

Heckles of fire from cold to hot

And when she’d blown the lot

With my sustained silence

She softened as a dove for

Me alone my hopes

High again in that infertile zone.


Some affairs survive others can’t.

But what did she do

Take off with a mister ninety-per-cent?

Pick up with the handsomest man in Kent?

No, she went off with her aunt.


© All rights reserved, Gordon Brenchley


Wash Me Truly


If I were a pillar of rock

I could stand in the shower

And let the water do the work

No need to stretch and

Bend my tree-trunk body

My arms a knotted branch

Spared the pains of

Soaping and rinsing those illusive

Little places and plains that a

Supple young body might reach

I’m not a peach

I notice that four tiles are missing

Just at the point where I might

Have perceived my reflection

Just as well.

Clouding the miasma

Comes breakfast porridge

A burning smell.

Smouldering phrases come to mind

There’s never a pen in the shower

Then off sings the bloody phone

I tiptoe alone, all wet to the bone

Not the most opportune hour.


© All rights reserved, Gordon Brenchley


Angel of Affection


Must my angel of affection so

Take on my imperfections? No

But humdrum life whatever

We might live it out together

We should play among the showers

We could drink the sun like flowers

My dire life which on me clings

Would melt away beneath your wings



© All rights reserved, Gordon Brenchley




More from Gordon....



After ten day's absence

Somewhere down the line

I'd got home, fridge was empty, fine

And took the bus to Tesco's

Orbiting a normal round

Up Cromwell Road , under the bridge

T'wards Borstall hill at edge of town.


Here we passed the saddest pub  

A sight to chill all drinking souls

Each window was a metal sheet

Full of little holes.

''My God'' I thought

“They've sunk the Ark''

I stared with horror, disbelief

A place I'd took for granted

And now it's come to grief.


I pondered as we rumbled

Up the hill on my free ride

How volatile is society

With its ebb and flow of the tide.

Quality drinking a dying art

Bonhomie jokes quizzes and draws

A flick of a dart and the music

Relief from confinement indoors.


For it's one by one, each a lost home,

Sinks a landmark in our town

The Nelson, Steam Packet, Rising Sun

The good ship Guinea; they all went down .

'Noah's Ark', have you really quit the scene ?

No Mount Ararat rising for you

Not a rainbow on the horizon

No olive branch from out the blue?

I arrived home from Tesco's

And rattling four by four

My twelve green cans of lager

Fell clattering to the floor .


(c) Gordon Brenchley, All rights reserved, reproduced here with the author's permission.



(An incident from 2003. I must say the 'Spices' restaurant is highly commendable)







I watched the billowing sky

The scrabbling branches

The clattering telephone wires

Set on by the bullying breath

Of the winter wind.


I saw chimney pots

Standing as a company

Tall and small , in pairs

Silent like husband and wife

Like the dwellers below

They inhabit the landscape

Brooding terra-cotta spirits

Eying with suspicion

Gossip on their tongue yet

Smokeless and speechless

Like the neighbours below

Dying to talk .


These people, these chimneys

Volcanic in their redundant sleep

Silent above

Yet below they talk

In their secret dens

Always about the neighbour

They never see nor confronting .

Above, the smoke begins to rise

A smudge against the grey cloud

A darker shade painting

The dull surrounding sky.

Smoke interweaving, bonding ,

There's burning industry below

The neighbours are talking .

The winter wind passes it round.


(c) Gordon Brenchley, All rights reserved, reproduced here with the author's permission.


(This was written around 1978 , while looking from my window at Goldsmith Walk, Lincoln. The chimneys were operational back in the days when you could get ‘coal in the bath’)


1968:   dance venue, Isle of Thanet
me at twenty, dateless, brilliantined
suit ill-fitting, unforgiving, prickly, chafing.
girls fill the bar, heavily-smelling
a miasma of hair-spray, mascara, pile-up
smoking, glowing and chattering fiercely
one vodka and off they go.
as blokes smoulder against the wall
girls pair up circling handbags
to a rocking cacophany, firing up the blood.
watch how I grope for a chatline, drink in hand
in this futile wilderness.
last dance - waltz, slow.....slow at last
as a break in the ice appears.
numerous pre-hidden males
spring up like reeds bowing
over shadowy figures glued to the chairs.
the hunt is up.
suddenly she's in my arms
in the scrum I feel the shock of her skin
slender waist and fingers,
and me trying to raise that conversation.
to my right I see her stare at some figure.
as we turn I catch a nod
from an elderly dowager who isn't dancing.
(I could have made it)
how long can I keep up this dallying exchange
as around me guys are taking off
and scoring heavily.
as I sense her damp palms, my glasses steam up
and the band growls a muffled goodnight.
she disappears as quickly as she came
enveloped in an eruption of applause, bodies, steam, and smoke.
"last drink mate?"  "yeah go on"
little mercies are sweet
after a date with Armageddon.

(c) Gordon Brenchley