Sleep on it


‘There’s just no time to think,’ says the wind to the water, barely brushing her surface as he hurries towards the night not looking where he’s going.

‘Oh, please; there’s only time to think,’ says the water to the wind, moonlight shimmering all about whilst fish ghost deep beneath and the dark comes closing in.


©James Bruce May, 2017

Watching Jupiter


Yesterday, in the early hours, I put my eye to the telescope

and flew up into space

to watch the Galilean moons weave their way around Jupiter

who spins in silence so many millions of miles away.


Chatter from smokers outside the pub along the road

cascaded from the brick walls of the terrace,

whilst up above if I looked for long enough,

I could just make out the distant stars behind the blackness of the night.

jupiter 1417

©James Bruce May, 2017


My thumb follows the veins on the back of his hand, loose skin precedes, a wave with no shore any more – It takes a long time to figure out one’s allergies, he says, quicker to understand taste but a while to understand hangovers. His smile draws the teeth of a head lice comb across his eyes and the timbre of his voice carries an assured melancholy as he continues – It takes a long time to figure out what to do with your time, and a while too to understand how little time you have. He pauses and takes my hand in his as minutes shrink to seconds – But you must be quick to realise that you still have time; you must grasp that you still have time; you still have time to live before all your time is spent. His arm quivers as he lets go and turns to the view, eyes smooth once more. I rub my thumb over the back of my hand, still waiting to finally break upon a shore.

a hill.jpg

©James Bruce May, 2016


OceanTo stand and stare was all I could do, arrested by such emptiness after months in the city; in my hand I felt the shells we held as children, their rims bone-smooth, across their backs a bite of barnacles. The wind brought waves up from the shore just as those shells once whispered lonesome stories and above went a gull without even waving a wing. I watched until it became a white speck against the glimmering empty sea and wondered which, solitude or searching, provided its impetus.

©James Bruce May, 2015

A Marathon Reading

On 31st May I’m running the Edinburgh Marathon for the Multiple Sclerosis Society!


This Saturday, 16th May, at the Rubgy Tavern, Holborn, WC1N 3ES – I will be reading a 26-minute prose-poem in the hope of gaining sponsorship for the big race. My friends Alistair Roberts and Ian Plested will also be reading, Alistair from his work focused on Cambodia, and I believe Ian will share something by Blake. There will also be limited edition marathon cookies available.

Doors open at 2pm, the readings will take place from 3pm. Food and drink is available from the pub. Hope to see you there!

You can sponsor me and support the MS Society via JustGiving here –

Thanks – James Bruce May



Start sketching, passing pencil over paper. Move your mind in arcs with unexpected turns of your wrist. Ask your heart to take your hand. Coax, gentle with whispers. Show – a cot rocks by an open window – breathe – the grey down of the pillow as you dream. Colour your sketch, your dream. Use nature: today’s winter-washed azure sky. Hum a little tune and turn another page. Liberate that page. Cradle your journal, mouth open to words, eyes open to enchantment.

©James Bruce May, 2015