ineluctable and rampant naïveté …

gazing at the night / as my eyes passed the jagged hole / my head disappeared




                                                            gazing at the night
                                         as my eyes passed the jagged hole
                                                my head disappeared

                                                                                            when it all goes wrong
                                                                      and I am not the person I thought I was

                                                                (even when I thought
                                I was the person who had understood that I am not the persons
                                                I would like to be)

                                I am left – clean and confused –
on some faraway beach usually (eventually) looking around for
                new clothes to wear but

                                                potentially (fortuitously)
                I could stand       where I am       and wear the clothes I haven’t got with
                                no shame or embarrassment …

… well, I like to write (from the middle of nowhere); I sit (but still working on the still); I wear the cowl, the cape and the skyline of the Batman; I am stuck in the Plumstead of my emergent childhood; I am (constantly) diffident (except when I think to be a leader); I am parent whose field is wider than the sky; I am husband whose picture is more than the point; I am teacher lower than the waves (cannot cope with the splattering in the eyes and the spluttering out the nose) …

                                                                … in the great wash
                                of life I am of no effect but then everything has happened
                                                because of this





Batman wormhole: where the real action // always is
beach wormhole: September – silhouette of leaf // the / inside and the / outside
being wormhole: enjoy the activity
childhood & emergence wormhole: H e a v e
doing & identity wormhole: enjoy the activity
emptiness wormhole: un … able
eyes & windows wormhole: oh,
field & sky wormhole: To my Mum
haiku(esque) wormhole: 1972
life & writing wormhole: Trinity Arts
night wormhole: ‘the red and white …’
Plumstead wormhole: Plumstead – Woolwich – Plumstead 290508 – / the breath of London
sitting wormhole: (another / gulp of air)
skyline wormhole: in desperation and worthless art
teaching wormhole: career came to naught …


enjoy the activity




                                   nothing at all is important
                                   in the doing of it alone

                                   nothing is important either
                                   because it is done well or

                                   because it was done with good
                                   motive or done with impact

                                   or renown or a ticked box (on
                                   someone else’s career) and

                                   yet everything happens as
                                   it will whether done by you

                                   or not it has to be done
                                   by you (if it involves you)

                                   whether you do it with bells
                                   on or do it with resentment

                                   or even don’t do it – may as
                                   well do it breathing out

                                   anything superfluous and
                                   enjoy the activity that is left





being & doing & identity wormhole: Trinity Arts
talking to myself wormhole: not yet quite sure / what


Trinity Arts




                                              Trinity Arts

                carpet tiles on a concrete floor,
                feeling flat but cannot remember why

                in the old church arts centre finding
                no legacy in doing or creating beside

                dark pink uplight gothic archway
                wondering why ever I needed My Day

                hearing Dylan between long blows
                of Spanish from the next table like a bebop line far far beyond required staves and clefs who

                wrote the songs at the time and
                cannot craft them now whishing

                there was less career in my being
                and more breathing





being & identity & writing wormhole: addicted / compulsive / identity
breathing & doing wormhole: Hypnopompia
career wormhole: the lines are not that straight / after all
carpet wormhole: poised patiently for / hours
creativity wormhole: the Apple
life wormhole: oh,
light wormhole: 1972
pink wormhole: dream 260713
recognition wormhole: what to do
talking wormhole: letters to Mum VI – Years / after you have gone. Still.
time wormhole: I’ve only just realised / after so many decades / that the smell of neglected land is lilac buddleia
Tunbridge Wells wormhole: dream / 221297






                                you walk past the curvéd
                                windows with your lace-up
                                DMs and rumpled skinny jeans
                                leaning slight to each step

                                retracted jaw with hooded eye
                                searching a head past hair draped
                                like a curtain developing a
                                hump already in her short life –

                                there she is again bought a
                                pair of bug-eyed sunglasses
                                now the hump is gone and
                                the following foot sweeps





coffee shop wormhole: gold wedding band
eyes & hair wormhole: Dionne Warwick
girl & muse wormhole: bottom of Herbert Road to the / foot of Eglinton Hill dream
life wormhole: Hypnopompia
passing wormhole: separate
posture wormhole: thar she perched
walking wormhole: ‘in the midst of winter …’
windows wormhole: ‘the dining room …’


‘in the midst of winter …’




                                                                  in the midst of winter
            the spirit-cries of crows echo through the naked elms like bronchi
                             two lone walkers on the path





echo wormhole: under silent direction of architecture
walking wormhole: To my Mum
winter wormhole: gold wedding band


addicted / compulsive / identity





                lookithat! –

                                a completely empty page:
nothing here but the feint lines to suggest there is nothing here
                                              at all

                                I certainly can’t look at it
                                              it makes me anxious even
                                                              to notice it

                                              which is why it fills with words – even now –
                                                              to make any sense at all
                                left to write covering enough of nothing to make it seem alright

                                                              to confirm that there is something there to see
                                to ensure that there is something there for me
to see that there is something there to be





being & realisation wormhole: not yet quite sure / what
groundlessness wormhole: tag cloud poem VIII – growth
identity wormhole: Hypnopompia
meaning wormhole: mass
words wormhole: thar she perched
writing wormhole: letters to Mum VI – Years / after you have gone. Still.







                first you encounter steel-wool static
                                clouds of it
                like a noisy class in a bottomless afternoon
                                              then you
                remember to breathe and regroup yourself a little
                                                              too much
                and slip-slide away on grey silken handkerchiefs from
                                              one scene
                to another until it all just stops and then you can
                                get up
                and bustle around sorting out the house





breathing wormhole: letters to Mum VI – Years / after you have gone. Still.
clouds wormhole: To my Mum
doing & identity & life wormhole: not yet quite sure / what
grey wormhole: mass
sleep wormhole: darkness


Dionne Warwick




                                Dionne Warwick

                her note skipped and perched about the pediments and cornices
                                above the street-pastel traffic and
                                leaning streetlights and wires
                                and loga-rhythms

                                through hair and style
                                with eyes made-up
                                and always lingered          a little
                                to catch up with

                                              the proper coda





buildings wormhole: our whore-y little compromises
Dionne Warwick & streetlight wormhole: To my Mum
eyes wormhole: bottom of Herbert Road to the / foot of Eglinton Hill dream
hair wormhole: thar she perched
searching wormhole: dream 260713
streets wormhole: 1972







                                 rain-sprinkled tarmac
                      evening shop lights petrol rainbow
                           in the gutter





1972 wormhole: 1972
evening & rain & streets wormhole: To my Mum
haiku(esque) wormhole: after the storm
light wormhole: thar she perched
shops wormhole: I’ve only just realised / after so many decades / that the smell of neglected land is lilac buddleia


the Apple


AfL apple


Teaching and learning can ONLY happen organically – when infused, before, during and after, with an understanding of how a mind builds its cognitive structure.   It’s simple: Knowledge >>> Understanding >>> Evaluation (KUE; actually I wonder if ‘Exploration’ is a better word than ‘Evaluation’, less preclusive, more open).   You can teach unorganically, reductively, intensively (as in, farming), results-led (value-bled).   It is much easier to measure (and therefore be used as political manure) like this.   But the learning becomes Pavlovian – set stimulae, set responses to get the grade – pupils are given the knowledge, and they learn (= remember) it, or not.   Pupils are also given the Understanding and the Evaluation/Exploration, and they learn/remember that as well, or not.   They are not taught, as such, but are Educationally Behaved.   Organic education is … the teacher’s apple (look at the shape of the diagram).


Preparing: teaching is the unpacking of (already established and recognised) knowledge.   Unpacking happens every lesson, beginning with the identification of the Learning Objective (Learning Horizon) from the curriculum.   Having focussed on the horizon, the map to it is opened-out by the teacher.   The map is the structure/template through which to unpack knowledge – the components of Knowledge, Understanding and Evaluation (KUE) which are the structure and levels of cognitive learning – and this map is the PLANNED lesson.   The way to write the map is to start with the learning objective and ask three sets of questions which deconstruct it into its constituent cognitive components – what are the facts (K), how do they work (U), what are the issues (E)?   The answers to these questions yield the raw ingredients of the lesson.   This level of analysis is conceptual and learned and requires a mastery of the subject in order to achieve it, clearly and efficiently.

Tasking: then comes the creativity in the lesson planning.   Working from the raw ingredients you ask: how could the pupil find, identify, collect, collate etc. the facts of the topic (knowledge), how could the pupil connect the facts together to see how the topic functions (understanding), how might the connections be tested to evaluate the functionality of the topic (evaluation)?   What is different about this stage of questioning is that you are thinking of questions that enable pupils to make the discovery themselves – the creativity is in the enabling, thinking of tasks that let them work the cognitive way back to the learning objective from discovery (of facts features – knowledge) through linking (the knowledge – understanding) to playing (with the links – evaluation).   If the tasks do not allow discovery/linking/playing then they have lost reference to what they were trying to achieve (the Way to the learning objective) and they become directionless and pointless – there is activity, but it is not clear why it is being done even though it may have some related or recognisable association with the learning objective.   The key, therefore, to this stage of lesson planning, is to build not any-old tasks that keep them occupied for a lesson, but tasks which ‘window’ the discovery, ‘thread’ the linking and ‘allow’ the play: growth.   If you ask the right questions in the lesson, the learning will grow itself.   Once you have got the questions right, only then do you think about resources and delivery – a mere formality after the main work of questioning has been done.

Lesson: then comes the magic of the lesson.   The pupil works as far as s/he can through the lesson (K > U > E) and checks their progress through feedback which is phrased in the same KUE references.   The journey is made naturally if the lesson has been constructed right ( // the questions have been posed organically).   There is no chore here (in the sense of work for a deferred or prospective outcome), there is the momentum of: what-is-it, how-does-it-work, let’s-play-with-it?   The learning should develop through stages of integration: having found things (discovery), you see how those things fit together (how they work, function), then you test how they fit together (practise their use if the subject is a skill, develop their use if the subject is a study).   There should be no sense of having to lead-the-horse-to-water, the only thing holding back the pupil will be h/er current cognitive development.*

*There are some pupils with a measured low cognitive ability (i.e. CAT score), or low ability to develop (SEN), who, indeed, are ‘stuck’, lesson after lesson, year after year, because – I would argue – they have inexorable experience of task-for-no-immediately-discernable-gain which emphasises the frustration that their diagnosis identifies.   Organically grown lessons should enable practice, lesson after lesson, year after year, of meeting the limit of their cognitive and learning ability and then pushing that limit a little further, rather than confirming their limit.   In this way their education would truly be a transformative experience of growth rather than a consignment to limitation.

Feedback: after the journey has been made, the product of the lesson is given to the teacher who measures how far the pupil got and puts a level/grade on it.   Every lesson.   Is this onerous?   No, because the breakdown of the lesson by the teacher should be clear and organic enough that the measure of the progress through it will be one of recognition, of mere identification: does it have those facts, does it show the connections between the facts, does it use/test the connections?   The only ‘new ground’ that might be developed in the pupil’s work (and will therefore need more than cursory viewing) will be the higher explorations in evaluation; but these will be new findings, new applications, and the teacher will want to read them in full.   Will the teacher need to give summative and formative analysis for each piece of work?   Once there is a shared assimilation of cognitive development (K > U > E through teaching, K > U > E in learning) between teacher and pupil, borne through lesson-after-lesson, year-after-year of organic experience … no.   Until then, yes, but make it a learning experience: single-word summations, prods, suggestions, questions, directions related directly to the level they have brought their work to and the next step beyond it.   Again, if the cognitive road-map of the lesson has been constructed clearly and organically then the summative and progressive feedback to be given is clear.





creativity wwormhole: relapse
evaluation & knowledge & understanding wormhole: Structure & d y n a m i c
learning wormhole: no biggie:
results-led education: what I am about to say is true / what I just said was a lie



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