Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Swan Lake

I have started posting my most recent YouTube recordings. If interested, the direct links are:
(Brighton in May 1 – Peace)
(Brighton in May 2 – The Time Keeper)

But you should be able to access my YouTube capers at any time from my YouTube channel: 

Treatment for my prostate cancer means I have to rest a lot either side of an active day out at the moment, but it is well worth it. Brighton has always been an inspiration for me since I was a kid, and it only takes an hour to get there on a fast train from  London.


This villanelle has not appeared on the blog since 2007 and is here today especially for ‘Roseanne’ and who says, ‘I adore ballet and am training to be a ballet dancer.’

Here’s wishing you every success, Roseanne.

Me, I loved Tchaikovsky’s music long before I knew he was gay. What has sexuality to do with talent, anyway, or greatness for that matter? [After all, there have been many great gay men and women throughout history.]


A love story on stage;
nerve strings of its composer
turning each page

As a bird flies its cage,
so music in glorious colour;
a love story on stage

Let dance, our pain assuage;
ensemble, solo, or pas de deux
turning each page

See art display the courage
of humankind’s old enemy, fear;
a love story on stage

Performance, paying homage
to the divided heart of its creator,
turning each page

Dancers, their talents engage
to read into art all human nature;
a love story on stage
turning each page

[NB.  Written after a brilliant performance by the Harlow Ballet Association at The Playhouse, Harlow, April 2007.]

[From: Accomplices to Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007]

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Classic Somerset

I remain very positive about my prostate cancer, but can’t deny it gets a little scary sometimes. Right now, writing up the blog, I feel fine. (Yes, I do, really!) I expect to have good days and bad days, but remain determined that the latter shall be kept to a minimum. Physically, I am in good shape and have no pain whatsoever. The battle is more of a mental one; living with the knowledge that the cancer is there inside me. I will take my cue from Monty Python and, yes, look on the bright side of life... Should I falter, a long, leisurely stroll on lovely Hampstead Heath, barely fifteen minutes walk from my front door, invariably restores me to positive-thinking mode.


While I am pleased that my new novel seems to be holding its own, I have no illusions about myself as a writer of fiction. I am not a great novelist and never will be, but I’m glad some people think I tell a good story. I certainly can’t compare myself with  writers of the world's classic fiction. All my novels, published and unpublished are available in serial form on my fiction blog. For more details, go to:

Now, one of my favourite novels as a child was Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore and it was from was this romantic adventure novel that I developed a love for Somerset. It is some years since I visited Doone Valley, but some friends have recently returned from visiting it while staying with relatives in the surrounding area. I felt inspired to take down the novel from my bookshelf, blow away the dust from its cover and devour it as eagerly as when I was a child.

Some readers may be interested in other poems I have written about Somerset that I also included in my 6th collection On the Battlefields of Love (2010). You will also find them on the BBC Somerset site:

Oh, but how can I worry about my prostate cancer when spring is here in the UK? There is so much out there to enjoy, not least in beautiful Somerset, and enjoy it I will...

This poem is a villanelle.


Doone valley, classic fiction,
timeless images…
a writer-poet’s inspiration

Come, any with a predilection
for turning nature’s pages;
Doone valley, classic fiction

At Badgworthy Water, listen
out for Carver’s rages…
a writer-poet’s inspiration

At Earth Mother’s invitation,
share a Love of Ages;
Doone valley, classic fiction

Celebration of Lorna and John
(birds sing their praises);
a writer-poet’s inspiration

Cream teas teasing imagination
to revisit R. D’s pages;
Doone valley, classic fiction,

a writer-poet’s inspiration

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011