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 John Barclay

Welcome to my website!

If you send me a message and I think it’s suitable for my readers I will put it on this page for a month under your name.







1 Gazing at the Moon

Whenever I’m out in the dark, I look for the moon to see what phase it has reached. I myself hjave reached the phase in my life of taking pleasure from the full moon, something I was too busy for when I was younger. Now, I work out whether the moon is waxing or waning. Waxing and waning is something I do a lot myself these days, but not on a regular basis, unlike the moon. If the moon is waxing, I keep an eye on it to catch its night of maximum fullness. I look out early evening, when it seems larger than usual because then it appears close to terrestrial objects such as trees and building; later it seems smaller, lost in the middle of the vast dome of the night sky.

I think of the human explorers who fifty years ago landed on the moon. and I call to mind the millions of people who gazed at the moon long before Armstrong and Aldrin,and I try to imagine what they made of it. I must be a “luna”tic!



(a poem for Halloween)

I’ve always lived inside my body,
but tonight I mean to come out
of my shell and take off like a
ghost. And if I’m lucky I’ll
succeed in infiltrating someone
in their sleep – it could be you!
I’ll overcome your spirit, take
its place, and everyone will wonder
what on earth’s got into you.

Of course I take the risk that while
I’m out enjoying this adventure
someone else’s spirit will
invade the premises I’ve left
unguarded. The intruder, like as
not, will be a displaced spirit –
so again it could be you.
This means, my friend, that tonight
you and I may swap identities.

You have been warned!

John Barclay



I like it when stars of entertainment use their pulling power to speak sense to the world. Ariana Grande said: “We need love, unity, peace and gun control.”



I am thrilled still to be receiving feedback about “Surface Male”. An email from a lady, on holiday in Spain with her husband, says that “three chapters in” he was “enthralled” with my book, which he declares “knocks spots off Bryson and Pete McCarthy “. Meanwhile, a lady from the Republic of Ireland has requested four items listed on my “Free Comedy Material” page (see below), so I’m a happy little bunny..




What were you doing when you heard the news of the death of Diana, formerly Princess of Wales? I was in San Francisco. I noticed that American television coverage of the tragedy was extensive and I was surprised to see the US national flag (the stars and stripes) flying at half mast.



I am in my seventy-fifth year. Time to take stock. I read that tackling new challenges can keep you young, but I am also aware that time is running out. I have therefore decided I should concentrate on finishing the projects I have already started:

reprint my out-of-print book of poems

finish my collections of poems for family reading

publish, probably on-line, my memoir of ten weeks travelling slowly across France, which was the prototype for “Surface Male”

de-clutter my office, my house and my life.




I now offer a special service to my visitors – free comedy material. I realised that I had written a number of sketches, mini-dramas, song lyrics and so on, and liked the idea of sharing them with people with similar interests to my own. I felt it would be too much work to sell the stuff, so I am giving it away. Nearly all of it has been tried and tested by me or people close to me. Please see my new Comedy Material page.