About rick vick

Rick facilitates the Wednesday writing group. He is a writer and also organises events for Stroud Festival.

Friendship (a true story)

It is said ‘some friendships are made in heaven’ and it could not have been more true than for the two professors, he of nuclear physics she also a physicist, unknown to each other until they met at the neat house on the edge of the town, unremarkable except for the cameras and coded locks.

It did not take them long to discover that they shared a conviction, which quite simply was, that they came from distant planets and were erroneously here on this one.  All their waking hours and likely many asleep were devoted to planning their return.  There was no question that they would go together, their origins were galaxies apart, so their plans were not complicated by any emotional expectations.  They had work to do.  He drew minutely detailed blueprints of the ship that would take him home.  An identical one would take her.

Such was their enthusiasm that others in the house began to believe that they too were from somewhere out there.  They found names for their ‘proper’ homes and could describe in detail the lives and shapes they had had and begged to join one or other of the returning vessels. When told they could not they began their own plans cribbing diligently from the nuclear physicist. The doctors and nurses were initially uneasy at this lunacy but saw the excitement generated and the collective focus and did not try to disillusion their charges.  Indeed the atmosphere in the house was calmer than it had ever been which made their work easier.

One star bright night in April they decided quite spontaneously that they could dispense with all the complicated drawing and simply beam themselves home from the rooftop.  They figured the code on the door with no difficulty, found a ladder and managed to get up onto the roof.

Hope did not confuse them, nor disillusion with the present.  They knew they could move faster than God so neither time nor distance were obstacles.   Their vision of where they were going was clear.  Amongst all the stars visible and beyond sight they knew their aim but, finding themselves still up there at dawn, they realized their calculations were not quite right so returned inside to fine tune their equations.

They are there now, in that house pouring over and adding to the blue prints tacked to the walls.  There are nearly always other residents, doctors and nurses standing gazing at the complicated drawings.  No questions; awe and wonder silenced all doubt.



First time I hear the word  I sad.

Sis holding my hand bending down,

‘wave’ she says as mum turns to look at us

as they help her

into the car with the light on top.

She looks  lost,  I don’t know

why she is going?        where?

I copy Sis – lift my arm flap my hand up and down.

I go down to the beach not long after

I want to do something       I     alone

‘you gotta be brave,’ my dad said

so I slipped out the back door.

Everyone   sad.

Sis, in her room crying,

Gran, frozen face in the kitchen

washing up, moving things around –

and Dad?

not here much.

They all told me over and over, don’t go down the cliff path

to the beach alone.  Only ever been once before

with Dad when we’d moved  to the new house

a day or two or three before Mum went off.

He’d had to carry me back up,

we didn’t stay long

‘cos the tide was in   he said.

I didn’t know the name for them – those roaring giants –

The wind so strong – I so small an light –

spray stinging my face

scared, so scared

crashing onto the sand over and over

and over – rising up out there rushing in –

crazy beasts  nothing could stop.

I let go of myself – yelled an yelled

felt my crying pour over my face.

I wanted to run into the frothing

lose myself in the toss and tumble

I  stood there – stood there –

me being, being there so small

bigger than I was

big enough to let it all in –

wind, water

an all the  broken bits

– let it all in and not be eaten up by it

Harbour Found

Wild the nights when, harbour found

direction and discretion discarded

waves upon stone wall lash and froth

our bodies find their purpose.


Behind glimpsing clouds moon roams

and in our abandon, on our skin-smooth ocean bed,

we forget, enter delight,

the luxury of discovery,

spices, flavours



sweet upon our tongues.


Beneath the circling mast

            fear of wave and fear of deep

mysteries reveal themselves

in dangerous ports and sinuous bays,

intricate deep sea tendrils of electric eels

dive and hiss

come finally to rest

in the deepest ocean.



Blast the fates that blow so wild

that puff their vapours with such random carelessness.

Worn thin our skips upon the path,

our eager hurry to meet the stair that trips,

the bus that passes by ignoring the waving hand.

Blast the crow, blast the breast bright robin,

blast the blithe chatter of dawn.

A man runs before the light  –  released from lonely post

in turnip field, coat streaming, eyes aghast,

unable to outstrip the orbit of his terror, the staccato of his heart

the drum sticks of his legs flailing upon the earth.

              He hears the rolling oceans in the shells of his ears,

                              the muffled groans of the ancestors laid beneath.  He stops.

                                Feels within his body a cry of despair, a lunge off twisted joy

                                    that life contains breath and pain in such searing harmony.

Quick One

“What was it like then?”

“Go on, tell”.

“Good, was it?”

The girls stand about her, cigarettes glowing in the murk of the alley at the back of the club. The bass notes of the band inside shudder the dank brick walls. A street lamp at the far end casts a thin yellowish stain. She sucks deeply on her cigarette, savouring her moment.

“Go on tell. Do” A blonde with a bottomless cleavage holding a pint mug of beer demands.

“Yeah. It’s only fair. I told you all about mine last night. I didn’t leave nothing out neither”. Urged a short plump brunette, wobbling on her toothpick heels.

“Tell, tell.” they all insist leaning towards her.

“Well, you know him, don’t ya? Jack Bolt.’

‘Oh, Jack Bolt was it” one of the girls said.

“Shush.” The others leaned forward. “Go on.”

“Well, we went down to the bridge over the canal, you know, by the brick works.

He kissed me, hard, his tongue down my throat. I think I ‘m going to die. Honest, I couldn’t breath. Then.” She pauses.

“Then?” the plump one urges, “Then.”

“Well, he takes me up to the railway and we lie down on the bank there and he tells me to be very quiet and we wait and we wait – then he gets up and goes up to the rail and presses his ear to it. I think he’s gone daft, I do, and then he comes back and he kisses me again. I was – I was like a kettle all filled with steam wanting to whistle – then it came, the train, and he just throws himself on me and sort of shudders as the train goes roaring by, all lights and noise, and that’s that.

“Oh.” the girls all breathe, staring at her in disbelief or maybe dismay. “Was that it then, all of it? Was that all he done, nothing more?”

“Oh no.” She said flicking her cigarette away up the alley.

“That’s just the start, that is. An 11.26 quickie he called it. We’re going back for the 12.43 – that’s a goods train, he says, long and slow.”



Evan Parker Review in Stroud News and Journal

There are sounds a man can make blowing over a reed that bring down the walls.  What Evan Parker does with his breath and dance of his fingers on the keys of the alto saxophone  amaze, astonish and literally blow one away.
Thoughts vanish – impossible to compete with such vastness of expression.

He frees us from the prison of our minds.  As Evan said quietly between the first astonishing  riff and the next at SVA last Saturday night.  ‘I have been playing so long, improvising to free myself and now I wonder if I am not creating another prison’.  For us the listeners the opposite felt to be the truth.
His humble genius freed us, transported us on a voyage of discovery that had no destination, offered no solace, quite simply released us from ourselves.

I am not a musician. I do not understand music but then the beauty of music is that one does not have to understand, merely listen.  I had no idea what to
expect, not having heard Evan Parker before, but with the first notes I was
jolted, jangled, shaken free, then I felt a physical jolt in my mind and I lost

The next morning, I wrote.  I died last night.  It was a beautiful experience
and today it is raining. I died last night inhabited by a sound that annulled
all the brain cells clamouring  attention leaving a perfect void to receive and
let go into.  All the bird song ever woken and the distant hoots of trains,
waves on the shore, snow silent as an empty page, love’s ache, bars of the cage  – all vanished, for a man with a saxophone explored and discovered the timeless- ness of breath passing over a reed aided by the thoughtlessness of fingers.

Evan Parker

This is the man

It is a long time since I have experienced the essence of art – ‘the expression of the inexpressible.’  I did last Saturday experiencing the music of Evan Parker.

Rightly he has been described as ‘one of music’s greatest living
instrumentalists’. (The Times)