Tom Phelps


I have published three books of poems, “Our Surgery, The Rag & Bone Man, The Hook & Wheel and Other Poems”, “The Load Of Coal And Other Poems” and “The Humour Of The Valleys And Other Poems”, all of which are available to purchase via this website. To do so, please click the ‘Shop‘ link in the menu above. 

N.B. Prices include postage to all UK addresses. If you’d like your order delivered to anywhere else other than the UK, please don’t hesitate to email me – – for details.


Book 1: Our Surgery, The Rag & Bone Man, The Hook & Wheel and Other Poems

Includes ‘I was John Wayne (in a cardboard box)’, ‘Well, Well, I Never’, ‘Ych-a-fi’, and ‘The Supermarket Trolley’

An extract from, ‘Patriotism of the Ex-Patriot’

The Patriotism of The Ex-Patriot
The most ardent Welshman, it seems to me,
lives in a land across the sea,
The one with the largest lump in his throat
when the anthem is played, is living abroad.
When the male voice choir sings, who sheds the first tears?
Why, the person who hasn’t lived here for years.
And the picture of Wales often hangs on the wall
of the one who hasn’t lived here at all,
but whose grandparents did, and they told him the tales
that have made him forever a lover of Wales.

The land of the neighbour ‘who cares about you’,
the land of my fathers and mothers too,
The land of hiraeth, hwyl, Eisteddfods and song,
the land to which I’m proud to belong.
But the ex-patriot’s love for the land we call home
is often ignored by those who don’t roam.
Our special inheritance should always be
noted and appreciated by you and me.
This, I’m beginning to realise,
so, thank you ex-patriot, for opening my eyes.

Tom Phelps


Book 2: The Load Of Coal And Other Poems 

Includes ‘The Gambo’, ‘Catty & Dog’, ‘Didoreth’ and ‘The Right-Sided Diet’

An extract from ‘In A Mining Community’

When coal mines were dotted all over the place
and the man walked home with dust on his face
because underground work was his destiny,
we lived in a mining community.

When the time was told by the sound of a hooter
and the child was thrilled with a ‘home-made’ scooter.
When grandma was lovingly known as Mamgu,
we lived in a mining community.

When the boy started work at a very young age
and all through his life went to work in a cage,
it was just a facet of normality,
we lived in a mining community.

When the washing was hung on a line with a pulley
and the lane out the back was called the gulley.
When we around a table to enjoy our tea,
we lived in a mining community.

Tom Phelps


Book 3: The Humour of the Valleys and other poems

Includes ‘Fly Paper’, ‘Cwtch’, ‘The. Mangle’ and ‘Valley Nick Names’.

 An extract from ‘The Sheep and The Radiogram’

“Hello Dad-cu, what are you doing here?”
“Not a lot boy, I’m hiding from your grandmother.
Well, not hiding really, but staying out of her way.
I decided that this shed is the best place for me today.
Tell me, when you came through, did you see
A houseful of women? Well actually three.
Your grandmother and her two sisters? Now then,
When they get together, it is no place for us men.

Tom Phelps