A collection of poems and other writings...

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Eve visited
we sat alone
in the 
John Peel
CafĂ© sharing
cola from a tall
glass bottle on the
 red formica between us

she drew on her cigarette
and blew smoking bubbles
through the brown liquid

her coal black eyes
her lips smiling
round the straw

and smoke rising


Monday, 28 July 2014


This April sun
does nothing to warm the air.
Thursday morning and
a remnant of light frost
hunkers in the shadow of the churchyard wall
treacherously icing the flags.

His birthday
and his burial:
this father’s day
his funeral.

The charcoal car breathes
around noiseless corners;

the creak of
crumpled tissues
thumbed in closed hands –
hands clinging to hands –
private thoughts etched on a public face;
moist inhalations;
the mild grinding of
Goodyears on gravel.

We hang powerless
in this enormous moment
that, yes, will pass
although we know not how –

while you sit at the window table
of King Alfred’s Kitchen
checking the menu
in the midmorning sun,

a teacake,
lightly buttered,
and a bright cup of tea.

And what you do,
I have done
and will do again.
But at this time
the black hole within me
sucks all meaning from the surrounding world
the impenetrable
event horizon
that freezes the senses
and strikes us all dumb.

You glance up to see the hearse in front
And I see you search
the rear windows of this
following cortege
looking for a face to recognise.

Our eyes momentarily meet
before you look back
to the menu card
and brush an uncomfortable crumb
from the lace cloth

spread before you.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

How It Ends

Lyrics to a song I wrote a couple of years ago followed by a link to a rudimentary recording of it!

It started as promise
and ended as a curse.
Your presence was a comfort
now I just can’t get away.

Things seemed to be much better
but they’ve ended up much worse.
Your future held a secret
and you just wouldn’t say.

So is this how it ends?
Is this how it ends?
Can you break your silence?
Can I make amends?
Is this how it ends?

It’s ended as a nightmare
though it started as a dream.
You seemed to be a princess
but you were a tyrant queen.

Though it started as a whisper
it’s ended as a scream.
We were thirsty in the desert
till we found this poison stream.

So is this how it ends?
Is this how it ends?
Will you break your silence?
can I make amends?

Is this how it ends?

How it ends?
Can we still be lovers
When we’re not really friends?
Is this how it ends?


Friday, 4 July 2014

In This Garden

In this garden
our parents surround us,
apple trees in June,
this custard sun
poured through dappled leaves

and here
are tennis ball catch games
among the dewy grass
and wet knees
one, then two,
as butter-fingered slips
make Broken Bottles of us children.

Bad Eggs
One, two, three then throw -
Stick in the Mud
and Off Ground Touch

We are Pirates between
summer’s laundered sheets
hung on rigging lines
or we are fleeing from Witches
finding refuge in the fuschia

are buddleia butterflied

are summer puddings
and Angel Delight,
while tea-drunk adults
sit on the daisy lawn
humbly chatting
through their children’s games.
Cousins race between
flowerbeds and cricket stumps
in rubber boots bound
from one to the next
as they grow into them
and then out.

The smallest child sirens panic
as a wasp takes it prisoner
droning at the nose and jammy mouth
while the child
backs helpless
towards a parent

There were sometimes,
but not now,
fox cubs in this garden
in the early evening quiet
safe among the walled flowers
snapping at pollen flies
like lizards
then toppling each other
into a frenzied ball
before freezing
in a heart-stopped moment,
attention taken
by some unseen threat.

I’d watch them from the window

and then,
days later,
find myself there
in the very spot
they had inhabited
still seeing their berry-black eyes
in froth-furred faces

and I’d hold my face close to the damp earth
and trace their scent
still lingering in the grass.

And from where I’m sitting now
I see
a blackbird feed its chick in the bay tree
and infant sparrows on the panel fence
chirring their wings
for their parents.

When I was twelve
I would map
every exact location
of every nesting bird
in this garden
and took my daily rounds
to inspect each nest
as if my knowing
would somehow

I watched as fledglings
I swooped with worried laughter
to help the juvenile
who fluttered against the window pane
in desperate search
for some thing to perch

I watched for cats.

But it is getting late.

This midsummer sun is setting
and garden colours are
overlaid with dusky greys.

And they have gone who linked their arms
around us.

So now I in turn stretch
my hands to touch the sky
above my daughters’ heads

Stick in the Mud,
teach them to catch,
to throw,
to hide,
to find
and count the spotted
as they climb
carapace open
and wings spread
to our fingers’ tips.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Getting The Message

Walking through town
lovely Claire says
lend me a five p.

I fish one from my pocket
and hand it to her.

She takes it
then after a moment
quickens her pace
leaving me in her wake.

Two yards ahead
she flings the coin
to the pavement

- the sound of metal
hitting concrete,
cold and brittle –

And that’s what I think of your ring!
she announces.

And strides off
leaving me
speechless and blushing

baffled and pitying