Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday

I worry about the human race
Fights over TV's are such a disgrace
Grasping after so-called 'bargain finds'
Demeans us as a species, and reminds
Me of pitchfork and fire wielding mobs
A rule of violent fear that robs
Us of our self-revered dignity
And strips us of our humanity.

Monday, 27 October 2014


Can we cut the potatoes with dead-eyes?
Shooting their stars to blindness
Roots choking our mouths
With tumours of manure
An underground fickle-taste
Sweating its odours
Hollow ears ring with thumping
Torn from the mangle-flesh of opinion
And leached of logic and goodwill
Can we excise this species?
Born of acid baths and crushing
And let their leaves wither and dry
In the desert of their own lacking.

Monday, 4 August 2014


A night
For lighting candles
Of when nations
Went to war -
Yet still we ask
What for?

All these smug smiles
Saluting heroes
Just charades
For a mere five thousand
Kilometres from here -
They are dying once again.

But our leaders sing
The same refrain
Of brave soldiers
Of duty
Saving us
With their sacrifices -
Which they did.

But all the battles, wars
We've fought
Have only taught us
How better to kill.
And how to make money
From guns that never stay still.
Trading arms that sever limbs -
Then we sing hymns.

But here
Is an idea

Why not say "cease"?
Talk together, make your peace
Make the stupidity of wars
A noble cause
If it brings about an end.
Give their deaths a meaning
Not an excuse to send
Pathos and syrup.

This could be a chance
To end this dance of death.
To prove what we have learned
About the pointlessness.
To turn and say enough.
To truly commemorate
And make this a date
To remember.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Poem for my Daughter on her 1st Birthday

Where has the time flown?
You're already turning one
And wow! How much you've grown
It feels like you weigh a ton

A whole year since you were born
Since you arrived into our lives
My old life I'd never mourn
My love for you and your sparkle thrives

When you grin it makes me smile
Give a giggle, I can't help but laugh
You're adorable in a fabric pile
Cute when chewing on your giraffe

So here with my poet's art
Is a chance for me to say a
Happy Birthday with all my heart
To my darling, special Freja

Friday, 30 May 2014


Eyes bright red
Wish I'd stayed in bed
Of boarding this dust ridden train
Pollen coursing through my senses
Tricking my brain
Into pretences
Of attack
Down a fighting track
And all the while
I itch and scratch
Swallow a batch
Of pills and smile
That I don't sneeze
Or wheeze
That this 'disease'
Will abate at the end of blooming
That late summer will see
A clear eyed me
At season's close
For allergy

Monday, 26 May 2014


I'll begin by saying that I've never been the biggest fan of Michael Gove. It is obvious that his 'improvements' to UK education are based solely on ideology and a desire for total control rather than what is best for the country as a whole. However, the latest set of complaints against him regarding the dropping of To Kill A Mockingbird from GCSE literature seem a little ill founded.
I was surprised that students were still studying that book, the same one I studied twenty years ago at school since I would have thought that they would have changed on a regular basis, simply because so many new books are written each year. But it's obvious that little has changed in the syllabus in twenty years.
As such I can't help wondering whether most of the invective comes more from the fact that people hate change so much in the UK, as well as having romantic memories of their schooldays. People don't like the idea of their children possibly having a different memory.
I've got nothing against the book, I enjoyed it, and it does have some important lessons within it. But I can't help wondering whether if year after year it begins to lose its relevance. After all, however important the lessons, how easy is it for a teen to relate to such a different culture from a century before and in another country.
Surely if you want to help children to understand it better it would be more relevant to have a book written more recently from the UK. Preferably from a non white author. If this turns out to be the replacement then it makes perfect sense to me - of course that remains to be seen but lets wait first before we complain lest it looks solely because of a fear of change.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Haiku Published

Hot on the heels of my latest Poetry 24 poem I have also had a haiku published in Issue 29 of Haiku Journal.

They publish the haiku online and when they reach fifty they are also published as paperbacks. Please go have a read.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Poem Published

My poem Tit Elation was published by Poetry 24 today, so thanks to them.

Sunday, 18 May 2014


Exhaustion’s morning
Empty brained afternoon
Wild with lethargy
Enthusiastically motionless
Antihistamine fuelled
Caffeine unfulfilled
Sun mockingly bright
Day gloriously cruel
Trapped bitterly
Inside yourself
Inside this body
Inside this mind

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

At The Beginning / White Horse

Poetry can be a slippery thing, eeling its way into your life without you realising it. And before you know it it squirming in the back of your head, sliding over all your experiences, current and past, reviewing and regurgitating, searching for a titbit to sink its teeth into.
Like all children I'm sure my first exposure to poetry was at home through nursery rhymes and children's books; although we don't actually call this poetry. It's simply rhyme and rhythm and at it's very basic, words.
School introduces us to a clearer idea of poems, the different types of rhyme and meter, and I seem to remember enjoying it and having some quite deep and intriguing ideas, even at the age of eleven or twelve - sadly all lost now though.
But my interest was only as strong as lessons we were learning, and once we had passed onto other elements of English, as well as my burgeoning interests in football, cricket and mathematics, I lost touch with poetry. And writing altogether really.
My desire to write only returned after studying Mathematics for three years and a renewed interest in poetry with a listen to Dylan Thomas' 'Under Milk Wood'. It led me towards other poetry, most of which was much more straightforward, including my own, but I always return to DT's poems from time to time.
The truth is that many of his sentences make no sense to me, but their lyrical nature and unusual structures fascinate. I find that his work is much more enjoyable when listened to, where the images can wash over you like tides of watercolours, dabbing and ebbing with their brush strokes.
Although the majority of the world is looking at this year as the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of WW1, it is also 100 years since the birth of Dylan Thomas. There have been some extremely interesting dramas and documentaries on BBC Wales which I have been watching, including a new version of Under Milk Wood. All of which I recommend to anyone with the curiosity.
One of the dramas details his last few days before he died in New York at the age of 39. One of his favourite haunts was the White Horse Tavern while there and so here is a poem inspired by an ending.

A white horse froths
In the beer foam of white waer
Dragging down into the drowning depth.
White for surrender
Giving in and charging on
On his high white horse
To another shot at death.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Last night I dreamed of invaders
In the form of giant men
They claimed all we had as their own
Even our spirits
Which they dashed from the skies.

They had no souls
They could not even hate us
With their impassive faces
Like sightless machines
It was as if we did not exist to them.

Or perhaps we were just a fiction
As much as they were to us.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Cream Tea

The sunlight was warm and pouring
from the teapot; pale and golden.
The scudding clouds windswept and clotted
Puffs of creamy white broken free
from the scones and jam of sweet sunsets.

Layer cakes of memories, sweet and coloured
Eaten with a pleasure pain of overindulgence.
Butter love slippery in the mind
but dusted off like icing sugar and coconut
Crisp and clogging with the perfumed air of flowerbeds.

And the kiss of that brief moment of freedom
Crumbs from the plate and drips from the pot
lingers still like icing on the lips.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Green City - A poem for Earth Day

The green city
Tree filled and reaching for the sun
Drinking, absorbing; Living
A canopy full of vibrancy and colour
Noise and chatter
Song and spirit filled

The grey city
Glass and sheet metal reflecting the sun
Not absorbing; Dead
Rooftops full of dishes and aerials
Listening devices to capture noise and chatter
Dull and soulless

Nature's city
And the human city
Side by side, but apart
Twinned, but non-identical
One in harness with the Earth
The other attempting dominion

Time To Go

Thank you to Poetry 24 for publishing another of my poems Time to Go

This one also contains a link to hear me read it via Soundcloud.

Monday, 21 April 2014


This story was recently in the news. A hedge fund manager avoiding paying the proper train fares for a number of years to a tune of £42,000. When he was caught he quickly paid up in an out of court settlement, because he could afford to, and so avoided any public shame. I have written a poem about it below, but you can also hear me read it via Soundcloud.

He never paid his debt
Until the end
Until forced to accept
The dues he owed.

He did not fret
Over getting caught
Honour a concept
Not conceived
He just received
Without giving in return.

But he was relieved
Absolved of blame
And did not burn
In fires of public disdain
If he were poor
There he would remain.

But the rich forgive their own.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Light Up

Strike a light
And tell the tale to be

Light the match
Burn a fuse
And let the truth be seen

Set the flame
Beacons lit
The swans are taking wing

Light the match
For a nightingale sings

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Honest Fool

A jester taking morning air
Tells a joke and cries
As clowns scrape off their makeup
The trick inside them dies.

Where Loki walks in hidden prints
And angels fear to tread
A sleight of hand shines through it all
To keep the hoaxers fed.

When honest lies grab every fool
And fling them far away
Then anyone can be a fool
If only for a day.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Forest Dweller

Today is also the International Day of Forests, so once more I couldn't is a 300 word story.

It disarms me.
The stillness, the mud squelching between my toes and the squashed aroma of sap, moss and decay transports me into the memory of another day.
A blanket spread upon the ground, half in sunlight and half shaded by the arms of an oak tree. Birds are singing distantly. High above they are building their nests from the previous Autumn’s leftovers.
There is life and greenery. Children play amongst the bluebells and daisies, dancing and singing with an infectious joy. Others make collages from the different leaves they find: Ash and Poplar, Beech, Lime and the ubiquitous Oak.
It is a festival of Spring and of nature; a celebration of the continuing cycles of birth, growth and death. Where others pray to silent and unseen Gods in grey and cold constructions, we sit in quiet reverence to the warmth and coloured diversity of the Earth.
No-one who is here believes it could be destroyed.

I am back in the present; back in the bleak landscape of man-made destruction. Where trees once stood are now black holes, lost to the depths of time. All life that relied on them vanished with them. The woodpeckers, the mushrooms, the beetles and the squirrels all evicted. Behind me some of that life still remains, like the past, but ahead of me the world is unrecognisable.
The clogging smell of diesel and brick dust fogs my senses, like a thick curtain, as they prepare to try again. Today, like every other day for the last six months, what remains is due to be ripped up and torn apart.
Our home.
They do not see us coming since they do not know we exist. But today I give myself and add my name to the long list, to ensure the forest lives another day.

World Poetry Day

Well today is World Poetry Day, so, despite the fact that I don't blog on here enough any more I still thought I should make the effort for this...perhaps it will provide me with further inspiration and the rest of the world of course...

A day for rhyme
But not for reason
As we move into
Another season
The vernal equinox
It's time that we all
Washed our socks

Are nonsense words
Going boonta?
Are traditions terms
Acting like a junta?
But can you get a form
That's quite as free
Or open minded
As poetry?

So celebrate
And coin some phrases
String some verse
Amidst chains of daisies
A sonnet shines
Like a summers day
Ode to Haiku
Far away