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.