Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Spark

There’s always a spark.
The spark.
The flash that ignites the fire.
Just a glow at first,
then a blaze.
Flames shooting out
choosing their directions.
Out of my control.
Out of all control.
Creating and destroying
as it will.
Joining and melding together
or forcing apart
as it will.

First published in Written Tales, February 2018


Monday, 19 February 2018

Always Alone

I wonder where he has gone,
the man who would sit here
every day
before the snow fell,
always alone
with the view.
Perhaps it became too cold
for him,
but I don’t think so.
I’ve seen him there on colder days,
always alone
with the view.
He would stretch out his arms
across the back of the bench
so that he filled it.
Though he was
always alone
there never seemed space
for anyone else.
So there were no conversations,
or even “good mornings”.
He didn’t seem to need them.
So we all passed by.
And now
in the snow we can sit there
with the view,
with his view
and wonder where he is.
And wonder if he was
always alone.

First published in Vox Poetica Prompts, February 2018


Sunday, 18 February 2018


At school there was a weekly collection
for charity.
I saved up my biscuit money
so that
I did not seem different, more impoverished
than the rest.
And so that I had something to give to those
less fortunate.
I knew what charities were, you see.
Well, except for the one called
I did not know what refugees were.
This was 1956.
Only six years after the ending of a war
creating millions
of refugees
and I had to ask what they were
several times.
Even then,
I didn’t understand.
It made no sense to me.
I didn’t understand.

First published in Tuck Magazine, February 2018


Friday, 16 February 2018

Reach Out
Where are you?
There was a time when
I knew where to find you,
knew the places and spaces
you inhabited
in my dreams,
in my day
and night
You would be waiting there,
waiting to be found,
waiting to come
to me.
it's harder to find you,
to recognise your shape and form.
You are becoming fragmented and ephemeral,
floating forms in a damp mist.
Reach out.
Hold on
to me.
Don't pass me by.
It's such a long time since you left,
perhaps it's me who's letting go,
me who has forgotten how to reach you.
Forgotten to reach out to you.
Reach out.
Hold on
to me.
Don't let me fade

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

You spoke to me.
A smile on your lips
and a sadness
behind your eyes
to match my own.
I could see it,
recognise it.
I knew it well.
“Hello you”, I said.
“Hello me?”
A gesture,
a question in your voice,
laughter caught
in the back of your throat
and eyes that smiled.
At least

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

I am being suffocated by this society,
pushed into a corner until
I can't breath any more.
Pressed up against
the other screamers,
the can't breathers.
Crying out.
I am not being suffocated under
the weight of immigration.
Or even the armlocks and bullets
of police out of control.
No, I am being suffocated by
the vile venom of normality
or what has come
to pass for it.
By indifference,
by dishonesty,
by power
used to
What will it take
for us to learn
how to distort
this normality,
how to smother
this sickness
and heal
us all.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

The Vase
The kitchen looked tired and worn
like my mother did,
the last time I saw her there.
I felt no nostalgia for it.
It was not my childhood kitchen.
It held no special memories,
I thought.
And then,
I saw the vase on the counter top.
My friend found it on the Kings Road.
Bought it and brought it home.
I’d asked her to buy me something,
a souvenir of swinging London.
She bought the vase.
I never much liked it.
Dark and bulbous,
it spent most of it’s time at my mother’s,
though she didn’t like it much either.
Then time stole it away,
took it from my memory,
erased it.
And now,
here it is again, sharp as ever
bringing the past home
as it stands empty
on the counter top.
It seems that her death
invested in it a poignancy
that it had not known before.
I took it home with me.