Sunday, 25 September 2016

Such Fun

It was such fun to jump in autumn puddles,
that made mud spatters on my red wellies 
and pale, sun starved legs,
in weather too wet to kick up the leaves
that lay swept soggily into piles.

And when winter came, such fun 
to leap into snow drifts 
that came over the tops of my red wellies
and my extra socks
as I tested the deepness of the snow 
and the slipperiness of the ice slide.

Come the summer rain, I tried on my red wellies
but they had grown too small or me too large,
so I got my feet wet when I jumped in the stream.
Such fun, but I missed my red wellies.

First published in Midnight Circus, Fall issue, EAB publishing

Friday, 23 September 2016

My Father’s Son

I never knew
my father’s son.
Even though
I met him once,
or maybe twice, 
I never knew him.

And then I met
his son. 
Caught him 
in a net.
Held on to him 

And, I found
that he hadn’t left early,
my father’s son.
He’d waited for me,
for a long time.

And so I found him,
my father’s son.
When he was 
just ninety six,
I found him.
But I was too late
to know him.

At ninety five,
he was already dead.

So I never knew him,
my father’s son.

First published in Scarlet Leaf Review, May 2016

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Hoopoes Are Back

The hoopoes are back, 
even though
the walls and holes they liked to nest in
were destroyed by human nest builders 
four years ago,
when there was a housing boom
and money to be made.

The hoopoes are back, 
even though 
the new holes and rubble they liked to nest in
were destroyed by human nest builders
three years ago, 
even though, 
there was no market for nests
and no money to be made.

The hoopoes are back, 
even though
the new holes and rubble they liked to nest in
were washed away two years ago,
as the walls that stopped the storm flow 
were destroyed by human nest builders,
to prepare the ground for money to be made.

The hoopoes are back, 
even though 
their nesting places are hidden, buried 
under growing mountains of rubble brought 
by the human nest builders a year ago
as there is no demand for human nests
and no money to be made, except from rubble.

Hey, the hoopoes are back! I’ve seen them!
The hoopoes are back!

First published by Furry Writers Guild in Civilised Beasts Anthology, 2015, Weasel Press

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

It’s Clear

On a clear night
I should see the moon full silver
in a sky shot by moonbeams.
Not greyed by a smoky mist 
and dust clouds rising from the ruins.

I should see a black, black sky.
Not bright from the orange glow
from the fires of hell on earth.
Which send sparks high enough
to compete with the stars,
the pinpoint moonbeam spangles.
Not beamed by lasers.

I should hear the silence 
in the depth of the black night,
not the explosive cacophony
bought by the masters of war
and the silent screams
buried in the rubble.

I should hear people talking in the street
and the music and laughter of the night.
I should see them walking home
to feel firm flesh loving and soft
unsplintered and unblemished by shrapnel,
unbroken by the metal clad monsters
masquerading as humanity and
wrapping themselves in the uniforms 
of thousand years old myths
dressed up as history.

These should be my rights.
But they aren’t.

I have no rights.
Nor do you.

Only what they give us,
the men of the flags,


First published by Harbinger Asylum, Literary Review, Spring, 2015

Monday, 19 September 2016

Like Alice

I’m too big.
I’m too small.
I can’t I fit in,
fit into this, rabbit hole world,
any more than I did the other,
the above ground world.
Both can’t be wrong,
can they?
It must be me
that doesn’t fit,
that can’t be made
to fit into them.
Me that’s wrong.

Both worlds can’t be wrong,
can they?

First published in Poetry Breakfast, September 2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016


The sun is standing still for them
Standing still for the streams of dreamers.
Dreamers streaming down the roads to somewhere
From somewhere that has become nowhere.
Dreaming of escape.
Dreaming of a future, any future.
Dreaming of better things to come.
Dreaming of the life they once had.
Dreaming of normality, whatever that means.
Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming.
Dreaming of returning
when the sun comes up again,
if ever it does.

First published in Expound, Issue 6, 2016

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Dawn Chorus

It starts with one.
One skylark singing.
One Carson warning.
Then the robins and blackbirds join in. 
The early birds, like Carson.
Then the wrens and warblers
as the daylight warms them.
Can you hear them?
The warning calls are warming up as well,
strengthening their numbers 
as the bird song
dies away.
Can you hear them?
Don’t sleep.
Don’t wait
to hear 
the silence.

First published by Ealain, Extinctions Issue 7, April, 2015

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

In The End

In the end 
I’ll be like you.
Dust with
flakes of skin and bone
wrapped in long hair.
Teeth chattering
With no voice.
No sense of taste
or smell.
No reason.
In the end
we'll be invisible,
But then, we always were
you and I,
we always were.

First Published in In Flight Magazine, Paper Plane Pilots, January 2015

Monday, 12 September 2016

Washed Up

So many dead people 
caught in the crossfire
created by the the money men, 
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
They lie dead where they fell.
Flesh and blood transformed to 
fertilizer to nurture the seeds 
and grow the crops, in a future
they will not see.
Their bones decaying to dust
to form the building blocks 
of homes they will never inhabit.
Dying where they fell, 
over there, not here
and not looking like us.
Unseen or soon forgotten
by us here. 

But the dead washed up
on holiday beaches
look like our flesh and blood.
They’re wearing our clothes.
They’re washing up to haunt us
in the Old World.
Then there’s the living,
washed up alive 
and by any means necessary
moving on to bear witness, 
if any one is listening.
To bring the horror home 
to those who created it
in the Old World.
Bringing it home to the Old World,
but not as yet to the New.

First published in Whirlwind, 2015

Saturday, 10 September 2016


I have a small pool
out there.
Not dark like night, but
full of pale milky light.,
and shimmering smoothly,

It's not deep either,
hardly more than
a footfall.
Just deep enough
to hide my dreams
without them drowning.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A Rose For Gaza

Gaza is a garden full of roses.
Stone roses.
Rock roses.
No petals to crush and bruise
to release their fragrance.
Only dust.
Dust and the stench
of death.
No green space left.
No sweet tranquility,
peace or quiet.
No escape.
No garden of Eden here.
No gateway to paradise.
Rubble and rock roses.

So I shall plant a rose for Gaza
in my green space,
in my tranquil garden.
I won’t bruise it,
just gently sniff its fragrance
and hope that one day
fragrant roses will bloom again
in the garden of Gaza.

What else can I do?

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Moving On

They said that you never go back
once you leave home.
I was sure I would
and I promised
my mother
as we packed the big black trunk.

I was homesick and in tears those
first few days in college.
‘Hay fever’, I said.
In September!
I promised
I’d come home at the weekend

And I did, I did as just I’d promised.
But I didn’t want to go.
Didn’t want to leave
all my new friends
and all the new
though it was nice to meet old ones again.

I had lots to tell them about my new home,
my new friends and my new place.
And about all the excitement.
I planned for old friends
to visit my new home
and they did
And then the new went to visit the old.

But ‘they’ were right to say that
you never go back home
once you leave.
I never did.
Not really.
I never
went back
to stay.

First published in Silver Birch Press, September 2016

Monday, 5 September 2016


I am dancing
in the sunlight,
the bright, bright light.
I know the cloud is there
but I can forget it, till I stop.
And then..
There it is,
even bigger 
and blacker
than before.
Darker than 

It doesn’t like me dancing,
doesn’t like the laughter
or the sunshine.
Brightness breaks it,
shatters it into a grey mist.
But still it won’t leave me.

The brighter the sunlight,
the louder the laughter,
the greater my fear
that it will form again
and suck me into it’s

Friday, 2 September 2016

 Green Dragon

Does the horse believe what he's seeing
as the green dragon floats by
breathing rainbows
from flower filled puffs of breath.
Would you believe it?
Would I
believe it?
After all,
this is not the usual sort of dragon
whose fire filled breaths register alarm.
But alarm registers, never the less,
as this is not the usual sort of dragon
and none of us are sure

what will happen next.