Tuesday, 30 August 2016

An Effin Poem 

With your effing this and effing that.
You may think you’re Bukowski
but you sound like a prat.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Empty Vessels

They look like empty vessels jingle jangling,
the green light given to their recycling. 
Still full of air, like air filled heads,
filled with nothingness.
Emptied of knowledge.
Emptied of thoughts.
Emptied of ideas.
Ready for the crushing plant to
squeeze out the air and recycle it
for the next breath.
Ready to begin 
breathing again,



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Bury Me Deep

Bury me deep in the tall meadow grass
and bury me deep in your arms.
Lie with me here in the sun ripening flowers
where the blue of the sky hides the clouds.

Bury me deep in your cool white sheets
and kiss my eyes and my mouth.
And as the warmth of your body flows in to mine
I’ll bury you deep in my arms.

Oh, bury me deep beneath darkening skies
and hold me close to your heart.
And buried deep with our love complete
we’ll sleep covered over in stars.

But the future lies with us heavy and dark.
It has bitter sweet memories of now.
With the tastes of the past buried deep in our love
the tastes of the future are sharp.

I can see both the stars and the blackness of night,
the blindness and brightness of love.
The past and the future cast shadows of time
so bury me deep in your love.

And bury me deep in the tall meadow grass
and I’ll bury you deep in my arms.
And lie with me here in the sun ripened flowers
where the blue of the sky meets the clouds.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

If I Were A Butterfly

If I were a butterfly
where would I fly?
I could grace every home
bringing good luck every time.
Make sure that my children
ate up all the weeds,
and recycled the waste
without judgement or hate.
In a world that’s at peace
I’d find my place.
Hmm, if I were a butterfly
I’d think this must wait.

If I were a butterfly
where would I fly?
If my soul were parochial
it would hang in my space,
It would look pretty in my garden,
propagate where I said,
and keep watch with indulgence
as my kids ate the rest.
If I were a butterfly
I’d think this was sad.
A life is too short
to live in the past.

If I were a butterfly
where would I fly?
Like all souls of dead warriors
for justice and peace, 
I’d fly
down the throats of the haters,
war mongers, arms traders, 
parasitic self servers.
They’d choke on my body
and ingest my eggs.
My children would eat them,
feast on them, thrive
then fly on to the next.
If I were a butterfly
that’s where I’d fly.

If I were a butterfly
then where would I fly?
I would grace every home
bringing good luck every time.
I would make sure that my children
ate up all the weeds,
and recycled the waste
without judgement or hate.
In a world that’s at peace
I’d find my place.

First published in Anti Heroin Chic, August 2016


Sunday, 21 August 2016


How many times have we had this conversation?
I don’t know.
I’m not good with numbers
and neither are you.

Probably, it’s the same number of times
as we’ve promised not to have it again.
I’m not very good with promises either.
And neither are you.

How many times have we made a decision,
a final decision, that has convinced us?
Probably never,
as we’re still having this conversation.
I’m not very good at decisions either.
And neither are you.

Life has become too complex for us
and the numbers don’t add up as we’d like
them to.
We want to stop at two,
but there are other numbers in between.

So, our numbers keep on adding up to nothing.
Nothing except conversations and promises
that we don’t want or believe in.
And are unable to end.


Thursday, 18 August 2016


So many new warriors
grown from the seeds

planted by the invaders 
sent by the money men,
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
So many dead warriors
lying whole or in pieces,
destroyed by the invaders
sent by the money men,
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
Dead warriors.
Soon to be transformed,
transformed into butterflies,
according to the Mayans who knew
about transformations - and about warriors.
Butterflies with the souls of the dead warriors.
Butterflies that can fly across continents,
cross oceans and borders.
There are no barriers for butterflies.
And they are experts in transformation,
experts in disguise.
They will consume them,
the money men, the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
Will worm their way inside them,
infest them and destroy them all,
Yes, they should beware the butterflies
with the souls of dead warriors
and the memories of slaughter.
They carry karma with them.

First published in Ealain, Karma Issue


Monday, 15 August 2016


A rabbit ran out from the rocks
and looked up. 
Bright eyes caught in the glare
of my headlights.
I swerved and braked.
Probably should have done one or the other.
Should have made a choice.
There's hindsight for you.

Did I hit it? 
Don't know.
But was only a rabbit,
a little furry thing
with big ears.
I drove on.

Poor little furry thing.
It might be lying there stunned.
The next car up would run over it.
Finish it off.
OK, not much traffic going up here 
at two o'clock in the morning.
But something has to be next
and before too long.
Should I turn round and check…
No, it's only a rabbit,
drive on.

But perhaps it was a mother rabbit.
All the baby rabbits would be 
waiting for her return, 
whimpering, crying,
not knowing yet that they
were going to starve 
to death.
And it was my fault,
my responsibly,
the death of all those baby rabbits.

Where's safe to turn?
I know! 
The garage.
There it is. 
That did my tyres no good!

Here I go 
to the scene.
Get out the car. 
Walk back
in the dark, 
no torch, 
of course,
There it is,
one dead rabbit,
ears sticking up.

Ah well, in the midst of life
and all that.
Back in the car.
Off up the hill.
Nice glass of red waiting
for when I get home.
Straight up the hill.
And then..

A rabbit ran out from the rocks.
A furry bundle with big ears
and a white tail.
I caught it's frightened eyes 
in the glare of my headlights,
braked and swerved.
Another squashed rabbit.

Was probably the dad.

First published in Scarlet Leaf Review, August 2016


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Gaza 20th July 2014

Thirteen soldiers died today.
Soldiers not people.
People could not do it.
Could not do the things they did.
The thirteen dead and the rest who live.
Things in uniform obeying orders,
yes sir no sir-ing their way into oblivion.
They could do it.
They would do anything, if told to.

Humanity suspended or cuckooed.
Killing machines, destroyers of dreams,
burying them in the rubble with the bits.
With the bits of bodies, 
the hands and the feet,
the breasts and the balls.
Things in uniform.
Daleks of death.
They did it.
They killed every thing.

Maybe if enough things die
they will stop their slaughter.
Maybe if enough things die
they will become extinct
like the dodo,
the stuff of legend
like the unicorn.

I hope so.


Wednesday, 10 August 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

See more at: http://www.pikerpress.com/article.php?aID=6304#sthash.ZWWmU9YW.dpuf

Sunday, 7 August 2016


We called her 'The Scarlet Woman'
and gave her sails of red and white
like shiny scarlet lips astride pearls 
of white teeth.
We roamed the seas in her.
Entered every port
in search of the scarlet women
with hot ruby lips
who would give us a hand
to paint the town red.


Friday, 5 August 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?

First published by Poets Haven, Vending Machine in Poetry for Change Anthology 2014


Thursday, 4 August 2016

Barcelona Sandals

Standing in the Andorra snow
shivering in our Barcelona sandals.
Glad of a lift down to Foix
as darkness was falling.
And the driver knew a hotel,
Hotel du Centre.
Very grand
and full
of people looking down
long noses.
But the driver knew the owner
who was a kind man,
a nice man.
So we shouldn't worry 
about the cost, he said.

A lovely room
and in the morning,
We must eat
the owner said.
Warm bread and jam.
Coffee with hot milk
which tasted sour.
But I don't like
the taste of milk,
so most likely
it was sweet.

And then the bill.
But there was no bill.
Save it for the journey,
the owner said.
A kind man,
a nice man,
who believed
the driver's story,
whatever it was.

A few years later, 
we returned to Foix
and went to find 
Hotel du Centre.
But it wasn't there.
No one knew it.
It didn't exist.
Did it ever exist?
Did any of it happen?
Or did we somehow
a memory 
from our 


Monday, 1 August 2016


I had never been to the seaside.
I knew what to expect, though.
I had a book about it.
There were lots of pictures of rock pools
and the strange creatures living there.
My favorites were the hermit crabs.
I was looking forward to those the most.
I had a little bucket to collect them in.

But there were no rock pools,
at this seaside.
Just flat sand with a thin distant line
of cold grey sea.
No one said.

I found some shells
to put in my bucket.
I liked the tiny pink ones best.
But most were broken
and not worth collecting.
No one said.

No shells, no hermit crabs, but
they showed me how to put damp sand
into my miniature bucket.
with my miniature spade
and how to pat it down 
and tip it out to make ‘sand pies’.
I was supposed to like doing this.
No one said.

They gave me some paper flags
on thin wooden sticks.
I could stick them in 
the top of my sand pies.
I was supposed to like doing this.
No one said.

I thought I’d save up my flags
until I’d climbed the mountain
at my auntie’s.
When I got to the top
I’d arrange them into my initials
so everyone would know I’d been there.
I started to practice this.
But they said the mountain 
was a slag heap, not a mountain
and therefore out of bounds.
No one said.

We stayed on the beach a long time.
Then we went to a toy shop.
My father bought me a doll 
with real hair, they said.
But it was made of nylon.
I called her Gloria.
That was the best bit.
but nothing was 
as it had been
inside my head.

First published in Silver Birch Press, Beach and Pool Series, 2016