Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Free Fall
I was on the way up,
full of can do confidence.
In control.
Now I’m falling.
I’m in free fall.
Still in control,
but barely.
I stretch out my arms
wishing for wings
to help me up,
help me soar again.
I’m still in control,
but barely
knowing that below
there’ll be nothing.
that will
my fall.


Monday, 26 February 2018

How Will I Know You
How will I know you,
the man behind the mask.
I can recognise you
with the mask in place.
And sometimes it may slip and reveal ....
another layer, another mask, perhaps
masquerading as an unguarded comment
wearing stage clothes, even if naked.
You are in there somewhere.
But even though I peel off
layer after layer,
mystery after mystery
I still never find you.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Sunrise, Sunset

Do you remember
in the bright days of our youth,
we walked out hand in hand
to watch the sunrise?
Our sun is setting 
as all suns must,
but we can still
hold hands
and remember.


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Competition entry - go to link to read


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.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Rock Pool
Just a small gap in the cliff side,
dry and bare,
Then in came the sea on a high
washing over it,
some staying
a little
of salt water,
full of living.
Like a pool of salty tears
filling the gap,
bringing it back to life
Tears can sometimes do that

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A Long Walk
It's been a long walk with no sign of escape.
A long walk and a deep walk.
Every step I sink deeper.
Deeper and deeper,
as I tire and drag
my feet
as the white snow crystals give way
and reveal the darkness beneath.
But I can see the forest
on the horizon
and I'm getting close.
But it's not the first time
I've seen a forest
on the horizon
and it hasn't ended.
The snow fields have continued.
Deep, deep, deeper and deeper.
Will this time will be different
and bring me to a new horizon.
Or will sink yet deeper
until the darkness engulfs me
with no escape.
No end in sight.


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Standing High
Sometimes standing high
above it all
adds colour to a life.
Sometimes you can only see
the monochrome,
the black and white,
the greys.
But perhaps then
I’ll be seen in colour
by those looking down
or looking up at me,
wondering if I will fall.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Thoughts on Swallowing a Butterfly
such a fragile incarnation
of what went before.
Warriors, according to the Mayans,
dead warriors ready
to be transformed,
transformed into butterflies.
surely too fragile
to make warriors,
too easily destroyed
in their new metamorphosis.
But they can wait,
they can wait
for their next transformation
So take care if you swallow a butterfly.
vigorous egg layers
that can reproduce themselves,
mutating again to find
new ways to fight back,
to invade the invaders,
enslave the enslavers,
the new possibilities.
So take care if you swallow a butterfly.
And I can wait.
I have been waiting a long time
to see Henry Kissinger choke
on a butterfly.
I can wait.
Perhaps there’s still hope
that the butterflies
will worm their way inside
and destroy them all.
I can wait.
So take care if you swallow a butterfly.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Blue skies, blue sea,
a day of sparkling sunshine,
with a shimmering horizon.
And then, out of this blue,
smiling sadly with your lovely blue eyes.
I knew you from the back, you said,
the cut of your hair, your bright blue mac.
I wanted to see your face again,
it’s only fair, you’ve seen mine.
You must have done,
me, being who I am.
I wanted to smell your clean hair smell.
So I took a chance, and here I am.
I wanted to
abate the sadness.
I nodded. Yes.
I know it’s true.
It’s all been said
and we won’t be sad.
No blue moods
on this bright blue day
of smiling sunshine.
We’ll go together now,
for now
and be glad.
After all,
one way or another,
everything will end
in tears, I said,
So let’s take our now time
and chance the rest.

Friday, 2 February 2018

It’s Raining Again
The weather god doesn’t speak Welsh.
She’s tried.
She’s really tried.
She’s wept tears
of frustration.
She’s wept tears
of anger.
She’s wept tears
of sadness
that flow from the mountains
to the sea.
It’s the vowels
she finds hard.
And the consonants.
And the mutations.
And the way it’s spoken form
over the distance traveled
in the time it takes her
to make a small cloud
and a tiny puff of wind.
A tiny puff,
not enough to to raise the cloud
above the mountains.
So it hangs in a sad, sullen mist.
Or blows in angry swirls.
And still
she tries.
She really tries.
She weeps tears
of frustration.
She weeps tears
of anger.
She weeps tears
of sadness.
Floods of tears.
Tears which fall
in cascades
from the mountains
to the sea

Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Fishermen
The wall ran all along one side of the bay,
steps up from the port at one end,
down to the beach at the other.
I climbed up the steps
and looked over.
So many fish.
Huge fish.
Swirling silver moons in a day blue sky.
A net would have scooped them up
and broken with the weight.
The fishermen were there with their rods set up,
like the fish almost touching,
so many and so close,
parallel black lines against the sky
like a blue print for lunch provision.
I walked down the steps to the beach.
Few people were there so early.
Morning was the fisherman’s time
of day,
not the sunbather’s.
I went back along the wall
when the fishermen were packing up,
heading home for lunch.
Carrying their fish,
I thought.
But no,
it was a delusion
to imagine
they would eat fish for dinner.
Not those fish, anyway.
All were returned to the sea.
Such is the sport of the fisherman.