Sunday 30 September 2018

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
First published in Scarlet Leaf Review, May 2016

Friday 28 September 2018

Crossing Over
Running downhill, on and on,
the orange sun bearing down
on me.
Scorching me,
burning me up
I come to a river cold with ice.
Icy water flowing too fast.
Too fast.
Faster than I can run.
Flaming under that bridge.
A bridge to somewhere
from here,
from where I am.
But where is here
or there?
And is the bridge real
or a bridge of dreams.
Or, a bridge for my dreams,
leading nowhere.
If I cross over
will I plummet
into the nowhere
on the other side.
Shall I try?
Or shall I stay here
looking for the light
I find it.

Thursday 27 September 2018

Here And There
I was always here, like you,
or there, like you.
Here when you were there.
There when you were here.
But sometimes now I think
we were always separated.
You were never really here,
so we never made it
not then.
And now
we’ve come together.
But I still feel apart.

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Sunday 23 September 2018

Vera Lynn was a famous singer,
the Forces Sweetheart, no less.
My mother was Vera,
so I should be Lynn.
My mother liked things to be
But even more than
the correctness
of Vera and Lynn,
she abhorred diminutives.
They were definitely not
So I must have a name
which could not be shortened.
Joy was a contender, but,
just suppose that
I was a weepy child.
That name would not fit me.
For me it would not have been
She needn’t have worried.
But worry she did.
So, Lynn it was
and Lynn I am.
My legacy
from my

Friday 21 September 2018

In Dreams
Do you dream in colour,

or are your dreams grey,

muted monochromes,

pale imitations of reality.

Are they flat almost featureless

in a blurred mist,

or are they stark

black and white.

No grey.

No doubt.

Are your sleeping eyes prisms

to reflect the outside in,

in a spectrum of rainbowed glory.

Or are you afraid.

Afraid to let it enter

your unconsciousness.

Afraid to set it free

to make a kaleidoscope 
of shades and tones

to recreate

a new reality

in glorious colour.

Do you remember?

Thursday 20 September 2018


Don’t challenge his growls,
said the man with no face. 
Look down on the ground,
be humble, not brave.

Don’t cry if you fall,
the blind girl explained.
The field’s full of dog shit,
so don’t touch your eyes.

I loved my pet doggy,
the dead baby cries.
We all loved him so much
until the day that I died.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Not An Easy Chair
It used to be said
that a hard chair
straight backed
was best
for you.
Now though
they say
it’s ok
to lounge,
to slouch,
to curl up
in comfort
like a cat
at ease
in an easy chair.
But some chairs aren’t
for lounging,
or for comfort
or for sitting up
They have a design problem
that is not easy to resolve.
It takes determination,
a palette of positions
and maybe a drink
to find a way.
And some deep thinking
on the matter.

Monday 17 September 2018

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.

Sunday 16 September 2018

Once It Was The Smoke
Once it was the smoke
that made me cough and splutter
every time I played a gig.
Nicotine flavoured oxygen
which made me long
for a respirator.
Now the problem is unseen.
The air looks pure
but I need a respirator now.
Perhaps I should play
under water
a new version
of Water Music.
There may be more oxygen there,
but I’ll take no chances.

Friday 14 September 2018

All In Order
We built their cages.
We gilded them.
We listened to their croaks,
no one could call it song,
hear, hear, hear hear,
chatter chatter,
to order.
Order, order,
keep them in order.
Keep them stuffed
with food and drink,
we did that too,
keep them fed and watered.
No not watered
they won’t drink water
that would be out
of order.
Order, order.
Keep them controlled.
Don’t let them out.
Watch them
flapping their paper wings
to order.
Order order.
We should give them orders.
We pay the pipers,
they should sing for us
but they can only croak.
hear hear, hear hear,
chatter chatter,
for themselves.
We don’t have to listen.

​Welcome to the page for BEAT-itude, the National Beat Poetry Festival's 10 year anniversary book. Now available for preorder! We have two options for the book, purchase for pick-up at the festival...

Tuesday 11 September 2018

The Company of Butterflies
In the company of butterflies
I can whistle up the wind
and fly
without boundaries.
Flutter by
and then rest
in the sunshine
and drink
sweet nectar
and dream
and dream.
In the company of butterflies
I can whistle up the wind
and soar
over fragile rainbows.
Then stop
in a fusion
of colour
to taste the gold
at the end
of my flight
of fancy.
In the company of butterflies
I am boundless.

The Company of Butterflies   In the company of butterflies I can whistle up the wind and fly without boundaries. Flutter by and then rest in the sunshine and drink sweet nectar and dream and d…

Monday 10 September 2018

Don’t Go
When I’m with you
I feel I am whole.
Captured and completed.
Engulfed by you.
When you kiss me
all my fears disappear
in the kiss.
Where do they go?
I don’t know.
Do you wrap them round your tongue
and swallow them whole?
I don’t know.
I only know the comfort
I feel, such peace.
So don’t go.
Don’t go.

The present book is the third volume of the bilingual series of poetry collection, Persian Sugar in English Tea. The anthology includes short poems, micro-poetry and haiku by 59 new and well-accomplished poets from Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, India, and other Asian, Middle Eastern and European coun...

Sunday 9 September 2018

Spanish Room
We were pleased when the smiling nun
shook her head.
They were full, the lorry driver told us.
He was disappointed.
He thought we’d be safer
in the out of town convent than in the city.
He’d grown concerned for our safety
on our long journey through France.
He was nice - ‘doux, comme la sucre’
my friend would often tell him.
But he didn’t understand her accent.
He said his lorry wouldn’t fit
the narrow streets, so
we took a cab to the pension he knew.
Our first Spanish room
and we were happy!
The tiles were cool, if dusty.
We covered the TV.
We didn’t need it.
Two single beds pushed together
with one mattress
to make a ‘cama matrimonial’,
normality in Spain.
The owner was nice,
‘doux, comme la sucre’
my friend told him.
But he spoke no French.
We shopped in the corner shop with
it’s curved window
and explored the streets
of clubs and cafes and bars and lively people
enjoying the night.
And then we returned home.
Home to a locked door that
no amount of banging or shouting would
cause to open.
A friendly passer by understood our plight
and clapped his hands loudly.
A man appeared with a bunch of keys,
enough to fit the locks of several streets.
Normality when Franco reigned.
He let us in with a smile.
He was ‘doux, comme la sucre’
my friend told him,
but he didn’t understand.
Forty years later we found the street.
The curved shop window gave it away.
It was all still there, though only in facade,
waiting for reconstruction.
It was our first Spanish room
and we were happy.
The facade of a memory that
is still there and remains:
‘doux, comme la sucre’.
And we understand.