Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Ted and the owl

Ted is in the bedroom window
barking at an owl.
I'm watering the starlit lawn
with spent alchemy.
Tawny on her telephone pole
watches unperturbed.

I've heard that owls aren't really wise.
They're not crow clever.
Still she's smart enough to surmise
a yapping puppy
and a urinating poet
are no cause to spook

when all the rodents of the moon
scare below your stoop.

Monday, 14 March 2016

A Fright of Jays review

Delighted with this review by Simon Zonenblick at Sabotage Reviews.


Poems about suicide, liberation, the bizarre destruction of a mobile phone in an apparently pre-meditated, insular revolution against technology, and the impact of humanity on the natural world, are somehow packaged neatly into this short, succinct, high quality chapbook, whose author achieves a level of observational exactitude, empathy, and at times, quite frankly, psychological menace, which many would fail to muster in a full-length collection.

The full review is here:

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The farmer always thought she had too many dresses.

Stunted thorns slump east.
Three red calves stand on the ridge
rumps to the west wind.

Rabbit weary grass
faints at the clump of his boots.
In the house below

she's folding dresses.
A thin surrender of smoke
waves like a torn flag.

By the time she leaves
he's sodden to his white chest
and the hearth is cold.

First published at Clear Poetry 21/1/2016

Monday, 8 February 2016


I will believe the Lord is good.
I will believe the land is kind.
I do believe the fruit will fall
if not picked first and where it falls
must be controlled for fallen fruit will
surely rot and rotten fruit will sour the lawns.

My husband knows the hand of God
and God himself has made it known
that we should pick the ripening fruit
and love and keep the seeds we've sown,
we've sown. The precious seeds we've sown.

The cellar doors have sturdy locks
the windows open just enough.
Enough to let His spirit blow
and keep the darkness holy, holy,
and clean the shade that breathes in there.
Our precious seed that breathes in there.

Published at 5.2/16

Monday, 25 January 2016

Dry January

This never ending
deluge, this downpouring from
the spongey heavens,

these flooded byways,
shaking-dog spattered hallways,
leaky wellingtons

every drop of it!
A man is waterboarded
to wet his whistle...


Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Dusts

These dust motes, so gently pirouetting,
can, from certain angles in slanted light,
reform to embody the departed.

Libraries are full of such airborne ghosts
moving quietly between sleeping shelves,
attending to their liminal business.

Open a forgotten book, a fat tome
on Greek history say, and out they come,
liberated to scintillate in beams

sloping from tall windows; to dance in gusts
from the actions of automatic doors.
Closing the pages renders them homeless,

left to circle in whispering limbo
until one day like summoned saints, they sail
up, up, up, to peace on high picture rails.

First published in The Jawline Review 17/3/16


Monday, 23 November 2015

Red Dog

When it rains round here
there are no yellow dogs.

Hematite stains Labradors.
Even Devon cows are red.

High green-haired sandstone bluffs
tumble in bloody surrender.

And along the undercliff
the gravelly sand is red.

Tourists carrying towels
look like accident victims.

Uncharitable souls might say
it looks like Hell at sunset.

Still, we make our choices.
I'd suggest a Red Setter.


That old story

It's true,
winged serpents may descend
and punish you for what you do.

And yes,
You've read the prohibition
documents. Any person who...

But strange
how softly this lawn yields
beneath your unshod feet.

How sweet
the hammock swings between
the honeyed apple trees.

First published as Editor's Pick at  22/11/2015

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The battle of Newcomb Hollow

I went at dawn to Newcomb Hollow,
a war reporter for breaking light.
To see the last-gasp darkness swallowed
down the gullet of a mackerel sky.

I was spied by periscoping seals,
peep holing through the barbed edge ocean;
to command the waves to raid and steal
in constant pillaging incursions.

Resisting them: a Marram band
defended the cold and cratered dunes,
resolute and still in that half land,
waiting for a wind borne call to move.

Later I wrote of the Kingdom of Whales,
every stanza a water-board of light.
Lying down I dreamed of buried shells
and silent seals watching me at night.

First published at Clear Poetry 21st Jan 2016

Friday, 30 October 2015


There's an umbrella
furled and bound
by the cellar hatch
in The Horse and Hound. 
And I've seen more
in scruffy tubs
by dog hair doors
to village pubs. 
On Friday I saw two
in the Wild Goose
one black, one blue.
An umbrella bruise. 
Now I'm aware
I see them
Ownerless umbrellas
waiting for a storm.
Like sad old fellas
in saloon bars, forlorn.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


It's not always
the concrete
that's your
worst enemy
although kindness
isn't in its nature.
There are
fire escapes
window boxes
washing lines
all manner
of clutter
to encumber             Spi
the unhappy              ked
faller.                        rail

First published in The Broadsheet October 2015

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Seaside Conception

When he said goodbye
near the holiday flats
and the wind flipped away
her Kiss-me-Quick hat

and he laughed that "No!
It hadn't been 'crap'!"
- he couldn't tell then
that if he had snapped
her slim waist in two
his name was inked there
running all the way through.

Published 8/10/2015 on Clear Poetry