Thursday, 25 August 2016



I saw you soaring
in your balloon
waving like
a delighted penguin.

Then the thermals
clasped invisible hands
and you were motionless,
held in freeze frame.

Crisp sky, gasping peaks
and the clustered pines
all encompassed you.

You looked so pretty there:
a flightless bird surprised,
happy as a kid at the fair.


His first go at splicing Ape and Angel
was less than successful. Although smarter
the mutant lacked the Angel's wings and grace
and showed  more aggression and avarice.
He culled the lot, dumped the bones in a cave.

The second go was better. Still no wings
but at least they showed reduced body hair
and the females, especially, had increased
angelic traits of beauty and compassion.

He thought he might still have another try
but left them to it when distracted by
supernova bursts in far galaxies.
Adrift in the stars these ape-angels learned
to slaughter and skin, to speak and raise fire.

From: BBC News, 10 September 2015
Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in the Rising Star Cave system in South Africa.
The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest ever discovery of primitive human remains in Africa.
The individuals are part human and part ape and researchers say that the species, called Homo Naledi 
(Naledi means Star in the local Sotho language), could be a "bridge" between the two.

Thursday, 26 May 2016


It's not always been easy with the French.
In sixteen ninety De Tourville's yobos
burned down the town and put ten ships to torch.

Today it's all bon homie at the lunch
for the twinning society art show.
It's not always been easy with the French

and during the chairman's extended speech
the French mayor looked like she might have a go,
(burn down the town and put ten ships to torch)

if she could just find turpentine and matches.
Still peace prevailed - "Have a profiterole!"
It's not always been easy with the French.

Little egrets stand at the high tides' reach
They came from France just twenty years ago
(no plans to burn or put our ships to torch!)

and add a certain eclat along the beach.
Funnily they don't mind the English food
(well, burn my town and put my ships to torch,
-that's never has been easy for the French!)

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.


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

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