Friday, 29 May 2015

uphill slog
the crows in the oak-tops
discuss the impending rain

Thursday, 28 May 2015

blue morning
jackdaws prise niblets
from a half-gnawed cornstick

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

she closes her eyes
to smell the yellow roses
the sun upon us

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Troubador

Last night, I went to the Troubador for the first time in a good while, principally to hear Frances Leviston read from her excellent new collection Disinformation. She read very well. I also enjoyed the American poet Michelle Boisseau and the ever-droll musings of Stuart Silver.

poetry cellar:
the accordionist shifts
to his other foot

Monday, 25 May 2015

bank holiday
the tourist information officers
yawn in unison

Sunday, 24 May 2015


The season's end
a red-crested pochard marshals 

the wayward convoy of her chicks along the bank, 
like arm-banded infants clinging to the sides of a pool.

Mum tells my daughter and me of a boy named Clifford Bristow,
who sat behind her when she started school, a year before the war;

and used to dip her pigtails in his ink-well,
until her mother caught up with the lad one day

and scolded him for causing her extra washing
that never quite removed the stains from the blouse.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

On Kingston Bridge

As the bus heaves over the bridge,
all the top-deck, earphoned heads yaw
to catch the sunlit river snatch
away the morning boats towards
the lock, the city and the sea.

Monday, 18 May 2015

beer garden:
the marbled wings
of a mayfly on a plate

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Magic Darts

The Folk Off and Die Band are nabbed by the Peelers
for being completely off their noggins on glue.
The seen-it-all sergeant stares like a goldfish as,

with an easy, open stance and steady elbow,
each band member takes a turn with arrows to hurl
at the dartboard which only they can somehow view:

bish-bash-bosh: the first dart bounces out from the bull
to the lino that does for an oche. Jonjo,
who isn't really that keen on Traditional,

strums a melodious standard before his throw.
Billy the Bodhrán pauses until the moment
when his eyes, ears and wrist are all content to go:

bish-bash-wallop. His third dart riffs away aslant
into the grain of the sergeant's desk. They carry
on playing for hours, even after the sergeant

boots them to the cells. Billy is re-named 'Barney',
Jonjo 'the Phil the Power of Kilrea', and Shane,
the piper, cock-sure, the youngest, most lairily

musical, his lobs as liquid as the loughan
that laps at the edge of his village in Down, becomes
'the new Jocky Wilson', dripping through Bri-nylon,
while Jonjo plucks and Billy-stroke-Barney drums.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

beside the Hogsmill
I hasten through the rain
in my father's coat

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

dappled shallows:
wagtails spiral among
the cloud of gnats

Thursday, 7 May 2015

first-light storm
we spoon
ever closer

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

crowing cockerel
sunshine suffuses the cream
of the old signal box

Monday, 4 May 2015

clumped by a brook
parallel to the s-bend:
mouse-ear chickweed