Thursday, 20 October 2016

When windvoice reaches
the silver birches,
we know what's coming;
hear the autumn sing.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

purple hibiscus
the roof of a soft-top
happily retracts

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

jackdaws nap upon
the assembly rooms' dome
     this colder morning
a car park attendant puffs
from space to space

Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Health Food Shop

The scales were, old and coppery: the bowl sat
ponderously in its holder, rather like a cat
would ease itself into a cardboard box
an inch or two too small for it. The hand
had a pleasingly pointed arrow with which
it indicated numbers on a yellowed face.

William showed me how to bag the apricots,
in different weights—quarter, half and whole
kilos—then the lentils, also grown in Turkey:
brown ones, red (of course) and black (new
to me). Many apricots ended up in my mouth.

Custom was slow. William’s mate, Trevor,
an environmentalist who specialised in shite,
was the only regular. I played a tape of Revolver
then a ‘best of’ Nina Simone. I put on weight.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

autumn rain
I delete another contact
from Mum's phone

Friday, 7 October 2016

Best New British and Irish Poets 2017

I'm thrilled that I'm going to be included in Eyewear Publishing's Best New British and Irish Poets anthology for the second successive year.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

A Coleraine Man Ends His Days Where the Thames Meets the Sea

Scatter some ashes on the eel-grass,
Iain. Pipe ‘The Sash’ across this expanse.

My home overlooking the Crowstone
was angled to catch the orangest sun.

Cormorant wings on a toothed-wrack groyne
find a northerly breeze to hang upon.

Scatter some more, on Trinity Sunday,
at Two Tree Island, over the causeway.

A hundred dog-collared plovers take flight;
like a silver-plated flute, flash the light,

before falling-in again, a well-drilled
platoon, to winkle out ragworm and krill.

Scatter some more from St Clement’s belfry.
Shake the rest of me into the estuary.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

lining the top 
of a rollercoaster loop: 
sunset starlings

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Contemporary Haibun Online

I have a haibun, 'Paris', in the latest bumper issue of Contemporary Haibun Online.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Double Kissing the Pink

Amid an infectious hubbub of Malay, we catch
untranslatable parlance in the occasional snatch:
‘a pot to nothing’; even, swears Col, ‘screwback’.

We’re on our usual of the twelve tables at the Blackball,
where the boss and his overweight Doberman prowl.
After a year of friendly competition (winner-takes-all

at a hundred frames), Col and I are level on ninety
-nine each, and suddenly unarticulated, petty
grudges surface between shots. A happily fluky

red unlocks his defensive dirt. I eschew my natural
game and consider each shot from every angle.
I can feel Col’s bitterness simmer and boil until

I miss a long pink and go in-off. ‘About friggin’ time’,
he rasps. I laugh, knowing full well it’s hard to line
up a break out of anger. He fluffs an easy brown

and mutters into his beer. It’s all there for the taking;
I’m not going to pass up the chance: a screaming
black, with side to get back to baulk. I’m well in.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

fiftieth . . .
the poplars protect me
from slanted rain

Thursday, 22 September 2016

first evening chill
we try our basic eight 
at the bus stop

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

the whirr of swans' wings
high over town

Monday, 19 September 2016

affixed where
it's barely visible:
the missing poster