Sunday, 26 February 2017

mauve crocuses . . .
yer man necks in one
his energy drink

Saturday, 4 February 2017


I double-take my double take, adjust the view-
finder over fields diagonally furrowed.

Latching onto a falcon’s dive is purely
a matter of point-the-bins-and-see.

I can’t see the aftermath of its swoop
on an idle dabbler, but somehow I trap

the peregrine’s flight across the lagoon,
packed with avocets, teal and widgeon,

which freak into the air, as if a match has
been lit in a room full of flammable gas.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

riverside benches:
the dedication plates
buffed up by rain

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Jackdaws

Among the spiralling branches
of a monkey puzzle tree, mid-
January sunlight thins my breath.

O to soar above the treetops
like the jackdaws wheeling around,
instead of plodding like a mule

as I do. Every step brings pain
from the illness surging throughout
my limbs, a gross infestation

reaching even unto my hair
which sprawls like a eucalyptus
in the deep, disordered winter.

Learning Esperanto by post
from an old chap in Abinger
lets me converse with the jackdaws:

‘Trinkaj’, I say, when they drink from
the low-tide river at my feet.
Trinkaj!’ They appreciate that.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Minerva Platen Press

passes for the offspring of the first Mercedes–Benz
and Leonard’s mother’s inherited Singer.

They work it by pedalling the treadle
—or sometimes by treadling the pedal—
which thereby provides daily exercise.

Thus, from Zeppelin-terrorised Paradise Road,
fly pamphlets, typographical errors and all.

By and by, their agricultural zeal
overlays the drawing-room carpet
with Virginia’s own, dizzying yield.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

the only light
blinks from a bicycle
on the far bank

Sunday, 8 January 2017

On Witnessing the Deployment of Water Cannon

The Frente Popular Galega scour
the New Town, forcibly shutting each bar,
even here, the side-street dive we’re sat in,
quaffing wine with a label in Latin,
stuffing down tortilla Española
drowned by garlic mayonnaise. The owner
implores us to take our bottle and go
The red-flare Frente, tooled-up for aggro,
goad the shield-banging Guardia Civil,
who look like they’re anything but, until
their slapstick cruelty: a blast of water
bowls the Frente over, creates martyrs
of comrades frantically sliding backwards . . .
See how both sides bask in symbiosis.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Year's beer 
the prominent chins 
of other patrons

for John Barlow

Friday, 30 December 2016

The Skate

To celebrate the end of days
I paste strips of papier maché
across my face and soon have
a mould-cum-mask which after
an hour I peel off and leave to dry
beside the skate on the table
before painting it pasty pink
then adding hair even greyer
than actuality as a parody
of my own accursèd selfie
and then I prop up the skate
with its nervous smile and tail
in its lap like it’s wringing
its hands but I find no evidence
of a mermaid’s purse to which
my mask was really an offering.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

a day lost to mist
outside the cemetery
the florist's pots

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

singing as he cycles downhill the man in the moon

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My poetry collection

I'm very happy to say that my first full poetry collection, entitled The Evening Entertainment, will be published by Eyewear Publishing next year.

It will only have taken me 30 years - my first published poem was in Poetry Ireland Review in 1987, when I was at uni. Still, no-one can accuse me of a lack of persistence . . .

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Haibun Today

I have another haibun over at Haibun Today.

Friday, 2 December 2016

around and down
the deodar cedar:
headfirst squirrels