Saturday, 24 December 2011

the wind-buoyed crows
this Christmas Eve
mackerel sky

Thursday, 22 December 2011

winter solstice
the street-cleaner picks up
a glass half full

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

cold snap
parakeets strip
the crab-apple tree

Thursday, 8 December 2011

storm-force winds
the shopkeeper wrestles
with a Christmas tree

The Hand of God

My poem, 'The Hand of God', which appeared on this blog in an earlier version, is now on the ever-lively Football Poets website.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

winter sunshine
the clippers define
my sideburns

Sunday, 4 December 2011

the slow rowing
gets you nowhere fast
each oarstroke
lifting rainbows of water
the oar and your body as one

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

On the Eucalypt website, there's a very kind and generous appraisal, by Yvonne Hales, of one of my tanka.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

John Barlow's brilliant and moving poem, 'The Ghost Auks', commissioned for Ghost of Gone Birds, is on the Caught by the River website.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

autumn rain cascades
down the station footbridge steps
a white-pawed cat

Saturday, 29 October 2011

bracken light
the fallow-deer herd
fords a stream

Monday, 24 October 2011

Ferris Gilli, Paul MacNeil, Ron Moss and I have two themed renku over on the Notes From the Gean website: Painted Eyes and The Sound of One Garter. Big thanks to our old friend Alan Summers for accepting them.
My brother Adrian has a story on the Bristol Festival of Literature website. Unfortunately, the pithy language has had to be toned down to make it 'family-friendly' but it's still a cracking read.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

the boat's wake
reaches both banks...
diving grebe

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Michaelmas heat
a tangle of bicycles
chained to a lamppost

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

rotting windfalls...
the harbour-master's boat
noses upstream

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A packed house of over 100 people filled the East Room of level 7 at Tate Modern last night for the launch of the Poetry from Art at Tate Modern 2011 pamphlet. With contributors such as Karen McCarthy Woolf, Natasha Morgan and Anne Welsh, the poems were excellent and beautifully read.

My own contribution to the pamphlet, which is now available from the Tate Modern shop at the bargain price of £4.95, is below:

The Runners-up

You probably couldn’t guess from looking at the photo
which player in the sky-blue kitted team –
six of whom stand upright, with arms crossed,
behind the hunkering other five –
is fated within weeks to die
while the rest transfer to secondary school.

Nor would you probably pick me out,
blond and mop-topped as I am then, squinting
next to perma-grinning Robert Scott.
It’s the last time I see him. He chases
his family’s spaniel round the garden, not clocking
that the door of their new conservatory’s shut –

and charges straight through, headfirst,
to be floored like a punctured football.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Leg of Mutton Pond
the grandfather ambles
at his son's pace

Sunday, 11 September 2011

last swallows...
a lad on a Barbie bike
belts downhill

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Farm

A white road leads into the farm;
becomes a cratered barnyard
where an old German shepherd
busts the tautness of a rusty iron chain,
thrashing its intentions a body-length away.

The rose moon rises. As if in downpour,
its light streaks the lemon-scented leaves
of a sprawling eucalyptus; plays
upon the texture of the bark,
the resinous knots and boles,
like sleight of hand on a piccolo’s fingerings.

Everything—even an ocellated lizard
basking beside the coop—
moves at snail’s gallop:
gradually up and over
the choppy furrows of the new-hoed earth.

after Joan Miro, 1921-1922

Friday, 1 July 2011

first bus of the day:
hands-free conversations
in many tongues

Sunday, 26 June 2011

midsummer rain
a magpie snaffles stuff
from guttering

Sunday, 19 June 2011

commuter train
the beaming baby
grasps her feet

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

protruding from the cemetery wall a sprig of bittersweet

Saturday, 28 May 2011

evening lull
rowers drop oars
at the cox's command

Thursday, 26 May 2011

drought's end
a duck flanked by her young
sails downriver

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sand Martins

make nuanced, meticulous flips
above the shallows

on whose shimmer reflections of willows
sprawl from the ait

until they’re breasted into ripples
by a red-crested pochard

nibbling a female’s tail
with its fuchsia-lipstick bill,

as the martins torpedo towards their nest-hole
in the stone embankment,

one squeezing inside, just past the other.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

humid night
three ducks follow
the main line out of town

Friday, 22 April 2011

this warm spring night
the honeysuckle scent
partners me home

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

borne by the evening haze the blush of a woodpigeon's breast

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

strategy planning
the senior manager jots
on the back of his hand

after Matt Morden
I have a poem on the Tate Modern website, as part of the latest course tutored by Pascale Petit.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

slowing past a bank
of sunlit marsh marigolds:
the narrow river

Thursday, 31 March 2011

from the deer herd
their ragged red coats
spotlit by sunbeams
flickering through willows:
a clutch of coots' eggs

Thursday, 24 March 2011

on the underside
of the signal-gantry:
many shades of rust

Thursday, 17 March 2011

budding magnolia
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
heaves with the breeze

Sunday, 27 February 2011

the first spring sun picks out

Friday, 25 February 2011

outside the mosque
a bed of crocuses

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


tear up the valley,
each asserting leadership and hectoring,

then dropping to the back, up-fronting
once again and repeating ad libitum;

till they alight on cankered horse-chestnuts
to occupy our listening space

with the random polyphony
of a hall full of schoolkids

at Monday-morning assembly
before the Deputy Head strides in

to impose just through presence
some kind of restive order.

Friday, 28 January 2011

full spate
the river swirling
all shades of brown

i.m. David Platt, fantastic haiku poet and all-round great bloke

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

red morning
the spread of frost around
lichen-edged gravestones

Sunday, 16 January 2011

new year mudbath
a clearance soars across
the neighbouring pitch

Sunday, 9 January 2011

round an icy park
at the city's edge:
the trilling of waxwings
through puddles the size of ponds my running shoes' cadence