Saturday, 30 November 2013


Not needing the chair behind him
or the cordless mic provided,
he edges nearer to the folk
who turned up late and had to park
themselves shyly in the front row;
works the audience like a pro;
doggedly corners the limelight;
by God, he’s on form tonight!
As the number of hands declines,
he fills the gap with sharp asides,
jokes that if they've no more questions
he’ll go down the Leg of Mutton
to catch, with any luck, the last
of the football, England against
some minnows made up of postmen,
teachers, architects and dustmen.
Remember, he says, to fill out
the online survey, to support
the proposal. Democracy
in action; indisputably
a good thing, this grassroots recourse
to voting; a round of applause.

Friday, 29 November 2013

the manmade river
barely moving anywhere—
flaming cherry-trees

Thursday, 28 November 2013

under the flightpath
two moorhens clamber over
a step in the brook

Monday, 25 November 2013

from iron railings
to the Coronation Stone:
a pair of wagtails

Sunday, 24 November 2013

drab dusk
I run past a smoker
on her smokeless side

Friday, 22 November 2013

icy morning
the sound of a kiss
from the back of the bus

Saturday, 16 November 2013

full moon the poet's delivery faster than her words

Friday, 15 November 2013

how the Georgian town peters out into fields where the sheep graze

Thursday, 14 November 2013

over Poppy Hill the elegant fizz of long-tailed tits

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

after frost
the way the apple garden
floods with light

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

neo-classical church:
a squirrel scampers up
its scaffolding poles

Monday, 11 November 2013

on Martinmas
the passage of geese
through a drab sky...
my bus pulls up
at every stop

Sunday, 10 November 2013

*****Forthcoming readings*****

As you can see from the 'Events' bit, I am involved in two readings next week: firstly, as part of a 'nature haiku' reading with John Barlow and Martin Lucas at the annual New Networks for Nature symposium at Stamford Arts Centre in sunny Lincolnshire on Saturday 16th, where we'll be reading selections from the forthcoming Snapshot Press Where the River Goes anthology edited by fellow fire horse Allan Burns; and then as part of the launch of Magma 57 at the Troubador, Earl's Court on Monday 18th, where I'll be reading my poem 'Pietà' that will be in the issue plus another one, probably a new poem called 'Autumn Wind'. I've been to many fine Coffee House Poetry evenings at the Troubador over the years so it'll be great to take part in one. I've also tried many times to get a poem accepted by Magma so it's very encouraging to succeed at last. If anyone wants to come along to either event, they should be cracking and it would be lovely to see you there.
on the hill brow
a cantering stag takes
the best of the sun

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Blue Night

This indigo night,
the corrugated canopy
which overhangs
my courtyard garden
chevrons the yellow moon;

the same moon
you’re watching, brother,
so many miles away,
a day’s ride north
of Khartoum;

the same moon
that’s always
waiting round the corner
like a great big kid

to tap you on the shoulder,
sidestep sharply
and titter for England
when you look
the wrong way.

Friday, 8 November 2013

beneath the darkening undersides of clouds white dead-nettles

Thursday, 7 November 2013

smell of fireworks...
in the cul of the cul-de-sac
crab-apples, three-deep

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

autumn heat—
two goods wagons shine
down a siding

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

he moves the leaves
with powerful sweeps...
his forearms glisten
in the post-rain sun

Monday, 4 November 2013

The Snowstorm

The snowstorm rolls in so quickly,
it furnishes the answer to your question,
Why is the sky so desperately small?

It’s yellow, it’s black, it’s grey,
yet you can see it’s red and blue too,
and you can smell its intent;

and just when all you could see before
of the city now becomes unseen,
out from the air-thicket flies

a V of geese, honking in unison,
lifting into a sun-blessed world
the riverscape on their wings.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

anarcho-cyclist graffiti—
three geese lift
from the rain-lashed canal

Saturday, 2 November 2013

the driver tells us
he always hopes his last train
will be cancelled
so he can knock off early—
the Day of the Dead