Friday, 31 January 2014

long run the river far more fluent than I am

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

around the feet
of students eating pizza
out of boxes:
the town starlings' glossiness
after heavy slanting rain

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Constable Country

Sunday lunchtime in the King’s Arms: the Zapata-moustached landlord
spits, Well done for keeping the entire village awake last night. We’d
certainly tried our best. After lagers and tequilas down the Greyhound,

we’d upped the ante at Harry’s because his folks and siblings were away.
I’d guzzled a litre of 100-proof Southern Comfort in the time it took Harry
and his mates to cane his old man’s collection of double-distilled whiskey.

The night was warm so we’d played cricket in the field behind the garden,
with china that Harry’s mum was saving for charity: the crack of Willow on
willow cheered; a six scored for every direct hit on his sister’s rabbit run...

When I board the Smoke-bound coach at Colchester, I get my head down for
a kip near the back, only to be roused by a sick-breath, psychobilly greaser
who sparks up the skinniest roll-up and makes his opening gambit in my ear:

Alright? I’ve just come from Norwich – nicest nick I’ve ever been in. Lester
Piggott was on my wing. ’Scuse me for a sec, mate, but I gotta do an Eartha.
Which, while whistling, he noisily does; by the emergency exit, on the floor.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

how bright the years in
the Georgian palace brickwork
this lukewarm winter

Friday, 24 January 2014

before the rain
you take a slow loop around
the Quaker burial ground

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

my head dead-still—
how my five-year-old self
wriggled and flinched
from the indigo coldness
of the barber's tools

Monday, 20 January 2014

January sun
the arm-linked couple's sticks
prod the pavement as one

Saturday, 18 January 2014

yellow moon
a glimpse of a porpoise
easing upstream

Thursday, 16 January 2014

brackish skies
the sound of four swans
heading over town

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Sunflower Bay

The high midsummer sun
pinpoints the blush collared dove's cushioned flight,
in a sky as blue as the pools that punctuate
the terracotta townscape shelving down
upon the Mediterranean.

After a fine and fun
alfresco lunch, we paddle out of sight;
our torsos ferried, as though we’ve no girth or weight,
by the gift of effortless propulsion –
tournesols, girasols, sonnenblumen...

Monday, 13 January 2014

rush-hour rain I talk to myself on the bus again

Sunday, 12 January 2014

the way the crows alight
on every tussock
within the curtilage
of the sugar maples

Thursday, 9 January 2014

the rain desists in the juniors' playground wagtails skip

Wednesday, 8 January 2014


You make them early,
between Boxing Day and NYE:
next year will be the big one –
in which you will meet The One.

Yes, you will ooze positivity,
like a fully-charged phone.

You will be irresistible; cease all moping;
and re-engineer your clapped-out mojo.

Your face will beam beneficence
like a rainbow over the flood plain.

You will find your love.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

the stop before mine:
how each person alighting
approaches the puddle

Monday, 6 January 2014

a wiry fellow
follows his ferret
down an alley...
nowhere to walk but
straight through puddles

Sunday, 5 January 2014

at Hampton Court
the river rises
to medieval levels...
the slow-motion beats
of a swan into flight

Saturday, 4 January 2014

New Year blues
the scaffolding covers billow
from the Market House

Thursday, 2 January 2014

the river streaks pell-mell
on either side of Eel Pie Island
two pied wagtails

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


On a nether morning between
Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, when

rain and gales lambast the house
with expletives and the light dims

to pumice-grey (but you won’t switch
the lights on as that would be much

too much like giving in), the doors trill
in their frames, old sash windows roll

and jig, and you have to hunker down,
make soup, then love, all afternoon.