Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Launch of Mir Mahfuz's Ali's collection

At Covent Garden Community Association, aka the Seven Dials Club, last night, Mahfuz launched his debut collection of poems, Midnight, Dhaka, published by Seren. Mahfuz is a brilliant, energetic and passionate reader and so his taut, finely honed poems truly came alive when he read them. I'm really looking forward to reading the book.

throughout the reading
the barman dries up glasses
extra quietly

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Presence 50

Issue 50 of Presence, which Ian Storr and I edited following the deeply sad passing of Martin Lucas, has now been published. It includes a final essay by Martin which should be required reading for anyone new, or fairly new, to haiku.
the woodland ride:
all the bees
at the bell heather

Monday, 28 July 2014

the thwack of arrows...
wood ants collide
along a fallen pine

Sunday, 27 July 2014

morning swim:
an old bloke shows me
how to breathe

Saturday, 26 July 2014

through heathland forest
my son as straightbacked
as a pine

Friday, 25 July 2014

small blue...
a pine leans on another
at forty-five degrees
after a stint
on the bandstand:
the jazzman's sneeze

Thursday, 24 July 2014

fierce heat
the farmer opens his gate
for his tractor

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

all the way
to the lush horizon
the scent of pines
and, beneath them, ferns
sunlit like your smile

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

verandah blues...
the morning sun is sifted
through the pines

Saturday, 19 July 2014

between glugs
lightning flash after flash
chases the dark

Friday, 18 July 2014

hotel night
the storm peters out
across the forecourt

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

teatime heat...
in the stream's few inches
a salmon heads upstream

Monday, 14 July 2014

on this day of flying ants: a lick of toffee ice cream

Saturday, 12 July 2014

evening haze
a busker lays out cigarette papers
on his keyboard

Friday, 11 July 2014

the Polish barber says
he's rooting for Germany—
early hibiscus

Thursday, 10 July 2014

throughout a meeting
of bollockings:
summer rain

Sunday, 6 July 2014


flails drums for The Fuckwitz, a part-time punk band
who tour Europe for a month each year. As he’s fond
of telling us, they’re popular in Switzerland,

which half-explains the incident with the groupies
Olga and Petra – their only ‘babes’, alas –
in Lake Geneva, after playing Caves de Versoix:

skinny-dipping by moonlight, when Cosimo raced
against Trevor, the bassist, and merrily goosed
the babes in the depths, where the moon didn't shine; pissed-

up to the nines on the all-they-could-drink payment
in lieu of cash, an offer that singer Raymond
accepted without a thought. Encore smashed. Vraiment.

Friday, 4 July 2014

morning heat
I run my hand through

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Utility Man

As he skips through his range of warm-up tricks
on the much-maligned artificial pitch –
the best one an over-the-shoulder flip
condescendingly ensnared by his nape –
you wouldn’t suppose that fifteen minutes
before, Sheffield-sharp in a three-piece suit
at Huckleberry’s counter, he ordered
a cheeseburger deal to go, and nodded
towards some fans, with a toss of his wedge,
a wordless greeting-of-sorts as he went.

He’s fed up of not being pigeon-holed;
of being called Mr Versatile:
no position he can claim as his own,
except the bench, from where he’s often thrown      
to be a makeshift forward or outside right;
even called upon between the uprights
one Boxing Day. As the Senior Pro,
he gets his UEFA badges; in due
course becomes the new Gaffer’s right-hand man;
‘completely respected’ by everyone;

the butt of pranks by YTS trainees.
He can’t sustain his pace for long, so he’s
only used in cameos, when his bold,
old-fashioned wing-play – arms out, head down – would
salvage a point. On hanging up his boots,
he fills various roles: lower-league scout;
leftfield purveyor of droll punditry
for local radio; brusque licensee
of a pub known for being welcoming
to all, including old folk, kids and dogs.

Note: a previous version of this appeared at Football Poets a few years ago, but I've recently revised it and as there's no World Cup games today I thought I'd fill the interlude...
a day ahead of myself...
the sun around the oak
encompasses me

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

beach rounders:
the bat, not the ball,
arcs on the breeze