Sunday, 29 November 2015

my mother sends me
a blank text

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Black Friday
sunshine spills beneath
the Clattern Bridge

Friday, 27 November 2015

post office queue:
cashier number nine mis-hears
Bucharest as Budapest

Thursday, 26 November 2015

New haiku books

As well as the imminent publication of my own second haiku collection, The Lammas Lands, by Snapshot Press, about which I will post details here soon, I'm proud to be one of the 12 contributors to Off the Beaten Track, one of the two inaugural titles of Hamish Ironside and Mike Fell's new publishing venture, Boatwhistle.

Apart from me, Off the Beaten Track features five other experienced haiku poets, including Hamish himself, and seven poets (including Hugo Williams, Sally Read and Matthew Welton) and other creative types for whom the haiku they produced for this project represented their very first attempts. Inevitably, the results are mixed, but distinctive and intriguing. Each contributor was allocated a month last year and asked to write a haiku a day throughout their month. Mine was March. An added, delightful bonus is that Hamish commissioned 12 artists to produce an illustration for one of the months.

The book will be officially launched early next year but is available to pre-order from the Boatwhistle website. Having had a sneak preview of the first printed copies, it's clear that the production values, design and overall loveliness of the book will match the quirkiness of its contents, which isn't surprising given that Hamish is Faber's go-to man for typesetting and proofing their poetry books.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

the rueful peek
of the man in the moon...
new books to read

Monday, 23 November 2015

into the black
beneath a waxing moon:
the blades-down eight

Friday, 20 November 2015


Out of routine, 
the beaten path, 

the guillemots 
on their eggs 

jostle upon 
a cliff ledge,

the dimensions 
of a bookshelf,

within the weal
of the wind.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

by Storm Barney's gusts
the teatime moon

Monday, 16 November 2015

in the storm's wake
the through-train torpedoes
towards its eye

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Rain Running

We talk about how funny—yes, funny haha—it is 
to watch people run, across A-roads and zebras;

whenever it's time to get a shift on: scuttlers
and scurriers; scooters, scamperers, skedaddlers:

that chap you know in Planning, in his pinstripe suit,
turned-down trousers flapping like wings against the wet;

mums and dads dashing, with or without a pushchair:
the way we leg-it through drizzle in normal gear

lends a crizzled exaggeration of ourselves;
of how we habitually cruise along our lives. 

for Jane McBeth and Simon Chard

Thursday, 12 November 2015

curving land
a line of pylons connects
to the sunfall

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

between two boards
a street-sweeper gathers leaves
and the warm winds

Monday, 9 November 2015

on my way to work
the hillside church's steeple
sucks up all the sun

Sunday, 8 November 2015


Limboing under the tightrope to enter,
I realised that the last lot 

had wired up the downstairs
for maximum pain 

via ultra-amplified crackling distortion
and bone-combusting electrocution:

a vegetable-grater flashed like a lighthouse,
gurning its starspun charge

to the otherwise pitch-black kitchen,
where an unwashed spaghetti spoon fizzled

and the wind whistled murder
through a tenor trombone.

after Mona Hatoum, 1999, from Poetry from Art, edited by Pascale Petit, Tate Modern, 2010

Sunday, 1 November 2015

From a District Line Train

Across the Chelsea rooftops,
mist rasps like a child's cough;
and out of it, in one go,
raggedy crow after crow.