Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Slept well; thanks perhaps to a generous libation of orange-flower water. – Andre Gide, Journal, 23 November 1912.

Sand martins
enact meticulous flips

before abruptly torpedoing
into their nest-hole

on the island famed
for botanical gardens

laid out and nurtured
by an Ulsterman named McClintock

who avoided internment or worse
because the Fascists adored his azaleas.

When the sun breaks orange
over the Lepontine Alps,

I will board the ferry
at the lido

and stand with my legs akimbo
as the boat jigs over the wavelets.

Halfway across to Isola Seme,
I’ll hand on the note.

Monday, 22 February 2016

the grizzled busker
in unstinting drizzle
tells the high street
how he fell into
a burning ring of fire

Friday, 19 February 2016

Best New British and Irish Poets 2016

I'm delighted to be included among the 50 poets in this anthology, to be published this March by Eyewear Publishing.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

wayside daffodils
at last the new house
fills the space

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Persian restaurant
the deliveryman spills
crates of tomatoes

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

frosty morning
my shadow covers the gaps
between four pines

Monday, 15 February 2016

half moon
a grebe plunges into
the marmalade sunset

Friday, 12 February 2016

without moving its bill
the Egyptian goose won't stop
chuntering wheezily

Thursday, 11 February 2016

between train tracks
recumbent beer bottles
beset by frost

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

on the river running 
mud-brown and fast:
massing gulls

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

walking faster
to dodge the rainstorm—
Polish graffiti

Monday, 8 February 2016

wind-strafed birches
the curate's cheeks sunken
into his face

Sunday, 7 February 2016

the phillyrea
unruffled by gales
chihuahua steps

Thursday, 4 February 2016

the line of poplars
blackens a mackerel sky...
February blues

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

the plodding cyclist
hackles his cough

Monday, 1 February 2016

empty high street:
only a pub-sign's squeak
on the cold wind