Sunday, 11 March 2018


Mother's Day poem about my own mum....


How are you managing for heating oil?
Do you know that Mrs Mullen died?
I hope you like onions with your stuffing?
You said in your text that you’re on nights next.

Heaped on offerings of food,
Hot pans make mood for flavour.
Television. Loud repeated soaps,
Water hissing on stove. Potato
Peelings blocking sink - no time to think;

Can I help? I question her red face,
No it’s alright - clean the windows instead -
but listen; wait until after you’re fed.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018



I can smell the sweet potato peel
Upon my skin – and I visualise walking
Amongst the summer rows.

I pick over the box of earthy potatoes.
When I pull one that is perfect
I turn it in my hand like a gold nugget –
Buried in my memory – a charm.

I peel back happiness from the soil,
Memories drop into a watery bowl;
The day we planted them – sowing
Love which had lain on the edges.

Uncertain, I nearly threw love out
With un-seeded tubers; to decay in hedges.
Instead I wrapped them and stored them
In a cold shed – for spring planting;

I can already see your face shining pride
At flowering drills; you stand with a wide-stance;
The posture of the accomplished soul – your eyes,
Stare lovingly at each planted offering.

Published in my poetry collection ‘The Last Fire’ (Lapwing Publications).

Saturday, 20 January 2018



The wafer-thin leaves
Are now stuck in icy ground
Like frozen ideas


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Rhythm of Wood

The Rhythm of Wood

‘Hazel burns well; made for fire.
Ash splits and cuts easily. The thorn
is the best. Elders are useless’, he gestures
through gaps. His hands are veined
like leaves; he touches his cap in thought.

A character from this town land,
born of the substance of soil;
his pride in wood-piles.

A shy bachelor smile, and dragging a branch,
comments on the cold season. His furrowed brow
like his fields are full with life, but worn
with the tread of time. Fertilized with the rapture of repetition,
feeding his ragged trouser philanthropy?

Forty acres with a rose-scented doorway to the past,
at last reconciled to being a bachelor and a good neighbour.
I smile gratitude for his earthy routine –
the rhythm of wood freely given.

Recently published here....

Tuesday, 31 October 2017



You gathered sticks
To bathe the night with fire,
You, in your element
Smiling watery eyes;
Happy sighs as you bent.
The next day your soul gathered
Over your cold body
To be buried under sticks and clay….

Saturday, 26 August 2017



I think of childhood
Jumping streams.
A day that began in
Day dream. I loved
That mid-air feeling
A shore footed landing
On the other side.

Life was like that at
Twelve years old
Bravely challenging
Balancing harvesting
Wonder. Put me in a
Class in a uniform
Of cute chatter
And I fell mid-stream.

I stood there among peers
In their neat clipped
Lives, along stuffy
Corridors. Out of
This whole class,
I was always first,

Out through the door when
The bell woke me.

Monday, 26 June 2017



Beneath the elders
Where bumble bees
Lose themselves
In flowering thyme;

I lie down in dew-soaked ease.

And dog-rose is the scent
That makes my spirits rise
In the kingdom of the low –
Flying bird.

I take comfort on the mossy soil;
Last years leaves sweet;
Damp In the wing-tipped breeze,
To ease my mind and soothe
My brow;

In dappled light my speckled thoughts take flight…

And the worm-seeking thrushes
Make a rustling sound
Where life goes on
Underground –

Beneath the earthy mound.