On first looking into Reach Poetry

Who knows why some enthral me,

others astound me, a few knock me down,

feather-light. The mood I’m in,

my state of health, the weather,

exterior stimuli, or lack, or absence

or presence of mind, unforeseen, unwelcome

circumstances, the quiet roar

of distant traffic, helicopters

black and red and white,

the cat’s meow, the neighbours’ goss.

Some slip off my back,

over my head, between my ears,

under my very nose. Occasionally

words take flight, elude me,

tie my tongue.  Now and then

I am unable to translate

lacking linguistic niceties.  Once,

in a while, one smacks me right

in the kisser, between the eyes, grabs me

by the throat, bites and clings

like a tick on a deer and then

I wield my baton, pierce the paper,

tick, tick, tick.

First published in Reach Poetry

Feux d’artifice, Nice le quatorze Juillet


Red lorry, yellow lorry, white lorry,

White lorry, slowly, slowly, what’s he doing?

Something’s wrong.  Revving, revving,

Speeding, speeding.  Stop him!  Stop him!

Swerving, swerving.  Killing, killing.

Screaming, screaming, howling, crying

Spare the children!  On and on

And on.  Now running, running,

Panic, panic.  Hide us!  Hide us!

Shuttered buildings.  Ferme.  Save us!

Alley rats, alley rats, what’s your hurry?

Inside!  Inside!  What’s the problem?

Just a road crash.  Cower, cower.

Shoot him!  Shoot him!  Bang!  He’s dead!

And them.  And them.  And them.


Short Poems


June is busting out.

All over? Nothing ends

in nature.  Life goes on.


Clouts cast, now exiled

to wardrobe’s nether regions

there to hibernate.


Midsummer night. Dream?

Perchance.  Shuffles off to bed

in mortal curlers.


Glut of slugs?  Plant beer.

If only it would bear fruit

Summer miracle.


peony parades

pink petals, pale perfection

proud, passionate plumes


First published in ‘Reach Poetry’