North coast

There are no havens here
only the angry wind
hurling itself at the cliff
and the ocean
a white curdling

each rock a blade
a barricade
each bay guarded
by stone teeth


For Sammi’s weekend prompt. I haven’t done one of these for ages…


We have always lived in the castle

With its high walls and heavy gates
that open with the gleam of gold
the flash of plastic
we have always lived here
secure in our large vocabularies
and convoluted grammar
and our knowledge of which fork to use.

We have always lived here
and wondered why others choose
to live in crowded tenements
and walk on muddy cart-tracks
to smoke on street corners
take pills and shit
to manufacture moods

when here, in this high tower,
the views are wonderful
and the breeze brings scents
of moonlight blossoms

come up come up
we call
then shut the door

For Christine’s daily writing prompt at Go Dog Go Cafe – and for the dVerse  open link night.

Christine prompts us to write a poem inspired by the title of a book. 10-3-2019

What does the rook say? II

I’m here.

Goodnight –




Goodnight –












I’m here.

I wrote a very short poem a couple of days ago, imagining what my local rooks were saying to each other. Their evening conversation reminded me of the Waltons’ sign off. I’ve revisited their good-nights here, with almost kennings, in an almost-poem.

Although – poem

although the moon is full, the stars are out
although the stars are out, there’s frost tonight
although there’s frost tonight, the fire is warm
although the fire is warm, the room is cold
although the room is cold, I’m not alone
although I’m not alone, I’m scared right now
although I’m scared right now, my hands are quiet
although my hands are quiet, my mind is spinning
although my mind is spinning, I know what to say
although I know what to say, I’m keeping still
although I’m keeping still, I want to run
although I want to run, the door is locked
although the door is locked, I have a key
although I have a key, the night is dark
althought the night is dark, the moon is full

although ms quickly asked for a list poem, i’m kind of ignoring her…

I dreamed I was sorry

I dreamed I wrote a poem that made you cry
I dreamed I wrote a poem that burnt the page
I dreamed I wrote a poem that flew away
I dreamed I wrote a poem that smelled of chocolate
I dreamed I wrote a poem in a field of poppies
I dreamed I wrote a poem about a dream

I never wrote a poem that made you cry
I’m sorry I wrote a poem that made you cry
We were all there when I wrote a poem that made you cry
I was ill when I wrote a poem that made you cry
I forgot to stop when I wrote a poem that made you cry
I was on the train when I wrote a poem that made you cry

We were all there when the dog made you cry
We were all there when I dropped the plate and made you cry
We were all there when I ran away and made you cry
We were all there when the fireworks made you cry
We were all there when your mother made you cry
We were all there when the postcard made you cry

I dreamed that I was sorry that I made you cry.


This was my response to an interesting little prompt from Miz Quickly. 

It’s a long prompt, so you can pop over there and read it for yourself, and then give it a go if you fancy. I’m never quite sure about these very structured “list”-y poems, but I thought I’d give it a go. Having written it, I’m still not sure about it. I might come back and fiddle around with it at some point. 


I would like there to be something  in between
an exclamation mark and a full stop.
A full stop goes “duh”,
lands flat
on the mat.

An exclamation mark goes
I don’t always feel that way…

I want something a little friendlier
and more enthusiastic
than a full stop.

A little less over-excited
than an
exclamation mark!

And don’t get me started on ellipses…
the drifting off of attention…
the valley lift…
my dearest punctuation tic…

I question all the time? or do I?

The colon and the semi-colon;
they are not my friends:
I never play with them;
they turn their backs on me;
too snooty for the likes of me.

Dashes, though – I love them –
they just run and run –
like frantic puppies panting for a walk –
turn every thing I write
into an homage –
to Emily, of course…

Yesterday I was a chair

Yesterday I was a chair –
a soft place to nestle with a book.
Today, I’m a table, spread with food.
Sit, eat. This is a generous house.

I was a bed, for months,
baby head heavy on my shoulder,
and most days I’m a bookcase,
carrying a rich burden of words.

I’m a cupboard. Open me.
See, all that shiny viscera,
and cups and saucers,
and my beating heart

and I’m the TV in the corner
of the room, with sound turned down,
and I’m a deck-chair,
leaning back among the roses.

This just tumbled out as my response to Qbit’s comment on my last post. It’s a bit ragged at the edges, but I thought I’d seize the moment. 


This mask –
once a god’s,
dripping – ah! –
down through
eternity’s lead wall.
Oceans boiling away,
scented with destruction –
just an echoing stone,
the song a passing curio.


I’ve been admiring other people’s erasure poems and vaguely waiting for the right poem to come along so that I can play with it myself. I read Brendan’s piece here, and some words just popped out at me, so I decided to go with it. I would describe Brendan as a “big” poet – his poems are not just physically big, they have big themes, big references, big resonances. I hope I’ve managed to keep some of that “bigness” in this very small poem.