I’m a story weaver.
There are always stories,
and I will tell you yours.

I will weave a cloak from
your story, a rich, warm cloak
that will keep you dry
through the long, dark winter,

and I will weave wings
from your words, so that you
can fly.

I am a grower of rhymes –
I will plant these words deep
in the good soil,
and let them grow into tall trees.
I will pick the fruit
in the Autumn, when the leaves
are golden flames, and the
world catches fire,
and we will savour it together.

I will carve your words
on the river’s skin,
I will write your song
with water, on the city street.

I will set these words
bubbling and brewing,
let them grow themselves
into something new,
transform themselves.
The scent of my words
will drift over the garden,
out across the wall,
it will curve and coil
past houses and offices,
it will find its way
to the sea.

I will carve these words
into the clouds that hang
above the waves,
I will write a poem
on every stone
on every beach,
I will weave your words
into a boat, that will carry you
west, towards the islands of sleep,
east, towards the rising sun,
north, to the great walls of ice
and south, to the burning sands.

I will weave your words
into a boat, that will carry you
beyond the stars.

Not sure what happened here. An incantation, of sorts, for Brendan and the Toads. 


There are no images here.
I have stripped the walls
so that I sit in the dull
pearled opacity of clouds.
I burned my memories –
brief flaring bursts
of rainbow chemicals.
Even the ash has gone,
drifted out on
breezeless air. It isn’t
midnight – there are no stars –
or morning, or any time
I recognise. I am
anchorite contained by
emptiness, walls built
from the vacuum. I am
an empty pixel on
an empty screen.

For the garden over at Toads. We are invited to use imagery, to pile it on, for Fireblossom Friday. 


Music is general

Music is general over Ireland:

There’s a kid with a fiddle

On Grafton Street, and out

In the West, in Ballydehob,

There’s a German couple

In Rosie’s bar, who are playing

Bob Marley. Your parents

Are fox-trotting across the floor

In the golf club, and the army band

Is practicing “Faith of our Fathers”.

In Limerick the pipes, the pipes

Are calling, and in this little church

By the sea, there’s music dancing

Where the altar used to be.

There’s a ceilidh tonight

In the community centre

On Clare Island, and the pipes

Sing like a bad woman

And in Toners there’s a poet

Who suddenly bursts into

“My Lagan Love”, and high

Above Ben Bullen, there’s a

Skylark rising, rising, rising.


For Brendan, over at toads. We are asked to write a poem for St Patrick’s Day. It was hard to narrow it down. Toner’s is a pub in Dublin, if you’re wondering. 


I am the queen of words,
and their slave.

You come in, and vomit
your words in front of me.
I kneel, sorting through
the sharp shards of words
that cut my fingers,
the dull, slimy words
that choke me. I construct
some kind of story from them,
we construct some kind of story
from them.

I am the witchbitch that built the tower,
and the princess trapped there,
and the wyrm that guards it.

You wrap your arms around your words
and hold them back from me.
I offer you a hundred nuanced shades
of meaning, and still you keep
your mouth closed, lips tight over
clenched teeth, words trapped
in the darkness.

I am the old woman holding out the apple,
and the girl who bites it.

There are words smeared dripping
over the walls of this small room,
there is a stink of them, rotting
in the corners.

There are words floating free
like glistening insects,
rising on shafts of light.

I will make your story.


Linked to Poets United, and to Real Toads, for a Real Toads prompt – words –


This is my response to Louis MacNeice’s poem Snow. It’s for Brendan over at Real Toads who asks us to respond to a poem that inspired us. 


You came in, and suddenly
the room was full of roses,
as if you were the tipping point
that made it all make sense.

Inside, trapped warmth, rich scent,
and all those roses crawling up the walls,
across the curtains, and the glass vase
swelling on the wooden table,

one petal on the shiny surface, fallen.
Outside, winter,all lines and angles, woodcut.
The world turns in analogue, infinitesimal.,
but we see the moment when the load shifts.

World is evolution.

I’m struggling here. This room too
soft and fragrant. I could sink,
but there is something urgent
out there, beyond the glass.

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes—
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands—
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.


I will be here.


I believe that writing matters.

I will write with a pen, on paper.

I will write every day. I will write as an act of exploration.

I will journey without a map.


I believe that bookshops are important.

I will buy books. I will share books. I will read.

I  believe that libraries are magical places.

I will borrow books. I will take them back on time. Mostly.


I believe that connection is strength.

I will listen more. I will laugh more. I will share more.


I believe that we feel joy in activity.

I will get my hands dirty. I will knead bread.

I will run in the rain. I will swim in the sea.

I will dance.


I will breathe.


When I talk about crabs
I’m not talking about crabs.

When I talk about that sideways
that tip toe movement scratching
across the floor
in the middle of the night

I’m not talking about crabs.

When I talk about that
hard carapace, abandoned,
the soft form seeking
shade and shelter,
predator made prey,

I’m not talking about crabs.

When I talk about those claws
gripping, tearing,
and the scars they left,
my body changed,
predator made prey,

I’m not talking about crabs.

You know that, right?


Submitted to the toads – Tuesday Platform.

Ghosts at my table

there are ghosts at my table tonight
I write, not mentioning that
my table is a pale rectangle
of wood, so that perhaps
you picture your own table,
round, white, plastic –
or a dark mahogany oval,
and your ghosts are
the dark ring left by
a wine bottle, the last time
you had dinner with
a long lost lover,
or the scorched place
where you set down a pan
too quickly, the day
you heard that news
about your sister, while mine
are the assorted stains
and scratches left by my
children as they leave their
childhood, not quite ghosts,
waiting to fade.

Metafictionfor the Toads