Poem up today at Vita Brevis

I’m very pleased to have two landscape-inspired poems lined up for publication at the online poetry magazine Vita Brevis. The first of these – “Black Hill” is appearing today, and can be found here. The second – “Downland” – will go live on January 31st.

My thanks to the editor of VB, Brian Geiger, for accepting these.

Towards the end of our knowing one another


Towards the end of our knowing one another


that infamous whisky-hour conversation ceased

its looping flight and fell from out of the clouds,

becoming more a string of painful retreats

from the same old mountain, with no guide

to navigate a way between the boulders,

the only choice to keep on going down.

But then I remember you telling me how

you always really preferred the plateau,

the big-sky possibility of the high moors

or the wide-open silence of the desert,

with the comfort of its horizons. How it

bathed you in a bottomless pool of space.

Where did it all disappear to? The quiet

sine-wave of your voice circling my ear?

Sharing your untold versions of the darkness,

pointing them with the tired light of our stars?



first published in Cacti Fur, 2020

Holly

Best wishes for the festive season.

Holly

All this time cowed in shadows,
stunted and contained, or else

straggling desperately through gaps,
her thick-set leaves have become

as dark as the longest night, and
glossed well beyond necessity.

Each has grown a ready fist of teeth,
defending her hard, blood-blister fruits.

first published in Northampton Poetry Review, 2018

12 Poems of Christmas at “Dodging The Rain”

I’m really honoured to have had one of my poems selected by Dodging The Rain for their annual “Dodging The Snow – 12 Poems of Christmas” feature.

The series kicks off tomorrow and runs until New Year’s Day. My poem – “First Overseas Christmas” – is up on December 29th (and not just before Christmas, as I posted here recently – my error!). Very, very grateful to Neil Slevin and the rest of the team at DTR.

Seasons greetings to you all.

Holocene

Holocene

The shoreline has no recollection of the ice;
only the genetic memory of suffocation, smothering,

of cold, silent fingers playing at the clay of the Earth,
sundering rocks. There are only echoes, hearsay,

the whisper of older waters – receded, replenished –
forests, hills, a whole continent swallowed below.

Becoming a pixel in the image, a word of the story,
I press footmarks through a knotted dunescape

to arrive, human, upon it, eyes finally registering
only in the present tense, shouldering my own tide.

first published in Amethyst Review, 2020