Two poems published in “The Lake”

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I’m extremely pleased to have two of my poems – Calling my grandfather in from his workshop at lunchtime and Blossom – appearing in the September issue of “The Lake”, which is now available online.

These poems were part of the first submission I’ve made to any publications for quite a long time, so I’m particularly grateful to editor John Murphy for giving them a home. John was also kind enough to publish another of my poems – Extract fromNotes for the unborn child – back in April 2017.


Being Neil Armstrong

Feels appropriate to repost this just now…



Being Neil Armstrong


You imagine it sometimes happened unexpectedly;

he’d be out walking, or in some Earthbound vehicle,

and his apparently random trajectory would bring

a moon into view, just like that, framed like a

backlit well between two buildings, or in a hole

bitten out by time’s lazy doodle on a mountainside.


But then other times perhaps he’d wait deliberately for

one to rise, parking up the car or resting in a silent chair,

always facing eastward at just the right moment;

he’d have that uncanny knack you couldn’t explain

of knowing when it was lurking just out of sight, yet

about to breach the slowly turning curve of the horizon.


You just couldn’t know, could you, what it might be like?

To be him? Knowing how it all looks from up there,

remembering. Waiting for Sting to come on the radio,

when you’re driving home all alone, singing about how

Giant steps are what you take…” and screaming out

at the dashboard, or into the utter emptiness above us.


first published in Bunbury Magazine, issue 13, 2016

More poems in The High Window

The summer issue of The High Window has been released this week, and I’m pleased to bring news that it contains two of my poems – “The Long Drive North” and “Remembrance Day”. Clicking on my name in the list will parachute you into the appropriate place, although there is so much fine writing to admire within it’s worth plunging in anywhere.

This is my second appearance in THW, following on from the publication of “The Martian View of Earth”, “Cross-country Champion” and “Stars” in 2017. I’m very grateful to editor David Cooke for once again choosing to publish my work.

Poem published in issue #22 of Riggwelter

I’m really pleased to have had a poem accepted for the most recent issue of Riggwelter, a journal I’ve been following closely and admiring since its beginnings.

You can find “What they do to chickens” – and read the rest of issue #22 – by clicking here. Big thanks to editor Amy Kinsman for including my poem.

Poem in Picaroon Poetry – Issue #16

Delighted to report that Kate Garrett has very kindly included one of my poems – “Monoblockheads” – in the latest issue of the ever-splendid Picaroon Poetry. You can check out the whole fabulous issue here.

This is my second time in the pages of PP, after the appearance of “Eve and her mother have a little chat” in 2017. It’s good to be back there. Thanks to Kate for the thumbs-up, and to you for reading.

An Award!

The People’s Vote has finally happened.

And I am honoured to discover that my poem, “Lawrence”, has been chosen as the November/December Poem of the Month by the readers of Algebra Of Owls. Big thanks to everyone who voted, and to the editorial team of Paul Vaughan, Nick Allen and Alicia Fernandez for publishing the poem in the first place.

I’m now the proud winner of both the Readers’ and Editor’s Choice awards at AOO, after winning the latter for “Ride” in March 2017. So the key to success appears to be writing poems about God with swearing in them. Ignore anyone who says it’s neither big nor clever. They’re talking shite.

If you follow this site at all closely (I always hope I’m not just shouting into an empty room, but you never know), you might have noticed it’s been quieter of late. This is deliberate. I have a few poems appearing in journals later in the year that I’ll give a mention to here, but otherwise I’m taking a break from what I think of as the business of publishing poetry, to focus on the writing of it for a while. I don’t know how long it will last. It’s also partly for personal reasons.

Take it easy.


Final poem at Eunoia Review

My prolonged period of hogging the stage at Eunoia Review has come to an end today, and it feels appropriate that it ends as it began – a poem set in a bar, with musical references. This is actually a complete coincidence, one that I wasn’t aware of when I submitted the poems, which were sent – and have appeared on the site – in alphabetical order.

You’ll find “Walking into a bar, midway through Blue Trainhere. My thanks again to Ian Chung for granting me such an extended tenure.

Eunoia Review

It’s something of an early Christmas present to see my poem “At Nemo’s Bar” appearing at Eunoia Review today.

This is the first of ten of my poems that ER‘s editor, Ian Chung, has selected for publication over the coming days (I’m still a little taken aback by this, to be honest) and I’m incredibly grateful to Ian for giving so much time and space to my writing. Another of my poems, “Settlement”, appeared here in 2016.

Best wishes for anything you may be celebrating over the coming period.


So how did YOU vote?



So how did YOU vote?


Gripping his daughter’s fragile hand,

and mangling the worms of her fingers

fiercely into his own, he spat the words

out into the humiliated air between us.


Because I need to know,” he said.

It’s important.” All the other parents –

mostly mothers – were marshalling their

creatively-fed boys and girls back


home from school to peel campaign stickers

from their windows and wheelie bins,

weigh up the final reckoning of promises

and lies. I looked first into her puzzled eyes,


then his, the seething milk of his eye-whites

coming to the boil before brimming over

onto his turnip skin, and abandoned all

those careful words I’d been preparing


in anticipation of this very question.

The same way I always do,” I said.

With a tiny little kiss,” before turning

and ushering myself furtively away.



first published in Snakeskin No. 243, 2017