Nothing much at all



Nothing much at all

Out on the rotting deck –
in that unrehearsed collection
of half-barrels, steel buckets
and terracotta pots –
all your flowers are surrendering.
Heads crumple like regret,
colours leaching into sepia,
leaves and stems cigarette grey.
Only one hi-vis marigold
proudly refuses to succumb.
It’s nothing much at all,
an asterisk, a subscript
somewhere on another page,
but I feel compelled to mention it,
to spell it out in words,
devote breath to it.
Anything to cast a
stone into the silence,
create the tiniest ripple in
this heavy ocean between us.


first published in Soft Cartel, 2018




I didn’t want to ride past your place tonight,

not with that apprentice sun – wearing its

demi-god clothes – embarrassing the sky,

and wasted on these ungrateful streets.

The beach would surely feel better, even with

the swelling tide of kids, just delivered from

the crush of exams, revving their engines.


But every road I followed seemed to take me

your way somehow – every convoluted loop

through the anaesthetic monotony of housing.

I had to avert my eyes as I eventually, inevitably,

passed by, so I wouldn’t catch a glimpse of

that other car spooning yours on the drive,

could avoid guessing what it might mean.


first published in Brittle Star, 2017

In the moment

In the moment

Reposted from 2018. Happy Valentine’s Day.

In the moment

The kids are in love, and so sweetly
you can see it melting out of them,
see gravity getting smashed into
a million pieces beneath their feet
as they bounce along, occasionally
touching down because they can.

In their free hands, the ones not
holding the other’s, they clutch balloons
painted in colours we can no longer see,
inflated with their restless thoughts of
an unmapped future, raw materials
yet to be processed into anxieties.

Don’t you remember the first days of our
being? The damage we caused to gravity?
Our balloons? How the brilliant shock
of it interrupted time itself, and made
the future evaporate, while we failed to
notice ourselves not breathing properly?


first published in Tales from the Forest, Issue 5, 2017






Sometimes all I really want is to lie

in your spent arms a little longer,

wherever we are, whatever I’m

covered in, whoever is crashing at

your door, or rattling at your boxes

with their greedy, insistent little words.


Let them wait. Let them stew on a

low heat. Open one eye at least, while I

use your heart as a pillow, and hum this

tune that’s burrowed itself into my ear.

Now – gently – pick the stones from out

of my hooves. Throw them at the stars.



first published in Eunoia Review, 2018






You make your mind up

like the rain.

Covert bands of threat, promise

and maybe-nots

line themselves along the catwalk

of the horizon.

Only some will make it, cross

the full longitude

of the ocean, grey smothering blue.

I await both

the storm and the steady drill

of business,

neither cat nor dog, proffering

a curious hand.


first published in Sleet Magazine, 2018



This particular poem first appeared here in 2018. Seems like a good time to give it another outing.




Scraping back the steady,

now matted, accumulation of

leaf-fall from three darkening


months, and surfaced today

with a softly-glazed frosting,

reveals the yellow-green


points of galanthus, crocus,

narcissus, in a silent, cloaked

gathering of the faithful,


staking their futures on a

promised spring, still more

than a moon’s cycle away.


first published in Blue Heron Review, issue 7, 2017

“Atoms” published at Atrium Poetry


I’ve been following Atrium Poetry on WordPress since it first launched, more or less. So I’m particularly pleased that my poem “Atoms” is currently appearing on the site. You can check it out here, and if you don’t already follow Atrium, I’d reckon there can’t be many poetry webzines out there more worthy of your attention.

A big thank you from me to editors Holly Magill and Claire Walker for giving one of my poems such a fine home.