An apology to Andrew Ford

An apology


An apology to Andrew Ford

 

As things stand, he is the bole of this unsteady tree,

the backmost reaching into the frail chain of records,

through the sporadic diggings of our research, and

 

I picture him taking the days of journey north from Devon,

by the old Roman road, possibly driving one of the carts

or wains he’d made, loaded with what could not be left,

 

bound for a place he’d only heard of, yet believed held

all the answers. This place, that kicked the light out of me

from the moment I could stand. Then every moment after.

 

The one I couldn’t wait to flee. Now the insistent hands of

autumn tear at the leaves, and the bough is close to breaking,

I have no way to tell him what I’ve failed to do, how sorry I am.

 

first published in Forage, 2017

 

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The Argument

The Argument


The Argument

 

Sometimes it’s as though we’re cradling it,

nurturing it gently, nomads with a flame,

carrying it with us, between us, wherever we go.

 

How carefully we feed it when necessary:

a dry fist of kindling to make the sore,

red embers burst back into life again;

 

a brooding log to see us through the night;

the quick volleys of our breathing, spat as words,

the oxygen it would perish without.

 

 

first published in Shot Glass Journal, issue #22, 2017

Errands

Errands

 

Errands

 

When things were good and I still believed in us,

even the mundane obligations sang like whales,

and taking the wiry road down the hamstrings

of the island to its full-stop, on those bastard mornings,

a single cassette on the stereo to numb the losses,

always made unquestioned sense. Sometimes in

light hushed with pearls, sometimes with the blade

of the wind knifing clear to the marrow, I’d time each

arrival against the tide, sifting it for treasure, perform

the errands, light the fires. Then return to you, the road

now huddled into a spool of knees and elbows, the

mountain a tight wedge tripping over its own steps before

falling like a tantrum into the kettle-grey ocean below.

 

first published in San Pedro River Review, Spring 2017

Time to Vote for your February 2018 Pick of the Month —

There’s a week left until voting closes for February’s Pick of the Month at Ink, Sweat and Tears, and one of the contenders happens to be my poem “Lobster Tail”. You can read all the poems in the shortlist (and they are all very fine) and cast a vote for your favourite by clicking here and then following the link.

There’s a chill in the air so maybe now’s the time to indulge in the finer things in life. Roll out some ‘Gingham’, add a display of ‘Drunken Roses’, enjoy ‘Lobster tail’ with ‘Milk and Honey’ and be tempted by the ‘gods’ of ‘Gucci, Prada, Michael Kors’. Or maybe you want to do it…

via Time to Vote for your February 2018 Pick of the Month —

The Martian view of Earth

Lichen crop


The Martian view of Earth

 

No lines are drawn in their way of perceiving things
between seeing, hearing, and everything else, so

we appear as short bursts of frantic energy, obsessed
with purpose and radiation of certain wavelengths.

To them, the Earth is not, of course, ‘The Earth’,
any more than Mars is ‘Mars’. Words; just another

endearing quirk we get so excited about. They are
puzzled by our fixation with the idea of the nation state,

and its attendant border security, flags and anthems,
but also by lawnmowers, and by the peculiar concept

of fish fingers, there being neither fish nor even fingers
as such on their planet, the one we think of as ‘red’.

 

first published in The High Window, issue 7, 2017

 

Featured Poet in Northampton Poetry Review, Issue 2

NPR2It’s a real honour to be part of the second issue of the Northampton Poetry Review, and in particular to have been chosen as Featured Poet for this issue.

I’m very grateful to editors Tom and Philippa Harding for finding space to include five of my poems – Winter Fire, October, Sunshine, Holly and Putting back the clocks.

This issue is a fine collection of work from a very talented group of writers, and I’m sure  NPR will become a well-established and admired publication over the next few years.