Thursday, 2 July 2020


part 3 of the writing in pairs challenge, 
the topic was Wine, following 1) Shoes and 2) Blood.


wasps soothing buzz
licking the dregs of empty glasses
tiptoeing across the table
stumbling over crumbs
the summer sun hanging high
heat smells of dry hay
as sleepy children with sticky lips lost to their shaded dreaming
hazy afterglow
drinking in the peace

Blood is Red

Red blood
Dark skin

Light skin
Blue shirt

  beaten Black and Blue
Red dries Black

  took a knee in Red and Gold
to Outcry

Blue shirt
knee to neck
  to Ash
finally, Outcry 

children open your eyes
the grown-ups cannot explain
how accidents of birth
determine your worth

history has polarised
the beauty in our spectrum
and weak men do drive a wedge
of hatred born in fear

Blood is Red
tears are Clear 
in all God's children
a spectrum, a graduation
not Black and White,
nor Redskinned, nor Yellow
one race, one adam
revealed in many cultures, many traditions

but history is angry with injustice
awake to the heritage of privilege 
all slaves to legacy 
built on sin 
that chokes futures

Blood is Red
and washes pure
save us from our sins


The difference between men and women - Shoes

A light hearted poem about shoes (and stereotypes that might be true)

The difference between men and women - Shoes

Men have
A smart pair, and casual pair
a work pair, and a pair for the garden
Plus wellington boots, and hiking boots
and football boots, and tennis trainers,
and going down the pub trainers, and trainers for going for a run,
A pair for every function.
Equipment and uniform.

Women have
A black pair, a brown pair, a cream pair, a red pair,
A high-heeled pair, a low-heeled pair, and flats,
Crocodile, suede and leather,
Everyday, fancy - for weddings,
and for popping to the shops,
Knee-high, shin high, toeless,
Gappy, strappy, flip-floppy, trotty,
For teetering and tottering,
Slip-slapping and smacking,
A pair for every outfit, climate and mood,
And every combination.

It’s always justified,
No-one denies

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

The Descent

Sometimes you crash, and you have to live only in the present for a while.

The Descent

Loosely sliding,
and faster
gravity tips
into darkness

rewind the news
reel me out
but unravelling
the return eclipsed

from charcoal light to ink
all I have is what I believe
drowning in the dark
sobbing echoes
in isolation
held together
with invisible cords

some lift
some release
feet touch
hesitant surface
bones take weight
ahead gloom
no longer pitched
wary stumble
past shadows
twilit cavern
and out into the night sky

The distant moon and a handful of stars
half light the way
rest a while
then ascend
with celestial guides
an imprint of fear remains
faithlessness exposed

a hard path leads up
from the valley of the shadow
easing, in your lightening dawn
knowing I had not been alone

Saturday, 21 March 2020

The Story of Trees

As I approach a milestone date, with several good friends who go back a long way, I wrote a poem about trees.

The Story of Trees

Born of different seeds
Spliced grafted
Planted by chance, by the swirl of the wind
Or the planter's design, growing in proximity
Under the same sun, fed through the same water, filtered up through different roots
Scorched and sodden by season
Pollinated and fruitful in maturity,
Now gnarled and scarred in places
Still growing in the pattern of each species
Each with a reach and a depth
Rooted and anchored for shelter and strength,
For shade, wider than their silhouette
The north wind bends one and the east wind shakes another
pushes us together and pulls us apart
underground talons grip
and ropes and cords and threads criss-cross tightly, holding firm
under shadows overlapping in ever-changing patterns as the sun arcs
and still our stories grow - the axe still seems a long way off.

Friday, 6 March 2020


The whole room reflected in the outside, with me looking in
surroundings superimposed and overlaid, in and out

I saw a version of me, just shadows and highlights
Looking back asking the same question

The glass a double painting, two silent songs sung over each other,
one of the trees and the passing day,
the other of me inside this box, broken by the reflection of the open sky

Another looked from outside, seeing himself in my room, unseen by me
And a bird swooped overhead, over his head, and to him over mine, and his as well
Then a bus, heedlessly, drove straight through me,
but which was the ghost, the man in the world of reflections, or the bus reflected there

Houselights in the trees, a ceiling of sky, and me looking for answers
How did I get there, what happened on the way ?