SIX ITEMS OR FEWER The bloke at the check-out tells the listening cashier he’s the last of his family-line; talks about his sweet tooth, how he really mustn’t buy a Christmas pud this year, as there will only be him to slather it in whisky, smear on clotted cream and all too slowly eat it.… Continue reading Christmas poem #2
CHRISTMAS KISSES AT ST PANCRAS They lean like emperor penguins over their summer-sky-hoodied son and the whole windwhirled concourse looks, because the zeal of every au revoir kiss demands double-takes from all of us travellers, whose thoughts progress to the boy’s exclusion, and memories of wondering whether and when that love-thing between your parents might… Continue reading Christmas poem #1
I have two poems in the winter issue of the excellent journal, The High Window, edited by David Cooke and Anthony Costello.
Almost a month ago I popped along to the Rugby Tavern in London to see and hear the inaugural Rogue Strands reading, an event organised by Matthew Stewart and named after his long-running poetry blog of the same name. Before Matthew himself read some of the trademark short but excellent poems in his terrific collection… Continue reading Recent happenings
I have a new poem up on the Mary Evans Picture Library Poems and Pictures blog.
It seems incredible to me that Wing Beats, the book of haiku about British birds which I co-wrote and edited with John Barlow is now 10 years old. It began as a dual collection between the pair of us, but we opened it up to submissions, so that we could include haiku by most of… Continue reading Wing Beats
I’m delighted to have a poem in this new anthology, edited by Matt Barnard and published by The Onslaught Press, which marks 70 years since the foundation of the National Health Service by Attlee’s government. My poem, ‘On Muybridge Ward’, is a companion piece to the poems about my dad in The Evening Entertainment, so… Continue reading Poems for the NHS
I’m very pleased to have a poem in the latest issue of The Honest Ulsterman, the journal founded by James Simmons in 1968. The first time I ever read poems in public was at an event organised by the University of Ulster at Coleraine’s then Writer-in-Residence, Martin Lynch, in the Anchor in Portstewart: Simmons was… Continue reading The Honest Ulsterman
Aquarium with Toddler Lit-up rectangles filled with the weird: a baggy-headed octopus with a salad of legs; lobsters, big-clawed, like futuristic war machines; pinstripe and leopard print shoals. In the giant tank the flat-bellied sharks fly over us, swallowing the bloodless water. Glum piranhas congregate by the bubble filter. A ray hangs like a shirt… Continue reading On David Borrott’s ‘Aquarium with Toddler’
It’s been quite a week for me, poetry-wise. First of all, the last Sheffield Saturday session of the Poetry Business Writing Programme that I’ve been on since April last year, then a week’s residential at Sneaton Castle, Whitby, also under the auspices of the Poetry Business. The Saturday session was our first since the spring,… Continue reading The Poetry Business