Grand Union, Leicester Cut, August 2001.
Like a bridegroom’s shoes
swamped by confetti
or sugar paper lost
beneath a child’s spilt glitter,
the water is hardly visible
between the glistering silver
bodies that rise and fall
on the narrowboat’s bow wave.
The wake stretches behind,
a mourners silk tie;
water mordant with black dye,
until the fish float back.
Morning sun flashes Morse
off scales that shimmy and dance,
signalling our loss
with their grim brilliance.
1st Prize, Poetry Space Competition 2010
It should be embedded
in a transparent resin sphere
or laser etched inside a glass cube,
this August night, on deck,
near Lower Shuckburgh on the Grand Union.
Everything so clear:
the one hundred and seventy eight degree sky
salted with the universe,
your small stone pipe
glows orange to the lighter’s kiss,
an empty Fitou bottle reflects
the yellow flame of a red candle
that entombs seared micro moths
and mosquitoes in wax.
We watch meteors chase
each other through the atmosphere,
celebratory fireworks thrown
across the night.
published in Envoi 147, 2007
Moored at Bishops Cannings
Pins thwacked home until striking stone
they buck the mallet
Sun shucked below the horizon,
up-lighting the yellow to blue sky.
On the far bank in semi silhouette,
a pillbox, grey against a grey cornfield.
Sensed rather than seen, movement
black against the black gun-slit,
the soft splat of wing-flap touching water,
a dark-flash of whirling shadow
across the sky’s reflection,
soon more criss-cross the fading pool of light.
We sit on the fore deck drinking wine by candlelight,
the flame, the heat from our bodies attracts insects;
bats come closer, like thoughts they pass
silently between us, before moving on.
published in Envoi 156, 2010
they seem like hours -
those minutes scoured
in the friction burns arc
and the desperate marks
of second thought hands?
Did a momentary spark, span
the neurons gap,
alarming, like a flashing neon sign,
as the pendulum swung back?
Did you ponder in that time
above the heart's adrenaline tick,
if others changed their mind
as that awkward kick
sent the chair from feet,
falling forever, just out of reach?
published in A Dress of Nettles, Ragged Raven Press 2004
greatest aid to the imagination I know, is the perfect martini"
says Luis Bunuel, carefully pouring a few drops of Noilly Prat
and half a demitasse spoon of Angostura bitters over ice.
He shakes and drains the silver cocktail shaker,
adds gin and shakes again, pours
the martini into a chilled glass.
He drops in a green olive
watches it spin
He sips -
this little ritual, it's discreet charm.
published in Other Poetry 20 - March 2002
Here are links to some poems online
Angora - Ink,Sweat and Tears
Transaction - Angle
The Devil Makes Work - Ink,Sweat and Tears
December Morn - London Grip
Picasso's Studio - London Grip
Darkroom - Angle
Live Art - Angle
So Long, My Sweet - London Grip
The Road to Les Verrières - London Grip
What You Need To Know About Your Caesarean Section - Neon
Spiritus Sancti - Lablit
his head straight - Magma
& Anniversary - Nth Postition
dancer/danger 1920, Marcel 1915, Paris 1921
& The Sabatier effect 1929 - Nth Postition
The Condemned Cell - Nth Postition
Again 1905, Armoury Show 1913, Kiki 1921, Entracte 1924,
Pandora & The Flying Dutchman 1940-53, Smoking Device 1959 - Stride
A l'heure de l'observatoire, les Amoureux, 1932 - 34 - Magma
Image - Magma
Offering - South
Skrying - Strange Horizons
The Diver - The Wolf
Personal Belongings - Magma
Exhumation - Eyewear
Guide to the Galaxy - Strange Horizons
Still the Word Hung in Mid Air - The Dream People