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.

first 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.

first published in Envoi 156, 2010


Stretching time

Did 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?

first published in A Dress of Nettles, Ragged Raven Press 2004



In Vitro

"The 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
round and
in the
He sips -
this little ritual, it's discreet charm.


first published in Other Poetry 20 - March 2002

Here are links to some poems online

Restless The Ekphrastic Review

December Morn  -  London Grip

Picasso's Studio -  London Grip

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

Getting his head straight - Magma

Exhumation - Eyewear

And Still the Word Hung in Mid Air - The Dream People