Atop that friendless hill
sits the monarch of the trees.
The crumbling crown of a castle
wrought with misery.

In disregarded splendour,
that once fearful keep
becomes a blemish on the skyline;
a loss no mortal weeps.

His walls provided hope
to the soldiers of despair.
But once their plight concluded
they stripped and left him bare.

No longer his might is worshipped,
No more do they fall to their knees.
The only servant who bows to him now
is the wind in the boughs of the trees.


Paper Veins


Between ochre sunset and glittering mirror,
mother and child stand.
Between the two; an elephant, calm as the river
and warm under hand.

The water cleanses the three. Sand squelches under toes.
Small fingers caress the rough nose.
Later, its head and back are donned with rug and cap
of cardamom and indigo.

Plodding down the dusty road, feeling the strains
of the cracked earth beneath.
And all of this frozen within the paper veins
of the leathery leaf.

Forever is the elephant, now fragile and thin,
depicted in brush strokes on silvery skin.

If Only


But what if?
If only.
Only once more…
More often than not.
Not a chance.
Chances are…
Are you certain?
Certainly not.
Nothing makes sense.
Sense doesn’t matter.
Matters are out of control.
Control is hard to keep under.
Underneath it all I’m not okay.
Okay? The answer is yes.
Yes is a lie.
Lies get us nowhere.
Nowhere? I want to be somewhere.
Somewhere with you, but I can’t.
Can’t do it. It’s impossible.
Impossible… but…
But what if?
If only.

On an evening train from Welwyn Garden City


Happy National Poetry Day! 

On the journey back from WGC,
an unusual feeling swept over me:

A sudden peace.
an inspiration increase.

Hatfield, Potter’s Bar, King’s Cross, Milton Keynes,
The Palace of Alexandra, imaginary queen.

Darkness lingers, streetlights join the stars,
flying in lines of light and dark.

Signs of life whizzing by,
too fast to catch with the human eye.

Silhouettes of trees and slatted roofs.
The moonlit water shining dew.

Dad fast asleep with folded arms,
leaving me to my creative charms

Until our stop. Then dad’s awake
and talking just for talking’s sake.

We’re beckoned by warmth, the promise of pie
and my hat’s left behind on the train to die.

Between Seasons


Happy National Poetry Day! Here’s one I made earlier…

Only dog walkers and shortcut takers
venture in this cold.
A members only club, they gather under
unpopped popcorn blossoms
in their pedigree.
Garish coats of pink or blue pulled
up at the neck, outfits
adorned with whippets and wellies.

This is the weather of suncream and scarves;
white tipped grass sparkling in
the weak sun, gilding every blade,
every branch.
The naked trees reach for the warmth,
but the cool breeze breathes on their fingers,
denied their lifeblood just
a little longer.

First Rifle of the Outback


As part of my dissertation I interviewed friends and acquaintances on objects of sentimental value to them. One of my interviewees, upon discussing a bullet shell from his time in Australia, was particularly difficult to get information out of. So I created an awkward poetic form to express this; a Villanelle crossed with a Haiku. A Vaiku if you will.

I shot the gun;
first rifle of the outback.
The dingo was done.

I picked up that one –
the brass shell on the dirt track.
I shot the gun.

Dingoes kill for fun.
We kill before they attack.
The dingo was done.

Under burning sun
the dingo bled, body slack.
I shot the gun.

Not a chance to run.
He had no time to react;
the dingo was done.

The day had been won.
The dingo’s lifeblood dried black.
I shot the gun,
the dingo was done.