Longest night pierced by

flaming wings of coal black birds.

December sunrise.

I am working with an artist on an illustrated collection of my poems, Living without Labels. The book is scheduled for publication in 2018. 

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The last train has been and gone.

A destination board illuminates two bicycles

alone at last in the station rack,

locked in an embrace.

His, angular, splattered with mud,

leather saddle built for endurance.

Hers, rounded, set up for comfort,

dressed in a fashionable lilac livery.

His front tyre touches hers,

like horses nuzzling in a field.

A hard helmet rests in her wicker basket.

Did he ring her bell? Was she impressed by whistles?

Days pass. Images are analysed.

Two men clad in blue plastic,

armed with bolt cutters and compassion,

carefully set the lovers free.


I was speaking to my daughter

of the properties of water –

the flow, the singing brooks,

reflections on a placid mere

the inspiration of a tear,

how it differs from the rocks.

No Dad, she said, rocks too can flow,

erupt and spew and turn to gas

when subject to sufficient mass –

just watch the molten lava flow

from this Icelandic volcano.


it’s not important what it is,

what matters is how hot it is.


The curtain rises for Act Three.

Familiar characters, choices made,

yet still we can’t divine

the plot twists yet to come

or who will take the bows

before the throng departs.

Third acts may be short or long.

November wind chills

so we add a layer of cloth.

Yet knowledge from six decades gone

strips layers from the onion

and memories of strange old worlds

cast light upon the stage ahead.


Please knock it down and start again,
use cloth and ropes in place of stone.
That Gothic pile lets in the rain –
please knock it down.
It’s time to leave the steel and chrome,
head out down every country lane
with big bright tents and mobile phone.
Democracy could take the train –
like courts of old, make leaders roam.
With one loud voice let all proclaim,
‘Please, knock it down.’

07960 615426

23 Grimescar Meadows, Huddersfield, HD2 2DZ

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