Walk the Dales with Manley Hopkins

Brown are the winter downed mounds of Ling,Down and brown like the tumbling Meadow Pipit’s.Ground bound these players of hide and seek.More easily spied when they speak,Than when they move, than when they fly,Trying then to avoid predacious eyes,Borne high and wide on wider wings.Best to be quiet, best not to sing. Stone walls lieContinue reading “Walk the Dales with Manley Hopkins”

In the name of

They’re killing the kids againIt’s a right enshrined in law.They’re killing the kids again,Because they won the independence war,They’re killing the kids again,In the name of God-given rights.They’re killing the kids again,Blasting school days into nights.They’re killing the kids again,In the name of self-defence.They’re killing the kids again,And it makes no bloody sense.They’re killing theContinue reading “In the name of”

Berberis Sparrows

On the spiked barbed wire of time,The savage Berberis Sparrow sings,Dropping tunes of dripping blood,Into the Port wine of autumn, from childhood. Their cawing Carrion friends,With sharpened pick beaks pick till the end,At the gaping open gashed wounds,Garnered by lyrics in their tunes. Spoken talons leave no scars,On which squinting eyes can gaze,No nose detectsContinue reading “Berberis Sparrows”

Miro’s Square

Last year’s leaves assume the footsteps of mice,Scuttling across an empty dance hall dance floor.Empty as an out-of-season football ground car park;On a Sunday.Empty as a school playground in summer,The footsteps filling the space childhood voices had vacated.Occupying the still Arctic plains with pinpoint acoustic precision.And yet, it was not cold. Nothing else stirred, notContinue reading “Miro’s Square”

Black Pearl

To miss the emotion in intimacyAnd the intimacy of emotion,Simultaneously,Is the curse of a pyric victory. The wraith of love scornedIs a starving hyena,A self-serving carnivore of the soul,Serially committing Seppuku. Here is the cold, wet quayside,Where sailors cast off hope.With one foot aboard and the other on shore,Hankering for neither and both. Chefs thatContinue reading “Black Pearl”

Ping Ping

First the search.For the empty space,The safe space, where legs don’t stroke, whereElbows need not beg forgiveness, fromEyes that have tectonic resistance to meeting.The space amongst the pigeon-holed mannequins. Silence is the order of the day,No one bought a ticket to speak. Inside ear bud tuned worlds,Lives unfurl,In silence. Silent, like a jury in waiting,PoxContinue reading “Ping Ping”


I watched James Bulgin’s “How the Holocaust Began” – it inspired this. Every year, for O’ so many years,The perfectly manicured green fingertips appear. Clawing their way up towards the sun’s rebirth,They mark their unseen place beneath the earth. Signs of Spring, signs of things to come,Signs of things that cannot be undone. Labels, markersContinue reading “Fingertips”