Poetry, Uncategorized

These nights come in

with a clap of cool storm’s drizzled breath

applause of rain

lamps that hold our shadows in;

finally the children sleep.


I comb the house

listen to the pipes whinny

cars shush the tarmac.

Crumbs stick to the soles of my feet

and scratch the floor like a catch in the throat.


He coughs.  It’s nothing. Coughs again.

And then the teeming

choking breath, the ‘I can’t talk, mum.’ husk

‘my mouth won’t breathe.’

I’m by him, rubber seals his mouth

and together we count four breaths.

Then four again

And it is over.


His child’s body splits mine open.

This boy who takes breath

and fills our house with it.

The pillow holds his head, now

touch him gently, sleep


The mo-poke owl

calls all the loneliness away

the house settles further to the ground.

Foil Cage



foil cage


so count these atoms

that make this table, this hand, this chocolate bird

that chatters and chatters

perched on the silver wrinkled bars.

Foil Cage

Chocolate bird that chatters and chatters


Invaders – a typed version (A visit from Black Peter)

Poetry, Uncategorized



There was a rap at the window next to the blackboard

and in they swarmed, two of them

faces blackened, a sack shouldered.


Children leapt from the perfect circle on the floor

shrieks and scampers away from these invaders

who fixed us with their blinking eyes, white rimmed

and to each of us

they told the stories of ourselves.


My tall friend was ‘forgetful’

– but it’s me who can’t

recall my own story

memory’s cloth closes over

the way time muzzles thought

dents and fingers

the smoothness of it.


But then, the youngest of us

whose curled head was lost among our shoulders

put out a hand

pushed aside the bristles of sticks

and claimed his bag

of fruit.

The Bird with the Dirty Beak


The Bird


Did I tell you how afraid I had been?

For years.

Then, my

body so complete

pulsing outwards.



made who?

And from which of us?


But each evening she thinks of me

this bird with her beak

mud ridden

so encrusted

salt and old earth

earth and sand


she flies west to me

and she rubs me raw.


(With thanks to S.W and something her mother says.)