Total Pageviews

Monday, 15 September 2014


Outside my window, the buzzsaw-man's buzzsaw
is sounding like a giant hornet,
a continuous, pauseless noise of dread,
and I am searching for a gigantic newspaper to roll up -
with a swift swish-swat, I will kill it and him stone dead.

Friday, 12 September 2014


This happened sometime in the early 1970s in our Belfast living room.

In an uncharacteristic burst of anger,
my mother once took off her slipper,
concentrated hard, took careful aim
and let fly at the television set.

On impact, the vase on top wobbled,
we kids tranced between gasp and cough,
and the reason for mother's missile -
Ian Paisley shouting his mouth off.


A while ago, I wrote this poem about litter:

Hey you,
Yes you,
You who tossed away
The carrier bag,
The cigarette end,
The leaflet,
The receipt,
The free newspaper,
The can,
The bottle,
The sausage roll wrapper,
Pick up your litter, scruff,
Or I’ll flush you
down the crapper.

I'm just back from a walk in a beautiful country park and I took a note of these items, discarded along the way:

crisp packet,
Aero chocolate wrapper
plastic water bottle
Coca-Cola bottle
coffee cup
another Coca-Cola bottle
Polo mint wrapper
water bottle label
another water bottle label
yet another water bottle label
train ticket
chewing gun wrapper
plastic carrier bag
plastic bread bag
cellophane salad bag
chocolate eclair sweet wrapper

I refer you to the last three lines of the poem above.


Clumber Park, 12 September 2014

Squirrel bouncing along, bushy-tailed, full of freedom,
mini-leaps on the grass beneath a tree, stops, looks,
then seems to enter a hurdle race, jumping over invisible barriers,
before bounding onto a sawn-off tree trunk, treating it
like an old school gym horse, full of freedom and enjoying it.

Thursday, 11 September 2014


Like badly drawn freehand straightish lines 
on a near-blue page furred with white gauze,
the black cables wobble in the wind 
against the cloud wisp movements in the sky.
Crow claws clamp birds to this floating therapy, 
arousing buzzes in their feet, and they wait, 
lower, higher, lower, higher, lower, higher, low, high, low, high.........

Below, something etch-a-sketches a winding path in ragwort, a thread-stream
in amongst the yellow carpet and a radar hawk homes in on a new treat.
Above the impending kill, above the cables, a fighter jet rips across the silence
and a mess of crows splatters the heavens, a sky no longer neat.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


hanging between plants,
frosted-white cobweb cradles,
soon to disappear

ducks, swans, crows giving
it full-belt, quack, yodel, caw,
pow-wow on the lake

a couple debate
algae floating on water,
he gives up, she wins

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


He sits at a battered table
sipping tea from a thick, white mug,
a lot to say but no one to say it to,
glancing at the letter propped on a jug.

He had read it a dozen times,
each time refolding it with care,
it had her words and her feelings
but he would have preferred her there.

He knew what it said by heart
but reading it again and again
gave him comfort rather than answers
about what really happened back then.

He'd hear footsteps outside on the path
and his hopes would begin to stir,
but it was always disappointing
for it was never, ever her.