In my poems I explore ideas of memory, commitment, faith and self-fulfilment. Since 2014 my poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print in Lost Country and Time of Singing and online in Calvary Cross, Crux Literary Journal, Fib Review, Ground: Poetry of Faith and Doubt, Hedgerow, One sentence poems, Open Mouse, PILGRIM, poetry24, and verbatim.

I am currently working on a joint project with the composer Hans-Jürgen Gerung.

 

Bridge over Airthrey Loch

 

Some days it is invisible

Like the lines on squared paper

Filtered out by the mind

When you look at the drawing

Not a technical drawing but art

Art imitating nature: the loch

 

On other days it is there

Thin and discreet

A pale aid line

That guides your eyes

Across the water

And into the hills so purple and green

 

On other days its panels darken

And cut boldly through the loch

They point: here read! here sleep!

A solid leader line

That drives you forward to the books

Or back toward your home, yes, home

 

But you will leave

And when you then one day return

It will be all of these

Above the natural and man-made world

A timeline of your passages

Concrete suspended in the air

 

(Earlier version published in Open Mouse)

 

On Turning Forty-four

 

A few years back
I noticed
That the billboard models
Had turned from
Women to girls
Now they are daughters

I started to notice
Smooth skin that sets us apart
More than features, expressions
Their pose no longer directed at me

I do not mourn youth
We will share
The same room on this earth
The bus stop, the mall
I can answer their smile with a smile

But at home
I have turned
The pale soldier’s face
Of all the father I had
Face to the wall
I have grown up to him
Now we’ll be growing apart
Till I can see him
With motherly eyes

 

(first published in Lost Country)

 

 

To Perotine Massey’s Son

 

I tell him of rabbits and lambs

He would prefer

Dragons and knights

Dressed in white,

With black scales

I say: doctors, priests,

Judges, and ordinary men

Can be heroes too

 

(first published in Crux Literary Journal)

 

 

Roman Room

 

Mnemonists

Tie thoughts to tangible things

With the chair, the table

The framed painting on the bedroom wall

They recall

Random words

Or the order

Of shuffled cards

I do this, too, but for reassurance

I touch in my room

The wood and the glass

Substitutes for what

Has been wrested out of my hands

When I ask: who am I?

They say

You give us shelter

We remember the names

 

(first published in Hedgerow)