Saturday 29 February 2020


Water everywhere,
Venice has come
                            to Ironbridge.
Everyone is distressed
by their material losses,
                            the flood damage.
But Poppy is captivated -
the novelty if it all
                            fills her with excitement:
the sun reflecting
on the surface of the water
                            making pictures,
glittering, star-spangled...
an Angel's face here,
                            a darting mermaid there.
To a six-year-old
it is such a magical
                            unique adventure.
Travelling everywhere
by boat instead of car
                            is exhilarating.
She never wants it to end.
She wants it to rain forever,
                            to live in a houseboat.
But Mummy and Daddy
aren't happy at all
                            and try as she might,
Poppy just can't understand it.
What is this thing they don't have
She thinks it is called

Friday 21 February 2020


Invisible yet infinitely influential,
thoughts are compelling, often disruptive:
intentions are twisted up, identity
shifts into hazy confusion.

Thoughts emerge from a tangle of words
spiraling out of the mind's deepest recesses,
only to implode into a black hole and disappear
into the stream of universal consciousness.

Do we really understand their significance?
Do our thoughts define us
or, perhaps, we define them?
That is the ultimate conundrum.

A lone thought breaks away
in convoluted metaphors
that taunt and confound the brain
into critical overload...

No fixed idea checks the downward slide
into devastating inner conflict.
Through the mind, interpretation fails
and a mere seed of comprehension alone remains.

Yes, thoughts are the ultimate enigma: non-things
with the power to create or destroy all things.
They play us like fiddles.
They are the Master Puppeteers.

Friday 14 February 2020


Written on my late Father's birthday...

Bonfire burning in the apple orchard at the day's end
beside the big house bordered by "trees of heaven".
If I could cheat time, I'd return there again
to collect all the windfalls with you
and pack them in a box for the neighbour's pigs.
Then, our task over, you'd tell stories in the glow,
while marshmallows toasted on a fork.
                                                                 Oh such magical days!
Those moments in time, since you've been gone,
return to haunt me often...and with such yearning
to behold just once more your beloved face.
But time has encroached right up to the house
and the orchard has long vanished beneath
an asphalt street and strangers' homes:
tombstones to the memory of us.

Sunday 9 February 2020


Ferocious south-westerlies cut to the bone:
a merciless invasion from the Arctic
that intensifies my anxiety and sense of separation.
Today feels like the end of an era...

It's February, and storm Ciara is battering the land.
You, too, are agitated and anxious to be gone.
Jangling nerves make you snappy. I picture you alone later
in the taxi scribbling notes and frowning,
deep in thought. And my heart aches for your nervous uncertainty:
new career in an unfamiliar city - a huge step up.
Sensing your thoughts: Am I up to the challenge? Will I succeed?

Trying so hard to absorb it all for you, to
free you from what I know is gnawing at you inside.
It is my destiny, my duty, willingly undertaken.
The definition of a mother's love.

Lingering now on Portsdown Hill,
the city below aglow with lights.

And knowing you're down there somewhere
in your lonely hotel room is emotionally draining,
because I know I must leave soon for home without you.
But it's so hard to tear myself away,
so, so hard.

A spectral umbilical is tugging at my heart.

Saturday 1 February 2020


Let me consider you capable of speech
and higher function:

the notion of scales made flesh and fins made limbs;
a metamorphosis into cognitive being

so we could converse and share a joke or two,
exchange anecdotes and life experiences -

to know what it's like to be you, and you I;
to truly connect and touch Souls.

Whatever you believed you were when I chose you
and brought you home to live with me, you are so much more.

If I could, I would give you an ocean to swim in
with rock pools, caves and weed to explore.

Oh how I wish I could see through your eyes
and know what you think of me -

food dispenser, perhaps, or jailer?
But I never wanted to be either of these.

No. I wanted to be your friend, protector,
surrogate shoal, to earn your respect.

Because it is such an honor to have you here.
I am your humble servant...and I love you to bits.