November 17, 2014

Wanderlust of a Leaf

Many of my more adult poems are personal, but this one isn’t, so I thought I’d shove it on here.


She’d led a quiet life.

Which was not her fault. And there had been

Comfort in the tall solidity of trunk,

Silent, unmoving.

You don’t get that from gadding about.

And then the necessity of watching

The impudent thrust

Of young shoots through soil, and of turning

Raw sunlight into food.

She has not had time for thought.

And yet now, as her edges brown and wilt,

As the cold shakes her veins, she wonders

What the world is like, and longs suddenly

To feel fingers of breeze ripple her skin,

And the twirl and swirl of the dance as she

Flies through the air in furious freedom

High, high above houses, borne

On a current that makes her cry

In sudden gusts of joy and pain.

I long, she thinks, to be me.

For weeks she wonders.

She becomes browner, more brittle, dry,

She is shrivelling.

And then one day, she knows

That it is now or never, and she leaps

Into the unknown wind.


November 14, 2014

Work, Work, Work

I knew this young bloke,

Who never once spoke.

But all he did was work.


He didn’t take breaks

For coffee or cakes.

But all he did was work.


He didn’t take leave.

‘I have work to achieve!’

Yes, all he did was work.


He never once slept,

But instead he just kept

On doing the same old work.


And after a while

He lost his smile,

As all he did was work.


His bum became stuck

To his chair (what bad luck!)

But all he did was work.


And where his seat ended

His butt sort of blended.

But still he did his work.


Then one day his rear

Seemed to quite disappear!

But all he did was work.


And his little-used legs

Became stiff wooden pegs.

As all he did was work.


Months later he said

(With a nod of his head)

‘I think I’ve finished my work’.


But he cried in despair

‘I’ve turned into my chair,

And all because of this work!’


Now on dark stormy nights

By the moon’s pale light,

They say that he still does his work.


And the chair-ghost types piles

Of irrelevant files,

And wails as it still does its work.













November 13, 2014

Comet Landing

What does a comet sing of?

What’s in the hum and the thrum of its sound

As it blazes its way through the black all around?

Does it sing of the empty and infinite night,

Of the vast lonely void stretching far out of sight?

Does it sing of the fury of fire? Does it cry

Of the awe and the wonder of star-studded sky?

Does it roar at the terrible beauty? Or chime

With the long-distant music of time before time?

What does a comet sing of?

Does it sing of new worlds as they sizzle and spark?

Or only of nothing, a fathomless dark?

And then, as it speeds on its journey through space,

Does it sing of the tickle from earth on its face?


November 10, 2014

Bus Run

Walk down street.

Engine thrumming.

Look behind.

Quick, it’s coming!

Drumming, pounding, hurry, hurry!

Feet a flapping frenzied flurry,

Slapping concrete, whooshing, whirring,

World around a blinding blurring

Rush of air and engine roar

And run and run and run some more

And faster, faster! Quick now, whizz!

It’s nearly here, yes here it is!

Just one more step, we’ll soon get on

But no

The bus

Has been

And gone.




November 7, 2014


Heidi took a huge great breath,

To do a bit of yodelling.

Unluckily, her breath ran out,

And now she is explodelling.

November 5, 2014

The Joys of Toast

You know what I love? The taste of toast.

The easy, make-it-in-haste of toast.

The none-of-it-goes-to-waste of toast.

That’s what I love about toast.


You know what I love? The crunch of toast.

The chewing and chomping munch of toast.

The makes-such-a-very-good lunch of toast.

That’s what I love about toast.


You know what I love? The crumbs of toast.

The stick-on-your, lick-at-your thumbs of toast,

The feeling-of-filling-up-tums of toast.

That’s what I love about toast.


You know what I love? The price of toast.

The cheap-but-ever-so-nice of toast.

So please will you give me a slice of toast?

(Or four)

You see, I just love eating toast!


October 31, 2014


Nobody’s out on a night so black,

Nobody’s footsteps creep down the track,

Nobody crawls through the gale’s grisly groans,

Nobody tramps through the wind’s icy moans,

Nobody crosses the desolate moor,

Nobody comes to an old rotting door,

Nobody knock, knock, knocks, ‘Let me in!’

Nobody’s heard through the storm’s howling din,

Nobody desperately rattles the panes,

Nobody hears the clanking of chains,

Nobody pushes the window, ‘squeak’

Nobody goes up the stairs, ‘creak creak’

Nobody pushes the attic door wide,

Nobody’s grabbed and wrenched inside,

Nobody stares, and nobody screams,

And nobody’s body now swings from the beams.

Nobody’s death makes a breath of chill air.

And nobody’s there. And nobody’s there.

And nobody, still, is there.







October 30, 2014

Welcome To Your (not at all spooky) Tour

Good evening, and welcome to Horrorstone Hall!

Scary? What, here? Oh no, no! Not at all!

It’s all very peaceful. What BOO! did you say?

Ghosts? In this castle? Of course not! No way!

And now, to begin. Yes, the ceiling’s quite low,

So just mind your head. Right that’s SHRIEK, off we go!

This fine suit of armour is CLANK CLUNK CLINK old.

You shiver? But why? It’s not ICY BREATH cold.

The portrait? Oh yes, that’s Sir MWAHAHA Crowe.

He died in his sleep many MUUUUURDER ago.

Now these stairs are SCREECH steep, so hold on to the rail.

That’s it! LOOK BEHIND YOU. Oh no, you’ve gone pale!

I think what you need is a warm cuppa BLOOD

This way to the café! But what was that thud?

My goodness! My gracious! You’ve all dropped down dead!

How perfectly strange! Was it something I said?

Such a terrible pity! Alas! Dearie me!

But still, tourists’ brains will be scrumptious for tea.







October 27, 2014


[This poem was written a month or so ago, when I heard the news that my cousin had terminal cancer and only had weeks to live. It is not 'about' her, as such, but it is about the pain and powerlessness of loss. I make no claims to its literary merit, but that's not really the point. RIP, dear Josie]


Your moorings slipped.

And so, in the dark, you rose

And dipped on the outgoing tide.

Fast and wide, fast and wide,

In the gull-grey light the river raced.

We saw you there, and yes, we chased

Till the wind was our breath and the tears in our eyes

Were the rain and the salt and the seabirds’ cries,

By that shingle-shore of water’s side.

But fast and wide, fast and wide,

In shroud-white haze the river rushed

Past dockyards, factories, funeral-hushed,

And we watched, behind, as you climbed and fell

On the edge of the wind and the salt-sea swell.

Till there it was. The sea’s embrace.

And running up, we turned to face

This vast expanse.

And we were the howl and the sky-rending roar

As the last breath of wind swept you out from the shore

To the sudden still of the silent sea,

And there, in the welcoming waves, you were free.

You left. A small calm point of light,

Then on, and on, and out of sight.




October 24, 2014


Go on, taste a word.

Linger on each tingling syllable,

Lick the velvet of vowels,

Twist your tongue round the gristle

And crunch of consonants.

Let your mouth ooze with the juice

Of sounds, let it

Bite each beat.

Relish resonant rhythm, and sip

The silences

That cleanse the mouth of meaning.

Go on, taste a word.


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