Archive for January, 2014

January 31, 2014

Advice to Writers in Winter

When standing in the snow and frost to write your prose and poetry

Remember that it has a cost: it leads to frozen toetry.

January 29, 2014

Pudding Olympics

The term ‘pudding olympics’ (i.e. where the only exercise you get is mixing a cake) was coined by my lovely fellow author Helen Dineen.


On you gas marks! Get ready, get steady, get baking!

Stirring and whirring your arms soon start aching

As creaming (while dreaming you’ll soon be the winner)

You whip up perfections of pudding for dinner.

Start whisking! You’re risking the strength of that muscle

But still you can’t stop; you’re determined to rustle

Up visions of glory in puds and desserts.

Keep going! Keep going! I know that it hurts

But now quick! All that pastry is kneaded and rolled

You’re winning! It’s bronze! No it’s silver! It’s GOLD!

The baking

Is over

You’re huffing

And puffing

Your arm’s had a


So come on



January 27, 2014

Silly Fish

‘I’m far from the sea’, said the fish in the tree,

‘But here’s the best place in the planet to be,

As up in the wind-tickled leaves of the parks

I’m safe from the slobber-juiced jaws of the sharks.

Up here it’s not scary; just airy and breezy

Though sometimes to breathe isn’t terribly ea…’

January 24, 2014

After the Christmas Tree, Pine Needles

On the table

On the chair

In the hallway


In the cupboards, in the dishes,

In the tanks with burbling fishes,

In my hairbrush, in my knickers,

Stuck on mucky yucky stickers,

Hiding in the food we eat,

Trailing halfway down the street,

On the tube trains, on the bus,

They’re following, they’re watching us.

A crowd of them! It’s mass migration!

Bent on global domination!

However much you hoover them

You never will remover them.






January 20, 2014


Evil Lil just loved to kill,

And so became a gladiator.

Lion said ‘I’ll bite her head’,

And nobody was sad ‘e ate ‘er.


January 17, 2014

Spring, Early


No-one said ‘It’s not time’. There was no-one to say

‘You’re too young! Back to sleep! Wait a bit! Go away!’

As if winter, distracted, had turned a blind eye

To the warmth in the ground and the sun in the sky.

And so I get up in a tremble and rush,

And in their confusion the cherry trees blush.

January 13, 2014

Cat’s First Snow

Stretch paw

What’s this?

Angry look

Frightened hiss

Too cold

Too white

Too new

Not right

Bounding round the garden yowling,

Frizzy-tailed and grizzle-growling,


Shake fur


Warm purr

Not cold

Not white

Happy mew

Just right

January 10, 2014

Prince Pie

Warning: This poem does not contain a naughty word at the end.  Not unless you put it there.

One snowy Christmas young Prince Guy

Devoured a very large mince pie.

The silly prince though never looked

To check the pie was even cooked,

And so the pastry (soggy, raw),

All turned to goo and glued his jaw.

But did he moan and curse his luck

For having all this teeth thus stuck?

Oh no! That princeling, bold as brass,

Now simply speaks from out his…




January 6, 2014

The Poet as Baker

One of my rare serious poems to kick off 2014.  


I knead words.

Roll them, bend them, stretch them, mould them,

Break them, mend them, push them, hold them,

Be them – vital, raw – until

They open out and swell and spill

To fill a space once empty, wide,

Much larger than the words inside.

More complex, fuller, richer, rounder,

Brighter, life-filled, stronger, sounder.

I knead words.

Come, will you taste them?