the girl who knew the moon




She felt the pull of full moons on distant
cliff tops drowned in marbled light

telescopic eyes waiting to know and bore
deeper each time. Her cocked ear heard

magnets align currents like stars beneath
a pained black sea. I think she knew.

In a dream I saw Venus at solstice
nursing spoonfuls of strawberry moon.

I thought it was her. That this time
she had wandered too close. But
in midnight mist I couldn’t be sure.


First published in Eunoia Review, June 2017

Clearing Grandma’s House



The familiar parlour smell
Of dining table oak
Reads like a collection
Of days, crumbs of
Conversations, aromatic
Smoke and laughter,
Tears of life and death.

Grandfather clock chimes
Recall Sunday lunch at two.
Pops, pipe-to-lips one end
Dad the other. I spectate
Their centre court tennis
With gramaphone applause.

Kitchen chatter wafts closer.
Mum serves heaven-scented
lamb. Nan, ciggie-rich, kisses
My cheek and we begin.

Her passing called time
For this table, this rooom.
House clearance men outside.
No turning back now.


First published in Optimum Poetry Zine, June 2017


On Nights

darkness draws curtains
in bible black ink   bat clouds
suffocate corners of sky

as another canvas dies
moon magnets drag corneas
of shuttered eyes towards sleep

where memory knits
rows of experience
that scarf into morning.


First published by The Red Ceilings, June 2017

Minds Under Arrest

they chart choreography
and mechanism of moves
then thunder down doors
at the dark side of dawn
with barking mouths and feet

it’s in their dna
to remove fibres of yours
distilling essence for clues
from every nook and cranny

scour your sink for germs
from scrubbed hard drives
of mind    words and images
lurking deep behind eyes

strip search sheets for signs
of wrong dreams   examine
soiled linen of thought   take
some away for questioning


First published by The Red Ceilings, June 2017

Memory Thief



the past slips in and out from
cubby-holes of consciousness
keeping the known
from the knowing
dropping clues
onto tips of tongues
agonisingly close to recall
details shredded by thieving
magpies of memory, now
abandoned like party guests
waiting to be introduced.


First published by The Red Ceilings, June 2017


I am delighted that my poem ‘A Tale of Two Sandals’ features in the June issue of Reach Poetry magazine. There is more good news because a total of six of my other poems have been accepted for future publication by Eunoia Review, Amaryllis, The Northampton Poetry Review and The Red Ceilings.

A Tale Of Two Sandals



Grandparents see future kings in small boys,
promise trips to boating lake and forest
worlds away from the flat above shops

Away from bone-dry August air
heavy with discordant dog barking, raised voices,
kids’ screams and throaty open-back buses

Like the one to Ilford Market which passed
by broken teeth of war-bombed buildings.
Nan bought sandals from a man wearing a turban.

It was oven-hot. Streetwise kids poked sticks
into treacle tarmac. A boy laughed at my accent,
smudged tar on one of my sandals.

Later, on a window ledge facing a brick red sunset
brown-black from coats of grandad’s shoe polish
lay the sandals I wished would disappear.


 First published in Reach Poetry Magazine, June 2017