Published Poems

A selection of published poems:


He doesn’t sleep that night
knowing that downstairs the smile is slipping.

It’s been days since the lantern face was lit
and he’d gathered sweets for trick or treat.

Now the orange face with toothy grin
is wearing thin and collapsing in on itself.

Joey said that when the lips meet he will come
to suck the life out of him. But what does Joey know?

Even so, as he climbed the stairs tonight
he saw the gash receding in the fading light

and wants to ask his mum to throw the pumpkin out
before it finds him asleep and its orange flesh creeps

over his cheek, over his neck and that tooth digs in
to his white skin and sucks the life right out of him.

©2012 (What the Dickens? October/November edition)

Easter Day
Spring crocus in fine vestments, white and gold
Line the winding pathway to the church, where
Worshippers have come since days of old
To celebrate Christ’s resurrection there.
The rough wood crosses stand uncovered now
And all adornments beautify anew
Among the fragrant flowers which take a bow
And candle light in spreading, dazzling hue.
And while the ancient stones resound in praise
In hymns of ‘Alleluia’, for at last
The light has overcome the darker days
And sin and death are banished to the past.
A flock of Daffodils dance with the sun
Fine adoration of the victory won.

©2010 (Areopagus Spring edition)

Mr Fix-It

There was nothing he could not fix
with a plank of wood, hammer and screws,
but he couldn’t fix this.

A toolbox a-jumble of spanners and nails,
rawlplugs and pliers opened the doors
to many homes where he
unblocked sinks, drained radiators and
fixed shelves,
but he couldn’t fix this.

His smile and friendly chat had
flattered many a lady but he didn’t possess
the key to unlock her door.
This he couldn’t fix.

He’d sawn off more than he should, chewed
too many nails but the wound would not be plugged.
He resorted to sticking plaster for the cuts
and salve for the bruises, but the pain

wouldn’t go away.
His tools lay useless in his hands,
the problem unfixable.

©2009 (Reach magazine)

I Am Love

If you deny me, mistrust me,
Use me, abuse me, ignore me,
I shall not go,
For I am love.

If you run, hide in the shadows,
Refuse me and turn away
I shall not go
For I am love.

If you twist me, misrepresent me with
Fickle words and false affections,
I shall not go
For I am love.

Whenever you hurt, feel lost,
Or pain consumes you
I shall be there
For I am love.

And should you ever feel worthless,
lonely or mistreated
I shall be there
For I am love.

Whatever you do and whatever you say
Wherever you go and whatever you need
I shall be there
For I am love.

© 2006 (Areopagus Summer edition)

The Wood Pigeons

They sit on the fence
hail bouncing off grey feathers,
while in the pools hard balls of ice
collect in frogspawn clusters.
White blankets drape surfaces, but still
they sit unconcerned, keeping watch
over the pickings on the grass

Published in Short Cuts Poetry 2004 (Anthology)
(Highly Commended)

Christmas Cards
His birth was not in December
with snow at a stable door
and Father Christmas and reindeer
was never what Christmas was for.

He came to us for a purpose
though often it seems we forget
the message he came to deliver
and the road on which he was set.

So while pretty cards paint a picture
of holly and red breasted birds
they do not portray the meaning
or the truth in the Gospels’ words.

©2009 (Areopagus Christmas edition)


Forgiveness is mine,
Undeservedly so. Grace
Is His gift to me.


2nd Prize Areopagus poetry magazine Autumn edition

This English Summer

Pastures thirsting, sun’s ruling ray
Metallic sky, a drench, summer’s sway
Blessed rain volleys, clay soil sings
Of sultry nights and restless, sleepless things.

Sunbursts drag white vapours from the fence
Like strands of prayer which only God can sense
Days in jacquard pattern, loosely knit
Seasoned - water, fire, rainbow lit.

©2011 Winner of Areopagus Summer Competition

Last Days

In retirement she had plans to take up painting
and dust down her old guitar,
see if she could remember her G string from her C.
Now it’s too late.
Now she waits
with eyes already dulled for the coming journey.
She had always had the heart of an independent child,
now she was the dependent one.
This grudge she bore against the illness more than any other.
At first she’d fought with a fiery spirit of determination,
now she says her goodbyes,
dismisses our words and comfort.
Gradually she prepares to leave.
Even now part of her has already gone on ahead.
With a sudden spark of old defiance she says
“Don’t expect a postcard this time while I’m away.”
Then her eyes dull over once more
and she moves a little closer to the departure lounge.

Published in Reach poetry magazine in January 2002

The Cost of War

The child’s eyes speak of hunger where she lies
Amid the makeshift camp of flimsy tents.
Around her sand columns spiral; flies
With sweeping angry voice, it howls and vents
Its rage upon the exiled innocents.
Now count the cost of human tragedy,
The frightened, sick and orphaned children flee.
How can war justify such suffering,
However unintentional that be
What comfort to the dying can it bring?


Published in Poetry Now Anthology in April 2003


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