Monday, 18 July 2011

Poem for my son

By your bedside
A small wooden bird
Guards your soul
While you sleep
Breathing life
Keeping you safe
My shadow-soul.

In your dreams
If your soul is lost
He brings it back
And takes care of you
Until the light of dawn
Signals a new day
And sets you free.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tour de France Prologue

Rotterdam rain
Road damp and greasy
Slippery city streets
Cavalier descent
Gravel and debris
Surface sketchy
Narrow twisty section
Blind bend
And tightening
Broad sweeping curve
Spinning back wheel
Losing traction
Slammed into barriers
Slipped out from bike
Over painted lines
Badly cut lip
Broken right thumb
Torn muscle in left thigh
Blood on the tarmac

Monday, 13 June 2011


Tissue crushed
And not connecting
Vessels ruptured
Yet skin unbroken
Trapped blood
No place to go
Tender to touch
Red and purple,
Blue and black,
Green then yellow
Now light brown
Fading away
Like you.
You gave me
All the colours
Of the rainbow.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Blank Tape

The instruction was
“Erase me from your life”
But should I delete you
Or send you to the recycle bin?
Perhaps in the old days of VHS
You could record over things
With something new that’s
More fun and better quality.
But what we all know is
The reused video will wear thin,
Parts of the old film will show through,
And it will probably get stuck
With long tangled spaghetti loops
That ruin the mechanism,
And eventually something will snap.
I need to find me a blank tape.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Prisoner of Azkaban

You whispered in my ear
“Is that Sirius Black?”
“No” I replied, “that’s not him”
“Who is it then? “
“That’s Professor Lupin”

But you insisted
“Is he Sirius Black?”
“No that’s the bus driver”
“When’s Sirius Black coming on? “
“I don’t know, wait and see”

“Is that Sirius Black?
“No, that’s Dumbledore”
(I mumbled back)
“I want to see Sirius Black”
“Yes I know”

“I like Sirius Black”
“Wait who’s that?”
“That’s Snape.
I think he’ll be on soon”
“So WHERE is Sirius Black?”

Then we get to see him
(Sirius Black at last)
“Is THAT Sirius Black?”
“Yes that’s him”
“Oh no - he scares me”

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The boy in year 12

You came to see me
And didn’t look up
You stared at the floor
Found a fascination
With your shoelaces.

You asked could I help
You’re not good at writing
Never have been
Have it in your head
Can’t get it onto paper.

I tried to listen
And help in some way
Like pieces of a puzzle
Each day little by little
The words started to flow.

You told me about your brother
No one mentions it at home
You sit in your room
On the Playstation
Can’t seem to concentrate.

I just saw you in the corridor
You shrugged a small glance
I heard you’re leaving soon
But I will hold on hope
That you can make it out there.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Log in, status update
Time to put on my smiley face
I have 500 friends or so
(And some of them I even know)

I poke, I post, I chat with folks
They think I’m happy (almost)
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be
(As they say - the sun always shines on TV)

So how do I tell them just how I feel?
I’m connecting with people but it’s not real
How do I say ... “My life’s undone,
And I often don’t talk to anyone”.

I feed my sheep and cows in Farmville
And order myself some happy pills
I promise a friend we’ll meet up soon,
But I haven’t seen her since last June.

I “like” your photos, I “like” your link
I like anything that means I don’t have to think
I’ve no direction at all, no guiding light
Just the mouse, the screen and me tonight.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Dark Side

You looked me in the eye
And said “I don’t do sci-fi”
Why can’t you understand
It’s not about Lego or 3D or boxsets

But courage, understanding and love
And how being selfish
Can lead to evil, anger and pain
Shall I explain it again?

I don’t expect you to get it
But I want you to get me
By showing you the meaning
You will know my depth of feeling

You see an obsession
A man/child regression
But without it I’m lost in space
With no North Star to guide me.

(Written for the One Stop Poetry Sunday Darth Vader Challenge)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Poem for Julie

She asked nothing of me
But I owe the world to her
Now I’m left without my friend
I don’t know which way to turn
My right brain has flooded my left
I can feel it all through my skin
It’s a feeling of lightness and weight
It has really begun to dig in
My body shakes with a life of its own
I hold back the tears at the smallest thing
I don’t understand anything anymore
I just want to scream out
It’s not fair.

Poem by Libby written in 1995. Julie and I used to work together in London and she died of a rare form of cancer at the age of 37. Writing this poem somehow helped.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The girl in year 10

Eyes darting side to side
Sending laser beams
Foot always in mouth
She lashes out like
A wounded fox
Caught in a trap
Spitting blood

Tough exterior
Radiating out
From a curtain of hair
Behind thick lashes
Caked in mascara
She cannot face life
Any other way

Teachers judge her
Fear confrontation
Send her to isolation
Boys just see danger
An aggressive tone
They leave well alone
She’s a threat

She gives a shy smile
And a look that says
She’s really a scaredy cat
But if anyone gets close
She’ll run away
One step forward
Equals two steps back