This Place I Know

Wednesday 17th October, 2018 and at 6:30 pm I’m driving to Grasmere for the latest launch of the Handstand Press anthology of Cumbrian poetry at the Jerwood Centre. Hoping to be able to get a contributor’s copy for myself and Em, I had thought the evening would consist of the editors reading a selection of…

This Work Is Done

This is an old feeling, standing by this evening’s field, these dark rags hanging, strung on wire, beaks silent and unmoving under a stretched sky. So which lore or gods apply? Would it help to free your feathers, wake thought and memory in cold skulls, wear a black cape in silhouetted brotherhood? Should I take…

And Yet

  Curtains remain drawn, as day comes with rain like a returning memory. In darkness, early moments rest on heavy eyes, closed to a wave of sickness. In the residue of cracked ashtrays and stale alcohol, sit diary entries of dissolute nights with succubae; a debt of bad shillings that smothers and oppresses. With a…

Multiple Choice

I took the test again today. Turned on Radio Four. Listened to a story about the homeless. Then came kids orphaned by bomb blasts in another country. But that was too hard, so I moved on. Started up the car instead of doing the walking thing; it was raining and I needed stuff from the…

Fireweed

Fireweed Grown wild, unclaimed and loose in lanes, he peed higher, spat further, swore louder than any other latchkey street weed. Green acolytes, summoned with strangled banshee howls, drawn to worship as he spoke to us in bloodied tongues for a dare. Envied for knowledge of hidden pathways by the railway, and his dead bat…

Book End

Book End Lost in an oversized raincoat, she sits outside the library; an old book, out of print, in a dog-eared dust cover. Through thick prescription glass, puddles ripple with memories leaking in the autumn rain, spreading as oil dripping from a rusty sump; time worn colours swirling away in a wet breeze. Jaw set,…