Writes poems & reviews

Welcome to my poetry website. Other pages on this site contain links to poems and reviews I’ve had published online, as well as information about my two poetry pamphlets, The War with Hannibal (Poetry Salzburg, 2019) and The 3-D Clock (Dempsey & Windle, 2020). There are also details of readings and a form you can use to contact me.

My poems have appeared widely in magazines, both in print and online, and have twice been nominated for the Forward Best Single Poem Prize. I review regularly for the online magazine, London Grip, and am a member of Ver Poets, whose social media accounts I manage.

Here are three of my poems.

Winter Road I

after Georgia O’Keeffe

It's not exactly a road,
more the idea of one
and maybe not even that,
a symbol, a cedilla,
this mirror-written C
that sweeps across the canvas,
kinking at the top,
where Route 84
mounts the crest of a rise,
before bending to the right
and heading further on up
into the New Mexican hills
which, as it's winter now,
are blanketed in snow
that the ploughed road
crookedly parts.
There's only the road itself;
everything else is implied.
I think of her painting it,
as a calligrapher might,
with a single, practised stroke,
the road between
Ghost Ranch and Albiquiù
so familiar to her now
it's become the shorthand for home.

(Published online in “Ink Sweat & Tears”)


You've taken to leaving
silent messages
on my voicemail at home.

When I realised it might be you,
I dialled to trace the call,
then rang you back myself.

"Did you try to phone me, Mum?"
"I don't know." There's a pause.
"Perhaps I might have done."

I recognise them now,
your recorded silences.
They've a quality all of their own,

a subtly different sound
from computers cold-calling me
or plain wrong numbers.

First, there's a puzzled silence,
then a silent pause
and the clunk as you hang up.

You used to leave me tit-bits
from "The Times"—tips on things
such as etiquette or health.

I stopped listening years ago.
Only now you've nothing to say
do I strain to hear everything.

(From my pamphlet, “The 3-D Clock”)

Going to the Inevitable

Inspiration ran out
like the drink at some awful party.
He stared at the empty pages,
wondering would they be filled.

Poems had never been easy,
but having one to write
cured most things short of death.
Now the Muse just blanked him.

When even the mower stalled
and he found a prickly soulmate
jammed up against the blades,
it haunted him for days.

Predictably, his own death
was as grim as he'd always imagined.
A nurse sat holding his hand,
as he uttered his bleak, last words.

They sounded familiar,
as if he'd been quoting himself,
a line from one of his poems,
one he still needed to write.

(From my pamphlet, “The War with Hannibal”)

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