Wednesday, 14 January 2015


We accept
in increments,
adapt to broken limbs,
the havoc of wild storms
or someone with a gun,
seek comfort in the past.

We bind ourselves,
cut freedoms we enjoyed,
shun those in need of help.
Are told it gives protection from
the unpredictable next strike,
find metaphors in sport.
Restrict the movement
of young growth and
strangers on the fringe.

We ignore the signs,
our experts who proclaim,
the superficial brightness
of green leaves and
narrow train of thought,
masks the rot within.
Ironstone Mountain

Blue skies 
fold into cloud,
the day suspends, 
birdsong disappears.

Thunder pulses 
round the air. 
Metallic stone 
draws lightning shafts, 
electifies the ridge.

Hairs stand erect,
a scent of ozone 
in ionized, 
crackling air. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015


Our slow way home from school,
the reckless game
of fresh plucked, oozing fruit,
mouths and hands turned red,
we swatted flies,
spread the stain
across our sunburnt cheeks.

Watched out for snakes
escaping from
the tangled web of thorns.
Bending in
as far as we could reach.

Played our parts;
Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox,
the prickles' biting back
snagged our skin and clothes.
Imagined being trapped,
lost inside the core
where unknown shadows lived.

We rarely see them now,
banned from farms,
the roadside ditch and path,
a fear of poison should we try.
I can't recall their taste.


Saturday, 3 January 2015


Their sound 
cuts through the years.
To outback camp beside 
a water bore, wheeling cries 
above gnarled peppercorn.
One patch of shade 
we rode all day to reach,
birds waiting for our overflow.

Stark against a turning sky, 
concrete monoliths;
the silos ringed by song,
massed feathers pink and grey
spun into sunset red.

Far west,
dark's plunge to cold
from work in dust and sweat,
of being on the wheat.
The nights of silent drink,
their cries at dawn
woke us to heat and thirst.

Sunday, 21 December 2014


When I turn off external noise 
and eyelids close
then I can hear the sounds within.

The tramp of many feet 
grinding down a shingle road,
I see wild ponies on Welsh moors,
nostrils flare as I inhale the scent of herbs 
crushed beneath their dancing hooves.

The rhythmic swoosh of windfarm blades
above an ancient standing stone,
its fretted surface won't reveal
the faith it once proclaimed.

Breathing in all I recall
until the screech of cockatoos
brings me home again.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Colony

The pups came early,
teased into life by warming air,
suckled, drowsed, began to grow,
on a cushion of discordant noise.
Held beneath their mothers' wings, 
dark fruit inhabiting a forest edge.

Trees protect the co!ony with shade, 
above moist quilts of fallen leaves
cooling on the hottest days.
The fruit bats thrive
until their roosts are stripped of leaves.
Sharp claws expose bare branches to the sun.

Another day of intense heat 
without a sheltering canopy, hot air rising 
from hard ground below.
They cannot breathe, trapped in furled wings 
the colony falls like ripened pears
with babies on their teats.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Highly Strung

My skin stretched out
and pinned
like vellum in the sun,
the weight of bone
 and tissue trapped inside.

My body tense,
joints and muscles ache,
food sticks within my throat.
Excess of energy released
in spurts
and twitching limbs.

There is another page
to draughting manic scenes,
black ink is spilt
and floods my colourways.
I lose a year
scrubbing at the stain
until my skin is raw.