Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Beach Hut

Warm wood smell
of the sun-bleached floor
scratched by damp sand
under my purple flip-flops.

Milky coffee from a thermos flask.

The sea glimmered
beyond the beach.

My eyes shaded
by the brim
of an oversized sun-hat,

I paddled in the sea
but never learned to swim.

Previously published on Everyday Poets and Verse Wrights.  

Meanwhile my poem Drift appears over on Crafty Green Poet - you can read it here

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Not in Our Name

There were mutterings that each day grew louder,
signs and portents that we refused to believe.
Local militia were organizing and drilling
getting ready to answer the call should it come.
Not that people thought that it would come.
They believed, as they hoped,
that something would be done to prevent war…….
As for those others who prophesied and prayed for it,
who wanted the vials of God's wrath uncorked,
they got what they wanted.
Their prayers were answered;
the land was drenched in blood.
But for the most of us
we did not.

Found poem from:A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 1861-1865: Being a Record of the Actual Experiences of the Wife of a Confederate Officer: Ed. by Myrta Lockett Avary
For Read Write Poem

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Polish for Beginners

I always thought you were Polish
with your exotic blonde beauty
so I polished my few phrases of that language.
You never know when it might be useful.

The day after I overheard you had gone

home to a country that is not Poland
I was in a bar speaking Polish
with some old drunk who said
he thought I was an angel.

originally published in Poetry Scotland and first posted on this blog ten years ago.

Meanwhile over on Crafty Green Poet, you have a 2nd chance to read my poem Windmills

Friday, April 06, 2018


you drop your keys
into silence

someone else holds hands
with your dream

your head whirls with words
your lips hold silent


Previously published in Sketchbook.  

Meanwhile I posted another poem on Crafty Green Poet, you can read it here

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


I experiment with texture, shape,
play with shades of colour,
explore the theory of art.

Never meant for show
outside the college studio
these pictures hid in storage.

While work for exhibition
never sold, too mundane
so many critics said.

But then some dealer fell in love
with my series ‘Shades of Grey’
and I am now the ‘New Sensation’.

Previously published on the Camel Saloon. The Camel Saloon no longer exists but its editor Russell Streur now edits the Plum Tree Tavern which focuses on poetry and nature and the environment and which today published my poem Watching the Skies which you can read here.

Today I also posted a selection of haiku on Crafty Green Poet. You can read them here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Out of Time

Out of Time

We spend our lives
trying to make time fly -
high octance adventures,
reality tv,
shopping for the perfect
clock for the mantelpiece.
Scared to sit and enjoy
moments out of time.

Later we worry
time is running out -
hold onto fleeting youth,
get cosmetic surgery,
can't face the clock
on the crumbling mantelpiece.
Scared of where we'll be
when we find ourselves out of time.

Originally posted in 2006 for the now defunct Poetry Thursday

Meanwhile over on Crafty Green Poet I've reposted another poem from 2006, you can read it here

Friday, February 23, 2018

Focus Italian magazine

I first discovered the Italian language version of Focus magazine many years ago when I was looking for a way of keeping up with Italian. I rejected other magazines -  one was full of gossip stories about Italian celebrities I'd never heard of, another was full of very serious articles about Italian politics and so on. Focus appealed to me because it is full of articles about science, the environment and current affairs all written in Italian at just the right level (for me) of accessible yet slightly challenging. So I'm learning new things all the time!

I take out three or four month subscriptions (cheaper than buying individual issues but without the likelihood of ending up with piles of unread magazines) then I renew the subscription once I've finished the last article in the last issue.

As a bonus for me, Focus is full of great photos that I can then use as creative writing prompts with the classes I teach!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Cello in the Dark

In the belated adolescence of my student years,
living by the words of the music
that blared my ears while I revised,
I spent restless nights alone
in exam stress and unacknowledged lust
while in the room above, your bedsprings creaked
as you made love to a woman
who shared my sister’s name.

Your daytime fingers making music,
the deep low thrill of bow on string
sent shivers down my spine
as I sat serious at my desk,
gazing through the window at the garden
where a black cat crossed the lawn.

Previously published on Bigger Stones

Meanwhile I've posted another poem on Crafty Green Poet, you can read it here

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Strange how deep under her skin he is.
She only knows him through his distant admiration
across darkened dance-floors and concert halls.

His desire waterfalls down her spine,
unnerves her, his heart’s poetry
troubles her through his hungry eyes.

She finds herself looking out for him,
wonders how much she likes to be admired,
how much she’s learning to admire?

previously published on Verse Wrights  

meanwhile for those of a less romantic disposition, I've posted a tanka on Crafty Green Poet, you can read it here