Saturday, February 23, 2008


Seven years old, in my jigsaw world map
I saw the west coast of Africa
fit neatly beside Brazil
despite the expanse of ocean
that correctly came between
in broken blue.

Years later in a college lecture room
I discovered continental drift,
plate tectonics, theories of biogeography
and instantly understood.

Now, sifting through photographs
I see your distant face:
Africa to my Brazil.

previously published in Curlew magazine

unneeded(?) puzzle piece for Weekend Wordsmith

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


She gave me cheap carnations,
petals falling too soon
in the cold room.

I said flowers weren’t the point.

She brought more anyway,
their pale presence
filling the silence.

It was easier than talking.

Romance for Totally Optional Prompts

Previously published in Raindog

Monday, February 18, 2008

haiku - bad jobs

all these days we spend
just sitting in an office -
mind numbing boredom.

bad jobs for Mad Kanes Haiku prompt

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Writing Workshops

For anyone reading this blog who is in Edinburgh (not many I know!) here are some details of the workshops I am facilitating. I think all these dates are subject to change:

6-8pm, Tuesdays, eight weeks commencing 29 April. Poetry Workshops at Waste Innovations, 17 St Mary Street. The series will start with reading poetry, preparing to write then a series of writing workshops and finally a workshop on how to share poetry through blogging, performance and magazine publication. More information from Waste Innovations.

Afternoon of Saturday 21 June - Haiku workshop at the Salisbury Centre. Further details to follow in this blog and in the Centre's summer programme which isn't published yet.

February 2009 - writing workshop at Vogrie Country Park, Midlothian. Date to be set and details to follow!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

48 Hours Without

Third World First Sponsored Fast 1986

I bought a bag of tangerines
for the time of breaking the fast -
they sat, glowing orange
temptation in the fruit bowl.

The first day I struggled
to remain normal, distracted
by ugly rumbles in my stomach -
signs of a deep hunger

that on the second day
gave way to dizzy light headedness,
an ability to float
above the mundane everyday.

On the forty ninth hour
I held a tangerine, its scent
spicing the air; how strangely
difficult it was to eat

to deny myself my entry
into that other existence
I had almost started
to glimpse.

Sacrifice for Read Write Poem

Monday, February 04, 2008


I hold an inexpensive bracelet
that goes with nothing I wear.

My mother never wore it,
could tell no story to give it value.

She told me I must keep it
(though it would only gather dust)

but it matches your dress,
looks bright against the darkness

of your hair. It is a gift.
It is worth more like this.

Previously published in Poetry Scotland

Clothes (and jewellery!) for Read Write Poem

Previous poems about clothes on this blog:
Coming of Age
and on Crafty Green Poet: