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

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: