Thursday, 1 November 2018


Hush now
Stay quiet
The dark
Is approaching in shadows
Shush my dear
And hark
As it whispers through the trees

Speak not
That you're not there
Creak sounds
Branches bend
And you weaken at the knees

Still yourself
Don't move
It hears
And waits to pounce
Chill creeps
Rising fears
Bones begin to freeze

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The Deal

‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost!’ She exclaimed.
‘I…I wasn’t expecting you’. He stuttered in reply.
‘Me as in us? Or me as in me?’
He puzzled over this. ‘Both. I suppose. You’d better come in.’
‘Were you expecting someone else?’ She asked, putting the parcel down and shuffling out of her coat.
Looking around, it surprised her how neat everything was. She couldn’t help noticing a thick envelope sitting in the middle of the desk. Then she noticed how neatly dressed he was too.
‘I was expecting my wife’, he replied.
‘But isn’t she..?’
‘Dead, yes.’, he answered matter-of-factly. ‘But she told me that she’d be coming to collect me today’.
‘Oh. I didn’t know. Congratulations, I suppose.’
He didn’t reply, just looked sadly at the parcel that she had brought.
‘Do you ever regret..?’
‘The deal?’ He finished for her, looking into her eyes and nodding. ‘Sometimes.’

Monday, 29 October 2018

Bus Station

I read with some sadness today, that from 31 October, Greyhound Canada will be discontinuing all routes West of Ontario. Apparently due to falling passenger numbers.
Twelve years ago I spent some fabulous months backpacking across Canada, using Greyhound buses as my major means of transport. I got into that regular rhythm of being dropped off with your fellow passengers every few hours in the middle of nowhere, with some sort of eatery close to hand (often Tim Hortons of course), and the bus would disappear for an hour to change drivers, before returning, and everyone would claim the same seat that they had before.
I took that 30+ hour route all the way from Toronto to Winnipeg, which will no longer be available since buses will now go no further than Sudbury. When I got off my bus in Winnipeg, it felt close to being born again. I had been on it so long that I felt a sense of disorientation, of not knowing what to do without that bus, that took several hours to shake.
I continued my tour, by Greyhound bus again, to Saskatoon, and then onto Edmonton, and Banff and finally into Vancouver. We travelled through the Rockies, and for hours saw nothing but highway and blue sky and cloud touching, snow capped, and beautiful mountains.
During the earlier legs, in farmlands of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, there was nothing but highway and a sky so large it is virtually impossible to imagine, when you're in a country as small and close as Britain.
I am sure that other bus companies will step in to carry on those routes in one way or another, but something will still have been lost, especially to any future backpackers. At least they will stay in my memory and in those of others before and after me.
I would like to close with a poem I wrote on this trip, inspired by the numerous hours I spent in bus stations across the country.

The Bus Station

The watching and waiting of the flickering screen
To come the departures, that arrivals have been
Quiet and hallowed is the waiting hall way
A mind numbed by hours has little to say

Friends and loved ones are met with a smile
But it's tears for the travellers who'll be gone for a while
As the chill wafts in on the ten-thirty bus
Flesh is covered up with a minimum of fuss

For a time of transition, which some would delay
Much drama is seen at each parking bay
It happens so often, and yet goes unseen
As most are fixed watching the flickering screen

Tuesday, 16 October 2018


They twist reality to their own ends
Tying the truth in knots
Dismissing the data of scientists
Accusing them of making plots

Saying gas and oil drives economies
Creating jobs an indisputable fact
And with growth the only important thing
They'll grab all that can be fracked

And global warming is not a concern
It's all a natural cycle folks
For every few hundred millennia
All life on this planet chokes

The sad thing is we can't make the change
We can either drown or fry
At least while they still have all the power
They'll deny, deny, deny

Thursday, 11 October 2018


Standing in front of the coffee
That only one of us will drink
Staring at the red reflected bubbles
We have no thoughts to think

Too tired from two coldy kids
Nights laid too long awake
Blocked up noses in the early hours
On call without a break

And now the seasons close up around
We're up before the sun
Dark envelops body and soul
No light for Summer fun

Our energy levels are twisted
They're crumpled up in a ball
And with blank paper and empty pens
We feel our creativity stall

Saturday, 6 October 2018


I am too soft.
Like a sketch left in the rain
Ink outlines dripping
Beauty, but lost in a downpour.

I am too soft
Like a sand sculpture on the beach
Overcome by the breaking waves
Art, but vanished in the tide.

I am too soft
Like a chocolate at dawn
Melting at the suns first rays.
Sweet, but a puddle before noon.

I could be hard
Like a diamond dug from the earth
Cutting with the slightest touch
Sparkling, but not so rare.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Trying My Hand

I'm not all that good at drawing and sketching. But lately I've been inspired to try my hand. What do you think.

Thursday, 4 October 2018


We used to play in the garden
And tend it.
Thinning out the tangled roots
Of the hedges.
Strimming and cutting the grass.
Keeping out
The strangling weeds.
Plants in their colour and vibrancy.
Fresh smells
And laughter in company.

But something changed.
We stopped playing
And now no longer tend.

The brambles have taken over.
Choking the garden
With their stinging touch.
The weeds have grown woody.
Twisting and smothering
The brightness of variety.
And all that's left
Are lingering tears of dew.
Amidst the stench
Of mulched decay.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Kicked in the Creatives

It had been quite a while since I'd posted much on here in a meaningful way. A combination of young kids, anxiety and low mood put paid to that, and I didn't really have the energy or inspiration to be creative.

However, along came Kick in the Creatives and a metaphorical kick up the backside from my wife, who suggested I take part in their Poetember challenge for September. And so I did. A poem a day for all thirty days.

Some I'm really pleased with and some are a little more so so, but still, I put my brain to work every day and I feel much better for it. It's also been really nice to engage with such a friendly and supportive group of people, and to get a chance to be inspired by their creativity too.

So, now it's a new month and I still feel a little inspired to continue with my creativity. This month I will take part in their Kick Time October, which is a single prompt word for the whole month.

I plan to put together some poems on the theme of Twisted, and maybe a handful of sketches too. If I feel inspired I might also do some things outside this based on their optional prompt words, but I will see how I feel.

Before I began, I did a bit of a word splurge to get my brain working, but already this month I've come up with a couple of poems, so things are going well so far.

Sunday, 30 September 2018


Peace and quiet
Nowhere to be
A book in hand
A warm cup of tea

Some favourite songs
A comfy chair
No work to do
No kids in my hair

Food in the oven
It'll take a while
So I can sit still
Contented smile

Right now it's a dream
This relaxing time
Only created
In the form of a rhyme

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Something Fun

Doing something fun
For the kids
A day at the park
Down the slide
Back and forth on the swings

Doing something fun
For the kids
A day at the beach
Dig the sand
Paddle in the water

Doing something fun
For the kids
A day at the zoo
Watch the bears
Feeding the elephants

Doing something fun
Not for me
No day in a book
See a movie
Spending some time alone

Friday, 28 September 2018

Favourite Foods

When the sun is shining
And the sky is blue
The weather warm
With a barbecue

But when the sun sets early
And it starts to get cold
Then a desire for stews
Begins to take hold

Or in the early morning
On a holiday break
It's a cheese toasted sandwich
A coffee and cake

But for a treat after work
I might go and buy
A pint with my chips
And a filling meat pie

Thursday, 27 September 2018


Some people lose their heads
Over how others cover theirs
Many a comment has been said
Surrounding what another wears

It's more important what's in their heart
Appearance matters not
Be we will all be split apart
If we continue to allow this rot

Wednesday, 26 September 2018


We are a family
A family of four
Two kids, Mum & Dad
There aren't any more

Unless you count Grandad
Then that'd be five
But we can't add Grandma
As she's no longer alive

Then more grandparents
Both of them abroad
And uncles, aunties, cousins
They can't be ignored

Ours is just a subset
Of a bigger family
A twig, on a branch
On a much grander tree

Despite differences
We are all really one
Earth's family
In the light of the Sun

Tuesday, 25 September 2018


No matter what it is you do
No matter what it is you say
If you don't have the attitude
Then you won't get your way.

You can hold all the information
The research and the facts
But no-one listens to a quiet voice
It's confidence that attracts.

So show belief in who you are
It won't matter if you're wrong or right
And you will travel far in the world
A beacon shining bright.

Monday, 24 September 2018


Creates in the mind
All that wasn't there before

Sunday, 23 September 2018


When the sky is as dark as a fugue
The rain drumming a staccato tattoo
The wind whispering through the trees
My heart still sings a love storm to you.

And when the shines out like an aria
With the sky cloudless and clear as a bell
The love in my heart hits crescendo
From your Over the Rainbow spell.

Saturday, 22 September 2018


Our wealth is what we treasure most
It is the things that we hold dear
Whether cash or property to boast
Our wealth is what we treasure most
Or friends and family to host
And to lose gives us cause to fear
Our wealth is what we treasure most
It is the things that we hold dear

Friday, 21 September 2018

Law 36

To the rule of the law
He was out leg before
As the ball thudded into his pad.

But he just looked at his bat
As the cry came "Owzat!"
As if in his mind they were mad.

The ball was bowled fine
And had struck him in line
And the stroke he had played was quite bad.

But citing benefit of doubt
The call came "Not Out"
For the umpire at that end was his Dad.

Thursday, 20 September 2018


Stickers are sticky
They stick to the floor
They stick to the windows
To the walls and the door
They stick to our clothes
They stick to our hair
Stickers are sticky
They stick everywhere!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


In the first garden
In the fading light
The snake slithered
Said 'It'll be alright'
Eve plucked an apple
And took a...

Sandwich in cellophane
Wrapped up tight
He pulled at the seal
With all of his might
And with hunger to sate
He took a...

Letter from the bag
In ceremonial rite
But upon looking up
A slavering sight
The huge dog leaped
And took a...

Paper from the stand
As she saw its flight
Heard the buzzing sound
Of mosquito slight
But she was too slow
And felt the...

Saw cutting deep
The bone was white
The cold had stung
Then numbed in the night
Suffering effects
Of winter's frost...

Tuesday, 18 September 2018


In awe
Of the dinosaur
The movement
The roar!
Those teeth
In that jaw
Those eyes
Look for more
To eat
Short arms
Sharp claw
At least no smell
Of spore!

Monday, 17 September 2018


We sense the world in first person
It is our only point of view
No matter how much we imagine
What we see is what we think is true.

We have no third person omnipotence
We cannot read other's minds
Imagination allows us to empathise
With the capacity to be kind.

When we tell others about our day
In second person narrative
We can begin to understand
And in love this is imperative.

It is only through our language
Through sharing, and listening too
That we realise experience is similar
For him, for her, for me and you.

Sunday, 16 September 2018


Today I'll play my kids games with enthusiasm
Even if they're impossible to understand
I wont' be grumpy with them when they scream
I'll just calmly give them a hand.

Today I will organise myself
Make a decision; write lists and plans
I won't get side-tracked or begin wavering
You won't find me sitting on my hands.

Today I will begin my healthy lifestyle
Cut out the biscuits, the cake and gateau
I'll download that jogging app
And not give up even when my body says no.

Today I'll...well, there's always tomorrow.

Saturday, 15 September 2018


North is the unwanted task, always put off
An uphill struggle wearying limbs
A cold foreboding bringing dark nightmares.

South is the freewheeling, easy ride.
Luck on your side as you breeze through
Sun always shining and surrounded by love.

East is a new beginning.
Tidying and throwing away possessions; clearing space
Meeting for the first time; anticipation.

West is saying a last farewell.
A dimly lit funeral for a friend; sadness
Doors closing and the light expunged.

But where you are is your location
The centre; the heart; the soul
All paths meet here, and all directions diverge.

Friday, 14 September 2018


I sat
Drinking my latte
A whirl
Of coffee and froth
Amongst the smells
And sounds
In the crowd I spotted
A girl
Her thoughts elsewhere
Staring out the window
Shoulder length hair in hand
A twirl
Around her fingers
Glance flickering back
To her phone
Hand to hair
A curl
Came away and fear
Shifted loose
In her tear-filled eyes

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Modern Life

Do they increase our stress
Technologies of modern life
A mobile phone we must posess
Do they increase our stress
Broadband speeds make us obsess
While a poor connection leads to strife
Do they increase our stress
Technologies of modern life

Wednesday, 12 September 2018


Couldn't sleep, took an evening walk
To set my thoughts aright
My mind full of the Doomsday Clock
Two minutes to midnight.

But then I thought I was dreaming
I couldn't believe my sight
Standing on the pavement there
Shown up in the pale moonlight.

Was it an elf? Was it a pixie?
Or yes, perhaps, a sprite?
A shadow crept across my brain
Two minutes to midnight.

At sight of me, the creature jumped
Intent on taking flight
Was it they, or was it me
Who'd had the greatest fright?

I started an apology
Trying to sound contrite
Did I hear the sound of bells?
Two minutes to midnight.

But it was her voice so hushed
Accusing from her height
Whispered words that struck the heart
Making my throat tight.

"You're killing us and Mother Earth
Can you not see her plight?"
Swallowing nervously I thought
Two minutes to midnight.

What could I say to this poor creature?
So willowy and slight
The words that tried to form themselves
Shallow; Weak; Trite.

"You all shall die!" She exclaimed
Her eyes were burning bright
Drawing her finger across her throat
Two minutes to midnight.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018


Hard work or affinity?

Elbow grease or facility?

Daily grind or proclivity?

Dedication or ability?

Monday, 10 September 2018


My instinct
To protect
When you're sick
Keep you home
Let you rest
But policy's messed
School won't trust
A parent to know
Send them anyway
And I can't say
A word against
Don't have a voice
To break their hold
But won't be told
My instinct to protect
Is wrong.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

I Am Nearby

You're getting scared
I can see why
At the top of the slide
It's very high
But you won't fall
I am nearby

You've had nightmares
It's made you cry
It frightened you
I'll wipe your eyes dry
But there's no monster
I am nearby

If you're anxious
Then speak and let fly
If you need the truth
Then I'll never lie
And if you need a cuddle
I am nearby

Saturday, 8 September 2018


Emotions are my enemy
I freeze as frustration appears
They really take it out of me
When something triggers fears
My brain becomes a turmoil
With anger I overheat
Can't think straight; situations spoil
As guilt makes me retreat

Emotions are my best friend
Love helps me empathise
If needed then a hand I'll lend
As kindness to them gives rise
I'll laugh and smile with happiness
In tune with others joy
Take pleasure from my kids silliness
When I surprise them with a toy

Friday, 7 September 2018


Just the thought
The anticipation
The worry and the hesitation
The whirling tummy
And mild sweating
Can't sit still
From all this fretting
Energy sapped
By my brain fizzing
On overdrive
Neurons whizzing
Just a few words to say
I know
But still
I don't want to go.

Thursday, 6 September 2018


The bike wheel of life.
Skids on the Autumn leaf fall.
Unwary rider.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Hairy Hug

My wife and I met over the internet
But not quite in the way that you'd think
On a pen-pal website
We emailed one night
And were friends just as quick as a blink.

By message we dated but we were separated
Across the North Sea's cold expanse
Living in different lands
We couldn't even hold hands
What chance could there be of romance?

But determined we were, I flew over to her
Neither could ignore the tug
And forgetting our stresses
With my beard, and her tresses
We enveloped in a warm hairy hug.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018


What scares me most
What gives me fright
And sometimes keeps
Me awake at night

Makes my hands tremble
My heart beat fast
Unable to move in fear
Stuck fast

Is the terror of failing
Letting loved ones down
Leaving them disappointed
Wearing a frown

That I'm not good enough
And never could be
That one day
The world will see

The truth that really
I'm worth nothing at all
And in dread I wait
For that long long fall

Monday, 3 September 2018


The app said five minutes
When we started waiting
But now it's saying seven more to go
The kids are asking questions
'Where is our bus Daddy?'
And I have to say 'I really don't know'

And now they're getting restless
They're not so good at waiting
Searching for sticks among the trees
But that's boring now
And the bus is back to five minutes
While they're shouting like a swarm of angry bees

More people have arrived at the stop
And we're all standing waiting
While the kids play tag in and out the crowd
It's been a quarter of an hour
Since we first arrived
And I'm getting nervous about that cloud

Almost here now
But some have given up on waiting
I'm holding the kids hands so they don't run
Here it is at last
Packed and standing room only
But it's only ten minutes until the next one

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Back to School

It's those three fateful words
Back to School
Gone are the holidays
Back to living by the rule
Of timetabled lessons
Just a twenty minute play
In for registration
And that's twice a day

All those French verbs
Which you can never understand
Quadratic equations
That you're meant to expand
And all that you long for
Are those six weeks again
Watching TV; Sleeping late
A rest for your brain

Saturday, 1 September 2018


A walk through the woods
A sense of striding free
The birds are singing; The smell of grass
Is when my calm comes to me

Lost in an exciting book
Cup of coffee on my knee
A jumper on while it's cold outside
Is when my calm comes to me

The kids finally asleep
They've tidied their toy debris
And I can take a break from being Daddy
Is when my calm comes to me

Kick in the Creatives Poetember Challenge