Archive for the ‘urban poems’ Category

Hiding in Shadows

Posted: March 16, 2017 in urban poems

Host at dverse tonight is Bjorn and continues the series on art movements. Today we have to compile a poem in the form of impressionism –  which in art focussed on modern life, colour more than detail, visual effect of light. So I sat in my favourite coffee shop …..

Light leaps in
from the street,

patchworks faces
in dark corners,
seeps over
lemon wood tables,
splashes coffee that’s
necromancer black.

Baristas flicker across
a stone coloured floor
and hands are caught
in a keyboard blur.
Platinum hair swings
as she leans forward.

Red ceiling lamps
smudge the eyes
but light
can’t find the shadows.


My work on the poem at the coffee shop

A Ride In The Dark

Posted: March 14, 2017 in thought stream, urban poems

Lilian hosts poetics at dverse tonight and wants us to write about amusement parks.

From up here I look for an escape route,
but a way out is lost from view.
Everyone is queuing for the big
thrills, refugees from the humdrum
seeking a new voltage for their nerves.
To stretch them tighter until they tear
and escape screaming through
the open mouths
that have become their bodies.

This was a mistake. Through darkness
my ride twists and dives. In this vacuum
it is pointless knowing which way is up as
seamless fear stitches mind to body.
A hessian sack of nothingness
flung into a black hole,
tracing an arc through pin-prick stars.

Only a violent

slowing down,


breathing again,

brings me back to earth.
Pale-faced, unsteady
I lose myself in the crowd.
Move against an electric current
to find that safe static place.

False Dawn

Posted: March 13, 2017 in nature poems, urban poems

At dverse tonight Kim is hosting and we are producing a 44-word Quadrille which includes the word ‘spring’.

In our street, car windscreens
are craze-cracked. White lace
netting glitters in a steel spring morning.
I fear for yesterday’s buds.

You could hear them then
breaking free on the fine ends
of tree branches.
They’ll be cracking to a different
tune this morning.

Following a certain presidential election sales of dystopian novels have exploded, especially George Orwell’s 1984. So this weekend at Toads, we’re taking Orwell’s book as a theme for a 55 word poem- see http://withrealtoads.


has now
been banned.
No rhymes at the
end of lines. Shows how
much they know. So despite any
first impressions this is geometry. Or.
A drawing of a mountain. Or. A one dimensional
pyramid. These dystopian law makers don’t seem to
realise that poetry is in the heart. And seen through the eyes.


A Flood of Years

Posted: November 20, 2016 in Fault Line, urban poems

This morning I woke up to the sound of our river steam-training through the town. It was the first winter storm and overnight Devon bore the brunt. Here’s a poem from my collection Fault Line I wrote about an earlier flood.


Flood river is wide as a motorway.
Lying in bed I hear it roar through town.
And later from a top floor window I see how serious
Exmoor has been in ridding itself of a thousand
rivulets and streams decanting themselves off hills.

A sheet of mud-brown satin rolls over the weir.
Was it only last week that kids played here
on this moss-covered dam?
Ankle-deep, screaming, shouting.
Now it is a different creature, a snarling beast.

Nothing gets in its way.

Riverbanks are scourged, broken bones
of trees tossed and hurried downstream.
This power draws us to its side,
gaping at the volume and speed
of this highway to the sea.

We are transfixed.
Reading into it
the chaos of our own lives,
watching years stream by.

Memory Bank

Posted: November 14, 2016 in urban poems

On Friday I gave a one-man poetry show for an hour at the Taunton Literary Festival, having been booked earlier this year. Initially it was a daunting prospect, but it turned out to be a lot of fun before a wonderful audience. Here is one of the poems I read from my collection Fault Line.

The first time I had amnesia
was in Hong Kong.
I was five. I don’t remember.
The second was in Cyprus.
I was ten and found
wandering Limassol’s streets. So

I stand in awe of those who recall
childhood days, opening up a tap
in their hippocampus and pouring out
places, friends’ names, events
even conversations. My memories
are absent. They stand on the other side

of then and now, a canyon between
with no linking bridge. Not even ghosts
teetering on the far side’s edge.
The only triggers are mother’s photo albums,
the past caught in a zoetrope flicker
of black pages and her immaculate white writing.



Reading at Friday’s Taunton Literary Festival event