‘Wear these blinkers’

This poem was published in the online magazine I am not a silent poet (edited by Reuben Woolley) in 2015.

Twentieth Century

The wind stands fair for France. Look,
here’s a troop ship, battle-grey.
We’ve filled it with cattle, young bulls
trained to charge. Here’s some barbed wire.
Here are the Boers in a concentration camp.

‘A kerfuffle on arrival.’

This poem was published in the magazine Under the Radar edited by Jane Commane (February 2016, Nine Arches Press).


I arrived at the station – train delayed an hour.
Stuff that. I bought my own, drove it myself,
got there early. A kerfuffle on arrival –
the Fat Controller spluttered about rights.
I bought the track.‎

The earth, the sea and the human spirit …

This poem was published in Ink, Sweat & Tears (edited by Helen Ivory) in 2014.

The earth, the sea and the human spirit are getting tired of the ‎city

The city writes a city in its margins
And writes another city at its core.‎
The city writes the lives of other people –‎
Erases some, engraves some in its stone.‎

‘Nature writing’

With so much talk about ‘the new nature writing’, I wanted to refresh my acquaintance with nature writing from the 20th century and earlier. I opened five books from my shelves at random pages, and with each of them found something satisfying first time – so satisfying that I’d like to share the excerpts with you. Some are not so new – Richard Mabey is often regarded as the father of the new nature writers (Oliver Rackham was born in the previous generation, and was an academic botanist as well as a writer, so seems to me to predate the new wave.) In the case of Gilbert White, I chose a page at random from the ebook online.