Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ancient Tree

Look at me,

I’m an ancient tree!

Been here since 1543.

I’m fissure-filled but dry-rot free.

My trunk, my crown, my canopy,

have rich bio-diversity:

beetles, bats, the bumblebee.

I’m living, breathing history.

Yet from where I stand

there seems to be

very, very, few

who see







Candlewick Convention Country Witches

The Candlewick Convention Country Witches


Skies were burning scarlet as the daytime turned to night

and the Candlewick Convention Country Witches took to flight,

heaving on their broomsticks wicker-baskets filled with jam,

enormous lemon drizzle cakes and apple tarte-tatin. 


Heading for a picnic at the end of Blackpool Pier,

but the friendly northern seaside-folk had nothing grim to fear,

for the Candlewick Convention Country Witches aren’t the sort

who go turning people’s children into froggies just for sport.  


They’d rather bake a muffin, have a cup of red-bush tea,

organise a jumble sale or practise their tai-chi.

Yes, the Candlewick Convention Country Witches have a code:

‘Never make foul potions out of eye of newt or toad.


Always wear red-lipstick. Keep broomsticks nice and clean.

Use expensive toothpaste so your dental-work will gleam.

Dress in finely tailored clothes of flowing, silken white.

Enrich yourself with culture.  Always be polite.’


They do a lot for charity, teach children how to read.

Most can speak eight languages, and all have got degrees.

They care for the environment and always pick up litter,

they help lost hedgehogs find their way by painting paths of glitter.




So on a lonely moonlit night, if you should see a witch,

don’t hide behind a bus-stop or dive into a ditch.

It’s probably a Candlewick, out on a mercy mission -

wave and thank your lucky stars the Girls are out there Witching!



Thursday, 22 November 2012


A chestnut’s

the best nut

to eat

when it snows



from the pot

give ‘em


cooling blows


split them

and slip them


from the shell  









that smell

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A bit of a silly one!

I think there's probably a million poems called Animal Crackers, but I couldn't resist!

Animal Crackers


The hamster’s wearing lipstick,

The cockatoo’s in tears,

The rattlesnake’s grown whiskers

and the mice are drinking beer.


The cats are whistling show tunes,

The guinea-pig’s gone green,

The giant lop-eared rabbit’s

grooving like a dance machine.


There’s something in the water!

There’s something in the air!

Whatever it is, it’s bonkers,

now let’s get out of here!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Nick Toczek-stylee

Had the pleasure of meeting UK poet/magician/performer, Nick Toczek today - a master of rhyme. These are my efforts:

How to Swim with Piranhas



will harm us

devour and dis-arm us

if we don’t show calmness

we’re dead.




dispense with the drama

the helmets and armour

just find your nirvana


Who Can Trust Ya, General Custer?


General Custer

full of bluster

lost his lustre




Natives mustered

Custer, flustered,






done and dusted


It Were Like This, Lad!

Over the weekend, my Uncle and Auntie were discussing their childhoods in Sheffield - My Uncle started talking about this man called Mr McKegg that used to come round and deliver groceries in his little old van. He also remembered a shop that sold only sherbet - imagine that!!! It got me thinking...
It Were Like This, Lad:


Mr McKegg,

the grocery man,

sold butter and eggs

from a battered old van.


At The Butcher’s shop

was a Mr Blake

selling plump pork chops

and the choicest steaks.


Old Man Heap 

ran the Sherbet Shop

where fizzy-tongue treats

would whizz and pop.


The Fishmonger, Foster,

filleted, scaled,

while his wife cut hair,

and painted nails.


At The Bicycle Place,

wearing overalls,

was Alfred Chase

who could mend it all.


On the big village green

us children played

till the sun went down

and the light would fade. 


It were diff’rent, lad.

Times have changed.

The world moved on.

Nowt remains.






Thursday, 15 November 2012

When the wild wolves run

I've been reading about the wolves that used to be found all over the UK and Ireland. Their demise began with William the Conqueror's arrival.  I wonder, if they returned on certain nights, how they might feel about those who hunted them to extinction...


There’s silver in the mist when the wild wolves run,

though they leave no tracks in the mud. 


There’s a high-moon howl on a cold-eyed hunt

for the taste of human blood.


No flesh, no bone, will be safe this night – lock the windows,

bolt all your doors;


for the wild wolves run these hills once again,

with revenge in their fang-filled jaws.



Monday, 12 November 2012

Shine On


Shine On


Wolf Moon – howling chill

Ice Moon – frozen, still

Storm Moon – through the cloud

Pink Moon – growing, proud

Flower Moon – blooming late

Mead Moon – celebrate

Hay Moon – golden light

Corn Moon – lazy night

Harvest moon – gleaming scythe

Hunter’s Moon – giant-size

Snow Moon – frosted glow

Winter Moon – round we go

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Saturday Morning Poem

Here's a quick 2 minute poem from yesterday morning x

Saturday Morning Poem



let’s play

the bright

blue sky 

is high


us both

so I

can run

and jump

with you


so hey 

let’s play

let’s sing

and smile

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Bath Time!

It’s a bit of a laugh,

in the bath


there’s bubbles and squeaks

when I slide on both cheeks


there’s soapy-white pearls

in my undersea world


there’s toes in the tap

and a warm flannel slap


there’s wrinkly skin

and shampoo on the chin


there’s wishing and washing

and splishing and sploshing


there’s dancing about

when it’s time to get out


it’s a bit of a laugh,

in the bath

The Cold Side of the Pillow

It's gotta be the cold side for me!!



The Cold Side of the Pillow


The cold side of the pillow

is a tranquil desert night,

the stillness of a moonlit lake,

an owl’s silent flight,


drifting clouds of frozen breath,

words we never said –

the cold side of the pillow,

soothes my weary head.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

So ya wanna be famous??

How Does it Feel to be Famous?


If you’re desperate to know,

here’s a tip:


try walking the streets

of a packed seaside town,

with a steaming bag of chips.


You’re a face in the crowd

no longer. The spotlight

is firmly on you.


A thousand pairs of staring eyes

are glued to your cheeks

as you chew.


People will copy your choices;

they’ll rush to do things

the same way.


And suddenly everyone else

has got chips -  

you’re a trend-setting star

for the day!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Poems inspired by Will

William reminded me to start writing again a couple of years ago, and since then has provided me with a constant stream of inspiration. Here's a couple of poems: 

Bat Walk


From this overgrown pond-side path

our torches spotlight still water.


Sudden black flashes blaze overhead,

locked on to insects, roller-coasting the canopy.



You stand spellbound in your fleece and red summer shorts.



Stumbling back through the woods,

you talk excitedly about how close they came to your face.



I hold your cold hand tight.



Happy When I Hum


You know that I’m a happy little chappy, when I hum,

I might be eating chocolate, I might be chewing gum,


I might be chomping caramels, I might be crunching crisps,

I might be halfway through a bag of cherry-cola lips,


I might be sucking polo mints until the packet’s done,

but you know that I’m a happy little chappy, when I hum.

winter poems!

It's been a beautiful wintry day in Manchester; pure, clear and blue. It made me think of a couple of poems of mine. One I wrote, strangely enough, in the middle of last summer; the other is from last year.

This is the one from last year  (I couldn't quite find the pic I wanted):


in morning's frost-glass
a slice of lunar lemon -
the last twist of night  

The Battle


Icy lightning licks of frost

gild the garden. Summer lost;


retreated over distant hills.

Now, silent, creeping, crystal chills


the air, the leaves, the whorl of snail -

Winter, Winter, will prevail.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

New York Sparrows

As some of you may know, Joanna and I got caught in NYC last week as Sandy approached - which was a bit of a pain...! Anyway, whilst walking out and about, I began to notice the sparrows (I think they were sparrows, anyway) and how close they would let you get to them. Not at all like the skittish things in my garden; they had a proper NYC swagger about them! I wrote a little ditty for them:

New York sparrows
work in packs
scavenging pretzels
and pulled-pork wraps,
fat little bulldog-birds
cleaning up the streets,
swooping with a swagger
right between the
tourists’ feet.


When I Swing


I seem

to forget



I wash

my mind

in the sky.


Feet first

I burst

this blur

of world