malt cross“There are two kinds of poet. Those made by education, who we respect; and those made by nature, who we love.” Ralph Waldo Emmerson

I have been told enough times to believe it, that I am the latter. I take this as a great compliment. It is the one I would choose to be, but it’s only wonderful for as long as the poem comes out intact. Sometimes that happens, inspiration strikes and creativity streams. But professionalism means working at it even when it doesn’t come out awesome and if it needs some tweaking well, that’s when I feel the need for some education.


Silhouetted against the mist
his voice cracks the silence
and drifts like a plume of breath
across the dark.

Down divine alleyways
the water cobbles under his oar
ripples riding out to the walls
and returning like echoes.

The walls are black and soft
flowing with moss and ferns
alive with gaping gullies
that suck and retch as we pass.

From the shadows, stony faces
stare beyond us out to sea.
Leering leprous figures hide
in the crease and fold of architecture

Saints and sinners both
the sea-scarred trophies
who adorn the walls;
an audience as the gondolier sang.

Its not necessary to travel to exotic places in order to write poetry.  Poetry can be about something as ordinary as beach pebbles.



Eastbourne beach; 34 degrees and no wind
as many people as there are pebbles.
I ignore the deck chairs and the towels
to lie face down among the stones.

I’m stroking the white velvet bloom
on one as round as a cushion
and hold another,
black and shiny as coal.

Some are pale, chewed up mis-shapes
of smooth creamy caramel,
some are treacle toffee, hammered
into dark and jagged shards.

Here, a soft grey marle
like a dolphin’s skin
complete with scars.
I wet it to bring out its lustre.

On an anvil, the cushion
with the chalky bloom breaks open
into halves of fathomless grey.
A cold, brittle flint hiding inside
the fleecy white;
reminding me of people.

I am generally cautious of rhyme in poetry but this one just ‘came out’ that way and I think the rhyme is subtle enough to not cause interference.


It’s like sewing a patchwork
from spider webs,
pleating fresh air into folds.
I’m trying to form liquid
to the shape of a vessel
and there’s more than the vessel will hold.

 Its like pinning up sand
with a staple gun,
embroidering mist onto sea.
I could easier feed steam
through a mangle
than keep you here with me.