Scarf pulled tight, she

stares with forgotten eyes at

bags and suits and high heeled shoes 

plundering the High Street.


The smell of fresh coffee and fried food   

lingers in the late-November dark,

whispering seductive thoughts;

taunting her with memories of a different time.  


She pulls the scarf tighter and the

rain begins to fall. The

suits and shoes march purposefully by,

hypnotised by life; 

drawn to scheming shops with atmospheric lights

enticing them with more suits, more shoes;

more happiness.


Hiding in the shadows of her cardboard home, she

listens to half-conversations about

injustices and regret; the words

spat into the night air like

spoilt milk.


An expensive-looking coat with a depressed face

disappears into a restaurant,

ignoring a waiter with a drawn-on smile,

face glowering at a little white screen.


A bus pulls up outside,

her eyes blur,

the smell of coffee returns,


and the rain hits

hard against her knees.

Chestnut Fire



He sits on a frozen branch
like a small stain on winter;
smudging the white canvas with
russet and chestnut fire.

The night had been long and cold
and morning light had come late;
spiritless clouds draining the
colour from a sluggish sun
that barely rose; now just a
smear of orange lingering
on a cold horizon.

Arctic air breathes around him
and trees tremble; sieving the
scene with sugary ice and
blurring his chestnut fire.

The dawn chorus fills the air:
a battle of melodies,
chirps and tuneful tweets above
fences and silver-lined roofs…
A door swings opens and the
arena erupts with shrills
and exploding wingbeats.

Feeders swing, breadcrumbs scatter
across a hushed garden but
the chestnut fire remains and
hops to a garden fork.

A small stain on winter,
a smudge on white canvas,
the robin sings his winter tune.


venus 2


Oh, Venus!                                                                        

When you come out at night;                                     

when your beauty unfurls                                                           

and you shine brightest of glimmering pearls,                     

I’m smitten; in awe of your sight!                                                                             

Oh, Venus!                                                                                        

You are Earth’s planet twin,                                                        

you’re the closest by far,                                                              

shimmering high like a twinkling star;                                     

I fear for the life that you’re in.                                                


Oh, Venus!                                                                                        

Roman Goddess of love,                                                              

Morning Star of the skies,                                                           

second in line and sixth largest in size,                                   

I ask: are you happy above?                                                       

Oh, Venus!                                                                                        

With volcanoes of fire                                                                   

and your poisonous air                                                                  

with no water and your oceans laid bare                                               

is love what you crave and desire?                                           


Four and a half billion years                                                        

you have travelled in space,                                                       

inspiring from darkness and gloom.                                         

Despite all of your fears; all those sulphuric tears,            

did you dream that with love there’d be room?                 

Oh, Venus!                                                                                        

My Morning Star!                                                                            

Goddess of love!                                                                             

If you saw how you shone in my eyes,                                   

my Venus, my beauty, my glimmering pearl,                       

you’d realise how futile love never dies.  



Swallows swoop low

over gold-tinted fields;

silhouettes of grass

haloed with apricots and ambers and

waving in the evening breeze

like freshly scented hair.


The sun sinks;

the gold fades and

a squeeze of deep orange

pours across the horizon.


Cool air sets in

but still the insects endeavour;

floating and flitting

like motes of dust

between swaying shadows.


The sun slips away, leaving

a tangle of darting arrows

on a dark blue canvas

brushing tips and

swooping low on

a late






The light on her face

forms a ghost in the dark

reflecting her featureless eyes

like empty stars


Her smile is desperate


and lost amidst the millions

of worlds that see her and don’t see her and

orbit in galaxies of their own


And it is winter inside

and the pane is black;

refracting the ghost into a

blur of pictures and pouts.


Friends who aren’t friends bring her hope,

bring her hits, bring her likes; bring her hearts that

resemble love.



it seems like it’s enough.


But as planets spin

and comets collide

she devours black holes

with touches and taps


An addictive abyss

a ghost in the dark


Those empty stars.  




You look at me like

I know you

different, yet the same somehow.


I smile, I think,

beneath a puzzling clock

but something else stares back

like confusion, perhaps, or



Like, maybe you’re

not who I thought you were.


I hear my children’s laughter

linger in empty rooms

smelling of old toys,  

and the walls age and

change and stay the same

like me

and some of it makes sense.


But mostly

you look at me

like I know you  

and I feel that



I am doing something right.