A Poem a Day #7: Thinking through making

Dodgy perspective but I'm happy for a first attempt!

Thinking through making

I craved green
so I tried to weave a wall hanging,
it came apart – the warp the weft – there were no threads left

I craved green
so I knitted a blanket to wrap the day up in,
vivid shades of jade, viridian,
it was unravelled by the cats.

I craved green
so I organised a picnic with herbs:
lacy white cow parsley, wild garlic, jack-by-the-hedge
the static rain made the grey tarmac black

I craved green
so I painted
so I potted
so I pottered.
A watercolour landscape looked grainy,
a thrown pot the same.
I walked in the park and found
dying daffodils, bald spots,
tried to grasp handfuls of grass
a reward of muddy fingers.
Looked left: a blue glass pyramid,
looked right: a beige housing estate
in front: all sloping browns,
behind: listing trees, broken brick.

We are not being bombed, or attacked.
We have fresh water from the taps.
This park isn’t (yet) being fracked.
So, why is this melancholy tract
not trying to make sense of that?

Thinking through making,
making and thinking,
wanting something to sink in
wanting something to stick.

There is more to this than craving green
and wanting to do more than making
but this will have to do for now,
this will have to do.

Poem a Day #6: “Guilty Pleasures”


“Guilty Pleasures”

See all about it
the photograph tells
a thousand lies
a couple
smiles peroxide shark
eyes that lack
a starry glitter

can you believe it?
do you?

Believe that
they’re a loveheart
carved into a tree
sap-scabbed bark
a permanence
or collagen filler

They are
the carcrash
for your PritStick eyes
She’s in her free bikini
Venus with silicone orbs
paparazzi goddess
bottle brunette
hand held in the fist
of His
a butcher’s knuckle
of a Man

A Man without a Plan
for those sub-heads
tabloid’s favourite nightmare
you save to wrap
the china
you keep for Best.

A Poem a Day #5: On knowing nothing


On knowing nothing
ipse se nihil scire id unum sciat – Cicero

And I said: nothing will come of nothing.
Then I tried to examine my life
through notebooks, pencil sketches, a drawing,
lines scribbled over. I’m supposed to strive
for high ideals
. That poem on the wall,
that creased, yellowed, clichéd observation
half-way up the stairs: a beautiful world.
Stodgy stanzas and then the frustration:
not knowing any “proper” poetry.
Subsistence, to stumble on or to climb
down, or up, to the (multi)verse. Well, try,
be that poet in that tree, on a limb,
watch the day shed in leaves then shade to blue.
There’s still a lot of nothing left to know.

Poem a Day #4: Cut grass


Cut grass

Close enough to wake the dead,
loud as the roadworks,
close buzzcut of grass.
Morning mowing in All Saints Park

and a memory of chlorophyll,
of a green Elsewhere,
when we, summerslow,
cycled to that meadow

balancing instruments
on handles and crossbars.
We piled down on unmown lawns
someone played Wish You Were Here

on a battered Spanish guitar.
The sweet hug of hash
tugged into the lungs,
you tried to dreadlock your thinning hair.

We were two lost souls,
not swimming but drowning
in the buttercups.
You cut your locks that autumn.

I’m less green than I was;
I’ve not seen you for years
you had, and have, a habit
of appearing in the mind.


In the library, glancing down
at the short back and sides
there are daffodils,
drooped heads as if in thought.

Poem a Day #3: This was the bank


This was the bank

where once a line of green
would have edged the Mersey.
King Street, Victorian brick,
a wall with shabby fern,
Maidenhair spleenwort.
On the wall, bumblefoot,
a solitary pigeon with
one melted foot,
a last stand is stood on one scaled leg.
Thick paste of uric acid,
the pink wasted stump.
Eight black beaded eyes,
eight for a wish
or perhaps the bliss of a Columbidae snack.
Watched by the rest of the grey feathered flock,
siblings perched on the place
where you could do paintball,
pellets of colourful chroma
shot fast, nictitating membrane.
Gammy Leg’s primaries already dip-dyed red,
her head bobs, nods to passing cars.
If she could fly, her view
would take in M60 lines,
its odd seashore sound.
Beyond the business park,
over Brinksway,
then on to the Pyramid
all vitrified blue sand, sunglasses reflection.
Cooperative: a name, a navy point
that’s obscured by its own dark, corvid cloud.

Poem a Day #1: The April Fools’ Train to Manchester

_20170401_210350The April Fools’ Train to Manchester

It’s in the pen in the fist
coiled up in a list
or the twist of a fern unfurling.

It’s the sun on the Lune,
an upsidedown moon,
we’ll soon be in Preston (gods willing).

Watch the canal ducks,
drop the bag full of books,
get funny looks off the guard.

With slight passenger freight
speed past Galgate
(with a weight off the mind and the heart).

Follow the silvery line
in the dimming sunshine,
time slow as the trees in the field.

From the fenced hill
see a derelict mill
train still as the points switch back.

With a jolt and a whack
two trains are attached,
between tracks there’s golden gorse.

At Preston it’s busy,
lasses Prosecco fizzy
all dizzy with swearing perfume.

It’s months from Whitsun
but they’re off for some fun,
get spun-out in Manchester.

And so we all flock
to that city of shock
pulling in to the dock of Piccadilly.