black and white dead die diving

Photo by Life Of Pix on


In the click-bait plasma reel me in from the slogan sea

share me like whore bones for the sordid little trades.

I was a girl in a glass tide manger, your salt ballerina

dancing in the dark and this is how you found me.


In a tide of nylon the waves undressed me near Crete,

my clothes are behind me now swimming on.

I was a girl in a white dress my mother made

not white enough, the pins cut her lips.


I will break your heart like a wave of refugees

and waves leave black fingers sinking down,

they fizz like cheap prosecco on your lips

come to the shore forever a day more.


Look at the colour of my skin now.

I am white enough for a spade,

sinking into imported mud

to bury the invisibles.


Look at the invisibles

they are numbers

they are nothing.

They are me and

they are all you


at night







The stork of 9/11

Posted: September 9, 2018 in Uncategorized
woman on rock platform viewing city

Photo by on

Ten women who died on Sept. 11, and one in the Feb. 1993 bombing, were known to be pregnant.

NBC New York

Before you weighed up the choices of fire or fall

I think of that flame growing inside you

New York reflected in the windows

you reflected out of it, still.


The theft visible in your eyes, the eyes of your Mother

she is watching television glass, still, safe as houses

your photograph in glass, all American girl

you reflected out of it, still.


In stillness there is a movement inside our borrowed blood,

that embryo will be sun very quickly, I promise

you will fly into glass and you won’t feel a thing,

at home the photo-frame of you will suddenly crack.


We all go home to our Mothers, it does not matter how or when.

We all go home and we go there carried by hand or wind.

We all go home and return like salmon exhausted.

We all burn up like unseen stars, you were a world.


You were a world from your Uterus, a half-curved world oh babe,

you will never cry in her arms that were stork wings for seconds.

I hear the thud of jumpers in every earth shattering heartbeat.

I think as you fell that your eyes poured out your whole life.



Something beautiful happened

Posted: September 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

affection african american man black black and white

Photo by Joshua McKnight on


In the slow-mo of tube trains

two men French kissed beneath a clock that made them cry.

An oily gale blew out the Orpington train which took him away

yet something beautiful happened as a busker sang louder for them.


An old friend told me of trains

he said where the yellow line is faded the door will open there

and all these shoes with all their journeys shall congregate waiting

for the hot breath of overfilled trains where people migrate in headphones.


At Euston station I sat outside where pigeons eat Nando’s and hummus

and a man or was it a woman emerged from a sleeping bag asking for change.

I always get lost in Euston at the end of the tracks where London starts

and something beautiful happens when people meet at the screens


waiting for life

and their life

to begin again.

My Father was an average achiever

Posted: September 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

adult art black and white group

Photo by Mikes Photos on

In places that didn’t matter to people who didn’t matter

skinheads paint-sprayed their names so they mattered to Julie is a slag

but I was the keeper of clouds making art from the ripped denim sky.


I never mattered to myself for the chrysalis was my second skin

you can live for a day until the day repeats itself and you are man,

you can die for a time until you smash a watch and see its makings.


I am much like my Father who watched sky unmade by manic pistons,

an average achiever who turned up at parties adding water to Sauvignon,

a man who pissed standing up so he could turn water red like a crap Jesus.


My Father was an average achiever who shouts orders to men in his sleep,

he breathes like a Haidenhain at full pelt and produces parts of his secret life.

My Father is an average achiever yet he made me when he was nearly broken




The motherships have left us

Posted: September 3, 2018 in Uncategorized
pregnant woman standing near seashore during sunset

Photo by Ibrahim Asad on



I miss the blood red sky of my Mother,

spent nine months there drinking her rain

watched my Fathers hands mould me into storms

never felt his touch though, always like a melting snow.


I miss seeing my limbs form into flowers and pull at the vine

spent a lifetime before a lifetime so warm was I,

watched phantoms through skin fade to grey

never saw a darkness like that and yet I –


I am darkness now watching the motherships come to shore,

always the lighthouse keeper, don’t want to be no more.

I see the motherships with their sails of precious cargo

never held such gifts, yet carried them far though.


I miss the dream-lights that shot across my Mothers sky,

anchored to her knot rope aweigh from her seafloor

I rowed my arms from the shallows to a crepuscule,

it was January and I drowned in the arms of her.


I am darkness now, my Mother furniture-walking to death

and all I see is a ship made of uncollected shells.

It is me who will carry her back to the sea

a bit of me in her, a bit of her in me.


We are always somebody’s son or daughter

some of us on the seabed tuck them into birth-water.

Not going to lie but I am a thousand grains of sand to ending

I am the wave that went off course, pulled back to break then wending.


I am the driftwood of a mothership like all of you floating

in the yacht of moon their will be a place for all of us to sink.


abandoned alone blond building

Photo by Rene Asmussen on


I had to unlearn what I was taught to know poetry.

For me it was my Nan taking down the nets after Grandad died

show, don’t tell the readers what happened to tale heavy eyes of a widow,

show, don’t tell those who look in that what they see is just the keyhole of worlds.


School nights for me were moons that dropped like aspirins into a big grey drink,

factory men used to look at me like kin they must seen a poet in me,

they must have seen the malfunctioning child becoming stuck.

They showed without telling me that they were poems.


Classroom 4B, 1984 and a teacher chewing an onion and a poem by Phillip Larkin.

He told us all what Toads were and we jumped to where he told us.

He told without showing us that Larkin was a man of metaphor

that day I remember Ian Chapman fell asleep on blank paper.


Classroom 1F, 1985, and I was told not shown that Robert Frost was a genius.

I felt the snowy wood of my blood capillaries when my Nan disappeared,

she would stare across the Rothmans fog lost, and picture him reading .

She showed me that love is a sect of two people in average rapture,

milling skin to make life that will ultimately pale to city grey.


This is how schools ruined poetry for everyone.

This is how I was shown literal metaphor,

its always a woman with the blood-keys

opening the way, the road of one.