(For Brenda Read-Brown)

Note: The final two lines are from a poem called ‘Flagship’ from Brenda’s book; ‘Arbitrary Edges’. You can buy Brenda’s brilliant collection here:



I was only two poems in

before I had to stop

and write something,

moved by a line

that defined the truth,

so many pretend to ignore.

Smitten by something

you had written

in my youth, proof

that love cares not for age,

a page of your thoughts,

penned almost perfectly before

you could possibly know

they would echo


And I knew you knew me,

and I burned, my heart,

tearing at the seems,

‘and I learned that aching feet

are the realities of dreams.’

I Owe Matthew Richards an Apology

A bale of turtles makes me smile,

for reasons only two of us know of,

one, a fool, whose folly

was to know too much, but failed

to trust in the indecency of instinct,

the other, a sustentacular friend,

spurned a life-time ago,

the pandemonium of parrots,

causing chaos in creativity,

the naivety, never overcome,

one learned to nibble the nails

in the cross, let rage recede,

as the page will bleed,

and let wisdom come

with an overwhelming of children.


Don’t Start at the Beginning

A discovery of Dickens

and Duffy, Hardy,

hardly enough, he

awoke in me, poetry,

spoke to me, awoke in me,

something wild.

The Animal wept

for ‘The Unborn Pauper Child’.

The lessons and legacy

of Tolkien, my fascination

with the Inklings

and Lewis’ dedication:

world changing,

life changing.

I sensed the rearranging

of destiny,

the message fate sent,

when ‘The Signalman’ began

with the end.

Once Upon A Time

The world is a less exciting place

to live in now you’re gone,

I wish we had reconnected,

but I neglected you,

you, who was once my night and day.

Selected memories, poignant,

and pointedly shelved

until after the funeral,

delved into once more,

in search of ancient laughter,

and hints you believed in the fairy-tale,

despite no ‘happy ever after’.

The world is a less amusing place

to live in now you’re gone,

I wish we had reconnected,

but I neglected you,

you, who was once my hero of comedy,

the jokes, for me,

now seem in bad taste.

The waste of a life cut too short

has taught me a thought

that should not go unheard,

could be preserved in the written word,

and I keep everything,

as you told me to, for you sold me the glue

that keeps the pages of my life bound,

and the sound of funny in my tummy,

my inheritance,

other than your impertinence,

is the legacy of your laughter,

and the faith in fairy-tales – hope

in ‘happy ever after’.