Some of my Poems

These are some of my poems that have been published in various publications in the past


Never a good idea to approach a wedding
with a hangover, before the event.
There’s distant thunder, sky feathered with cloud.
Vesna, at the pool bar, sports two o’clock stubble,
more bristle than shadow, jet black,
but her hair, rubber-banded in bunches,
is the colour of grappa. Where it was still,
parasols ripple, edges of a yellow awning
flutter, flex, undulate, snap like sails.

Our order was cheese toasties, hoping grease would
mop up last night’s excesses, but it comes laced
with unwanted ham donated by knife or board,
neither clean. We slide our plates under loungers,
untouched. Olive, mustard, ivory, sand,
oil paint splatters on concrete slabs –
these are the shades of shit excreted
by the one-footed gull inching closer. No, we’ve got
no food for you. He cocks his head to one side,

pecks at a powdery brown stain on paving,
drips from a choc ice, long since dried, hops to the pool,
drinks deep from chlorined blue, takes off, lopsided.
Days later you tell me how he came back,
the morning after, a balcony crash landing, startled you
as you watched the day stir, gain momentum,
me dead to it all in a crumple of bedding.
Trying it on, again, he was, that aerial chancer,
blown by gusts, storm clouds gathering.

Low Season

The dining room echoes, so few of you here now.
It’s barely half past ten. There’s just one family
next door in the TV and games room,
a single child here, doted on
by parents, grandmother
and an over-attentive waiter who dances with her.

It’s music night again, with the repertoire stretched
rambling and blending roses, my way,
you were always on my mind,
karaoke lyrics, a cod American drawl…

Just after the fly-swatting, that fearsome woman
bent on extermination,
who made cutlery shudder,
shake, rattle and roll on several tables,
just before the tour party returned with brochures,
day-sacks, canvas bags, cameras,
and angry reddened skin,

and just after the tabby-and-white kitten, lonesome
tonight and always, tolerated in the gardens,
not allowed indoors for reasons, perhaps, such as this,
jumped into a large blue glazed pot, prepared his spot,
earth flying, defecated neatly then dug, scrabbled, buried
the evidence except, of course, its pungent aroma,

leapt down and away between tables
to gales of Western laughter,
our musicians switched to French, ignoring
our merriment, mostly playing sad songs
we couldn’t quite place.

But these two, our minstrels, seemed now more at ease
than in their set of transatlantic standards.
You left them crossing continents,
felt watched by countless feline eyes,
in night time camouflage,

as you crossed the courtyard to your cool, dark room.

Elvis, an encounter

Darkness over ripe Welsh meadows,
las vegas, fretted

by strings of fairy lights, solar, blue,
along May hedges, elder-greening, blossom-bursting,

by cigarette glow,

by crackling and hissing of logs from the firepit –
where folks huddle warmed by blankets, chat, whisky.

Well met by moonlight, proud incarnation,
thrusting the King’s torch, rocking ‘n rolling,

owning that suit, spritelike guest
at this night’s nuptials, starblest,

incandescent, lighting up
the loin-lost gaze of his admirers,

who have seen a vision, divine
and otherworldly, (in fact from Malta),

shimmying gifts – lyric, liquidity
of hip, of lip, filling full his luminous leathers.

Now, far from home, awaiting his team,
he shivers in built-up shoes –


Elvis takes his leave, cash, applause,
his black truck back,

not loving us tender yet still weaving
some chill, silvery spell,

as tail-lights reveal
sequins shed on bluebell, cow parsley and nettle
at the field gate,

our lane pitted with stardust.


He loves us tender, shares that last waltz,
is lonesome tonight, perhaps every night,
celebrates blue skies, blue birds, blueness
over cliff and rainbow. He thinks to himself
what a wunnerful world it is.

He croons in transatlantic, panEuropean
with few consonants, none of those final ones,
plays sax between his vocals, abetted,
haphazardly, by a dour Turk on keyboards.
A set for hybrid diners,

replete with sun, wine and food. There is just enough
for us to recognise, fill in the gaps,
hum along, clap. As you observe, we are mostly
in our mid and later years, the Brits and Germans
older than the rest.

There’s a team of uniformed locals, seen it,
heard it all before, all season
, who smile little,
except for those flirting with the loudest,
oldest, mostly solo matrons. Selling their souls
for hopes of final parting tips.

The more reserved, like us, observe this pantomime,
down another beer, another Disaronno,
retire to book and sunburn cream and bed,
the second promise of an upgrade,
that smooth and soothing, seam-free superking.

Ode to Mister Fox

Wow! Your fabled tail, your lustrous bustling bushy tail,
it struts the questions – am I fabulous, am I fantastic?
Are you hell? Now I’m in thrall

to that pelt, the scrumptious sweep of your back, the swell
of your russet chest rising up to that strong neck,
those long yellow teeth, those gold sleepy eyes,

neat feet, fleetfooted, hold on… I can’t wait!
I’m in hock to the shock of that dark musky scent,
sexy and bosky, promising

plenty: I’m disarmed by your sangfroid,
your je ne sais quoi. One flickering look, one
flare of white and I’m snared somehow;

hooked by that smell, that tail, those tawny
charms, I’ll be your flame, vixen, doxy…oh


First catch your hare…’
those inevitable jokes about jugging,
about the long slow cooking required,
as I cradled him in that Laithwaite’s box,
carried him home with wrap of bubble
and shredded paper for his bedding;

some debate about full moon,
about which night it fell on,
felt it had to be later than the Thursday,
weren’t surprised when lunacy
snared us at a craft fair;

bought a hare, a wide-eyed, startled specimen
trapped in mid-flight,
not a moon-gazing, other-worldly hare,
not a groomed, tamed, symbolic hare,
but a running one,
ungainly, windruffled.

Cast bronze, which we didn’t grasp till googling after,
but what he was made of didn’t matter,
nor the fact that he was a second,
a flawed hare we’d maybe rescued from the flame,
for this was not
a rational purchase;

just something about the texture
of his coat, his lopsided gait, huge feet, huge ears,
something hugely appealing;
also the magic thing…The only live hare we’d seen before
had led us down to the beach at Mwnt
that day, probably full moon,
we decided to come back here.

Poem Videos

I was commissioned by ITV to write poems for the opening sequence of their coverage for 3 different major horse racing programmes. I knew nothing about horse racing at the time – and still don’t really…

Cheltenham 2018

Ascot 2020

Cheltenham 2020

Ode to a Well Filled Wellie