The Beast from the Black Country


There’s a dreary mist on the canal,
As the moon shines brightly down.
On shopping trollies and ducks,
Drifting silently all around.

Then suddenly without warning,
A scaly head comes up for air.
The Beast from the Black Country,
Is leaving its watery lair.

The creature’s nose twitches,
On the breeze a scent it’s catching.
The monster knows its prey is near,
It can smell pork scratchings.

The Beast creeps down the road,
Its webbed feet silent on the street.
It claws scratch at the pub window,
As in for scratchings it tries to reach.

You’ll never notice when you drink a beer,
That outside the beast is lurking.
Then when you pop out for a cigarette,
It gobbles down your scratchings.

So when you return to your table
The arguments will begin.
You shout “who ate all my scratchings?”
As outside the creature grins.

Stuffed the Beast retreats,
Sinking back into the canal.
No clue left to its presence,
Except a fried pork smell.

So if you see the Black Country Beast,
Feed it scratchings or crisps but.
You would be very, very unwise,
If you let it nibble your nuts.

I am


I am the faint sound you hear on the breeze
I am the creek of your door at night
I am the one tapping on your window
I am the hand that turns out your light.

I am the chill on the back of your neck
I am the sigh only you can hear.
I am the silence on the end of the phone
I am the thing you should fear.

I am the grip you feel on your throat
I am the noise that makes your heart race.
I am the static on your TV screen
I am the unseen touch on your face.

I am the one that will end your days
I am the one that on your bones will chew
I am the one that will snuff out your life
I am the one coming for you


Halloween Poetry Blues


They said my Halloween poem needs to be deep,
They said it also should be dark.
But how can I embrace this poetic style,
How can I produce a poem so bleak and stark?

I had an idea, so I went into the garden,
Then found myself my spade.
If I wanted to become deep and dark,
Then a hole needed to be made.

Then once dug I began,
Into the deep dark hole I leapt.
To hopefully compose,
A deep dark poem I expect.

All I found in the hole was dirt,
Mind you it was certainly deep and dark.
I passed the time by teasing a mole,
Then I annoyed a worm for a lark.

But despite being brave and bold,
I was no closer to poetry.
All I was getting was cold,
Plus soggy jeans up to my knees.

So I decided right there and then,
That today deep dark poetry wasn’t for me.
So I went back to bed,
But I didn’t fill in the hole you see.

I thought if I ever need inspiration,
Then back in the hole I’ll go.
To hopefully write a Halloween poem,
If I do you’ll be the first to know.

Catch me doing my Halloween poetry at Waterstones in Birmingham this Friday and Southcart Books on Saturday. I promise I’ve come out of the hole with lots of new scary poems and some old favourites.

Unstructured Graffiti


I swallowed a dictionary
Page by page
Then vomited it back up.
I wanted see if the words
Would emerge making sense.

My outpouring became
Unstructured graffiti.
Dripping down walls
Sliding and merging

Ignoring my stained clothes
Dripping and forming puddles round my feet
I tried to make sense of this chaos.
But there was no order
No matter how close I looked.

Surrounded by bile
I admitted defeat.
I shook the words from my hands
Then went home
Hungry again.

Lurking on the Back Row of Life


At school I always sat in the back row,
Ground down by their pointless rules.
Egged on by friend’s laughter
I easily learned to play the fool.

When forced on Sundays to attend church
At the back I’d yawn the service away.
Lounging in a pew, uncaring
My atheism defiantly on display.

On a bus I’d favour the back seat,
Stuffed full of chips and beer.
I’d lustily sing or craftily smoke
And at disapprovers sneer.

Now I lurk at the back out of habit
Full of gripes and moans.
Unable to move to the front at all
Hiding there my natural home.

Captain Britain vs The Daleks

I’m chalking up another first for myself today in that a piece of poetry I’ve written has been turned into a comic strip.


Click to read

A quick bit of background. I’m a big fan of the Marvel hero Captain Britain and today being his birthday I’ve joined forces with Avengers UK and the talented artist Russ Leach to celebrate my favourite superhero in poetry form.

Please note this is only half the poem, the rest can be found here on the Avengers UK facebook page, enjoy.

The Train now Departing


My last sight
Was your face.

Then as the dull brick
Of the station
Bled into the sprawling
Urban jigsaw of the suburbs,
You remained
Reflected in my window.

When rural emeralds
And russet earth
Sped into view
I thought I could still see you,
Keeping up with my journey.

Your features are burnt
Into my retina.
I don’t dare blink and lose you.

But when I pulled in
At my destination
Our last time together is over.
As I looked through the window
And watched you finally
Fading from my view.


A poem for National Poetry Day – A Message of Apology to my old English Teacher


In the spirit of the theme of National Poetry Day, messages, here’s an apologetic message to my old English Literature teacher.

Dear Mrs Green

28 years later I’ve decided to write to you,
To apologise for my behaviour in your English Lit class.
I’m sorry I didn’t pay attention to your lessons,
It’s no wonder my A-Level I didn’t pass.

I’m sorry for being uncooperative and disruptive,
You see I thought poetry was boring.
But it was rude of me to disturb your lesson,
With my sarcasm and pretend snoring.

I have prepared a poor defence, my age,
Because when you’re sixteen years old.
You think the world owes you a living,
You don’t listen or do what you’re told.

But something you told me must have stuck,
I wonder what it was that you said.
That made a long-lasting impression,
So some of your lesson stayed in my head.

Because as you read my letter,
You can’t really fail to see.
That despite my youthful protestations,
I’ve now embraced poetry.

So if you haven’t now fainted,
Or dropped down dead from shock.
I’d like to at last thank you,
Before I put my pen down and sign off.

You see I think if it wasn’t for your persistence,
In trying your hardest to educate me.
Then perhaps I would never have found,
That I did actually love poetry.


My other Message for National Poetry Day can be found here

Here’s my poem from last year for National Poetry Day


A poem for National Poetry Day – Secret Messages


Painted boldly on a cave wall,
Or part glimpsed on a dusty floor.
Downloaded on to a phone,
Carved in runes on an ancient bone.
The first line in a well-thumbed book
A stranger’s quizzical look.
The sharp refrain of an early bird,
A tricky clue in a cryptic crossword.
Ripples appearing on a pond,
Lyrics hidden in a favourite song.
The raising of an eyebrow
Heartfelt words in a wedding vow.
Shapes formed in tea leaves,
Sounds carried on the breeze.
A landlord’s urgent call of time
A much-loved poem’s last line.


It’s National Poetry Day tomorrow, here’s how to get involved


Tomorrow, Thursday 6th October is National Poetry Day and it’s dead easy to get involved, here’s how.

The theme of the day is messages, so why not send a poetic message via Twitter, Facebook, your blog or whatever way you see fit.

Stuck for ideas, check out the National Poetry Day website here. You can also use the site to find events related to the day near you and a whole host of great poetry related resources.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalPoetryDay if you share your message and follow National Poetry Day on Twitter and/or Facebook to keep up with the fun during the day.

I’ll be joining in just like I did last year when the theme was light.

So comeback tomorrow for National Poetry Day and don’t forget to share your messages.