M6 Motorway Blues

The cars seem to be made of lead
Petrol tank’s gummed up with treacle.
The motorway’s smeared in super glue,
Like fly paper it catches people.

The vans look like bloated slugs,
The lorries seem to be oversize snails.
Straining so slowly forward,
Hands glued to horns, to no avail.

The M6 is stuck like a scratched dvd on pause,
While we turn the air blue and vegetate.
We’re fossilising on the motorway,
Trapped helplessly at Junction Eight.

Diverse Verse 2 is launched and ready to buy.

I open the event with a reading of one of my poems in the book.

Yesterday the poetry book I’ve compiled for charity “Diverse Verse 2” was launched at Southcart Books in Walsall, and I’m pleased to say the event was a roaring success.

20 poets including myself turned up to read and with the audience that came to support the launch and enjoy the great poems at times it was hard to move. The book’s sales will support Cancer Research UK and yesterday we raised £115 and sold every single copy I’d had printed.

Here’s some photos from the event and after them I’ll let you know where the book can be bought from.

Paul Elwell reads his poem “When I Was.”

Carole Howard reads “Lesson from a Tree.”

Rick Sanders with impeccable comic timing reads us poems on snooker and Goldilocks.

Rick Sanders also wrote a review of the event on his blog which you can read by clicking this link.

Ian Henery reads to us about Walsall in the Civil War

Nina Lewis reads “Tidal mark.”

Al Lane tells us of the horrors of the morning after the work Christmas party.

Interestingly I first came across Al’s work online, click this link to go read his blog.

Scarlett Ward reads “Wordless”

Janet Jenkins reads “Umbrella Time”

Samatee tell us about the very last Dodo

Of course there were more readers and plenty more photos all available on Southcart Books page here.

These poems come courtesy of Elaine Christie and Scott Carter

Speaking of Southcart Books I will be having some more copies printed soon and delivered to the shop, keep an eye on their Facebook page if you are local and want to reserve one. Price will be £8.

Or if you can’t make it to the shop copies are now available to buy online, click this link here to take you to Lulu Publishing.

I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported this book, all who sent in poems, Southcart Books for allowing me to use their open mic as a launch, everyone who read or came to listen at the launch and everyone who shared the book’s details via social media and more. Now to get working on my next book and who knows maybe Diverse Verse 3 soon?

Diverse Verse 2 cover reveal

So Diverse Verse 2 the poetry collection for charity I’ve been working on is now out and available to buy.

It will firstly be available at Southcart Books from today onwards towards the official launch this Saturday,then online for everyone who can’t make it to the shop.

Pictures taken by Scott Carter.

Thin Ice

“Be careful where you tread,” she said,
“Steer clear of the thin ice.
“Make your steps light, ” she begged,
“So you make it safely to my side tonight.”

So I set out so very cautiously,
But it was terribly cold night.
I forgot to step carefully,
Then I trod on the thin ice.

The freezing water tightly seized me,
I was helpless in its icy grip.
Down I was dragged as my
Last breath from my lungs was ripped.

As I floundered I felt my body stiffen,
My heart slowed then began to freeze.
Trapped in the watery prison,
My life ebbed away from me.

So now I float stuck between life and death,
Blue lips stuck in a silent scream.
Black fingernails scrape the ice
Frost crystals crack in my bloodstream.

And if through the ice I see you pass by,
I’ll bring you back to me tonight.
The last thing you’ll feel are my fingers grasping you,
Then pulling you to me through the thin ice.

Another poem inspired by the current run of Dr Who, here’s a link to my other who poems
The Girl with a Star in her Eye

Poetry is a lot like IBS…

You think something is coming but after a lot of effort you’re often left with nothing.

Wearing Out

I lay on the couch, “does this hurt?” The Doc said,
As with a grip of steel he twisted my leg.
The pain coursing through me made me bellow,
“Of course if hurts, you impudent fellow.”

“You’ve got arthritis,” the Doctor clinically said,
“It’s on the screen in black and white, hips and leg.”
In the short time that it took him to tell me
I felt myself age quite considerably.

Now my hips are my internal metronome,
Each time they tick reminds me I’m old.
Each tock they make’s a clear reminder to me
That I’m not the young man I want to be.



What if you just didn’t feel like you can smile?
What if for you happiness feels like a trial?
What if you feel for your own real reasons,
You can’t be one of life’s shiny happy people.
Would you think to fit in that you had to fake it,
Put on a false smile that makes your face ache.
Hoping to fool people you’re the life and soul,
But worried that if the truth is told.
That if you confess to friends your real mental state,
That if you reveal you don’t think life is great.
As you tell them each day what you go through
Your so-called friends will harshly judge you.
Because of this each day you try to hide,
All the emotions slowly killing you inside.
So each morning you put on your familiar suit of lies,
Hoping that today no one will see through your disguise.

Another poem inspired by Dr Who, the time the episode “Smile,” where to give away that you were feeling sad might lead to your death. A world where you must smile despite all that is going on around you can resonate.

Here’s a link to my poem based on the Dr Who Episode “The Pilot”

Passing Blood

I awoke this morning with a terrible pain in my head,
“Perhaps it’s a tumor?” My wife helpfully said.
“No, ” I replied, ” I’m fairly certain it’s a poem,
But that’s funny, as they’re more like passing a kidney stone.”

Curse your sudden but inevitable turn to poetry

When I first thought of stepping on to a stage
my mind was screaming that I was a fake,
and if I did share my poems, them my time would come
and my imposter syndrome would be discovered by everyone.

So I decided I needed a disguise to look the part
I got tattoos on both of my arms.
I sprouted a hipsterish beard on my chin,
Now I was certain I was safe, but where should I begin?

You see I get tongue-tied if I wax political
embarrassed if I try to be satirical.
So I thought hard on what lines my rhymes should take
What could I with my mere words hope to create?

So I just wrote down all the crap that’s in my head
All the stuff that each night keeps me awake in bed.
All the stress and garbage that’s commonplace to me
I tried to capture in poetry.

But I found all the hurt and anger hard to maintain
Unloading the dirty laundry hiding in my brain.
Poems about my life isn’t really what I think folk would like to hear
I switched tack and tried hard to come up with new ideas.

I decided to write poetry on more pleasant themes
Beer, gin, family even pork scratchings.
Poems about the simple joy of binge watching the TV
These I founds were the words that best suited me.

So that’s my poetical manifesto
here I stand in my disguise giving it a go.
I feel like a changed man with what I decided to try,
But remember, I’m a poet and I always lie.

Diverse Verse 2 is ready for launch

Late last year I launched a call for poets for a poetry anthology for charity entitled “Diverse Verse 2.” I’m pleased to say the book is at the printers and we have a launch date.

On the 27th May as part of Southcart Book’s open mic “Diverse Verse 2” will be launched. The official Facebook event is here if you are interested, it should be a great day with lots of superb poets reading and hopefully I’ll sell a few books for charity.