Me and my Crow


I once heard a poet say
that they had a kingfisher
beating inside their chest.
And those words intrigued me,
I wanted to discover
what beat within me.

So I carefully peeled back my skin
then peered into the cage beneath.
And that’s where I met
my Crow.

This wasn’t some midnight black
skull perching supernatural guide
and giver of sage advice.
Instead there roosted
a mangy feathered
crooked beaked
one eyed
Crow.

I asked it. “What are you doing in my chest?”
Its milky eye struggled to meet mine
then swaying a little
it opened it beak and burped.

I said. “Crow, are you drunk?
This is supposed to be a philosophical poem
and you are useless.
I bet Neil Gaiman
never has this kind of trouble.

The Crow burped again
then said. “You ask too much.”

“Oh you do talk. “I said.
” Answer me this, I’m confused.
I dissected myself
expecting to find beauty.
Yes before you say anything
I am an optimist.
But instead I found you,
my Crow.

“Tough.” Said the Crow.
“But seriously
what did you expect?
Anyway sit down
I’ve got a lot to tell you
and we have so little time.

Afterward I  sewed my chest back up
with lies and swore
never to let my Crow out again.
Unless I need to hear
everything about me
that I pretend I don’t already know.

The Last Tiger


Once I was the Empress of an emerald empire,
my paws padded on a verdant carpet as I stalked my domain,
while the mighty trees spread their cooling canopies over me
and their attendant birds serenaded my royal progress.
The plump plant-eaters were slow and easy to hunt
then belly full I would lazily bathe in a chill lake
before I slept, and then my subjects would go silent
for fear that if disturbed I would wake with a fiery anger.

I slept too long, waking hungry
to discover my empire was aflame.
My paws now padded on charred ground, disturbing clouds of ash
toppled twisted trees wept blazing leaves,
while the bloated bodies of my prey bob in the lake like obscene water lilies.
All day and night greedy saws snarl and cruel motors growl,
as men with treacherous gold-toothed smiles
and avaricious eyes are hunting me.

So tonight as the moon casts her sad smile on this destruction,
I will kindle my fury to become an orange flame
that will sweep through the remnants of my realm
to destroy its devastators,
burning brightly one final time.

Funeral for a Crow


Descending like a pair of dark angels
the vanguard of the cortege
settle around the deceased.
Always clothed in black
though not here to mourn as
white camera eyes swivel
scrutinising their fellow all splayed out.
As thoughts finish the scolding starts
attracting the rest of the cortege to the vigil.
They join in screeching their remembrance,
wailing a warning until
silence falls, wings flap
the funeral is over.

Even butterflies want to be famous for fifteen minutes nowadays


Butterflies flash mob thistles, uncaring
of the lurking poetry paparazzi.
They pretend they don’t want to be snapped
but land close to brandished phones
flirtatiously flapping scarlet wings,
flitting from plant to leaf always
making sure their best side is showing.
Briefly famous for a day.

 

I went to a great poetry workshop walking around Walsall Arboretum led by David Calcutt, where not only was I lucky enough to snap the photo above but I also managed a poem out of it!

A Pigeon among the Cats


Some days I feel like a neurotic pigeon,
pecking out a meagre existence,
surviving on my dumb luck alone
in a world full of cats.
I constantly walk on eggshells,
while all around me the
sleek fat chic pad confidently by,
their lips curled in sneers or snarls.

I’m an endangered species
with no defence except
my novelty value.
Which is no real protection for a neurotic pigeon
whose dumb luck could run out at any time,
constantly scrabbling to exist
in a world full of cats.
A pigeon who realises that his problem is
he’s that bloody stupid he’s forgotten he’s got wings.

Diversifly


I’m pleased to announce I’ve got a poem in the new anthology from Nadia Kinglsey and Fair Acre Press entitled, “Diversifly” Here’s a taster for you…

It’s great to be featured with some great poets including Brian Bilston, Carrie Etter, Andrew McMillan, Sabrina Mahfouz, Kaite O’Reilly, Emma Purshouse, Amaal Said, James Sheard, and Dorothea Smartt and more. Alongside the poem are also some marvellous pictures and photos of birds that really bring the book to life.

To buy a copy click this link.

Armchair Explorer


I peek cautiously through the kitchen blinds.
A green canopy appears, growing wild and untamed.
It’s like a BBC 2 jungle documentary out there,
nature is reclaiming my garden,
and I feel like
this is a job for another day.

I tentatively open the cupboard door.
It’s like an explosion in a skip,
no antiques or heirlooms here.
This is Tutankhamen’s stuff for the tip
rubbish unfit for any afterlife.
Another job for another day.

I’m no Attenborough or Carter
Fearlessly investigating  or excavating.
Instead equipped with a cup of tea
I sit comfily in my armchair.
Braving only the TV channels
to visit faraway lands.

The Secret Life of the Office Meerkat


office-meerkat

Under the harsh glare of electric suns,
Flitting among the orange carpeted plains,
The office meerkats chatter and lap tea.
The tinny trill of a phone breaks the peace.
The meerkats shiny eyes blink then search,
As their quizzical heads rise above monitors.
Before they bolt
Back to their drab cubicle like burrows.
Tiny paws start clattering on keyboards,
The meerkats look busy, they’re experts at it.

Suddenly the clattering stops
Inquisitive noses sniff as heads re-emerge
A familiar scent is teasing.
Cake.
Keyboards and phones are forgotten
As paws scramble and pound,
Skittering across filing cabinets.
Eager faces crash into their chocolate prey,
Paws quickly start to pick the cake clean,
Tiny mouths bolting it down in huge chunks.

Then a heavy tread disturbs the carpet
Meerkat ears prick up
Chocolate smeared mouths screech warnings.
A manager has been sighted.
Cresting a desk the predator roars,
It has scented the cake.
The meerkats scramble back to their cubicles
Leaving only crumbs behind.
Safe they nestle, mouths start to happily snore
As furry paws contentedly hug full bellies.

Crash and Burn


pigeon

I came across a dead pigeon on
the pavement today.
As the indifferent traffic sped by
the wind bought its dead wings
to life in a bizarre sad half-life.

As I passed the pigeon it
seemed to turn its twisted neck
and fix its dead eyes on me.
As if to say this is what
happens if you try to fly.

The Moth


the-moth

Emerging from a phosphorus cocoon,
Comes a crackling blue and yellow moth.
Unfurling flickering wings
It strains to reach the sky.
Flailing, it fails to break free
From its wooden shackle.