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My favourite poems

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Poetry is the story of my soul

in her own words,

told, untold,

retold and then,

told again,

forwards, backwards,


fleshed out

and then skinned,

as seen from the stars

or the hollow of my heart

until I like it,



Be tired more

Be tired more,

be heavy, helpless in your wanting,

be ready for the blue words, like ‘thus’ and ‘forget’,

be a somnolent inkblot until you’ve sulked all your heart out to the last lick of blood.

Be tired more,

be lost in the innermost swirl of your soul,

be free to the bone, drift in and out of your lists and languishes,

be in the wrong place and then, in the wrong place again.

Be tired more,

misplace things for a reason,

a season.

Be tired more,

and thus,


Picking brambles

My hand weaves past the leaves, past

fruit still spring clean green with knobbly ears,

past a blushing pair of heads leaning

cheek to cheek in coy excitement.

Then, the prize.

I hold the whole of summer gently pinched

between the soft tips of my expert fingers.

I pluck plump, silly days and sultry nights.

Sun, moon and stars, I pick the past, the future.

Just a berry.

Fragile and sparkling in the deepest black.

A world.

The theory of everything.

The phone call


in that sweet spot

when days fall off cliffs

and souls can wander on any given cloud,

we chat forever.

Neither of us rang.

We meet out of time,

I’m five, I’m twenty, fifty one.

I hear you smile patiently,

as my heart leans against yours

for a goodnight kiss across worlds.

Then, the alarm goes off,

lights on, and the line is dead.

We, however,

we’re still smiling.

Easier time

Easier time


into the curl of a fist

with seedlike patience.

Sooner, soon,

roots and shoots

would sprout flowers, fruit.

To like the warmth

was an odd, seasonal game.

A fickle tick forever rules

the stocky tock

with stubborn precision.

One moment’s peace

tastes of earth,

blood and honey.

Autumn truths

Summer lingered long, never took.

Light spilled, sat easy, asked for a truce.

Now, laughter darkens, learns to wait.

A season peels off trees in golden ochre, bloodred, rust.

Eyes roll, all colours whisper, no intention of remaining.

‘Hear me’, the caught leaf sings, pinched between two fingers.

I close my fist.

The faintest heartbeat stops.

The sailing boat

The sea takes a swig at me.

I rise and fall,

naughty waves tickle my belly unashamedly,

then slap me in the face.

Dreams sting forever.

I like it rough.

I breathe freedom

sandwiched between elements,

a traveller,

bobbing for adventure,

not meant to be anchored, chained.

Let me be.

Catch of the day

I catch the last of the evening sunshine,

let the day sink into a warm orange glow.

A burning star paints pictures on my soul,

a version of today, the story I will own

and tell to whom it may concern tomorrow.

I make peace with the colours I missed.

Never managed to squeeze in turquoise,

or aquamarine, I seemed to have skipped

the blues, left my rainbow incomplete.

Vehement, self assured red melts into

a youthful peachy pink, I can smell joy.

I catch the last of the evening sunshine,

let stardust rain on me and time disappear.

Summer then

The memory comes uninvited and swallows me like a fly.

Here it is, the reckless infinity of my childhood summer.

Clocks hadn’t been invented yet, what for? It was always

the right time and we didn’t need numbers to know when

to meet, play, swim, explore. Warm wheatfields crossed

and crissed the place, their dry spikes nodding in approval,

their beards tickling the back of my knees and I sneeze,

even decades later. I’m holding a chocolate ice cream,

nothing else could stain me so beautifully. Such a pity,

beauty melts into a sticky trickle and grudgingly runs

down my grubby fingers. I lick them cleaner. Everything

tastes of deep brown sugar mixed with soft silly sweat

and the iron tang of knees that were never seen whole

for the entire season. I’m dressed in the tug and squeeze

of last year’s clothes outgrown and step into the ghost

of shoes never worn. My feet plough through a velvety

cushion of grass, clover and dandelions. Nobody ever

went on a holiday back then. Why on earth would they?

Abroad started just outside my front door. The memory

slips away, spits the fly out onto a grey paving slab,

the concrete of my garden path, now. I can still taste

chocolate ice cream with all the mismatched sprinkles

of a childhood summer stuck on it like stubborn freckles.

Summer was big and gritty, even the dirt smelled fresh.

Everything, everywhere and no worry. I was summer then.


Reeds and rushes, we,

like moorhens, whisper

red billed truths through

debris and duckweed. Reflections

of our freshwater hearts

flash white and echo

the bottom of our soul,

forever present, forever secret.

Sitting on a shingle beach

The soft, secret murmurs of resting heartbeats

trickle gently through cobbles and flow into the sea

with the inexplicable ease of necessity. Waves

come and go, their greedy tongues dart in and out,

licking pebbles, melting sandcastles. Water and life

take no hostages. Sleeping stones echo the whispers

of a past as I balance my soul on top of these rocks

and stare into faraway future horizons. I watch all

my hard-earned ballast break off, disappear lightly

into the humming beauty of a black shingle beach.

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