Philomena Who’s in that house there, look? I thought I saw a light flickering in the empty rooms; who’d be in there late on Saturday night? Who’s in that house there – that wee house belongs to my dad! No one lives there now. Should we go and check it’s nothing bad? Who’s in that […]

The Customers Finally, summer’s here, and we’re enjoying a wee drink in this bar. A mix of us, from both sides of the fence. Unusual for these troubled times but it works for us. The balmy moon glows in our glasses, when the yellow headed men invade the bar and call out for us to separate by faith. […]

(Apologies for the hiatus, I’ll be catching up with posting my NaPoWriMo poems this week…) David We’ve stopped here by a ditch, across the sea from home; guns across our chests, peering like Eagle Eyes action men. It’s wetter here, more clouds; the sky drips more, but still I know this grass, this hedge, this […]

Thomas I was dumped at this church, unable to get home; back down the hill into town. This city, this town is deathly sick; my head stoved in with a brick and barrels from the bar. I watch a car toil up Forthriver’s rise, from this hill among the skies. No hallowed stones or weathered […]

Rachel We came up on the tube by district line; we nearly missed our stop. Jumped off at Earl’s Court and running, we just caught the Olympia branch train, a short hop. It put me in mind of the Blitz, the push and shove onto the platforms; the songs, the camaraderie, worried glances at the […]

Roy Bells ringing on the radio, Merry Christmas Everybody, Silent Night; my ma wants a record of carols; I’ll pick one up tonight. I had a wee dance in the kitchen, and she laughed as I shuffled along; the fits have left me limping, and my arm hangs down all wrong. But after all, I’m lucky, […]

Brandy Black and tan, contentious colours, your panting flanks and eager eye. A questing snout quivers to defend; loyalty is your nature, not a means to an end. Drunk, I named you for a drink, But Fido, that tired  joke, is your ideal: faithful, trustworthy, except, perhaps, around a meal. Your greed was your doom, […]

Samuel Winter still, the earth brown between wet lanes and the hedges bare like bones. My thumbs, stiff and rough yet twitch for spring, for nature to swing into its well-worn path. The blush of green will creep as always over the Sperrins, the daylight unbend as the dew retreats to misty morns. More than […]

Brian “Watch our Brian,” our ma shouted from the kitchen, elbow deep in peelings. “No bother” I called, plumping down my bag and coat. But when I made a mug of tea, he’d slipped away for a wee dander on the street. I let him have his play, Not wanting to bother our ma. “Your […]

Rosemary It’s the thirteenth today; touch wood. So long I’ve waited, and it has to be this day? Still, I’m doing what I longed for this last three years. But here’s me, crouched in a toilet, fiddling with wires, and I’m to be a teacher! But the cause is right, and casualties regrettable. Touch wood. […]

Linda Her da would sing to her; two years gone now, but loyalty, that widow maker, lingers. His name, etched in stone and statistics troubles her. So she gives it a shot, puts on the serge green, walks the beat; patrols her home town, still a teen. Green, she sticks her neck out, and the song […]

I wrote this several years ago; the idea came to me during a particularly uncomfortable meeting with a contractor. I keep changing my mind with regards to the title; sometimes it’s “Six Degrees of Freedom”. We meet to discuss resources, not people. Outsourcing, insourcing, TUPEs And how many FTEs We need, and how many are superfluous; We must trim our budgets and our manpower, our undertakings. But it’s ok; they’re only contractors, and road diggers at that. We roll with it. We don’t discuss names but Full-time equivalents Each FTE is a person, each team is two, And a gang is not as it sounds, A menacing mass of uncomprehending brawn, but Four living emissaries, who toil to shift the earth and uncover the cables Whose surge we all live and die by And as we talk, and look at charts And calculate how many people to discard, My eyes swaying, I notice the room divider. Teak veneer, with a trim at each end to hide the workings Of the sliding thing which can increase room volume productivity, Cleave its capacity, double its output. […]

Not my poem, alas, but one that I wanted to feature here; it’s always relevant for the poet, the writer, the artist. Go, my songs, to the lonely and the unsatisfied, Go also to the nerve-racked, go to the enslaved-by-convention, Bear to them my contempt for their oppressors. Go as a great wave of cool […]