I’ve had a tumultuous couple of months, and my writing has suffered; in fact my output nose-dived to zero. I keenly feel the truth of the (probably apocryphal) Chinese curse of living through interesting times. You may note, dear reader, the lack of any posts on here since July, but my hiatus is hopefully over, […]

One of my 100-word stories has been published today by John Xero in Issue 12 of 101fiction.com . The theme of this issue is “underwater”. I love reading the other stories published at 101fiction; the quality is very high, so if you like reading bite size horror, Sci-Fi, fantasy and surreal tales, please check it out. […]

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. […]

Today I’ve had a piece of flash fiction published at Ad Hoc Fiction, a Bath Flash Fiction Award project. The title of my story is “The Expedition” – it was published in the 27/4/16 weekly edition, but if you have difficulty locating it in the Flash eBook format, I’ve saved a copy for your perusal here! As with much […]

This is just a quick post to proudly announce that one of my 100-word stories has been published by John Xero at 101fiction.com. Please check the site out, now in its sixth year online, it has some fantastic flash fiction. My story’s title is “Wireless” and it is published in the March 2016 issue. The […]

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 […]

Wikipedia defines Norn Iron as “an informal and affectionate local nickname used… to refer to Northern Ireland, derived from the pronunciation of the words “Northern Ireland” in an exaggerated Ulster accent (particularly one from the greater Belfast area). The phrase is seen as a lighthearted way to refer to Northern Ireland, based as it is on […]

I wrote (borrowed? appropriated?) this in 1999, using headlines taken from the 28th May 1999 papers;  I’m going to write a followup this May, as an interesting exercise in observing what has changed in 17 years, and what remains the same in absorbing us, news-wise. Tragedy of babies born into A BUS SHELTER CALLED HOME Ferguson’s £12million spending limit Upsets the Deaf War crimes move The start of the weekend SORRY SOPHIE We never meant to cause you distress Topless photo was a mistake – Two heads four legs and sex appeal!!! Ban on Viagra to cost millions […]

 I wrote this poem last summer for a work colleague who really should ease up but on whom lots of us rely, daily.   Not tall, but sturdy London born. Not quite A Cockney. Unremarkable maybe except for That quiet determination, Hard as granite, soft as shit Your sentimentality Like jellied eels A backbone in the mush. A dying breed But don’t be dying, We need your help, as always. Your achievements chiseled from Honest dignity and care; You’re always there.