In summer, a tan will embolden
marks of a faded despair.

Time tricked me once, and
marks of one time is on me, now
– forever they will likely stay,

hinting stories to strangers without permission,
troubling the traces of my lover’s fingertips.

Like a tragic tattoo of confession
I bear the crossed lines
of my troubled youths depression.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might remember I attended a poetry course with Rommi Smith last year. I published this poem (link here) from one of the sessions.

Today I wanted to share with you this personal poem that came out of a short exercise inspired by ‘marks’. It came inspired by a beautiful poem by James Caruth called Marking the Lambs. I wanted to play with the idea of certain periods of time leaving marks on us, and physical ones that outlast the feelings of the time they came from.

Read aloud if you can, as always. Many blessings.


New Necessities and Old Tradition

A month to watch a wreath decay.
Ribbons pulls friends home
to mothers, in towns away, ‘cross
hills and tracks with luggage
to escape being alone on Christmas.

Arthritic, brittle leaves dry out, and
leprous branches fall.
Crimson berries, cries of red
from cherub-cheeks stuffed
with glowing rosehips
finally lose their gloss –

before shrivelling, fading
and passing into hallmark shades of Winter grey.

Quiet, deserted houses in cities
light up again come new year,
when the ribbon unravels, new shoes
tread into cold buildings
to find unused candles, abandoned blankets
and corpses of wreaths by the bins.

The Sky’s Eye and Ours



The sky’s face watches, exhausted; blinks.
Blessed evening parades a lullaby –
woollen lavender weights travel
magically suspended,
hot-blushing sunset casts a mural
against cold walls, whilst the city turns purple
and the air to breathe is plum.

How many have painted a sun?
with twisted wrist and loaded brush,
an idea of bright, hot, white.
Artists eyes strain above architecture, feet stuck in
northern courtyards of red brick and cobblestones,
learning that all suns are not the same,
don’t look the same,
but look like us.


Lazy Stays (Poem)


– If easy comes –
High and fat, like the swollen city birds.
Whole sections of each quarter, in every town
claimed by plump bums on railings,
squashing and preening.
Splattering onto car parks and bridges while eating.
Pigeons eat manna from Heaven,
while skeletons scrounge crusts on the kerb.
Surviving under living gargoyles of greed.
– lazy stays.


A Poem on Magda Giannikou


Modestly, spanx under
a pop-pink, pleated tulip skirt peeks,
as she’s bouncing, knees bent, elbows out
pink sheer shirt sleeves rolled, ready for action,
the lumbering accordion breathing effortlessly,
so sensitive to the band and our feeling,
while her flat bare feet stamp the floor,
singing and clapping fills the room with colour,
her squeezing and stretching,
her face big, and open in reaction to playing
and theatrical nods to the crowd.

A mish-mash of cultures, rhythms and sounds
and languages.
Happy, liberated.

View from a Breakdown in Les Hautes-Alpes


Bright mustard lichen, stuck on
silver skeleton trees, looked on by
taller, boney figures, grasping bushels;
moss green mistletoe.

Rich evergreens, staining
a weathered grey cloak
of ashen winter, reluctant spring
mountains; aged and towering –

pale dead wisps, yellow
amongst swathes of scrub, ’round
old tin-roofed houses, under heavy cloud,
with shuttered windows,
wood, stone, sleepily shadowed
by grander nature.