I write poems which are to be read and performed about all sorts of things. Here are a couple of my favourite, keep an eye out for new ones.
Mary Berry’s Lashes (September 2012)
This poem has been published by the brilliant Amy Key and Charlotte Runcie on their Great British Bard Off blog alongside poems from Tim Wells, Micheal Rosen, Jody Porter and Roddy Lumsden. Let’s hope it gets turned into a book!
The night you said beautiful,
I laughed my ribs out
In great bowers of bent roped bone,
Which broke from me
Choking my fears with calcified smiles
Beaching at last on the ashen fireside tiles.
I thought it was all a tremendous joke.
We built a table from the marble arcs,
Dressed it in the lace of ancient brides
And the pink silk of pig’s ears,
Which pricked up to hear you laugh.
That thick, rich mirth
Stoppered all my wounds
With a liniment of tumbling decibels.
Your generosity could have tempted retiring icebergs
Into the sweltering gulf,
Eased them into the shallows
Where mottled starfish
Would petrify in the aching melt water (not sure this line works – but a lot here
Your generosity could have begged a pause from
A determined coal train’s heaving snort and mass
Better than a horizon of red flags
Held up by the hands of 29 boiler-suited protestors.
You wear your generosity stitched around your neck
In a cravat of courtesy.
I search for a caveat of infidelity
In the arrows of the print
Pointing to me, me, me.
You smooth the edges of her sadness.
Her night fears balk at you.
They bolt with the tight-sprung release of so many spring lambs,
Those boundless leaping mutes bleating soundlessly into the dawn
I breathe alone,
And leave you
With a gift of seven lemons.
Strung up to dry in the August heat,
They have lost their bitterness,
Tanned by the sun
They are almost sweet.
You palm the fruit carefully,
As if its blanched skin
Would bleach the humanity from your fingers
But the fruit is innocent
I will wait for years
For the ears of your eyes to awake and
The eyes of your ears to open.
I am forbidden.
I will malign the feast,
And, as an un-bloodied Banquo,
I will sit between you,
Freezing the air
I will make time still.