Lines Of Longitude

In the warp and weft of her memory’s map,
fault-lines frayed through life’s unfolding,
time-zones have tangled. Sri Lanka is still Ceylon
and the bomb-razed house on Tyneside stands unscathed,
laughter leaking from its dance-swept floors
into the care home’s cold communal lounge
where fellow refugees, washed up like flotsam,
sit marooned in mute confusion.............more


Post- Olympics they’ve gone crazy in our sleepy little village
there’s not been this much action since the Vikings came to pillage;
in the baker’s, giant rock cakes disappear while they’re still hot
but they’re not for consumption they’re for those who put the shot.
The ducks have fled the duck pond now it’s colonised by yachtsmen
On the High Street lycra’d sprinters could outrun the Flying Scotsman..............more

Fish Out Of Water

He’s swept along through the shipyard gates
in a tight shoal of welders, platers, caulkers
and boilermen to wash up, Jonah-like,
in the cavernous, echoing belly of the ship,
against ringing ribs and cold steel flanks
oxidised to a frieze of dried blood;
and so begins his hard labour. .............more

A Grand Irish Day

The woman squinting through the narrow crack of Broom Cottage b & b's front door does not immediately strike us as the embodiment of Irish hospitality. Those thin, pursed lips have surely never been within kissing range of the Blarney Stone. "Yes," she grudgingly concedes, "there is a vacancy," but she looks dismayed when, horizontal needles of rain stinging our legs, we ask to come in and see the room...............more