End of the Line

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Walk down locked and empty streets alone, arrive for start of shift, it’s bear-the-brunt time to serve some others’ families not your own Going from the home front to the frontline Frozen pay, now tiny, ice-cold ‘offers’, red-bordered bills alert … Read more

Fallen Idol


after Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley   I met a bruised and smiling activist, elated, vindicated in their deed, who’d tossed into the harbour’s swell at Bristol the form of Portland stone to fishes feed Of one whose eight-foot statue’d … Read more

Self-Isolation in a Single Hostel Room

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Day 1 confined to room – no going out Day 2 do push-ups, Netflix, clean the floor Day 3 phone friends and scrub the tiling grout Day 4 a breakfast bag outside the door Day 5 phone friends and tell … Read more

Get Out Of Here


I’d like to get out but the lift doesn’t work And my knees are too weak for the stairs I meant to get out but the telly keeps telling me People like me should be scared I was going to … Read more

Rosa and the Water Buffalo

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When Rosa gazed through prison bars to street She saw the water buffalo which drove The heavy coated cart on cloven feet And when they could not pull their weighty load Their master turned his whip and beat and strapped Until they bled and flinched … Read more

Hettie Gets Out


She’s safely shut in and yet Hettie gets out And she goes to the places she cares most about Hettie gets out under cover of dark And she pushes the kids on the swings in the park Hettie meets Beryl … Read more

Another Country


The NHS is not another country Going to clinic’s not a trip abroad Its purpose is for treating not for hunting No frontiers from reception to the ward I have to cross the town not cross the oceans A hospital’s no … Read more

Halloween Underground


Blood sprayed across the ticket hall floor Capes caught and torn in moving rails Horns and scales and devils’ tails Make-up smudged some hours before Biting, fighting, broken jaw Cuts and slashes, tears and gashes Blades and bottles, glints and … Read more

How to Cover Up the Evidence


Concealer hides the redness and the bruises Long sleeves disguise the marks along her arm A bangle covers twisted wrist contusions A bandage shields her fractured thumb from harm Dark glasses screen her puffy eyes and tears Uncertain smile conceals … Read more

We’ve Got Something for That


Your breathlessness feels like asphyxiation You’ve missed a deadline for some bureaucrat You’re sighing, crying, busting with frustration I’m sure there is a therapy for that The lights and noise and pressure make you dizzy The heat is burning up … Read more

Sandbags and Gladrags


These are the banks that need to be propped up These the square miles that could do with some bailing out This is the high street where floating stocks are mopped up Defences that fail when they’re cut and left flailing … Read more

A Sonnet for Saga


‘Sonnet’ means ‘little song’; Saga Noren is the (autistic) lead character in Swedish/Danish crime drama The Bridge. A little song across a Bridge to link A multi-neuro-lingual Tower of Babel Two tongues, two countries, varied ways to think On fire … Read more

Roses and Bread


The house is getting dirty, she can’t face it The vacuum cleaner’s burnt out, lying dead She knows she’ll have to save up to replace it She wants a life of roses not just bread And sucking up the dust … Read more

Push the Button?


We have a fearless leader we can trust Who’s proved to us already that he would Destroy communities for their own good Burn shadows into pavements, flesh to dust He flaunts the firmest finger, face that fits A leader who can make … Read more


Every year on holiday he says He’ll write his life, a memoir from the flat Where once a letter slipped beneath the mat And sent him off to work not college days He says he’ll put on record anecdotes Red … Read more

Red Brick Dreams


If I could build the world from LEGO bricks The clean-lined architecture would delight We’d build for function and construct for kicks Each beautiful creative studded site  If I could build the world from LEGO bricks I wouldn’t let one … Read more

Sonnet to a Bricked-Up Window


Oh ticket office, ticket office, why Is your fair window really gone for good? However much I touch or hard I try The robot can not serve me like you could If you had closed ’cause I don’t have to … Read more

Sugar-Coated Sonnet

A sonnet written on the occasion of Lord Alan Sugar’s resignation form the Labour Party: So who invited that spiv to the party? No, we don’t want his cut-throat sort round here His anti-social manners are so nasty He’s nicking … Read more


Written on the centenary of the start of the appalling slaughter that was the Gallipoli campaign in World War One: Rank corpses carpeted Gallipoli At Russell’s Top, Lone Pine and Suvla Bay  By bullet, bayonet or dysentery Eight months of … Read more

We, The Undersigned


I’m going to add my name to two petitions My sense of right and justice is inflamed I usually have no time for politicians But those who keep their silence should be shamed There comes a time to stand up … Read more