In August 2013 my first poetry collection The Last Green Field was published by Indigo Dreams. Its theme is the conundrum of time – the pastness of the past and its inescapable presence.

Click here to hear me reading some of my poems on the radio.
After visiting Dans Maen *

Here, my love, upon this beach
where foam-white water-whisper
spills across our narrow feet

I turn back to consider
other footprints, other tracks
worn into this ancient land.

Watch, and you may see them pass,
feel grass move, the heft of stone,
smell the rank sweat of purpose,

ache of bone. In cromlech,
cairn and maidens’ dance they tread
still, though our faint steps are gone,

the sands washed clean. Shadows leap
against the seethe of evening –    
listen! Can you hear them breathing?

*Cornish for The Merry Maidens,
a Neolithic stone circle near Penzance.
Now is a good time for poetry. Verse is everywhere; poets are courted by the media; people pack open-mike events in the pub; poetry collections are flying off the shelves. This is great news.

Perhaps because it’s magical – not just “the best words in the best order”, but as Nathalie Sarraute said: “Poetry is what makes the invisible appear”. Everyone remembers a favourite poem, a catchy rhyme, the perfect metaphor. We all want to be moved; we want to find ways of saying what we fear can’t be said.
My father     

loved fish – their slither
and slide, the rainbow flash
of scales that would leap
and glide past
in silence.

He raised me in his fishing basket
next to pike and tench
flip-flopping their tails
in my face, their scent in my nose
like earth and freezing rivers.

In the half-dark
we’d say nothing for hours,
our mouths
a wide O of astonishment
at the noisy world.

I ate fish bait for tea, played
with worms; fish hooks held
my nappy fast. Father
smoked beside the tide,
its rise and fall like my breath.
  
All summer we lay there,
the fish and I, beneath
latticed sunlight,
our round eyes staring; we
waited for him to take us out,

throw us back,
anything.

Links:

The Poetry Archive

The Poetry School 

The Poetry Can

Indigo Dreams
My father won the Sunday Telegraph/Rose Theatre Poetry for Performance competition just before Christmas 2008. The award was presented at the Theatre by the then Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion.
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