The sea hangs in a blue triangle,
a liquid held in a chalice
between two hills.
Far off, it looks higher
than me and, knowing it’s water,
I think how it might tip
and surge through the valley
and across the land. But it stays
in place, never spilling a drop.


Walking away I keep turning round –
a drag in my limbs –
to see how the level of blueness
shrinks, inch by inch
as I go back, step by step
towards the demands of roads,
cars, maps and time-keeping
until the curvature
of the hills has rolled closed.

(published in Butcher’s Dog, 2015)


The colour of sky and sunlight
he acrobats
among the tree tops,

with his head on one side
he considers
the abracadabra

of the high twigs
where he splits open a seed
or spin-twizzles

a caterpillar
like a strand of spaghetti
and as he goblins

out of sight, you wonder
how the cobalt of his wings
grew from the yolk of an egg.

(published in The Broadsheet, 2015)

Renny – 1961


Even then, I knew my performance as a primrose
wouldn’t impress. But as soon as the bell clanged
we played wild animals. We’d be at it on the floor,
some crawling on all fours, others writhing,
all of us snarling or growling. I guessed
he’d notice my sabre-tooth-tiger impression:
I knew how to act long fangs, had the prowl off to a tee.
I’d studied the picture and practised. Anyone would guess.
He stood watching me for a while, hands on hips,
smiled at me. But all he wanted to do was to rough up Bert
and I can’t remember now what animal he was.

(published in Lighthouse, 2015)