the waiting room

I had the hillarious honour of being nominated for ‘Best Cover Version Of The Year’ award on The Waiting Room’s excellent podcast for my version of ‘There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis’ by Kirsty MacColl.

I didn’t win but hey, my first nomination for anything since a certain school debating competition when I was fifteen…

If you haven’t discovered this gem yet do go have a listen at and check out the christmas awards special.

roses from africa

they stumble but the march of progress goes on –
distilled in a book and captured in song,
when laughter drowns the dogma we’ll be free.

nature doesn’t need to win this one with words
and somethings rise, others fall I’ve heard,
remember this as rings inside a tree.

i won’t be the last one out the door and this is all just make believe

so i make my mind to take my time,
a bird silhouette on the laundry line,
the blackberries are ripe, it’s havest time again.

did summer come early? did it come at all?
flip-flops in puddles all down the road.
the ice is melting someplace far away.

i won’t be the last one out the door and this is all just make believe

a ring of roses and they all fall down –
water the blooms but forget the town.
sacrifices or indignities?

please tell me something i can understand,
a truth i can hold in the palm of my hand,
a song i can sing for all humanity

i won’t be the last one out the door and this is all just make believe

the theatre of man has come to town
the curtains back, the house lights down
spotlight on a blushing history.

don’t try to make sense of the words above
i’m not the only one confusing war and love –
do whatever you must to live your dreams.

i won’t be the last one out the door and this is all just make believe

la gare d’austerlitz

my words fall flat and clumsy,
my pen scratches the page.

school-boy rhymes collide with stunted haikus,
scattered amongst extinct to-do lists,
and piled up under a burden of exile, expectation and exhaustion.

on four hours sleep, in le gare d’austerlitz,
i let down my guard and fall in love.

the lady with red trousers and a violin sits down next to me
unaware that we are married and expecting a son called claude.
we exchange smiles and i put hers in my pocket as she gets on the train.

at the toilet i urinate next to a boy with a machine gun.
somewhere between platforms 18 and 10, after passing
a hairy man scraping chewing gum from the concourse,
i fall in love with paris too for good measure and remember
that i need to buy some nail-clippers when i get to orleans.

a poem for lucy

Running on adrenalin, many miles from home.
Alone in her room with a fledgling young poem.
Craving to capture the stillness and calm,
felt as I lay by her side.

The morning arrived without saying too much,
in the silence we talk, bodies warm to the touch.
Delivered to here from the eye of the storm.
Contentedly hid from the rain.

A week now is past, many things to express
and I lie in the sun, now rewarded with rest.
I press on my pen and the paper receives.
We both hope that she feels the same.


The sky wept freely
As gravity ushered watery needles back to their source.

Two naked eyes looked on at nameless faces
Playing fleeting cameos amongst the cold concrete set.

I savour the sights, the sounds, the smells,
And the silences between my steps;
Each one, a step closer to my evening’s dream-soaked conclusion.

And down those stairs,
Behind those curtains,
And through that door
A hundred unimagined scenes unfold
With a nod, a stare, a shiver, and a glance;
Each moment a tapestry of gestures
For which my tired bones are grateful.

various positions

The Monday train offered a rare palette
to my listless locomotive eyes.

Despite a glorious sun
the hills issued a stubborn monochrome
to the blue expanse above
as Nature dutifully hid her innocence
beneath the weekend’s virgin snow.

God’s people bond
by electronic ritual;
we overtake clouds,
perched in an urgent corporate cradle
nested between the skin and the sky.

The train speeds me south,
dizzy from an ever-changing aesthetic
which I struggle to comprehend.

I leave my father’s mother alone
with her sea view,
Carol Vorderman,
her stubborn old age,
and a failing body,
which no amount of Soya milk will solve.


The traffic below collides with Mendelssohn,
offering a soundtrack for our waking.

Out of the arms of sleep,
entwined in the arms of another,
I watch the morning peer through the blinds,
hinting at the day ahead.

The sudden electronic protest
cannot halt the march of time
and our moment is over
nearly as soon as it has begun.
I fear the stolen hours are bound to find me out
before the day is past.

The lift casually tosses me out into the street
where the icy grip
of Tuesday’s picture postcard scene
soon shakes me from my slumbers.

I walk home through the duck-littered park;
hands firmly entrenched in my winter coat,
with the snow,
and some second-hand thoughts.


Wednesday, in a room full of bum bags,
challenged by lively combinations of colour and flesh

I sit,
waiting to be reunited
with the flighty gross machine
that will carry me
from this unpronounceable place.

Devoid of the urge to join the masses
in their motional quest to queue,
I muse on the lines of a face and frame
to which I will never have a name;

I wait,
ashamed by the naivety of my tongue
and the sudden shameful silence
of my sullen alien blood.

The twenty third transient hour
offers a few minutes of respite
for my frail jet-lagged ego.

My camera would love it here,
an infinity of rectangles
to find amongst the foreign.
But the brief snapshot barely develops,
before I close my eyes
and embrace a fleeting sleep.