entry picture


The nets are hung in the fishermen’s huts

at the old end of town, where the road runs out; 

the houses cling to east and west hills.

The wind fills his eyes with tears


The seaside was somewhere you escaped to;

candy floss, fairground rides, shrimps

in fresh pools; crunchy egg and eggshell sarnies,

sodden fish and chips, pier closed for repairs



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Tags: family, nets, old age, seaside



Bobbing in moonlight, pleasured by waves;

journeying through swell, under stars;

buffeted by wildness, first murmur, then roar;

smacked against rocks, the foam and the crack


Coasting on rollers, taken for a ride;

immersion, hope, exhilaration, surprise;

borne along on billows, swept up by joy;

directed where the tide decides


Chill dawn emerging,...

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Tags: dreams, sea

Something for Everyone


Seeds, sheets, plugs, paint; something of everything

if not much range. Pots, pencils, saucers, plates;

pocket-money treasures, find a present

for your gran. Towels, wrapping paper, pins.

Sometimes you came away with a bargain.

If only they didn’t keep moving the plants,

picture frames, toys, socks and sockets, sweets.

Times changed; you only called in now and ...

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Tags: shopping

World Cup haiku

A vuvuzela

up Mark Lawrenson's backside;

it's what he deserves

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Tags: football, Mark Lawrenson, vuvuzela

What a Wonderful Game

(This one's for Ray, and all the others out there) 


Brazil in Mexico;

Bonetti’s blunder and Gazza’s tears;

Pele, Eusebio, Cruyff;

North Korea, when they were plucky, not dangerous and mad;

The often-absent Tartan army;

Beckenbauer’s grace and Zidane’s rage;

Argentina!  Rattin’s dismissal, Maradona’s revenge;

Can Drogba carry Africa’s flag?

Wembley, the ...

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Tags: Football, World Cup

A time that glowed


Once it was a time that glowed:

turned-up collar, hurrying through glistening, early 60s streets.

A kind of muddling, room at Odsal Top,

or summat like that;

steam train always whistling in the distance


Dashing for the bus; overcoats,

shopping bags, windows steamed up,

conductor breathless.

Running the last yards from the corner,

hammering at the ...

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Tags: north, old age, south, youth

The Reluctant Volunteer

My dad, no hero, didn't look

for punch-ups. When the call came

he signed for the pay corps. 

But the look on his face

sometimes got him into bother.


He couldn't quite stomach the drilling,

or hide what he thought

of the shouts, the how's your father, 

the moustache and tiny eyes,

the whole bloody rigmarole of the sergeant major. 


One night in ...

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Tags: army, soldiers, war


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