The black car is almost here.
and I remember:
Early morning, deep December.
today, I know, is the day.
Exit day, the expected day: the day to say goodbye.
A rush hour slow-slog through thin and sickly dawn.
Idiot-bright festive lights fail to sense the mood.
Mother in the back seat – quiet, watching, alone.
A red light river – a sto...
Tuesday 15th February 2022 12:37 pm
Our Halloween masks reflected back
as we peer through that dusty glass
into the quiet gloom of the Ghost Café
If only the ghost waitress would take our order
‘large or small?’ she asks, well, I’m a medium
ghost chairs dragged across the ghost floor
And the clank of local steel set down
on delicately painted porcelain
bustling echoes bounce from peeling walls
People starting or resta...
Tuesday 8th September 2020 12:47 pm
Pen devoid of poems
adventure long overdue
living room carpet
growing long in the tooth
I’m pining for movement
so keen to get out
I’ll go walking down
to Holly Hagg
Little glimpses at normality
haloed by golden rays
There’s no poison
in the idle river
in the quiet horse
The clouds of working day
part while I’m out walking
bathed in nat...
Friday 7th August 2020 4:43 pm
I used to hate this part of town
it felt like stepping back in time
as if all our momentum to the capital
had been lost
these shops with their hand-painted signs
I didn’t recognise the names
they’re not triplicated on every high street
And now I sit
in the Crooked Café
the waitress always tries to remember my ‘usual’
but I love that she never quite gets it right
Friday 15th November 2019 11:38 am
He did everything backards-road round
Put on his coit
And pulled his hat on his eead
Washed his face wi’a wet dish-claht
And I’m like Whatever
Kids were art laiking
Ran off darn a ginnel
Waiting back at home
Some spice afore then
A ha’porth’a Spanish
Wash it darn
Wi’a sup er watter
Saturday 20th April 2019 11:09 am
The Voyager's Song
I see the shoreline,
black and unremarked
sleeping in secret, supine,
an open door, strong
as a broad Yorkshire
weak as rags of sea mist.
Soon I shall fetch upon its sands,
where cold silence reigns
uninvited like the early dawn.
Beside me shall burn,
in isolation and awe,
the last bright flower
of an ancient memory...
Friday 19th January 2018 2:43 am
Good Morning All
Over the summer holidays I'm bringing a Poetry Summer School to the Town in association with Ossett Arts for 16-25 year olds.
The 6 week course will feature a mix of writing and performance workshops that will culminate in a very special performance during Ossett Arts Gallery Evening
For more information see below:
Monday 3rd July 2017 11:30 am
Scotland's foak are nowe neer as tite, or fair
Lancaster az but weaker trees and moare gawmless flowwers
And o' watter from Thames or Tyne, i cannot care
We wer craaned as kings n queens from ar verry burth
Nivver fear nor dahht it, tho wethers wet an coald
A better cahn...
Wednesday 20th July 2016 6:06 pm
Last night was more than anyone could bear.
Last night they plunged a dagger into Yorkshire,
approving plans to poison land, to fracture
the ground beneath our feet, to choke the air.
Four thousand people sent in their objections.
A hundred speakers warned what could occur.
But seven County Councillors didn't care
and kicked North Yorkshire in the wrong direction:
a course that leads ...
Tuesday 24th May 2016 1:23 pm
From the North Sea, wild and grey
the horde bore down on Scarborough Bay.
I overheard one of them say
"We're following the money."
Like a Viking raiding force
they'd moved their enterprise onshore
to probe beneath the Yorkshire moors
for oil and gas and money.
A mighty fleet of high power cars
overran the Scarborough Spa.
I heard them, wassailing at the bar
thirsty for the money.
Sunday 15th May 2016 6:33 pm
The mill looms hulking in the dim distance,
looms now long-stilled but filled with pictures
crafted by Hockney, some of his Bradford
long-remembered when he as a lad, would
sketch the hills and mills with broad strokes
but some more contemporary: coal smoke
swapped for cooler pool or beach scenes
or the bold new Wolds canvases: deep greens
and thick line...
Wednesday 16th March 2016 10:53 pm
North Yorkshire was a green and pleasant county
with rolling hills and cricket on the green,
and tourists by the score
would come to see the moors,
historic sites and charming rural scenes.
And when they'd had their fill of nature's bounty
they'd spend their cash at tearooms and hotels.
But then some gas was found
two miles beneath the ground;
now Yorkshire has become a
Thursday 19th November 2015 12:58 pm
The Quiet Compere Tour is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Manchester – The Three Minute Theatre - Friday 31st January 2014
York – The Cityscreen Basement Bar - Friday 28th February 2014
Birmingham – MAC Hexagon - Friday 21st March 2014
Kendal – Brewery Arts Centre - Saturday 26th April 2014
Liverpool – Blackburne House Café - Frid...
Monday 23rd December 2013 1:47 pm
Taking Root (20th July 2013)
looking like a sapling
with a pure heart of oak
the white rose entwined
around three lions
before the stumps
strong willow blade
flashing in the summer sun
but not broken
before the green and gold
not since the days
of Sir Geoffrey and...
Sunday 21st July 2013 7:23 pm
New Library at Pontefract
(on seeing a film featuring John Betjeman)
Long, long ago, when I was twelve,
John Betjeman was here
to make romance for Pontefract,
to make it very clear
that this was not some ‘northern town’
of legend, cold and drear,
but hill-top place, Italianate -
the self-same atmosphere
that brought the olive growers in
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 2:45 pm
amidst dewy dawning
and distant lowing
tangled root stone bedding
beneath hillside glowing
from cloud stalked
to sun burst warming
flows river umber
running iced tea
tarnished and malty
to this tumble
comes happy dog
snout near rabbit deep
as spooked cottontails peep
from behind mossy log
Thursday 23rd August 2012 11:06 pm