Christmas Card Poem 2020

You say the snow is a magical thing
Coming down from the heavens like magic
Before joining up together on the ground
And Father Christmas throws it all down
Just to complete the experience

Drifting your happiness across town
Whether by car or bus
In-between two places on Christmas Day
When another downpour
Leaves the pair of us laughing

Telling each other ironically
It could only ha...

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Consequences XIV

It was the night before Xmas and all was quiet throughout the house 
include Dad who was asleep drunk on Jack Daniels Honey on his chair.

He never saw the zombies enter the house, wearing Christmas hats
but when he blearily opened his eyes, he mistook them for Santa’s elves.  
“What have you got for me this year then,” he muttered…

The zombies stopped in their tracks, looked nervously at ...

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Consequences XII and XIII


This was going to be a Christmas unlike any other she had experienced not that she had ever actually experienced this thing they called 'Christmas' before, because she had grown up on the Planet Mars with twenty-five million reindeers

But this year would be her first on earth, so she gathered all her essentials and headed for the spacecraft, she wondered, as she boarded the craft, whet...

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Consequences XI

The day had finally come he was free to roam the streets, 
that was until that fateful cold Tuesday morning when he met his match…
it was a creature, half llama and halfcrocodile.
The Llama-dile shuffled upto the man, raised onto his hind legs and 
asked would he would like a glass of red or white wine
to which he replied 'Both!', but could you please...
help me… no-one sees the real me. 

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Consequences IX and X

(Another great session with my workshop tonight produced this consequences piece where we all took it in turns writing a line. 

Also blogged is the one from the time before which I forgot to share last time.

Thanks as always to Amanda Steel, Mike Booth, Reggie Agulha and Antonia Fusaro for making it so much fun. Love you guys.)


They weren't quite dead, but they might as well have be...

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Underground (Part 31 to 36)

NB. Six x New haikus from my Underground series of haikus



Harmonica led

He plays guitar with it once

Then a second time.




Breaking down again

You are not sure whether to

Wait or drive to work.




Shivering in the cold

You can see her there wishing

She had her gloves.



Drawing on your past

The past becomes the future


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Consequences VIII

Standing in the doorway, she thought it was... a piece of cake lying on the floor, but when she looked closer she realised it was in fact not hundreds and thousands on icing but the glitter of false eyelashes still attached to an eye “Fuck, that's my eye,” she said squinting, so with one eye closed she.... tried to pick it up and slipped on a puddle a blood and as she was about to crash on the flo...

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Underground (Part 28 to 30)

(NB. Three more haikus on the Underground)



Asleep on the seat

He only just wakes up

Before it leaves.



As the taxi beeps

Outside he tells himself this

Can’t keep happening




Guitar in his case

The busker offers the tramp

Some of his coffee.

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Underground (Part 25 to 27)

NB. Three more haikus about the Underground



Northern train at stop

Pauses like it is watching

You walk your two dogs.




Getting hotter and

Hotter, it feels like the train

Is overheating too.




Pausing for breath

The guard wakes up the girl

For her ticket home.

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Consequences VII

Latest in the Consequences series that my writing workshop does at the end of each meet up where we take it in turns writing a line each. Thanks to Mike, Reggie, Antonia, Sarah and Amanda tonight for the laughs and loads of good writing.


The Zombie stopped at the edge of the town

and considered her options.

She'd been out causing chaos last night, didn't she deserve a night off, glas...

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Underground XXII to XXIV


On the other side

Of the platform the sunset

Always sinks late



Infused in sweat

Your hair turns blonde slowly in

The marigold sunset.



Back from holiday

You leave traces of sand on

Different platforms.


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Underground Part 16 to 21

NB. Six more Haikus in my sequence Underground 



You smile after he 
Hides his wedding ring then slips 
getting off the train


September darkness
Makes the late running train feel
even much later  


He doesn’t wake him up
until he has missed his stop 
smiling silently


the first train sprints out
infused with an energy
into the sunrise.



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Consequences Part 5 and 6


The thing that nobody ever knew about me was the fact that I had not brushed my teeth since I was 10 years old hard to believe, but no-one had ever commented on it, and I seemed to have got by. It was strange now that I was  offered a job as a model, a hand model though so the teeth were really only a problem for me as I kept almost  choking on scraps of my childhood...

The bitterness ta...

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Underground Part 13 to 15

** NB. Three more haiku about the Underground.

 (More to come too) **



Underground XIII

You smile after he 
Hides his wedding ring then slips 
getting off the train

Underground XIV

September darkness
Makes the late running train feel
even much later  

Underground XV

He doesn’t wake him up
until he has missed his stop 
smiling silently

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Underground (Part 7 to 12)


Back from holiday
Your bag won’t stay on the rack
Wanting to go back. 


The wind pushes you
Down the platform like it 
Wants you off quickly.


Exiting August
At your stop train
Overfull doesn’t stop.


Maybe see you later?
Her question calls out to him
Tepid in her guilt. 


Complicated these are
The guard answers you smiling
Opening the ga...

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Consequences Part 3 and 4


The dinner was going extremely well 
but he couldn’t help but notice the tiny green salad spot on her front tooth..
was it food, or something else?..
Was it human or something more sinister?, 
like ghoul slime, ghost sneeze  or even worse, snot! 
No, no, it couldn't be that, could it?
the green spot was getting bigger, 
it was fluorescent and pulsing to a steady beat
but having kill...

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Underground Part 1 to 6


Out of tune busker
Pausing for a few moments
Opens up a beer.


Pausing for its breath
The train can’t look back turning
Away from the guard.


Getting off the train
You almost turn back round to
Get straight back on it.


Stepping from the mist

You feel like you are stepping

From a dark film noir.



Pausing suddenly

you think briefly ...

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Consequences II

Who killed bobby it was never proved
But to be honest, I'm convinced it was investigated properly.
And I should know.. I was the chief investigator
There were too many distractions with the case. Those witnesses.
Not only that but the fact was wearing pink knickers.. That was very strange, he never liked pink.
but his guts were cut out and replaced by pink jelly babies. He would have hated th...

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Disappearing in the midnight air across the meadows

Leaving no trace your

Feet disappear suddenly

In the midnight air.

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Behind You

Next to the water

The wind chases behind you

Like a naughty child.

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Consequences (Part 1)

NB. (A few of you know I am running a really informal little writing workshop tonight at the moment which meets up every two weeks. As a fun exercise tonight to finish off the night we wrote a kind of consequences poem where we took it in turns to write a line each and then as it went really well, we then did a second line. I won't say who did what, but thanks to Amanda, Reggie, Antonia, Mike and ...

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A Tanka and a Haiku about after the storm has passed

After last night’s storm
Striped nervously in the sky
The sun and the wind
Pauses Like they are
Studying what has happened.

After the storm has
Passed your daily walk looks more
And more unlikely.

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A Tanka and a Haiku about the rain

Falling deep the rain
Traps you in the meadows
Changing all your plans
Into a sudden retreat
before you got to the bridge


Bombarding the bridge
The rain falls over the top 
Like tears in your eyes

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Sailing the storms home

Restless on the sea
the storms rage higher, higher
and with it your hopes. 

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Lost in a forest in pitch darkness at midnight



slowed down to silence
at midnight in the forest
even the birds sleep

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A Tanka and a Haiku dealing with emotions about not seeing your parents in four months since before the virus started

The night before your first journey in almost four months to your parents before the virus started (A Tanka) 

Suffocated in worry
Your first journey in
Almost four months hangs
In your dreams the night before
Crossmarking warnings in fear.


Reflections on the way to visit your parents for the first time after nearly four months after not seeing them since before the virus started (A...

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Hopeless Rescue

(NB. An Tanka I think - first time I've tried one of them.



Lost in pensive regrets

The wind blows over the deserted

Coastline into the sunrise

Straining for the men to come

To rescue the boats while they could.



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A Haiku about returning to the beaches when it is safe to go there again.

Picking up pebbles

You wonder how long before the dream

Becomes reality again.

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The day after yesterday and the day before

The past is held in the un-cut clearing
all the way to the other side of the cricket ground
and past the greenhouse
which you reckoned must have had a few balls
smashing through it over the years
and the nearby college,

drawing a line between the future
and what lies beyond the other side of the gate
leaving nothing but shadows
and rattling doors
of the boarded up club house

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Abandoned Cricket Ground

Slipping into the past for a few seconds
I can hear the bowler swear under his breath
When the yorkie goes over his head in succession
Almost like the batter is trying to hit him on purpose
Instead of just been sat there alone 
watching the grass grow longer each day. 

History was in the making then of course
When the coin flew up towards the heavens
Creating a ripple then a rupture 

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Leaving Lockdown

Skating through the silence
the back of the deserted old cricket club
blends into the early morning mist
with the moon sinking over the cliff
turning the coastline orange
when the last of the seagulls disappeared
over the edge.

In the distance you can hear
the cars begin to stretch their legs again
after a prolonged break
and people returning to the train station
following white two...

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Different kind of protest

Across the limbs of the budded trees
On the edge of the deserted cricket ground
While thousands are protesting in the city centre
Nature is carrying a different protest
Stretched in a never ending line
With the wind carrying it across the coastline.

Rippling over the waves
And over the boarded up pier
Merging together in one sacred chord
In the forest at the edge of the day
Ignited in ...

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Dream State

Left alone the forest
is deserted in your dreams
and across the fields
that the horses are left to run free
every Tuesday and Thursday.

Left alone the way to the river
is untouched and unlettered
with human influence
across the rust laced gates
all the way to the water reservoir

Stealing hours in seconds
as the water rises to ocean levels
free from human hands
sitting waiting for ...

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Isolation in Spring

Those notes of silence in isolation in Spring
Carry further at night-time more than in the day
with the flowers blowing in the breeze
and the trees outside rustling in the court-yard
their beauty thickened from neglect.

Imaginary fowls that you would see in the fields
And the return of the birds once again
From their endless trawl down South
Are now closed like confessionals in churches

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Homage to Harold Budd

Your music accompanies me like a shadow
In the soundtrack of my life
Whether running under tunnels in rainstorms
Or lost on deserted fields listening to nature.

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The trees in lockdown

Blowing itself along with the breeze
Hung outside your window
You can see its apples blush like diamonds
In the early morning sunset in lockdown,

Stashing its secrets in shadows
Under rust like leaves 
Laced with rattling gates left unattended
Across deserted streets

Dangling there as an archway 
into wonderment 
Mummified in its swaying 
Feeling like our lives just out of reach.

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Life minus the subtitles

Slotted low between the flats 
just outside of your sight 
fast-forwarding a few days
and you could hear people
still not staying safe with epic chats
who clearly ain’t living together, 

You can hear the radio saying
out of your neighbour cleaning his car
Manchester is expected 
to follow Liverpool next
By refusing to send their children 
Back to School on 1st June,

Then your mate ...

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Turn the Tide

You couldn’t blame the RMT
For threatening to go out on strike 
To protect the public
After people got told to return to work
But not use to public transport
Only to then do so in London.

You couldn’t blame the unions for Education
For pleading with the government 
Not to let schools reopen
At the beginning of June 
Until a full roll-out of a national test
And trace scheme was in plac...

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Hitching a Ride (II)

And after your Prime Minister announces
A conditional plan to reopen society
You begin to wonder if things really
Will start to improve without more suffering
Or will they fall off the edge of a cliff,

Stirring your sleep pattern into stolen moments
About whether you will see your parents alive
And your brother over in Crewe, 
your sister who is running around after them
and her husband...

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Face in the crowd

Feeding only kindness
Your love fills a silent threshold
Without which I would be
Just another face in the crowd.

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Temporary Freedom

Temporary Freedom

Stepping further inside yourself each night
whether six days or six weeks in isolation
after a while it will become
more and more difficult 
to return to what you were before

Stripping away your routine
from staggering up at 6 each morning
and a hour long commute both ways
into broken sleepless nights
ballad heavy with silence

And when work calls you
expecting y...

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Hitching a Ride

Feeling further away each night

With each night of isolation

You begin to wonder if you will see

Both of your elderly parents

Before things really begin to get better,


Scratching mentally at windows

From dusk to dark in a machine loop

Mentally flicking scrawls of black ink out

Your words winding up like a scarf on your neck

On the nearby lake when it freezes each wi...

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The Flowers

Out of our sight the flowers are coming into leaf
Like something is being said by Nature 
Groaning silently in the breeze 
Watching shadows drip early that morning

Metamorphosising across rings of truth
Of our days in isolation that Spring 
Before growing old in a matter of months
Out of the restless tension in all of our words 

Moving itself across along in a silent wisdom 
Brushing ...

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Guilt in her pockets

Saying goodbye to hellos
she couldn’t look at the mainland as soon
as the airplane took off into the sky
leaving her wondering if things would change
after she got back home after visiting her mother
or would the wind brushing the plane
be like pressing a pause
to her emotions
of the size of the steps
she knew she would have to take
tucking her guilt in her pocket
just to say goodbye fo...

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Easing out of imagination

Watching the moon for a hour
after you went to sleep
The more I drunk the more I imagined it
Hung in a quiet corner on your coat rack
Shaking the darkness into a broken greyness
And your trainers into beacons

My book cases into bridges
Shaped in a crescent shape
And our laptops so often duelling in words
During the daytime mirrors
Into Shields of deep ambient music
The more I drunk as...

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After Isolation

Bleating within your imagination 
you tell me after isolation finally finishes
on an unexpected telephone call
you would stroll down to Shipley Woods
and hold the air in your hands
like a lost friend the first time you can
before perspiring under broken clouds,
saying you would quiver in the leaves
like you were stood on the last place on Earth
hallucinating in a merry fury
trying not...

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Before the world went crazy

Burying words in bins
Then the streets
Distilled in silence
At the Cricket club at the back
Minus it’s Sunday night Quiz,

Asda which shut at 5pm
Flooded in darkness
Next to the broken traffic lights
Hung out like a sacrifice
And that Thai Restaurant on Manchester Road

Arguments behind Closed doors
People chained up in imaginary ropes
Crouched by their windows
Breathing in their ow...

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