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An unremarkable day in May,

though in retrospect,

the blackbird was peremptory.

And of course, there was

the fox at my door,

the night before.


I came inside with a handful of thyme,

greedily enjoying a prompted memory.

When out of the corner of my eye,

I did...

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magical realismtransformation

A Strange Repetition

I have been here before,

and yet it is a strange repetition:

this not going out;

this hording of food and handwash.

And then there are some familiar foes.

No use insisting on social distancing,

I am already caught betwixt twin sisters:

Vigilance and Anxiety.


Spanish Flu? Or Swine Flu?

Please, God, not Ebola?

No, none of the above.

This pandemic provision,


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Pandemicchildhood traumaLife and Deathsocial distancingshame

How to make an Angry Stew

Start a fire.

Steal a caldron.

Select the bones

of a longstanding struggle,

and toss them in.

Season with your spit.

Simmer for twenty-four hours.


Choose a raw nightmare;

a beast threatening all you adore,

a pitch-dark space which whispers.

Chop up the heart of it

and scatter into the mix.

Pour out a pint of good wine.

Half for you. Half for the stew.


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Desert Rain


grey joggers and a shabby top.

Pale faced with hair the colour of

caramel. What pose was this body

before being suddenly woken?

His thin frame is still pushing through.

Shivering; the hairs on his arms 

anticipating the alarm of what is to come.


‘Sit down’, I said,

solemnly pointing with my head.

‘Your Mum needs to tell you something.

Best prepare you...

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