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The Wonder

Kicking through the moss
in the cooling evening air
I’m staring down the barrel
of a living Rivelin Valley

Crickets clicking in the tall grass 
bramble searching for a shin
I stoop to flick away
the tickle of a nettle
caught under my tongue

O, why could I not have felt this way
at twenty one
To know myself
my capabilities, my limitations
to feel this comfortable
in my own skin 
...

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wonderwalking

Ship In A Bottle

I do it to blur the edges
vignette the haze of night
I do it to shave the edge off
it’s always my round
There’s wonder in the bottle
another glass, another glass
This ship can never sink
can never skim its hull
can never drown
will never go down

And that’s the lie
the lie
that I’ve been living by
for so long

Shattered streetlight reflections
scatter in the puddles
backlit house...

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alcoholism

The Faintest Farewell

Pale fluorescent lighting paints the scene
ears still ring hollow
with such an effortless ‘goodbye’
All breathing paused
as she rations out that smile
all too aware of exactly what it does to me

Allowing a single kiss 
to parachute upon her cheek
I thank her for the madness
of all those past encounters
But she has nothing more for me
just empty eyes and vague replies

One foot follo...

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goodbyes

Our Still Leaping Hearts

Shooting through the greenery
I lovingly eye our reflections 
as they flicker in the glass
of a Bruges-bound train
Your fingers knit silently into mine
warm in your woozy dreaming

On a dirt track headed for Hanoi
behind me on the motor bike
cutting through a tall tapestry of trees
my heartbeat lost beneath the engine
Twisting the throttle so instinctively
as you steal a kiss over my s...

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memories

Under The Old Whale Bones

If you can find your way back here
let’s meet
under the old whale bones
this place that we each love
Where we look out to sea
or back towards the sleeping town

One day, we’ll stand together
and unbeknownst to us
it will be
for the last time in our lives

Whichever of us, must go first
let’s make a promise to meet again
under the old whale bones
Hearts filled with feeling
and the b...

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parentsghostsdeathmemorieswhalebones

Holy Terror

Folding out your wings
and fastening them to the breeze
you stand firm upon the window sill
Instinctively, you turn from me
I feel the coolness of the air
and know that soon you’ll be
nothing but a poem
on some damp page I’ll tuck away
my eyes finally wiped dry

What is that holy terror 
beating at the heart of you?
You said you long to bind your essence
to the history of the world
b...

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artistsleavinglovers

Best In The Morning

It’s best in the morning
with no decoration
only flesh 
and fingers reaching out
It’s best in the morning
sun licking through the window
we’ve honestly
nowhere we need to be

It’s best in the morning
kitchen door 
open on the garden
you sip your tea, strum the guitar 
sitting on the back step
Your dark hair ruffled
eyes so brown and full of wonder
nowhere we need to be

“It’s bes...

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moments

Tokyo Honeymoon

Our hotel window thrown open on the night
sirens rise and weave between our sighs
below, a city squeals in pleasure

Neon light spills across our pillows
We feel the force that has been forged
and binds our stories for all time

Pasts bundled into a suitcase
the lock spun, kicked beneath the bed
while we writhe and rise above

You touch yourself, then I touch you
We let the sheets sli...

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honeymoon

Mayor of Kabul

My heart beats
like jack boots
marching on dusty streets

The only place to hide
is beneath a veil
I fought to decline

They come 
to poison up the well
We’re waiting
it’s all there is

Each of my children
take a finger on my right hand
a little fist around each one

And my husband
grips the other hand
as we dearly clutch our tears

They come
to bleed this well dry
We’re wai...

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Afghanistan

If We Love It...

What if those cells collide
what if the world beats to a different rhythm
What if our path is forked
What direction will we take
What if we have no choice
for the first time in our lives

What if things go smoothly
What if then we're three
What if it gets hard at times
What if we do our best
What if something 
we never thought was in us
well, what if it suits us

What if there's a n...

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parenthoodfamilychildren

Beguiling Sirens

O child, do not hasten to drop anchor
I hope you live so many nights
lost at sea or diving free
loving by the light of the moon
forever was never the point

You must not miss those smiles
as wide as silver sands
And kisses hotly dripping
like the candle you might write by
in some foreign hotel room

If you should meet them
out there on your journey
(and you should, you should…)
I ho...

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advicefreelifewisdom

Looking Out

I was young, I was clay
I was given to looking out
and there upon the train seat
a gift from the universe
A barely filled notebook
no name, no number
no way to find the owner
it piqued my curiosity…

With pencil then, I tried to fill it
with all my words, my wonderings
my secret truths
but it went nowhere
just collected dust upon my shelf

A few months gone by
still young, my paint...

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finding thingswonder

Headlights

Picking you up to go driving
I’d get there early to watch you get ready
both seventeen and tangled
in that unspoken thing between us
Cruising the looping country lanes
in those dim headlight beams
That was our place, alone together at last
Two teenagers, eyeing each other sideways
and wondering who each of us would be
would you always stay right there
would you always be
in the car with...

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memories

The Window Box

Returning to that rented house
once we’d split our stuff
casting an eye over
the now barron landscape of our love
I brush away the mess we left
touch up the paint in the hallway

One thing we forgot to pack
one thing you forgot to take
that flower box outside the bedroom window
I bought for you while working away
you planted seeds and raised them up
gave them names with handwritten lab...

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separation

Chlorine

The smell of that stuff
they use to wash the water clean
it gets up your nose
when tired from swimming

Me and my friend
he teaches me all these things
Like how to keep a secret 
airtight

It’s a drink inside a flask
you don’t tell, even if they ask
and I never said no
but I never said yes

Why does everything here
smell clean
but me...

Busy bare ankles glimpsed
In the gap bel...

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The Distant Lifeboat

Once all our honey has been spread
once the little moments are learned by heart
routine a debt that stalks our steps
and suggestions nag more than they ought
then the waiting boat will take me
to a wooden shack by the ocean
and there, I’ll start again, alone

Once your touch no longer prickles
once our conversations are to walls not through them
no sound but a ticking house that counts u...

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strange promisesExit Strategy

Beds, Hearts and Books

In these surprising years beyond expiry
forty and not failing
the journey remains largely painless
and brightly lit
wrapped up in love
in beds
hearts and books

Pull this feeling tight around me
another year of moving on
from all that didn’t seem to fit
closer to who I want to be
tangled up in love
in beds
hearts and books

All these lines, I can’t help but keep weaving
on the loo...

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happinessturning forty

In Real Life

Those stories we swap
in the heat of the night
Those secrets we share
on the cool mattress springs
Beyond the ears of the world
the prying eye of the sun
that’s where you’ll feel
our friendship in full flight

In real life
In real life

Those laughs that catch us
loose and disarmed
in a parked car at the riverside
Those conversations deep
that push through to the bone
binding our ...

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absencefriendsreality

Old Poem

Come on, come on, close!
Won’t these lift doors ever close?
You breathe into my mouth
my fingers invade your finery
I was hypnotised across the table
by the explicit silk of your bare shoulders
Now hot air slathers at my forearms
as our legs entangle their thick reef-knot
Behind this crashing waterfall
no one can hear us moan
as you’re bitten for the thrill of it

And in this lift, we ...

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Murmuration

A hyper-sensitivity of feeling
your art connects across the senses
The roughness of ancient bark
beneath gentle fingertips
A kiss from rock-pool water
warm against bare ankles

A double exposure
a murmuration
it's poetry, the sensuality
the sheer never timid beauty
lensed so gracefully
with such assurance and dexterity

The texture, a waking daydream
a cloak of fog, shaft of sunligh...

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artistbeautyemotionfeelingphotographer

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