I grew up in Manchester, read English at Oxford and worked for many years as a civil servant in London. My poems have appeared widely in both print and online magazines and I've twice been nominated for the Forward Best Single Poem Prize. I've published two pamphlets: "The War with Hannibal" (Poetry Salzburg, 2019) and "The 3-D Clock" (Dempsey & Windle, 2020). I also review poetry for "London Grip". In addition to the samples below, there are links on my website to poems and reviews I've had published online.
VOICEMAIL You've taken to leaving silent messages on my voicemail at home. When I realised it might be you, I dialled to trace the call, then rang you back myself. "Did you try to phone me, Mum?" "I don't know." There's a pause. "Perhaps I might have done." I recognise them now, your recorded silences. They've a quality all of their own, a subtly different sound from computers cold-calling me or plain wrong numbers. First, there's a puzzled silence, then a silent pause and the clunk as you hang up. You used to leave me tit-bits from "The Times" — tips on things such as etiquette or health. I stopped listening years ago. Only now you've nothing to say do I strain to hear everything. (From "The 3-D Clock", Dempsey & Windle, 2020) GOING TO THE INEVITABLE Inspiration ran out like the drink at some awful party. He stared at the empty pages, wondering would they be filled. Poems had never been easy, but having one to write cured most things short of death. Now the Muse just blanked him. When even the mower stalled and he found a prickly soulmate jammed up against the blades, it haunted him for days. Predictably, his own death was as grim as he'd always imagined. A nurse sat holding his hand, as he uttered his bleak, last words. They sounded familiar, as if he'd been quoting himself, a line from one of his poems, one he still needed to write. (From "The War with Hannibal", Poetry Salzburg, 2019)
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