Headline set at Material Magazine launch, December 2013

I feel I have neglected all my *millions* of followers on this blog – my time and mind have both been consumed by blogging for my show (at http://www.themooncannotbestolen.wordpress.com). I’m also slightly hamstrung by my own petty ambitions to enter poems into magazines and competitions – all those nasty editors and judges only want clean poems, unsullied by prior publication on blogs. So just to apologise, here’s a whole twenty minutes of me in performance. Joy 🙂

When one blog just won’t do…


I’ve started another one, just for The Moon Cannot Be Stolen. As many of you know, I start touring the show on 1st May. As you may not know, I’ve already started rehearsals with my director, Matt Cummins, and mentoring sessions with the lovely Hannah Jane Walker. I expect that the development process will lead to

some re-structuring and re-writing, so I’ll be blogging about that and other stuff – new ‘travel diaries’ as I visit my venues; new ‘bonus track’ poems as I look more deeply into the show’s themes; guest slots from Matt and others; maybe even some chances for you to submit a poem as I develop writing prompts for the workshops I’ll be running…

It would be great if you could follow the blog and tell others about it. Thanks!


January stones I found in my back pocket…

…by which I mean I never wrote them up until now (apart from ‘Menhir’, and ‘People’s Library’). 


This morning the tide is breathing

gently with a throaty croodling,

when only last night I saw the wind

lash it into ribbons and roars.



The trades union movement is gathered

onto three shelves in The People’s Library –

one room in a building so old

all the stairs lean to the left.



I have my back to ‘the big church’

but it offers no consolation for the blood

parching rapidly from my fingertips.

A comfortless chafing as I circle the bus stop

Like some tethered, sacrificial goat!

I’m scared my death will arrive

Before the X35.



invisible but for their delicate white scuts,

fallow deer pick a dancing path up

through the sad lank January ramsoms

and the rain-sodden alder boles



She’s a menhir on the platform, unmoved

by the banshee shrieking of wheel on rail.

Her daughter leans her good-dog weight,

little thumb-pot eye-sockets filling

with the ground sound caterwaul.

All our faces clenches, temple to teeth,

foreheads gripped between our eyebrows

folded paper fans in the clutch of claws.

Then the tunnel smooths and soothes

the demonic harmonics, so I unwinch –


But her frown remains, hung in midair

on an invisible nail driven halfway

from here to some otherwhere.



Killer kraken clouds ententacle our small vessel,

Slap suckers on the portholes and drag us down to the duvet depths,

Where we stay, hatches battened, happily.