Clean Those Hands.

Wash away the dust and grime.

Surfaces pitted past their prime

with dirt, smut, muck and slime.

To be unclean is a grievous crime.

Every year my task to climb

scrub, scour, polish the rime.

Between each hour no bells that chime

the long hands of Big Ben in time.

Dry Stone Wall.

Clearing space.

Stacking stones by size in readiness.

Largest near wall base, smaller further out and fillers (most important) in piles.


Marking batters.

Ends defined with timber frames, sloped for strength.

Base string pulled taught, between nailed markers, an ideal guide.


Choosing stones

The largest first, a flat face creating beauty.

Settled in place on the hardened ground, fillers worked in, stone stable.


First layer

Completed both faces secured and firm.

Ugly stones, rocks packed into core for added strength and durability.


Markers moved.

With each layer the process repeats.

Markers raised, stones laid best face out, fillers inserted, cores packed.


Topping out.

Long narrow stones end on.

Complete this work of functioning art, this boundary of beauty.

Ode to Facebook

Oh my love, my darling love,

and in the words of a well known song,

‘you’re my favourite waste of time’

my opening to the outside world.

My lifeline how you trap me

in knowledgeable clutches you ensnare.

I demand to know how many likes I have for every single share.

Ecstasy washes over me  20 likes, 3 hearts. Whoo hoo

Depression descends, no likes, why don’t they love me anymore. Boo hoo.

Oooh, Jenny’s eaten an ice-cream, well it was a hot day.

And Sandra’s walked three miles and announced it via Nike.

Sarah’s baked a cake from BBC online recipes

And I have liked and loved them all in virtuality.

I must go now and put you down to rest

for it’s crucial for me to sleep unlike you my virtual lust.

Ping, ping, are these more likes?

I’ll just quickly peek and see.




From the painting ‘Coalition’ by Kevin Peterson.


The fox, leading from the front, nose twitching

scenting the cold autumn air for danger,

masked by fumes from distant traffic,

his early afternoon shadow solid.

His demeanour determined a purpose to this journey.


The young girl her blonde curls dance

as she strides out beside the bear, her protector,

bright red woollen jacket matching the goggle eyed hat with tassels,

striped tights and black furry boots complete the image of happiness and warmth.

Safe and secure with her companions.


The bear comfortable walking,

padding softly across the harsh, flat, cold concrete of this man-made path.

At the rear, confident of the foxes ability to lead, he guards his companions.

His size is all they need to feel safe.


There is a sharp taste of late autumn in the air.

Their presence disturbs the small residents of this urban garden

who scurry through fallen leaves that crackle and rustle.

The cold white light strikes the defaced walls that jut into this poor excuse of nature.

The garish graffiti , signed by past painters, hurts the eye and jars the senses a hardened, flat decaying surface.

Untouched and unloved for an age, the artist’s monikers forgotten, they’ve moved on, grown up and left.


The companions, their warmth, determination and purpose pass through this grim scene untouched.

Excuse Me

‘Excuse me’ a tiny voice she heard

‘You’re sitting on my beard.’

A  large butt cheek she heaved

And the bearded lady was relieved.


‘Excuse me’ a hand tugged on her skirt

‘I’ve fallen and I am hurt’

Blood pooled stickily on the ground

She screamed ‘Is there a Doctor around!’


‘Excuse me’ a frail lady did quiver

‘There’s a dead body in the river’

‘Call an ambulance and the police!’

‘Don’t worry it’s only an old fleece.’


‘Excuse me, not ‘Oy you’ the lady demanded

‘I ain’t gonna tell you now Mrs’ he rounded

‘Manners maketh man’ she scowled at their faces

She turned promptly and tripped over her laces.



Sewing limerick

There once was a lady that sewed.

Whose clothes were quite a la mode.

Although quite hip

she never mastered a zip.

And all her buttons and fastenings showed.

The Dropped Match

The air thickens


Blood orange sun touches mountain


Vapours curl on eddies


Flames creep over parched ground


Building momentum rising


Trees stand defiant shrubs wither


Creatures scurry frantic directionless


Fire-fighters scramble water flows


Steam rises heat dissipates sun sets.



Friday Night

Carrie shivered  her chilled skin untouched by the piles of blankets on her bed.

Her pale face bleached by the waxing moon that shone in through the thin cotton curtains.

Mum had made them from a tablecloth bought from a charity shop. They didn’t quite fit.

The front door slammed, she shuddered in anticipation and wriggled further under the blankets.

‘Is mum downstairs? Whose turn is it tonight?’ Her thoughts tumbled through her fear.


Malcolm peered round the door fear scored sharp across his narrow head.

He grinned, pyjama bottoms reached down to his calve the buttons gone on the jacket. A small hole in the cuff where his Dad had torn the fabric.

His exposed scrawny chest showed off ribs which bounced to match his shallow rapid breath.

Wide mouthed grimace hid his true feelings.

His unkempt tufts of hair told of the disturbed hours spent awake in bed.


”Shove over, I’ll warm you up.” He wrapped long arms around his sister’s freezing frame.

”Do you think it’ll be OK tonight?”

”Depends if Mum’s cooked his dinner properly.”

They heard him whistling and tones of feminine softness from their Mum floated up the dark stairwell.

SMASH!. They gripped each others bodies. ”You stupid fucking woman can’t you do anything right!”

Dust Storm

Heat oppressive builds and grows.

Climate change alters jet stream course.

Mans abuse and theft now shows.


In readiness all objects he stows.

A phenomenon from Sahara source.

Heat oppressive builds and grows.


Veiled darkening sky almost glows

Sand plucked in upward force.

Mans abuse and theft now shows.


Winds whip dust, bar pressure lows.

Fires burst through tree tops, worse.

Heat oppressive builds and grows.


Palls of smoke curl, obscure follows.

Without relief, no rain to endorse.

Heat oppressive builds and grows.

Mans abuse and theft now shows.