NaPoWriMo #12: “Eyelashes”

Hello readers,

Goodness, I’m behind! I’ve slid back into my old habit of writing poems and posting them online in bulk every few days. Here’s to kicking that one!


She is eyelashes
cropped to the length of


by the velvet mouths
of horses.

In her brick red shirt
she wears one earphone.

The other trails
like a severed artery,
haemorrhages sound

which I taste


on the wind.

Her face is

Two weeks ago,
when April yawned and


the ice of winter
from its coat,

I drank death
out of cupped hands


she grew a garden’s flowers
from my hair.

NaPoWriMo #9: “The Bends”

Hi readers,

Sorry about the break! Again, travelling. Again, jet lag. Again… poetry! Finally finished this one, which I’ve been toying with for ages. I hope you like it.

The Bends

Ebb tide drew us from under the ocean’s skin
still finned and slick.

As city lights reprised themselves
in the bruised waters of the bay,

we forced limbs out of our cracking spines
– but lungs were harder.

That was the day you taught me nitrogen,
its rosary of molecules,

until I could feel it, yellow and astringent,
flowering in my blood.

There are footprints in which you cannot stand
more than once in a lifetime:

amphibious yearning, this feeling
of drowning even in landlocked air.

NaPoWriMo #8: “Cherry”

Hi readers,

I’m starting to realise that my NaPoWriMos always look kind of the same – a few formal poems interspersed with long intervals of free verse. It’s been quite a few days without constraint… accordingly, time for some form! Today I’m returning to one of my favourites, the Japanese tanka. I experimented with this one last year as well… I hope you like it!


lipstick residue
ragged stencil of smooth kiss
clinging to cocktail
sugared crimson artifice
a maraschino cherry

NaPoWriMo #7: “Brady”

Hi readers,

Can’t believe I’m already a week into NaPoWriMo… the prompt for today was something I uncovered after a bit of Internet trawling: “write a love poem addressed to the most unloveable person in the world”. I’ll leave it at that.


Wordsworth waster,
I sleepwalk into you
as into a gas chamber.

On the yellow badlands
of our karmic abattoir,
we paradox over and over

in white sweet strings.
Hold me, hood me;
where you go I’m gone:

armageddon racetrack,
janitor to maggots,
“Call me Daddy”.

Fossilised in photos.
Part of you rests
on my skull;

bruised I know
it’s your handgun
but also your hand.

NaPoWriMo #6: “Gift”

Hi everybody,

I cheated a little today and instead of starting a poem from scratch used the opportunity to finish one I began a fortnight or so ago, thereby ending the streak of song lyric poems. I hope you enjoy it!


Do you remember spring and the hours we spent
in the park smoking cynical words,
losing time already sought by our sober selves?

Over us cloud, sky stripped from an animal’s back,
and a hot-air balloon like a blood-drop
wiped from the eye of the sun, reddening its gaze.

We craned ourselves to watch its dizzy rise,
discovered an answering swing in our shared pulse:
a compass needle that spun to point at space.

We saw the crimsoned throb of straining ropes,
the lone flier cupped in a wicker palm,
the flame’s bright plunge into the mouth of air.

I’d give you this moment wrapped in torn red tissue,
if you would let me. I’d gift you heat,
deserts of clouds in a thirsting sky,

sizzling brands of light on the lids of my eyes,
cancerous taste of memory gilding my tongue,
the day, the wine, the cigarettes and all of it.

The quote prompt for yesterday’s poem was “I just wanna be your telephone” from ‘Telephone’ by James Blunt.