Most of my poems go to poetry journals such as Prole, Pennine Platform, The Interpreter's House or Butcher's Dog; or to online poetry magazines such as Snakeskin or Lighten up Online.

New stuff doesn't get posted before publication because (quite rightly) journals like to publish fresh material; they don't want to stage a comedy show that's already been seen twice on telly.

Poems here have either been published before and a year or so has elapsed, or they are play things that I'm not thinking of sending out. You can be the judge of which is which...

Dear Ruby

For the record: please note that when we pop to the shops
I do not expect to discuss whether it would be easier
to take that road rather than this in order to avoid the hills.
I want to halt only at white lines, and not when you imagine
that animal in the next field is a collection of white sticks—
a perfect one-eighty in that context is quite un-called-for. I appreciate
you keep your accommodation spick and span, but in this partnership
I’m supposed to be the brain while you supply the brawn,
so please, do not shout for me at mealtimes or abuse the dog.
And stop making eyes at my husband. Yours
Chef, Handmaid, Masseuse and Cleaner
slightly unstable

20 May 2014

Our Own Turf

Upland grasses scratch and spring like
matted kitchen scourers. Tangle-maned
mare and fell foal know their own land;
tough native nous grows from grass-roots.

Every hill-hardy blade of sweet turf
ties hoof to heaf. Here the herds live,
turn tails to kill-cold winds, are roofed
by unhaltered tumbled sky.

Men with suits and city hands tape
numbers into policies that hold us
to account for living here, forgetting
it was our turf that coated the bare rock
with centuries of carbon from old stars,
bred herd to hill and bonded farm to fell.

31 March 2014