Sunday 2 September 2018

My film-poem 'Reverting to Type' up on the Magma website for their film issue.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Manchester Poets Reading

I am reading this coming Friday at Chorlton Library. 7.30 for 7.45. It would be lovely to see you there. 

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Poetry Patch @ Burnage and Levenshulme Gardens

Poetry Patch: 

Time to put down the spade, take off the boots, slip into a fine cocktail and savour the poetry of gardens, plants and nature. 

Shamshad Khan recently transplanted from Levenshulme across Manchester, but is still blooming, Shamshad has a collection Megalomaniac, her poems are widely anthologised and she has performed on local and national radio.

John Calvert is an escapee from Accrington who put down roots in this part of Manchester. He runs Hard Rain, a poetry workshop group with guests and performances at Thairish from 6pm on the last Monday every month.

Helen Clare arrived on the wind over a decade ago and is now established in Levenshulme, Helen started her professional life as a Biology teacher. She has released a collection Mollusc and a pamphlet Entomology.

As a finale, Levenshulme resident and acclaimed singer-songwriter Claire Mooney will sing two garden inspired songs, which she has written especially for the garden festival.
The ticket price of £10 includes a Buttery botanical cocktail.

Booking in advance recommended.



Saturday 23 April 2016

Rain Like Mercy

I've been a local celebrity this week, thanks to William Shakespeare!

Here's the poem I wrote for Radio Manchester, which they've filmed with lots of local people. It's a response to Portia's speech "The Quality of Mercy" from the Merchant of Venice, entitled "Rain, Like Mercy".

Here's my slot on Radio Manchester discussing it with Alison and Phil

And here I am on All FM chewing the fat with Lenny the Lounge Lizard and reading this poem and others

And here's the poem for you.

Rain, like Mercy

Febuary, Manchester, we’re awash
with it. Drains are overwhelmed. Cars
aquaplane, drenching passers by. It drips
from the tents of the makeshift city, muddies
premiership knees. It sits in reservoirs
in hills above us, saved for dryer times
piped to dryer places. We built a city
on all this wet. We feel it in our bones.
But under roofs and inside glass there are those
untouched by it. So, shake it off your brolly
in the bank. Let it trickle from your coat hem
in the courts. Stamp your oozing boots
on the town hall tiles. Let it seep
into the dry places, dribble on the great
and the good. Tempt them all out in it –
from clerks to CEOs, councillors,
chancellors and constables –  shirts clinging,
socks wringing, all of them, singing and….
Maybe, once in a lifetime, all of us
should dance naked in it. Understand
mercy through the skin, flesh prickled
with it, carrying it with us in our blood. 

Saturday 13 February 2016

Romance in the age of Tinder (Daily Telegraph)

An article in the Torygraph profiling amongst other books, The Emma Press's  Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse and featuring my poem  A well-tempered keyboard.

Monday 7 September 2015


Here's the redraft of the poem written at Manchester Museum


We came from somewhere and now we are not there - 
we journeyed across the miles, the centuries
and over the strange lands of our own lives,
sometimes with nothing more than our names, our faces - 
the death mask, the label and the few things
we  fastened to ourselves with buckles we crafted
from iron or gold. We pinned ourselves 
to the world around us by our naming of it. 
We remembered ourselves in the stories
we shared, in wolves and forests. 

Like tea or cotton we belonged not to the land,
the trader, the user, but to ourselves, though collected
and dispersed. Alongside dodos, tree-frogs, moths,
we belonged to places and the place changed. 
We carried the few coins it seemed we owned
until they left our hands for the hands of others. 
We made ourselves in things, in the guard for a sword,
in paper, in gold. We watered crops, collected butterflies,
heard ourselves in bird song, and caged the birds.
We became the coin, the buckle, the dagger. 

We made sanctuary for small pulsing amphibians
in tanks. We try, somehow, to hold the world
together, with small buckles and bandages as we bind
our dispersing bodies with cloth. We buried our coins
and our dead to keep them close. We named the place. 
But we are always leaving, like exhibits in crates,
cases lying empty, waiting for work to be done –

until it seems that where was never the thing at all.