a swarm of ghosts gyred around him


withdrawing your child from school to educate him at home may seem drastic


a drastic reduction of staffing levels


storms caused river levels to rise


the tiny aircraft rose from the ground


an adjoining area of the ground had been purchased


the victory was purchased by the death of Rhiwallon


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Before the leaves fall


The kitchen window boxes visions of them

and us

of neighbours’ coming in

going out

of strangers walking dogs

breeds we can’t identify between the fence,

mongrels then

of a street six weeks empty

to full of cars raging;

@ the ten-to-nine bell, the late bell at five-to

(there is a school opposite us)


Before the leaves fall from the trees across from ours,

I enjoy watching them, newborn-to-compost

ignoring they exist – writing poetry with the subject matter of them


Before the leaves fall from trees that aren’t ours

on the council’s land

but feel like the trees are ours

because my eyes sees them most

and before I knew what they were, in a front-facing pram, those trees saw me first

on happy days, days I was in a daze or didn’t want to talk or when getting out the door seemed too much, they were my days out in


Before I knew of photosynthesis or of habitats or the importance of trees enabling us to breathe

They are fine as thread like a tight-rope acrobat working all his life

between aesthetic and purpose and a botanical listing


Now leaves fall in our garden, from the tree dad planted for us

Before we knew he wouldn’t see it grow

wouldn’t see the apples it boast, rake the leaves, cut the grass


Before the leaves fell from other trees

Now they fall from ours too,

each one reminds us

of everything we loved, everything we fear of

the cost of loving, of beautiful things,

the cost of is losing them


Before the leaves fall

prepare yourself


Ice crawls, relents; raves and melts
applies itself from where the cold air clamps

Old as Earth, young as us
watching on as we sear through

Clunk—go my knees at the slip of a single vision—falling, prompted by noise from the engine and my fear of flying

With part of me wanting to plummet free
into a place white covers pull over parked mountains

Their days are not visible to us and so, invisibly spent, until this second when I dream of landing on Andorra’s doormat

The engine is not  okay, now I drag my sauntered mind and purge it for wanting to fall and the grief in life of feeling that


The candles were out

I couldn’t figure it out

what I’d done to be alone in the dark

on a table set for two but hosting one

The candles are out, I still don’t think I deserve to be by myself, like a racehorse running for the finish – euphoric – trained to do this, of course—it can’t remember unseating a jockey, it feels like victory because the horse doesn’t know the aim of the game: don’t pass the post alone.

Now, I’m scrolling back through thoughts and text, with wine and cheese and bread, accompaniments, a wholesome trinity for taking the mind to the affinity of taste buds and off memories and the presently, who scorch me like a rider’s whip if I go near ’em.

All churches smell like this, the smoke from blown-out candle wicks

the same smell that imprints itself to birthday wishes

If it was amber and warm, now it’s crusty and cold,

hard to see through the settled wax that folds my lids, as for being forgot I never did wish

This plain table becometh an altar, for breaking bread and heart, singular

Not worshiping but questioning; belief in man and love and all things nestled with

dreams of a life, the only purpose of a species desperate-to-love,

Why is everyone desperate to leave?

So much so, they don’t even arrive


Bare with the burning fields,

help paw at wildfires

when a neighbour’s garden burns give a hand

or your arm will flare.

Anchor any drifting comfort with an upstanding easel

placed adjacent to the best lit window

and there; paint on with watercolour

blood and flames shining, reckless

might redden the portrait’s body

so open her up to the landscape

darkness starts in light

as the belligerence of nations might

while water waits to cool flouncing-fearless foreheads

behind the screens of a perfect life all hell sags

tar is adhesive, magma a welcome mat for the fleeting

titanic gates to inferno are at aperture

don’t hide eyes with blinking veils

for a fuse slithers silent

creeping up behind us, our ignorance


Every other Sunday my Nan says

this dog’s collar is too tight

This is a 24-time-per-annum debate on loan from the last time she outed it

She ploys us all into feeling the underneath of the black leather collar that does in fact fit our dog Pedro

Yeah Nan it is a bit tight that,

you’re right, yeah

She takes it off, feeling the saviour of this poor critter we’ve overfed at the neck, yearly

She’ll watch Countryfile later with me Grandad, will tell him of her heroics after mass in our Marie’s as Matt Baker helps deliver a lamb from a sheep on the Yorkshire Moors wearing a woollen fleece

And then in would my Step Dad come after being out all day to avoid my Nan and say put the collar on the dog before he gets a cold and

yous are missing Countryfile,



Darker nights are coming in

tanned ankles are being hid by simple wool

The full moon sweeps up

reflective eyes and songs of wolves

Wind will carry them, as whistles blow

And shoulders are swallowed by crocheted shawls

The moon is nigh’

As is fire and electric light.

How far have we spun from our oaken dens?

From hunting in mud and sleeping in caves

To our detriment; tools for fracking are increasing

Even if we did replace feathered birds with metal ones to carry us

We’ll never, ever learn to fly, or to keep from our tombs

This is ongoing global warming

everyone taking, adding

shoplifters in every (a)isle, cameras watch blind

Panic drips as will regret like an unfed school of fish

in a tarpaulin pond of an abandoned yard

Farewell promise lands, we sobered-drunk with overuse

We’ll be the aliens the filmmakers and theaters warn us of

We’ll be the good guys who didn’t get there in time

Someone cares, hell do I?

I’m drinking rum at/or/with the Buena Vista Social Club


Elicit gift of a garden brush

a vesicular heel of over-handled wood,

obsolete without working hands looped

because I’m busy tying knots in the trellis’ rope

for when in bloom

they hold me ope’

Rise then, off-pink Clematis shoot

a street of archers ready to loosen ‘rows,

buds hold patient like hoods to heads


at hedge level height from an ant

the same distance of sky

from the hull of a plane and I