Saturday, 21 April 2018


Mister Starling soon bores
Of gasps and applause
From the rapt and ecstatic
At his feats aerobatic

So he has a few sessions
Of skits and impressions
Pretending to be
With a whistle or three

Other things he has heard,
Klaxon, car horn, Blackbird,
Mobile phone on vibrate
To impress his new mate.

In motley he dresses
Punky bad-hair-day tresses,
Sturnus vulgaris ought
Be called vulgar for short,

But without each wild antic,
Balletic and frantic
Roof and garden no doubt
Would be poorer without.

Friday, 20 April 2018


I didn't rise for Matins
In anything but heart
Leaden limbs under the duvet

Tracing the restless
Leaf-lace on the nets
In bruise-bright ambulance blues

Hurtling through the oven of night
Pale ceiling fanned with someone
Else's tragedy

I held their panic up against
The small hours' looming

Listening past the siren
Past the unsprung dawn
For unsung mystery and mercy

Thursday, 19 April 2018


Standing by the nature table in your classroom,
Ruckled landscapes of gingham,
Jars of startled lemon trumpets,
Scent of binka and little accidents,
("Who's made a naughty smell?")
Squeak and slough of wax crayon,
Conkers in autumn
Pussy willow in spring.
Stroking fragility,
Sniffing the furry,
Twirling my tongue
One snowy playtime
To taste the fluster and fizz
Falling from forever.
That fossil hiding in the wall,
Ripples of secret aeons
Between the Infants' and Juniors'!

 Coaxed by your compendium of buds and birthing
My eyes, my heart stretched to take it all in,
The wonder of this world,
In music and motion.
We'd made it to the Moon,
Lived a whole decade in our skins
Made collages of how we might dress
In that thing called future,
Rubber-glueing chain mail of foil and button
On sugar paper, chubby fingers
Skipping in glitter,

We could never have dreamed,
We babes of the boom,
Your weekday words 
Whispering down all our tomorrows,
Rhythmic reminders
You are still somehow
Incurved nurture round our eggshell childhoods,
Tender to tease us out of ourselves,
Believing in us
Till we could
Believe in ourselves.