Monday, 20 October 2014

More Than Ornamental

Among stinging nettles and dock leaves
stands a single weeping willow.
Resolute against a galing storm, its branches sway wildly yet lose none of their elegance.
Strong well rounded roots, stand beneath the smooth, slender trunk.
Beneath the bark breathes an inner beauty.
A beauty that awakens the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


In the silence, a heart pounds noisily.
Flickering screen projects eerie shadows onto plain walls
Breath once shallow, is momentarily paused, watching morse code dance
Skin prickles with electricity
Words are read.
Reply and repeat

Monday, 29 September 2014


a silent tune plays it's melody.
The relentless beat,
of a dance unseen,
echoes inside an empty hall.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


When we were young
We used strange words
Like scoffs for sweets
And girls were birds.

Croggy was a lift on bike
And cash was known as dosh
Knocked up was a wake up call
Food was nicknamed nosh

A bondy was a garden fire
A tarzy,  a rope swing
If it took a while, you waited yonks
Mint was a good thing

Bad was good, when we were kids
A mucka was your mate
Mafted meant you were hot
And cool meant it was great

So looking back when you were young
What words did you use then
To describe the things you used the most
While sitting in your den.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Funny Man

All he wanted was to be loved,  to make people laugh, he could do that,  at least someone was happy .

It didn't matter that inside he hurt, his head full of terrible thoughts, his days spent alone in his bed, wanting and waiting for it all to end.

In front of everyone,  he laughed and joked with them,  not a care in the world,  just the crazy man they adored. Nobody knew his demons,  the darkness that lay silently within him, slowly choking him to death.

Drugs came and went,  alcohol too, even those were treated with his insane humour, "Gods way of telling you, you have too much money " was how he described his battle with cocaine.

Eventually the hurt became too much,  life so unbearable that he couldn't hold on any longer,  his demons finally had their victory.

Shock waves crossed the world,  TV news flashed huge breaking news banners across the screen "Funny Man Dies " and rushed to find anyone who had ever seen him on stage or screen to be his "friend " and tell everyone how they knew he was struggling with his despair.  Telling the camera, instead of being by his side as his friend.

In twenty four hours,  he'll no longer be the funny man,  but the forgotten man, resigned to the archives, his movies churned out on networks across the world as a "tribute" to his talent.

The demons may have won,  but he won't be forgotten,  not just the funny man, but a great one too.


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Contract Terminated

Her body lay motionless on the wooden floor. A river of red oozed from below her, soaking into her clothes.

A single gun shot wound to the back of the head had caused her to crumple to the floor, her lifeless body laying haphazardly with legs bent at right angles at the knee and arms outstretched.

The killer laid a large sheet of plastic to wrap the body and a rug alongside, ready to roll her tightly within. A clich├ęd method, but still an effective one of disposing of someone without attracting too much attention.

He rolled her into the rug and dragged her to the rear of his nondescript saloon car, the dark brown colour blending seamlessly with the deep red brick of the house, as he popped the boot and placed her in.

He hated killing women, but his job demanded he asked no questions. A simple contract, paid in advance with details of victims movements and best place and time to carry out his crime.

He didn't ask why, but he knew this one had been a bit loose with her morals, sleeping with several men, while her husband worked, but unfortunately she'd been seen and husband informed. His jealousy leading to a few discrete phone calls and the demise of his wife.

As he drove off, gentle rain was replaced by a light flurry of snow. He wasn't looking forward to working in the snow, his already prepared plot would be starting to harden in the cold conditions making spade work that much harder.

As he accelerated to beat the weather, the flurry began to turn into a heavy flow of thick, white clouds of frozen sludge. His wipers were working furiously, but couldn't control the constant attack of nature.

It only took a second of inattention, but suddenly as he reached forward to wipe away a fogged windscreen, the back of the car found a wet patch and was spinning away, a tiny ball on a roulette wheel, waiting for somewhere to land. He didn't stop quickly, the wheels leaving the ground after hitting the roadside verge, and the vehicle flipped upwards and sideways, to the left of the motorway which was lined with thick trunked oak trees.

He didn't have time to see his life pass before his eyes, as the car hit a tree with such ferocity that he was thrown violently into the dashboard, the blow killing him instantly. The car was torn apart, the boot flying open, sending a tightly wrapped rug hurtling into the area behind the trees and into a group of thicket bushes, which opened its thorny mouth, swallowed it whole and closed it lips tightly, hiding her from view.

When Police found the car, they called in the undertaker, who removed its driver and tow truck mechanics lifted the car carefully onto a recovery vehicle, before sweeping away the broken plastic from smashed headlights, and heading on to their next task.


His fingers clung desperately to the cliff edge,  his feet precariously dug into a tiny foothold,  high above the raging waves and jagged rocks.

All his thoughts turned to the night before, why had he said those things,  they could never be taken back. She wouldn't understand,  how could she,  he never understood his thoughts these days either.

He paused, just for a moment, then released his grip,  it didn't matter anymore. They'd won.

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Roundabout

It sits there quietly in the background
The one that makes you feel sick, but you go there anyway
Lots of bars, metal and wood
For protection, safety guards or just to keep you away.
On board, you go round in circles
Round and round, never getting anywhere
That's today's go over with,  you'll try it again tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow it will find a destination.
Or perhaps I'll just go on the swings.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Hangover Haiku

No aspirin pills
Just your warm smile and soft words
Beware the axe blade

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


"It's time",the doctor placed his hand on 
his shoulder, a gentle squeeze, just 
enough to register his sympathy.

The machines beeped and hummed 
as he took his wife's hand, a 
lump in his throat. 

This moment had been coming for 
a long time, bloody cancer. She 
was only 37, too young for this. 

As he sat, she took her last 
breath, a groan and a sigh, and 
the machines fell silent. 

In the silence he sobbed alone. 

D Day

Swirling waters black with crafts
Skies filled with silk
As the sun rose, men in their
droves threw themselves
forward onto sandy ground.
Hot metal swarmed around
them as bodies fell limply
to the floor. Slowly they
advanced searching for the
safety of the sea wall.
Gradually they pushed the
enemy back,  turning the tide
for those left at home.
Their sacrifice and bravery
allows us to live freely
Many didn't return and as
the sun sets and in the morning
We WILL remember them

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


The skies are in a great
mood today. Big white fluffy
clouds meander aimlessly
without a care in the world.
Not like yesterday. Somebody
must have upset them yesterday.
They were in a foul mood,
Angry, black and growling,
raging across an unlit room,
spitting their venom at anyone
who got in their way. I tried
playing music to soothe them,
but the soft notes failed. A
good night's sleep did the

Sunday, 18 May 2014

White Noise

Quietly,  like a whisper
Silently and slowly growing
Louder,  filling the space
Pushing at the seams
Clanging, screaming
All hope of silence gone

Sunday, 11 May 2014


Sickness,  confusion
No sleep,  energy gone
A constant tide
washing over me.
Fear of loss reigns
Can't take any more
Stay in pain or go forever

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Black.Sea

Long and dark like winter nights it flowed
Framing the vista below
Gently welcoming visitors,
yet holding them at arms length.
Many gaze at the beauty,
unable to take as their own.
Time hasn't altered its desirability
only wisened its resolve.
As those who admire
grow old and weary

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Summer Rain

Watching the white clouds drift by
waiting for you to arrive.
Hour after hour, temperature rising.
You tap on the window, asking to be let in.
Going out to meet you,  met by
the gentle kiss of you on my face.
Slowly you envelop,
wrapping me in a soothing,  calming embrace.
Your soft voice, sending me into hypnotic sleep.
When I awake you're gone, our next date unknown.

Friday, 2 May 2014

The Secret Councillor

No budget cuts, no election to lose
No refuse trucks, no housing queues.
No mandate for your rule of law
Just entry through revolving door.

You've kept that power for an age
The council paying all your wage
But why do they not want to share,
the diary of the unknown mayor.


Time holding it forcibly
below the surface.
Drowning, fighting for life.
Always hidden, never forgotten.
Screaming to be released
The king of all, pushing others down,
taking its strength from within.
Freed from years of capture, it rushes
over, like the tide races over sand.
Slowly, gathering pace, waves growing,
cleansing. Acknowledged, accepted
not held in contempt.
Promises made, meant, no longer
mine alone.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Total Eclipse

"Try down there" Jane pointed, her hand just visible as a silhouette, against the slit of light coming from the side of the curtains.

"I've tried there, I've tried everywhere" I moaned back. It was dark and I kept hurting myself on wooden furniture.

I've got one!!" she cried, there was the sound of metal on metal, and the creak of a knob turning, and then light. "I hate pre pay electricity meters" Jane said

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Hidden Words

Need, want, uncertainty.
Burning like a knife,
twisted into flesh.
Subtle pauses,
not knowing, searching
every letter.
Lifes dictionary lost.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Unpaid Overtime

Behind the iron mask, heat and perspiration mix,
as metal twisted and fired is
formed and left, enviously, to
cool. At the end of a long night
night, in the face of the bitter
winter wind and mist, we bask
in our frostbitten faces. Laughter
fills the air as the noise of the works
drifts away. The sound of a traction engine, eruptions of metal and flames,
bring back memories of time served
in steaming furnaces, Blackened faces,
stained, torn overalls, bleeding hands,
but no Kings shilling for this shift.

Friday, 25 April 2014


You've been there since I was a lad,
A parents threat when I was bad
Sharp white fangs, and bulging eyes
there to stop me telling lies.
I'm all grown up but still you prowl
underneath I hear your growl
The scrape of claws on woollen thread
As you crawl below my bed.
Now I can't sleep, I dread to slumber
Just in case you care to lumber
from beneath my place of rest
and put your teeth to the test.
So please beast stay in your void
and stop me feeling paranoid.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Blending in, unseen,
Camouflaged among the many
Trying to be missed.
Now is time to forget to be afraid,
and step into the light.

Friday, 7 March 2014


Cutting holes through the morning sky,
and slithering,  unhurt, through grey tube
streets, the shoal invaded the concrete waters. Buildings bowed ungraciously, passing fearful dwellers onto the blood stained cobbles. People disguised as ghosts, flitted eerily across the smoke filled alleys, skimming past the felled and wounded, to claim asylum with the almighty. The morning gaiety of skipping children, replaced with the shrieks of gibbose wives and mothers, shielding their precious cargo from harm, as the frenzied shoal roared, basking in its fiery devastation. As the shoal retreated, and the weeping huddled masses, ventured once more into their future.

Monday, 3 March 2014


It had been 25 years since he'd been back to his old school. Tom Harding wasn't one for school reunions  but this had been planned for almost 6 months and his wife had pleaded for them to go.

Even as he approached, he was imagining happy times there,  the teachers who had pushed him to succeed,  the tiny bottles of milk they were given every morning,  with a red straw, so sharp it could draw blood.

He remembered those he'd sat alongside,  wondered what had happened to them, he remembered the first time he had saw Andrea,  the pretty brunette,  who had been his childhood sweetheart and who he'd married 10 years later and had 2 children with. They'd gone through the whole school in the same class,  and were inseparable.

As he entered the main door,  he saw the office and the kitchen serving hatch,  where he had once had five helpings of custard at lunchtime,  when one of the dinner ladies had gone round with a large copper jug of the thick,  sweet yellow delight.

He walked into the big hall,  where assemblies and lunch was taken,  not at the same time you understand, but the room was multi use in those days.

He looked about,  seeing faces he'd kept in touch with,  and some he half recognised,  but couldn't be certain about.

In the far corner smiling at him was his beautiful wife Andrea, her long wavy locks looking stunning in the lighting, wearing a long figure hugging black dress.
As he went to go over to her,  he was stopped by a short,  rotund woman,  who was clearly from the I'm in charge brigade, "and where might you be going Tom Harding? " she asked.

"Hi,  I'm sorry I don't recognise you, it's been quite some time and I'm getting on a bit now" he tried to laugh it off casually,  but inside felt embarrassed.

" I was hoping you'd remember me ", she replied "I'm Belinda Young, we were in the same class,  in our last year here, although I've grown a bit since then ", she awkwardly laughed at her own insecurities.

Tom still didn't recognise her,  but to be polite answered "Oh of course,  Belinda,  how have you been? " He glanced anxiously over to Andrea,  who was rolling her at eyes , as if to say "you got yourself into it., you get yourself out "

"I've been good thanks,  married three times , five kids, the usual. Here let me give you a name badge " with that Belinda wrote his name on a pre made paper badge and stuck it on his shirt.

"What do........", she was halfway through her sentence when she was interrupted by a tall guy,  wearing horn rimmed glasses.

 "Tom Harding as I live and breathe, how the hell are you,  it must have been 15 years, quick come and look at these photos "

" Dave, how are you mate,  it's good to recognise a face in here " He excused himself and wandered off with Dave

They were now in front of a wall,  festooned with photos of pupils. In one of them Tom, Dave and Andrea were in the hallway putting up Christmas decorations.

"That takes us back Tom hey?", Tom looked over despairingly at Andrea,  who was still stood alone among the crowd.

 "yeah it does Dave,  happy times "

"We'll have to get together soon,  without all these strangers ", Dave laughed out loud "I'm bloody clueless about most of them,. How Is Andrea anyway, is she coming tonight? "

Tom took one final glance at Andrea...

"No Dave, she's not......." he paused briefly ".........Andrea died last week."

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Secret To Growing Old

Life can be tiring
But it can be fun as well
Love the fun times more

Search and Rescue

Despite the media coverage,  Claire Thomas still couldn't be found.

The slim,  blonde student had last been seen 24 hours ago,  being dragged, kicking and screaming into a white people carrier.

Police were searching the area around the scene without success.

12 miles away, PC Sam Bennett was walking through a nature reserve,  in the distance,  a white people carrier was parked,  hidden among the trees.

He looked about and saw the bloodied blonde hair of a woman lift up from the long grass. He could hear engine sounds coming from the direction of the nearby motorway, getting closer.

Without thought,  he ran as fast as he could towards the girl,  as he arrived he saw her haunted eyes staring back at him.

He reached down slowly,  and as her eyes pleaded for his help,  he ran the blade across her throat,  deeper than he'd done the first time.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Garden Killer

As he walked around the crime scene,  Ollie Burns was stunned.
Never had he seen such brutality. Splintered wood lay around, dustbin emptied of its contents, the smell of rotten food causing him to wretch.

In the corner of the garden,  the victim had been tossed aside,  stripped, her head had been hacked at, to the point of decapitation,  countless wounds,  oozed in warm scarlet pools.

This was a savage attack,  and very recent.

Behind him, a noise,  he lifted his gun and turned,  the killer stood,  eyes filled with hate,  a hunger that needed to be fed. The stranger charged,  but Ollie was ready. He pulled the trigger, and the killer fell, whimpering

He hated this part of the job,  he saved lives not took them,  but dangerous creatures had to be stopped. He had done that, the victim was gone but he'd served justice,  the wolf was dead.

Simple Rules Of War

Pick up your weapon
Fire at the enemy
Put away your guilt

Friday, 28 February 2014


In dreams I see your eyes that shine
Like sunshine mirrors on the seas
You move so soft in graceful lines
As primrose swaying in the breeze
My thoughts are filled with love unbound
Of tender soul that I have found.

The clouds of grey and black subside
Allowing light to flow within
The shadows nowhere left to hide
Banished as an untold sin.
Forever held within my heart
You live in me, till day we part.

The Wolf

Tracking me,
Its presence hidden from view
Preparing to strike
Attack came
Stealth and speed
Unable to escape its clutches
The bite is deep
Jaws squeezing my resistance
No fight left,
I accept my fate

Thursday, 27 February 2014


Through the window,  daylight streams in
Another day of endless reflection
Of times to be shared or left alone
Questions fired indiscriminately
With answers never to be found
Like a radio show station
Playing the same song
Over and over,  you long for the change
Yet get used to the tune

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Corinthians Tale

Age of innocence,  age of fun,
playing around the battery gun.
A telescope, from which we'd look,
out to sea for Captain Hook

Age of innocence, age of fun,
playing around the battery gun.
In the seat we'd spin about,
till we felt sick and tumbled out

Age of innocence, age of fun,
playing around the battery gun.
In burn of summer or sting of rain,
we'd stoke the furnace of our train

Age of innocence, age of fun
playing around the battery gun.
Round and round the steps we ran,
playing tag,  me, Bill and Dan

Age of war, no longer fun.
Serving around the battery gun.
Grown up now, Bill, Dan and me
shoot for our lives at the enemy.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Life Through A lens

We see light,
reflecting back images
of that which is around us.
Staring from our office windows,
zooming out from our
mundane existence,
feelings are blurred,
out of focus with
our reality.
Shutter pressed, an instant
is trapped, time stood still.
We can change direction,
where do we want life to go?
To make that choice that becomes
the new frame in our personal reel.
To expose happiness and delete sadness.
A chance to create the perfect set,
where fantasy becomes reality
in a heartbeat, rather than waiting
for it to develop.
We can follow the storyboard,
edit, direct it, without limit,
until we press again.

Sunday, 23 February 2014


North, South
Different paths
Running parallel
Far away but so near
Unaware of the other
Brief encounters
A subtle glance
and knowing

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Unsocial Media

Temptation is pinching
My thoughts confused
Sleepless nights,
tossing and turning
Like an addict
I crave your attention
Unable to resist
your charms
Cannot keep away
Find excuses to see you
Are you mine?
Or somebody else's
Can you be shared?
Slumber arrives
And still I'm craving
Awaiting the morning
When I can replace my mask

Friday, 21 February 2014

Mind Games

Without thought,
You dispense.
Anger, bitterness,
sadness, loneliness and tears
are spewed,
in a linear direction
towards your target.
Each word, thought,
diminishes their light
They retreat,
looking for a corner
to hide, to disappear.
Your darkness lifted,
you move on, released.
The black cloud is
passed on, to envelop,
to isolate, to deny
and finally to defeat.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Watcher

I'm looking at you
You're there in that little window
You know I'm watching
Twisting, turning, eyes making contact
I press on, wanting more
Lights come on, time is precious
Give me that look again
Its going faster
Finally we're done
That divide is bridged
Together we look back
All is well
You'll be back

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Rise and Shine

8.10, wake up call
Still sleepy, rise, time for ablutions
Overhead a shower poured noisily
Each fiery drop opening concrete pores
No longer sleepy
Eyes open, alert
Above the heavens roared
Flashes of light and thunder
Fill my eyes and ears
A storm unabated
Looking for shelter
Ravaging, pain,
Numbness, nothingness.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

War and Peace

The smoke filled the lungs, like mist rolled across a valley
Fear, panic, bodies falling against the splintered timbers
Noise so extreme, it may even wake the dead
Men struggling to move as mud clung to their boots like limpets to a mine

Incessant rain pounding on a tin roof, driving men to despair
Whistles, bangs, booms and screams filled the void
As streams of warm cherry liquid flowed unabated
Shards of metal strewn across the dug out trenches

Hidden in the corner, like a small child, huddled a man
Crying, scared, unable to move to save himself
While thousands more climbed out of fox holes aiming for the metal monsters,
who ejected this vile fire from their bellies

Suddenly silence, in the distance a solitary, fluttering, white cloud was held aloft
Men fell to their knees, sunshine breaking through the gloom
The monsters had been soothed and were now sleeping quietly
The anguished screams replaced by smiles and tears of joy

Four long years of hurt and pain, in an instant brought to an end
For millions life would never be the same
The war to end all wars had reached its finale
Thankfully this would never happen again.......would it ?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Attending my first writers group

Tonight, I attended my first writers group at Hartlepool Library. My youngest daughter is taking an interest in writing, so she tagged along for the experience.

It was sci-fi night, and although I love sci-fi shows and films, I don't write about it...yet, but we were asked to write something about applying for a life on Mars, or a narrative about being there and what you are getting up to. Once I started writing, it was as if the pen had taken control and was scribbling away madly. If anyone has watched the sci-fi series Heroes, imagine those who draw the future and you get the idea.

Afterwards there was a bit of a read and critique session, which was great, but I only read a small part of mine, as I'd wrote too much and time was running out.

Wish I knew why I can write when I'm given the premise, yet suffer from writers block on my own book attempt. Tonight I wrote about 1000 words in an hour, if I could do that every day for two to three months I'd be over the moon.

Never thought I'd be the type for writers groups and poetry workshops, but looking at them with an open mind has given me a new outlook on my own writing, which I hope will improve as a consequence.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

World War One Poetry

As I mentioned in my first post, I am attempting to write poetry, I have joined a group of people that are trying to put together an anthology of poems about the World War One bombing of Hartlepool, a small town on the North East coast of England. On December 16th 1914, the town was bombarded by the German Navy for around an hour, with over 1000 shells being fired into the town. Here are a couple of poems I have written.

 The Christmas Hour

One solitary hour, stood alone like a stranger in a crowd.
 The seconds ticking a regular clanging boom,
 as it moves unerringly through its perpetual motion,
 it offers misery and hope.

Each accurate strike tells the story of men, women and children,
 whose lives were ended by each quarterly chime.
 It brings together communities, like a net gathering fish,
 and rebuilds all that it has destroyed.

It drags the sun across the skies, wiping away the smoke and fire,
 then this stranger moves on, never to be seen again,
 replaced by another stranger with a different purpose,
 to offer peace and goodwill to all.

One single, tiny hour can shape an entire world.
 It holds memories, like a child holds a balloon.
 Bringing new life and taking away the sick.
 Always following the same path away from us.

 The Swarm

In the distance they waited on their ships,
 one thousand strong, huddled together waiting to strike.
 The order came and like wasps they swarmed across the sea.
 The streets, just beginning to wake,
 were met by the stomping of the incoming throng.
 No polite knock to come in, but an uninvited crunch,
 as doors, walls and windows were violently wrenched open.
 Families hid under beds, pretending not to be home,
 as a single, giant hob nail boot wreaked havoc on their belongings.
 No longer just the welcoming, recently lit, coal fire in the hearth,
 but countless vicious little flames licking at the edges of the splintered furniture.
 The smell of burnt nail varnish remover filled the air,
 but there was no pretty girl applying makeup in the shattered mirror,
 instead the faces were frightened, streaked with tears and blood.
 The thousand had arrived, bullied and destroyed but never returned to their ships.