Wednesday, 28 December 2011

M62 from Hull

Serried ranks of orange reeds,
alongside deep dark-shining ditch:

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Shortest day

And shorter still by dint of heavy cloud
and the fact of travelling to Europe later today
wherein we lose another hour,
but a bonus in that I can stride out
without fear of flipping over

Monday, 19 December 2011

Brown on white

Coffee granules,
jogged from a spoon
and falling onto a just-wiped surface,
speed into bloom.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Overturned tart?

Sky the colour of much-handled pastry,
pale apricot filling around the edge.

Friday, 16 December 2011


Stiff black U shapes
hung overnight
too close to the heat
from the boiler

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Finely balanced books

Now my yet-to-be-read pile has reached fourteen
(plus three of the ten lent by my daughter,
at the end of last month)
I am beginning to panic, slightly.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Monday, 12 December 2011

Seen in Suffolk from the A14

Polka-dotted seagulls
in a field of hutted, muddy pigs,
beside another field of stripes,
semi-sage and biscuit

Friday, 9 December 2011


That I could hear the plane this morning
told me the wind had died

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Black versus white

Three dimensions of windy sky space
yet the crow and the seagull
cannot agree to share.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #16

Difficult to tell in the dark
whether blackness of sky
is due to lack of the sun
or imminent pouring down rain

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #15

Turned a dark corner to be met with disaster
myriad blue flashing lights
a moment to realise it's not an emergency
but somebody's tree-full for christmas

Monday, 5 December 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #14

Frowning to stay upright
I dissuade all morning greetings
and omit to post the letters
I diverted for

Sunday, 4 December 2011


Next door's early morning
chopped back apple trees
revealed last night
an unexpected tableau
in a well-lit
hitherto unviewed
back bedroom

Saturday, 3 December 2011

No obvious explanation

For ten days now,
a mattress and a divan
brand new, polythene-wrapped
left uncollected
at the side of the house next but one.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #13

Fifty minutes late
and no-one says 'good morning'
- we have not the two years plus
of graduated nodding
in acknowledgement

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Friday, 25 November 2011

At my desk, NaNo-ing

This time last year
red bed socks
and a quilt to supplement
my urgently-donned clothes

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A pleasure

The wind again today, southerly
and the north south dryness
of the road

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Is it me that drains the battery?

Sun a pale gold coin
twixt hawthorn hedge and sea fret cloud
and my camera battery empty
once again.

Friday, 18 November 2011

and I've never liked spearmint since

Half a moon,
half a sixpence:
a silver threepenny bit,
spent when I was six
on a hitherto untasted spearmint ice lolly

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Conjunctive confusion

Crow, raucous at the top of a silver birch,
and I hear the central locking of the car parked underneath click open
'Clever crow' I think.
But no.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #11

and the sky this morning
wet on creamy-papered wet
Paynes Grey and a touch of Burnt Sienna

Monday, 14 November 2011

Prompts for a gruesome tale?

A slew of eggshells
pale and slimy-stuck to tarmac,
adherence for a cast-off car key

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Did no-one remember to tell us?

The entire morning
cadmium and grey,
still, and so empty
that the world might have ended.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Splash of colour

Cross and scratchy dusk walk mood lifted temporarily,
by purple long and tangled hair
of black-clad teenage girl.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011

False promise

Mediterranean colours:
the bonnet of a turquoise car,
scattered golden leaves
rime-edged and frost-adhered.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Brainwashed by Photoshop

'Inverted' my first thought
when the sunlight bleached the factory roofs
and beyond, the forthcoming rainstorm
dyed the sky to black.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

But I was wrong

and the tablecloth's now hanging in the sun,
indigo turned a faintly burnt sienna

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Soaking seeming ineffective

The red wine stain
on last night's biscuit-coloured tablecloth
has now turned indigo.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Realised with mild shock

In the dark, my feet still do not know
the number pattern of the stairs,
even after thirty-seven years

Thursday, 27 October 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #10

Absence of blanketing wind
enables tiny, coloured stitches of sound
to be heard, as background pattern.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Treating effect not cause

In half-term week
three speed bumps
black with white triangles
are built in the road beside the school

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #9

Spat of rain and rustling raincoat,
squelch and slick of squeaking boots,
detract from silent dark and thoughtful contemplation.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Seven in the evening - hooray?

From the east, across the night-dark Tees
an ice-cream vendor plays a tune to tell me
that the sun is coming out to play

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Seen while watching rugby

Man with dirty white-grey, dark-grey little dog
appears to have another on his head,
this one with ear-flaps.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

What a waste!

Doorbell rings, mid-sentence
Run downstairs - delicious young man,
collecting for charity

Friday, 21 October 2011

Blows the wind, southerly

and the sound of the fair, raucously loud, intermittent
flies up the hill,
dragging smoky dark-eyed and long ago memory:
ignorance swirling with premature ache for experience.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Speedy alsatian

Alternate light and dark,
as he passes a paling fence,
stripes the dog "go faster"

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #7

Two overhead geese,
ten degrees apart,
noisy enough for a 'V' of a couple of dozen

Monday, 17 October 2011

Monday morning wasn't grumpy to start

Congenitally concept-free of consequence,
the woman on the corner has parked her 4x4
across the path, again.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


I am a point of stillness
as my daughter whirls around me
making contact at Hong Kong
and from Schipol.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Volunteers in charity shop
wash up the cups
and do not see the waiting customers

Friday, 14 October 2011

From my window, as I vainly seek inspiration

The merest smudge of dirty apricot:
a hem below the rigor mortis sky
and only two leaves moving

Thursday, 13 October 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #6

half-dressed woman
high heels and a towelling dressing gown
searches the boot of her car
for clothes

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Paper shop shuttered
paper not bought
shape of the day

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


The grey of the clouds
blowing up from the west
match exactly the towels
I've just hung on the line

Monday, 10 October 2011


My dentist
talks about the weather
as if he will not repeat himself
three times an hour,
every hour,
every day.

Friday, 7 October 2011


So contrast-cold this morning
that I check the condensation on the car
to make sure it's not frost.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Influence of the wind

Yesterday's scampering, truant-playing leaves
close circle-scrummed damp this morning.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Minor irritation

Black grit-stones from BT's pavement-patching tarmac
stick to soles of sandals,
tread into house.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


The motorcycle instructor
sits on the sharp end of a red and white stripe cone
and shouts across the carpark
at his girl trainee

Monday, 3 October 2011

A pondering

What exactly is it
that turns random objects
not especially arranged on a windowsill
into a Still Life?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

And how could we have told him?

The owner of the retaurant
might have exuded less bonhomie
had he known he'd left his flies undone

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Friday, 30 September 2011

7 a.m.

Clear sky pre-dawn glow:
fuzzy feel of apricots against the skin,
taste of Milk Tray Orange Crème.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Post pruning

The upraised butchered branch of plum tree
gesticulates and casts a witch's curse.

At the hairdresser

Not facing the window is boring
definitely a great deal more flattering
my face in shadow, backlit

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

grumpy me?

young mother steers child in pushchair
and a dog
with mobile clamped to ear
and I wonder when child will learn to talk

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Monday, 26 September 2011

Old 'technology'

Somehow a surprise
to see egg-box type packing
protecting my new laptop.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Triple drama

Crimson embers burst beyond the blackness of the hawthorn branches,
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara converts another try,
and an over-large spider sprints across the floor toward me.

Saturday, 24 September 2011


A sudden gloom makes it hard to see the page
and I dash outside to rescue the near-dry washing.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Chopping dates for muesli

Long-term, long time, careful observation
yet I still cannot decide
whether fewer, bigger and much more to taste
is better than much smaller and more of them.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

And another firing

Two shots ring out
and a pair of would-be joyous magpies
take the pessimistic view

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Misfiring Comet

Eventually I appreciated his help
and might have bought the recommended laptop there and then
but for the overpowering reek of aftershave.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Distracted for MudSpots

In search of an aphorism
I resort to Aurelius
and neglect my packing for the weekend

[If you haven’t been to MudSpots yet, do check it out – 250 word tales from talented writers, incluiding me!)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Another cause for regret

Nearly the end of summer
and I don't have so much as a hint, even,
of a watch-strap mark

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


White moon high on blue
a perfect circle in the western sky
and I am sad I did not see it rise
full gold, on black, last night

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Squelch and splash of violent accident colours
when I unwittingly tread on a well-rotted plum

Monday, 12 September 2011


Mismatched triangular plastic pictograms,
(sandbagged today against the strengthening wind)
preceding clicked-together chunky fencing pieces,
red and blue, with stuck-on stripey tape:
Playmobil for children now grown large.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Practical pleasure

A jug I bought because I liked its pale sienna earthy colour,
the darker circled lines that spoke of how it became,
the proportions of its height to its circumference
and the way the handle fitted fingers, gave a resting place for thumb,
pours just as nicely, as it should.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

On the back lawn

Toadstools to begin, alarming orange,
then go black.
A scattering of over-night-grown curses

Friday, 9 September 2011

Thursday, 8 September 2011

surprisingly, in Thurso

Ochre yellow bookshop, words on slate upon the outside walls
Rankin minus Rebus but subsequently read and found compelling
and Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Blood Meridian’

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

North of Golspie

Rooks, burnt and blackened paper flakes,
heat-driven upwards
then windswept across the flame gold trees

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Heading south towards Grantown-on-Spey

An apprentice piece, a sampler of exuberant, lively clouds
complimenting the yellow-gold scallop-edged dish of hills,
dashed silver with a streak of wet run roads.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Another story?

Ahead of me a young man, good looking, emerges
slipping silently from behind a tall back gate.
Crosses the road and just as silently disappears behind another
 ... ah, but if he had, he surely would have been more furtive, more dishevelled?

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Before I get up

The uneven hiss and faint murmur,
occasional single spot plink,
informs me I will need boots today.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Mistakes happen

Misread the clock.
Up and dressed before I realised it was four not five.
This time a lack of careful observation
Oh well.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Decision time

A need, next week, to write, not type, sets me to wondering what’s best.

I like the fine convenience of propelling pencils
but words too quickly smudge to illegible.
Asked my daughter, who recommends fine-liner felt tips,
remember that roller balls can be so smooth,
and that biros are best not the cheapest 
and realise I need to go to Staples.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Not cricket

Overripe plums, mostly red, some grey with mould,
scatter-patterned across the lawn
less than successfully bowled from the branches above.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Geese again

Even more briefly, no more than a glimpse,
dissension resolved, two dozen or more,
in chevron, pass close by my window.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


The geese down by the unseen river,
greet the golden dawn
with what sounds like group dissension.

Friday, 19 August 2011


Those sparrows, mentioned on the sixteenth,
I realise now, were not excited by the pond,
just on their lunch-hour.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Just now - 05.39

Briefly, for a moment, from the colour
the sky old fashioned blotting paper
and the clouds blue-black Quink ink

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Waking thoughts, having read in one sitting yesterday.

Picked up from ‘Help the Aged’
a book the blurb for which implies it’s teenage sex.
But it turns out to be multi-levelled;
much more on family and the damage they unwittingly do
and the cloying, clutching nature of a friendship based dishonestly on guilt.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Watched while eating lunch

A dozen or more delinquent adolescent sparrows
dart dizzily from fence to trellis to hedge,
seemingly made giddy by the recent weed-cleared pond.

Monday, 15 August 2011

On getting up at 5 a.m.

First impression through square window,
custard sky beyond the night-dark trees,
so that’s what the raucous solitary seagull
was on about just now.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sod's law and stains

Is it that we never spill red wine on the crimson tablecloths,
or just that it doesn't show, as it does upon the creamy-beige?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Flo's toes

Three and a half, she notices a damaged toenail.
Sits down, puts foot in mouth and repairs it with her teeth.
Not knowing that one day such action won't be possible.

Friday, 12 August 2011


Observation lacking totally today
I am reading the sixth in the Lymond series
maybe for the sixth time
but I cannot put it down.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #4

Pink neon reflected on the fish and chip shop tiles,
and again across the puddled tarmac of the car park,
a fractured, trailing Isadora Duncan chiffon scarf.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Although not cold enough

My slightly blurred reflection in the darkness of the double glazing,
the blackness of the frantic trees against the pewter sky,
gloomily presage November.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Deceived, deceiving

Winter ice blue sky confirmed by early morning freshness –
and yet it IS still August

Sunday, 7 August 2011

7th: New-made elder sister
And Flo becomes a middle child:
vivid, argumentative,
logic unsurpassable
and forehead clear.

6th:  Nine days old
Stupidly surprising,
skinniness of limbs,
bleared blue-grey wisdom.
mouth’s silent enunciation.

5th.: Nurture or nature
Connie so competent:
five years of parenting,
or the mix of her genes?

4th:  Journey south
Clouds high, light and almost blue,
ever-present promise that the sun’s about to shine:
nevertheless there’s non-stop rain
which lasts for hours and hours.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Momentary visual dislocation

Slightly late arising
and a shock to see November fog
at a fourth of August dawn.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Do we really need a twice-daily rag and bone man,
abbreviated shouting incoherent
and on foot?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Lunch with ex-colleagues

Sociability, despite enjoyment, can be exhausting,
unlike the communing of loved and like-minded.
Purporting to tell a tale against herself
she draws attention to her skinny arse.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Changes of direction and time

Rain spattering the kitchen window
tells me the wind has changed
from north to south.
I doubt the friend I will meet today
(not seen for twenty-five years)
has changed so drastically

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saturday, 30 July 2011


It still fills me with delight to know
if I get up early enough
I can converse with Michael in Mexico,
Gita or Mike in Alabama
and receive photos from Kristine in New York

Friday, 29 July 2011

July's missed and now remembered stones

12th:  Rare for me not to have that last-night-before-I-leave
final, cowardly thought that I don’t wish to go to sleep in an alien bed
and even though I fumbled with the airport tax machine,
anticipation that I will cope remained full strength

13th:  And fully justified because I wake up with a smile in Alabama
cocooned in warmly welcome and so easy to be here.

14th:  Both anticipation of the end of day, the smaller widened circle
tempered with regret that we must leave this place.

15th:  Waking in a bedroom with my daughter
last seen last month on a station in Berlin.

16th:  A second day of writers, more new faces to set beside their words,
reading, writing all together, eating too and then so very, very late to bed
and absolutely clueless as to what time I might  awake.

17th:  Knowledge that today I leave for home lies heavy,
staggered though the parting is.
A day begun with Highland Park and ending with a Maker’s Mark.

18th:  A day bereft that doesn’t really seem to properly exist
flying high and heading east across the Atlantic

Cross trainer diversion

Their first time at the gym, a couple
with a Fitness Trainer in attendance.
He moderately fit and keen to show his capability.
She sluggish, sulky, lumpy, clearly there on sufferance,
and suffering.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Without scale

Without scale, the desiccated, split and damaged fig tree leaf
becomes an aerial view of urban destruction,
a well-inked with burnt sienna collagraph plate.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A fairness of rooks

One magpie, six rooks.
Five content to let the fight progress fairly,
one to one,
until he looks like losing.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #3

Large, empty plastic bottles
spill out of recycling bag.
Don’t they know how therapeutic
it is to stamp them flat?

Monday, 25 July 2011

Under new management

Every day for a month now
the windows wide open
to let out the stink of the previous owners

Sunday, 24 July 2011


A pagentry of or and argent
a mediaeval trumpet fanfare of murrey
brought to mind by honeysuckle flowers
and Boutell’s barely read and mis-remembered ‘Heraldry’

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Night sweats

Even when I've access to the whole of the bed
the sheets lose their cool too quickly

Friday, 22 July 2011

Ode to a solitary pansy

Pale face showing tracks of bloodstained tears
solitary and despondent gaze across the black expanse of tarmac
no longer unaware of your misbegotten seeding.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Seen from a balcony in North Carolina

Bracken ancient, arrowed tip resting on part circle drawn in concrete by the dripping from above.
Leaves blinking with a rain-hit tic, a cat's ear twitch at stimulus unknown.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I don't mind solitude but ...

Having landed at Teesside on Monday night
I did not feel grounded
until he phoned me from Germany on Tuesday

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

eight hours wait at Schipol

Startlingly seen from above on an escalator:
an apparently, abnormally short-faced man with protruding tongue
subsequently seen to be wearing his sunglasses on top of his hairless head

Monday, 11 July 2011

Awaiting an opportunity to dance the polka

Silver, semi-spherical static raindrops on the windscreen
circles echoing and overlaid
by reflected rowan berry clusters,
green and orange.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Friday, 8 July 2011

Heard from the garage below my room

Decreasing husky rasp of door support in metal runners
Sharp click as catch slides over aluminium lip
Burble from the radio becomes a sudden silence
He’s finished playing motorbikes for the day

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Family history

If I prised up, intaglio-inked and subsequently printed
any one of the kitchen cork floor tiles,
would the resulting image tell the story
of the thirty years we’ve so far trod?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper #2

A rough, tobacco-damaged, dirty chuckle
conjured up a much-loved and delinquent aunt
who took me apple-scrumping when I was eight

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Heard from the garden

Distorted megaphone voice
indecipherable china-sharded words
brief silence
then the grass-blown screams of children
            ... sports day at the local primary school

Monday, 4 July 2011

On my way to buy a morning paper

Iridescent rainbow in the gutter
red orange yellow holographic shine
closer, blue green indigo bedazzles
courtesy of Benson Hedges

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Seen in a new light

daily black dog walking man
discussed Caravaggio
in the restaurant last night

Friday, 1 July 2011

Not a silver lining, but a red?

Last night’s spilled wine, imperfectly wiped,
a pattern of alarm on the carpet
and an illustrated tale

Thursday, 30 June 2011


bed loose and littered with irrelevances
cream wool blankets folded back upon themselves
accusation from the oblong of its door-less room 
of dusty abandonment, careless unthinking neglect ...
my once-single, now cuckolded, etching press.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Pavement art

Carefully right-angled and conjoined
four different greys of tarmac patchings
an accidental, incidental, monochrome Sean Scully

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Time to tidy?

Unusually I'm irritated by the muddle of my space:
wires black confusion and the dusty piles,
papers needing replying, books to stand up straight
and CDs to put away elsewhere.

Monday, 27 June 2011


Yesterday’s window-smacked waxwing,
headless by teatime,
gone by the morning,
bar the grey downy feathers
incongruous in the green grass.

July stones and daily discipline

I've missed the daily discipline of three of the first four months of the year: 

A river of stones for January, which began in December with 'Raindrops'  was followed by my personal, colour-inspired stones for February, starting with an explanation and then after a somewhat stuttering March, I took up Jo Prescott's A poem a day for April, the first three of which described my difficulties with Script Frenzy (soon failed dismally).

July won't be completed daily, although there might well be retrospective entries, but I will aim to be as poetically observant as possible