In the keep,

The walls are stretched,

Ink smudged

With mould that

Blooms, changes shape,

And grows

Into the monster’s snarl

Large and disjointed growl

Of some dishevelled creature

Which has its wiles

And misfortune

Dripping from its jowls


Some salivary Morse code,

Here a dash and a dot

Abroad in the clawprints

Where it has crawled

To tower top,

The boards shrinking

And wood withered

Away from poisonous

Padded foot


If we could only drown

The damn thing in the moat,

Or throw it in the hold –


This thought or that

Keeps the being’s spirit

Afloat, kicking, alive,

No good


We’ll whistle a song, stoke

The flames and lock the

Doors shut;

If we stop, go silent

We’ll hear the handle turn

Or the thud, thud, thud

And howls

From above


Christmas in Victoria Square

When we look into the night sky, we’re looking into the past, since light from the stars takes so long to travel through space. By the time we see the light, some of the stars have already burnt out, and their glow is residue from delay. I want to see the present with you, and the days and days after, and have our own little bit of space in front of us. We can imagine and create our own constellations.


Beneath the clear sky,

We waited, our faces

Upturned in the crowd,

Packed into this city’s square,

Ten seconds away

From switched on delay

Of lights to match

The stars; electric red,

Not burnt out,

Nor white pin pointed

Satellites above these old streets



Time has begun now;


The days and days

To trail

Ribbon and paper streams

In some Technicolor

Show under the far staying

Christmas tree

Have unravelled in strands

To reveal what they’ll be

Present and presently


Ticking, ripping,

The count-down


To one;

The space is around us,

The planets are near

In the pause –

I take your hand,

Lost in our own Milky Way,

The blare is brighter

Than the sun

Stage 5 Sky

My bear, Ursula Major, set in my mind; a person to navigate with, set the compass point from, all directions leading to happiness. What we say is ours, what we do is ours, no imitations, no holds barred.

When the moon dips

Her crown and rolls

Her constellated robe,

Eons of gauze

Sweeping through

Some blue skied mind

Stage 5 on a celestial lobe

Our bed has been dreamt,

Dreamt for a role;

Your mouth meets mine,

And we say the things others

Have drawled

Outside this vacuum

Sealed hold

Our bodies draw pathways,

Bound stars

Set to explode,

Tied down

You guide me,

And I repeat what I’ve been told


I’m yours,

And here I am

In satellite,

Your number 2260,

In darkness unfolded

Your beloved planetary fool


The night, sleepless and wet

Dribbled its insistence

Gathered on the ledge


Beyond the frame,

The sky blurred, blanketed


Dropped double jet

In mass


A disguise for unrest

Greyly downed

Duvets, pillows, empty sheeted



It was beside me you should have slept;

Dry, free from rain


The city’s only Saharan place

Northern Lights

The North Star

And the earth

Pulled the moon close;

Said to her, ‘Darling

We’ll put on a show’

The flashing light ebbed,

Rose intermittent,

Glowed neon,

Swirled mixed


A cocktail over ice

Ocean sipped

Divided, clean

We shared the colours,

All green

For go

No stoplights, no roads

But a vastness


We set forth, drinks in hand

Put down our flag

Set up camp,

And proclaimed this

Our portion

Of the Arctic zone