Ninety Minus

Had my mother lived, she would have celebrated her 90th birthday on 17 January this year. Sadly she died long before old age, before the arrival of her seven grandchildren. I have outlived her in raw age, but somehow still conjure her as a woman thirty years my senior. I suspect that she would have […]


A short poem for the season.     Perihelion     The geometry of time finds a minimum and a maximum So near, so far, from the sun. Perihelion. In the North, Day’s end is quick. The night comes on too soon. In the South, It is summer’s end.     Count the hours, the […]

The Dress Argument

There is a milestone in a girl’s growing-up when her mother asks ‘Surely you’re not going out in that…‘ It’s not a question, but a realisation that the paths of mother and daughter no longer run along the same track. The wardrobe doors of perception of each party overlook different prospects. Here is a poem […]

Visiting the Past

Feeling a little nostalgic, I am posting an old poem that has appeared elsewhere, and within this blog. It is about growing up, but from two perspectives in life. The ‘children’ in question are now unquestionably grown-up. And the adults no longer have to pretend. You can hear me read it on SoundCloud, via the […]

If It Was Quiet

My muse at the moment is a pneumatic drill, interlaced with the robust soundtrack from the bathroom fitter’s radio and power tools. My house is festooned with dustsheets and off-shelf books piled high. Oddments of plumber’s materials and boxes of sanitaryware promise the bathroom of my dreams. If I dreamed of bathrooms, which I do […]

Theory of the Glass Slippers

The story of Cinderella has been told for centuries, and appears in various forms across the world, often involving ladies’ footwear.  Perhaps the most popular is the account involving glass slippers, a fairy godmother and a pumpkin.  Here is a prose poem version with an alternative ending.   Glass Slippers are Not for Running   What […]

Good coffee, bad coffee

This is not the first mention of coffee in my blog. There seems to me a natural connection between writing and coffee. Coffee and coffee houses originated in the Ottoman Empire, with the first coffee house appearing in the 16th century in Istanbul. Coffee and coffee house culture migrated through Europe during the 17th century and cafés of diverse kinds are now firmly established […]