Promise of Primroses

The promise of primroses fills each line,Overflows in iambic flowering,While wild garlic and bluebells defineThe yellow of their petals, the showeringOf the woods and trees with pools of sun,Where we walk the dogs and welcome inThis season, now at last that winter’s done,Our hearts can fill themselves with hope again.Let us breathe in a while … Read more

Bike ride

This morning I try out this Spring for sizeMeasure it on my early cycle rideWear it on my skin, let it brim my eyes,Watch it green and grow on every side .For Spring is the shirt you thought you’d lostAnd then you find it and shake it outAnd remember the colour, undimmed by frost.Back again … Read more

It feels like spring

Recently there seems to have been a stirring in the woods and lanes, in the city streets and by the sea.  I cycled to the bike-shop in the centre  of  Leeds yesterday along the canal towpath, time for an annual service for a bike that has gone through mud and wind and rain, like most … Read more


You old seducer, with your chlorophyll, Are your promise; their hidden prickle will Remind me each joy comes with wounds somehow. And taken by surprise I am undone, As I find myself to be every year,I welcome Shakespearean phrases in, Its very theatre demands it here. So I feel you move in the woods and … Read more

Holocaust Memorial Day

One Monday morning, early in February, I attended two assemblies with Ireland Primary School, but assemblies with a difference. These were on-line and the bulk of the pupils were in their kitchens or sitting-rooms with just a few in their home classrooms. It was wonderful, inspiring and emotional. Together the 100 or so young people … Read more

Poem of the month – March 2021

Sea fret At first the sea-frets come spaced days apartThere are sunny patches in betweenHe barely notices it, his head and heartNot synchronised the way they’ve always been.But Someone’s moving things, he can’t find his key,Names have been stuffed in a drawer Somewhere,Worries can assail him, Sometimes he doesn’t knowWhere he’s going, when he’s halfway … Read more

End of year frolics

Every Boxing Day for the last ten years or so I have shivered on a beach somewhere near Bridlington while my partner David and our good friend Kevin splash into the sea for charity. This year they were wearing fancy dress Viking helmets, perhaps reflecting the history of this wild and cliff-edged coast. Many, many … Read more

Poem of the month – January 2021

In recent years I have often tried to write about what New Year and new beginnings might mean for me. Here’s my offering for this 2021, accompanied by a pic of my trusty bike. New Year, new beginnings An owl screeches as my wheels crunch the frost On pavements and roads towards the coming year. … Read more

The Innkeeper

Busy this time more than any other yearOur inn is full from attic-rooms to bar,So when she arrives, and her time is near,I have no bed, no space to offer her.He is quiet, exhausted, frightened too,Begging comes hard, I see the pride in him.‘Please,’ he says, ‘anything at all will do’.And my ‘seen it all’ … Read more