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Hope, Bottled

I remember howmy hand fit into yourswith welcoming easeand the warmth of your skinheated my tepid fingersas we walked along the beach the North Sea was trembling with chilling intensity – as we skimmed stonesplucked fresh from champagne-gold sandthey wisped over wavestheir light friction warming the waterand calming the sea I told a joke about […]

Answering Doors

Opportunity raspedrepeatedly at my doorknuckles bloodied, bruised and brokenuntil they were incapableof knocking againI chose to open uponce silence fellwith head bowedI took it’s palms in mineand healed sores with words‘Why didn’t you answer ?‘ Opportunity askedand in my mindthe truth was told– ‘there are far more deserving than I‘. Thanks for taking the time […]

Great Grandad Grandstand

I remember the things I learned watching Grandstand on Saturday afternoons at my Great Grandad’s house like the rules of snooker, dartsand horse racing how to pick a winning horse out the newspaper (look at the jockey) sound like Woody the Woodpecker how to use a mangle to dry out clothes still steaming from the […]

No Sense Of Summer

The string is delicately coarsebetween my fingers and palmwhen I pullthe blinds need a heavy touchto open this morning I’m expecting hues ofpoached peach & rhubarbto welcome me to Mondaybut the sky is chalk-grey and despondent  My ears crave the tranquilityof a blackbird & sparrow choirwhen all I can hearis the drowning of the daythe […]

The Stranger

The New York night was bleak, cold and solemn. Even the moon concealed itself in the comfort of clouds so it would not bear witness of what was to come. Tonight, death felt inevitable. Carter Samson’s stomach rumbled as he got out of the elevator at basement level. His senses took ten seconds  to adjust […]

Morning Fishing Trips

A September Saturday in 1995the four a.m. sea air is salt-soursilicate sand shimmersunder the after-midnight-blue canopythe waning moon a spotlighton discarded worm skins I dig since I’m the youngest –because even morning fishing trips have hierarchies –success arrives after ten minutesof shovel and scoopwe loot the fresh baitthey can wriggle all they want we own […]

The Shows

We called the travelling funfair“The Shows”the same way our parents didwhen they arrived in The Wicklate summer excitementthat smelled of hot sugared doughnuts, flowing diesel and damp trampled grassthe air was always a kaleidoscopeof flickering lightbulbs and brightly painted plywoodshrill screams of exhiliration could be heard over a mile awaylayered over a techno soundtrackthumping with […]

Birdsong

Instead of sleep in the early hours I sit and listen to the siren song of the starlings and finches at four am they gather on the dew-kissed fencetops when the delicate new day is climbing from grey earth to sherbet-pink sky and I wonder what’s to come in the next 19 hours before my […]

Wetland Character Building

I almost drowned oncedown near the millswimming the current of the Coquetthree quarters of the way acrossmy legs lost poweragainst the undertowI’m lucky Peck kept his eyes on meas the river reedswrapped around anklesmy head bobbing up and downlike a braeburn on bonfire nightand the rest of the boysjumped back inlike working-class Hasselhoffsand pulled me […]

The Magpie – A Short Story

I can hear a constant thumping on the door. That pisses me off. That’s what the doorbell’s for. Probably the pizza delivery guy. He never uses the bell. I pull open the door and two men in black tracksuits push me back, one of them slams the oak shut. I hope it hasn’t splintered. It […]

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