My Poetry Book – An Excerpt

An excerpt from my new poetry book “We Ran Until the Grass Grew Ragged”

Here are some poems from my new book “We ran until the grass grew ragged.” Available here.


Every act of beauty is life giving.
A counter to all that is dark.
It pulls back the curtain saying
This is not the only room.
There is a garden too.
Clothed in green shoots and tender leaves.
Water it.

In Birdsong Bright

When God said in that birdsong bright
dawn light voice of His,
that He wanted all of me,
just and only me,
not airbrushed, fragments, of diamond without coal
or seed without soil.
Not me in daubs of white or veiled
or clothed in sober attire
and reverence.
But I in funny, yellow daffodil
clumsy and anxious,
afraid of friendship
and impatient with dirty floors.
Silly, strange and desperate
to be loved and known.
Practically disastrous, burdensome
lazy, wine drinking, preferring to dream,
than work.
Who find my soul in poems,
my prayers in streams
and many Gods in prayer flags
and leaves and trees,
who prays to saints like friends,
who believes the world turns on a turtle
as much as in the Resurrection.
Who weeps with dancing bears
and the glazed eye of the trembling deer
before the steady gun.
I, who feels a stranger in the world,
who trawls words like shipwreck, stranded and exile
through the silt of her soul.
I, who can’t seem to keep straight or narrow, or true,
making promises and breaking vows,
whose foundation is a shifting sand.
I who still feels His hand
rush over my head with gentle benediction
when alone
and hopeless
and wrong.

Your Hands

Between your hands there are deserts and well springs
And the one who dreams such places into being.
All water flows from these cupped palms and
When faced with their reflections within it, the stars tremble.
All beings are washed down to their truth there.
Naked elements passing through bare fingers,
The first wing beating breath to the last strum,
Splintering surface tension into a thousand different melodies,
But here is the real secret,
Without your hands none of this would exist.

From the Mountaintop to the Favela

Hope hollers, yellow from a Favela matchbox
dispossessed with the raw tinder, of desiccated
dreams, here the smallest spark can ignite the dampest surface
But no flame can take hold without oxygen,
so mute darkness returns with solemnity of ritual.
Strands of trees stand like accusations
emaciated ruins of forest and the Yanomami chant
peddled by tour operators that sear clean
the surfaces of ever narrowing streets
where every road only ever leads to a dead end.
Winding round corrugated panels,
Wriggling like a nonchalant girl
out of the arms of a pushy boy,
tapering like thread veins around genuflecting buildings
that have long fallen prostrate in sackcloth and ashes.
Above them Christ the redeemer stands
platinum and aloof as a diamond
against the noonday
heat that wilts the strength of men
into sinews of flailing grass.
Immutable as the steely
lattice work of banks
and hotels that rise
to meet him like good, clean parishioners
with fat envelopes for the offertory basket.
He gazes serene, arms unburdened
by the weight of gravity upon flesh and bone.
His embrace is held aloft by the scaffolding of stone
that can only unmoving, embrace all without bias
and will find offense neither in excess or poverty.
Great slab of mottled land, pockmarked with
open pores that absorb a thousand
unnamed footsteps a minute,
spreading out like the solidified
lava of a sleeping volcano .
Is he really that distant and detached from your grieving?
Mast of the bay, flag of the conquistador?
Patient and sympathetic as charity peddlers
who employ Favela girls to wash their clothes
so they can do the important work.
This thin skinned shin
of earth shimmers like a pulsing beat.
Heat breaks the wings
of young birds and disturbs
the child’s sleep.
Shards of light
cauterize septic
open sewer hemmed streets.
Transfiguring a grimy crust that chrysalises
a thousand waiting dreams,
I find Jesus in Favela
washing the feet of the mountain.

{This volume of poetry is inspired by the stark unsentimental beauty of nature, folklore, motherhood, memories, dreams and society. There are explorations into how mythology influences the collective consciousness and merges with real life in the liminal, transitional spaces between realms. The paradoxes, nuances and shades of grey in life are explored throughout, inspired by the marginalised voices that speak and sing at the periphery and frayed edges of life.}

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