About Me

About Me

Gardener, Writer

A former English teacher and bookseller, I now work as a self-employed gardener (National Certificate in Horticulture) and write poetry, plays and essays. My writing credits can be viewed here. I have had two poetry books and two poetry pamphlets published by various publishers. I was a co-translator of Alain-Fournier:Poems (Carcanet). I commissioned and edited Four American Poets (The High Window Press) and was a co-editor at The High Window (2016-2018). My essays can be read at the Fortnightly Review. I enjoy cycling, fell-running, sea swimming, dog-walking, jazz, travel, reading, horticulture and garden design.


The Back Garden, March 2022

War is somewhere else.

Taking root over the fence, beyond the hill,

in another country so far away it doesn’t seem real.

Mind your own business. Keep your thoughts to yourself.

Keep your side of the street clean.

These are things you say yourself.

Spring is happening,

shrubs are coming into leaf,

summer jasmine juts out of its winter sheath,

chives erect, the lawn a mossy green. 

On the garden step a bee washes itself clean

oblivious to everything else,

                                            birds sing lazily.

Outside the front door the street sputters and groans,

bailiffs bang on doors with clenched fists,

paramedics make a house call,

and through the kitchen window you catch 

your neighbour’s bloodshot eye

(you think his stare could shatter glass),

while restless boys play the game 

of pretending to play a game innocently, 

about to commit their first transgression,

that long term plot to slash the tyre 

of a good citizen minding his own peace at home, 

unaware that his - ‘EXPLODE’ - tipping point 

will be judged as inappropriate, innocuous, 

the theft of a hand-made bird box,

a stone thrown at his blue porcelain cat.