Secateurs

Back in my mother’s garden,the fences were always brokenas the whole of creation clambered inwith tendrils and buried nestsand shanks of love-lies-bleeding.Star-bright stock, always night-scented,lit the crazy paving to a fern bank,where toads with golden eyesguarded my marijuana crop disaster.Ivy followed us all the way indoorswith moths that slept in lampshades.Beetles fell from our homework.Chrysalides […]

Cornography

(to poet Geraldine Clarkson) If you have to tweet photos of cow parsley, please include the crushed beer cans. On those verges embroidered with poppies, don’t forget the fly-tipped mattress. Show only streams strewn with Tesco trolleys and valleys planted with wind crucifixes. Depict the grey logistics depots along the M1. Because now I live […]

An Early Swim

She cuts down her lane like scissors through blue silk with barely a snip; her deft turn at each end is a stitch. One morning, she will rise from the ladder, the pool draped over her shoulders like a cape of kingfishers. He rolls like a barrel of vintage port cast overboard, his crawl Shakespearean […]

Inventory. Books

When the removal men come, they use cotton gloves and masks for the books. “It’s the dust,” he shakes his head, like we were in Nagasaki instead of Tooting. Penguin classics, their black spines cracked with effort, slip in beside Elmore Leonard. It’s Boll to Cocteau in the next carton and a dog-eared frottage of […]