Category Archives: Poetry

Poem in Shamrocks and Shells

As my friend, Stephen McCormick was about to set off to walk the Camino to Santiago de Compostela a send-off  was arranged. I couldn’t get to it so I wrote a poem to wish him well. I’m so pleased that he has included it in his

Reflections on the Camino del Norte

‘Compostela’ means ‘field of stars’ and it made me think of a photograph that I looked at often during a period where I was feeling low. The camera’s eye was deep under the surface of a pond, looking up along the slender column of a water plant’s stalk, to the underside of the flower;  up through the water to a new and intriguing  sky. Continue reading Poem in Shamrocks and Shells

Poem in Wales Arts Review Digithon


I was delighted to take part on Sunday 29th March in

Digithon Lit | Arcade Poets

Poetry In The Arcades is a project which puts poetry onto the walls in one of the busiest areas in Wales’s capital city – its network of Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades which are a distinctive feature of Cardiff, the ‘City of Arcades‘.

The project commissioned several poets to write poems and later launched a competition to elicit more poems on the theme. The winning poem will be put on display. Continue reading Poem in Wales Arts Review Digithon

2 Poems in The Lonely Crowd #12

I am very pleased that two of my poems will be published in issue 12 of

The Lonely Crowd

They are from a series of poems on iconoclasm, the destruction of expressions of ideology other than one’s own. Thanks to Madeleine Gray for the photograph from Llanfair, Yr Wyddgrug/Mold.

One of the poems appears in ‘Heartland’, the anthology of the PENfro Festival Competition published by Parthian Books.

Heartland: PENfro Anthology

Poem in Places of Poetry anthology

My poem ADMISSION, ON LEAVING THE PORT OF BELFAST, 1988 has been selected for inclusion in the Northern Ireland section of  the anthology Places of Poetry: Mapping the Nation in Verse.

The book will comprise 180 poems arranged in 8 sections: Wales; England divided into 5 regions; Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each region will open with one or two famous (out of copyright) poems from that area, followed by poems from the Map. Continue reading Poem in Places of Poetry anthology

Poem in Community Arts Partnership Anthology

My poem ‘The Landing Window’ has been selected for inclusion in the Community Arts Partnership’s Poetry in Motion Anthology, entitled “20:20 Vision”.

The anthologised poems are eligible for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, has stressed that, ‘The Seamus Heaney Awards, as offered by CAP, are the only awards in the world to carry his name.’ Continue reading Poem in Community Arts Partnership Anthology

Poem in #73 The Interpreter’s House

Woolworth’s Employee, Reid Street, Belfast, 1965

WOOLWORTH’S EMPLOYEE, REID STREET, BELFAST, 1965

My father — stockroom-man, Store Fifty-nine —
Knew how Christmas ought to look,
Loading emptied shelves afresh each day
With shiny things; with holly colours;
All that brought the outdoors safely in —
Electric stars, snow in a globe
And plastic icicles. He could afford
Red tape and Blanco whitening.
Voilà! A wintry window, many-paned,
Its left-hand corners blizzarded.
My father wanted us to feel secure.
Here we are, in the flash-photograph
He took through the window from outside; my teethy play-along
Bleached by the bulb-pop, my mother’s hair
Combed long for effect. His family. His idyll.
Some of it was fake. Not all.
At least he tried to make a Christmas for us.
His high-point, a Stewart’s grocery manager
But, pro-trade union and the wrong religion,
Soon purged. A Merchant Navy
Cook before that; formerly a steward, a cabin boy.
A life of feed, fetch, carry.
Coronary. Just short of fifty-nine.