Category Archives: Poetry

What the Hull were we thinking?

Those who spent any time in my vicinity on in June will remember me obsessively trawling the city my CrackBerry taking photos of the elephant parade. Unfortunately the parade ended in the middle of my move out of Astonville Street and I only managed to snap 213 of the 258 elephants. So when I found out there were toads in Hull, I jumped at the chance to take on a new mission.

The toads are part of the Larkin 25 campaign commemorating the life and work of Philip Larkin. For those who don’t know Larkin is one of England’s greatest poets. He spent most of his working life in Hull and wrote some pretty impressive toad poems.

The Larkin Toad

I can’t say my plans to go to Hull were met with much excitement. Apparently Hull was once voted the worst place to stay in Britain. Fortunately Paul is a great fan of adventure (and of me) and was talked into the trip with relative ease.

We arrived in Hull on Saturday afternoon in the middle of what I thought was a gale but just turned out to be normal Hull wind. I suppose I was expecting the same kind of excitement that the elephants generated in London, with “collectors” bustling from site to site with maps in hand. I was sorely disappointed. Apart from one harassed woman, dragging a disinterested kid along by the arm, no one seemed to even notice the toads… in fact there was no one really out and about on the streets of Hull, except the bizarrely large emo population hiding in the park. I think everyone was in the giant Tesco.

Frankly Hull did nothing to dispel the stereotype that I’ve had hammered into my head by my largely “southern softie” friends that it’s grim up North. Putting aside the miles of concrete, the terrifying beach and general miserable state of everything, I felt largely out of place due to the fact that I was A. Not pregnant and B. Not wearing nearly enough make-up (you see I applied mine with a brush rather than a trowel).

In Hull even Ann Summers isn't sexy. Does this remind anyone of another major brand?

The beach?

There were some great things. The gardens around the city are beautiful and the submarium (fancy name for aquarium with a really deep tank) is amazing… it even has a lift going up through the main tank. But I don’t think I’d go back to Hull again and faced with having to go suburban toad hunting by Sunday bus service, I’ll admit that Paul and I agreed to that we were satisfied with the 26 out of 30 toads we snapped and mostly retired to the pub on Sunday.


Note the Tardis reflected in the visor

Toad of luuuurve!

I have heard that there are lions in Bath though, so…

A poem about Christmas

Some festive verse for all of you to enjoy:

Christmas Presence

The decorations Matilda chose
were not as festive as you’d suppose
She bypassed sparkling red and green
and picked skulls and graves left from Halloween
When her friends came around on Christmas day
not a single one knew what to say
But Matilda showed no concern,
over the years she had come to learn
that no matter who was in her latitude
she never felt anything but solitude
apart from death’s constant presence
and the icy fingers of its beautiful elegance

Truth be told she never felt more levity
than celebrating her own end’s inevitability
So after dinner, her coup de grace
was to stare her macabre future directly in the face
and bring about with alarming haste
the dream she had held since the first time she’d waked
In front of every esteemed guest,
she plunged a candy cane deep in her chest
and commemorated her last Yule fest
by going to her final, eternal rest

To Sanna on her birthday

I remember your legs in science
I watched them from across the class
I followed you all the way home one day
But you wouldn’t let me in
I hid in the bushes ‘til nightfall
And then I broke through your door
I have a confession to make, my dear
It was me who stole your shoes

Note: This will make absolutely no sense unless you were at Sanna’s birthday dinner…

Charity shop blues

If I remember correctly

And I do remember correctly

I was walking down the road daydreaming

When you tripped me

I thought you would break my fall

But I skinned my knees

And you wandered off and left me on the pavement

Like a pair of sale shoes you saw in the window and coveted and imagined with all your very favourite clothes

That didn’t fit when you brought them home

You put me out on the pavement outside Oxfam

Like you do with shoes… that don’t fit

And now I have skinned knees and you’re barefoot in winter

Ehrich Weiss

New poem… a cookie for the first person who can explain the title…

Ehrich Weiss

Your mouth is big
so much bigger than your heart
that you could swallow Big Ben

Your lies are big
so much bigger than your love
that you could be a Tory cabinet minister

Your eyes are big
so much bigger than your stomach
that you could see the bottom of the Thames from the top of The London Eye

Your silence is big
so much bigger than your respect
that you could quiet the Jubilee Line

My trust is big
So much bigger than my cynicism
that I’d believe Max Clifford

My sadness is big
so much bigger than you
that it isn’t even about you

My life is better
so much better without you
that I had to write this poem to remind myself

Para Cèsar, meu artista

Seared raw
my ink is my own
but while I lie here
I give you my bones
my blood, my heart
And you touch me
more intimately than a lover
leaving a mark that
will stay
longer than a bruise, a kiss, a fleeting embrace
I know nothing
of you past
your needle
past the grimace
of absolute concentration as you press down onto my skin
You are both my torturer and my saviour and
at this moment I am in love with you
connected to you

It is only you, me and the iron
In this little world we have created
Artist, muse and instrument
Together forever
and never

Another little poem

I tend to write poetry in sprints… so there might suddenly be a whole damned bunch of it… here is a new one…

Let the Kracken take me

I rowed my boat alone
Across a sea so vast
That I thought I might never see land again
With nothing but the fish for company
And they were good because they didn’t speak,
they just looked at me with their fishy eyes

And so I rowed
With no idea of where I was going
Across a sea so vast
That I thought I might never see land again
With nothing but the sky for company
And it was good
Because it never rained

And so I rowed
With no idea why I was rowing
Across a sea so vast
That I thought I might never see land again
With nothing but the waves for company
And they were good
Because they never crashed over the side of my boat

And then I saw land

And I was afraid because I had thought I would never see land again
And I wouldn’t know how to stop rowing anyway

But I did

And so I got out of my boat
But they threw me back with the fish and the sky and the waves

And I’m rowing again in a sea hopefully so vast
That I will never see land again

I’m a poet and I did know it but I had kind of forgotten about it

Look at that… a two blog day! I have written a little poem. I haven’t written any poetry in about two years so it’s kinda cool to revisit this particular avenue of creative writing. All comments welcome, except ones about how it doesn’t rhyme. My poems never rhyme.

Guy Fawkes revisited AKA # 1 Crushed

Today your light went out of my sky
Just like that
It wasn’t a big deal


You were just
The latest in a box of rockets

We sparked
You shot
Scattered little bits of the best of your brilliance

And for


Everything was so exciting and beautiful
And then


Not even the haze of the memory of the explosion
Just a couple of charred bits of paper lying on the ground and the smell of gunpowder

I will trade all of these Catherine wheels
For just one
Candle please