First garden poem

This poem is composed from different things people said about Fenton House garden last Saturday. There will be more coming soon as lots of the garden’s visitors stopped and talked to me. It was wonderful to be able to meet and speak to so many interesting people. I’ll be back as the poet in residence for Apple Day (which is actually the weekend of October 3/4th).

Resulting angles and perspectives

The colours are bright and amazing. The roses
parfume remind me of my childhood.
Particularly the orchard which seems very magical.
Even granny

wanted to hide. The levels are brilliant.
You turn – and every place is picture.
Excellent planting and amazing echiums,
many thanks.

It is a quintessential ‘English
Garden’. Echium pininana
was so interesting and fun to look at.
We garden in Worcs.

It’s very good for hide and seek,
A lovely sense of peace, escape.
I would let the grass grow long,
and hide.


Antiphon 12 and StepAway

I am very happy to have a poem in Antiphon Issue 12, which you can read here – as well as another one here in StepAway magazine. Currently thinking a bit about sonnets, more here soon…

Tongue tie

Here’s the other poem that was commended in the Ware competition. Although I have now messed around with it a bit, because it’s impossible to type something out without messing around with it a bit.


The third time round you’d think I’d know what I
was doing. Things went wrong though and the milk
got stuck: every time I tried I’d cry.
The milk came out like glue and made me ill.
I lay in bed and shivered, watching things
go wrong; fever, bleeding, strange white lumps.
I’d pull myself awake at two each morning
to clear the block with an electric pump,
see slimy curds uncurl in plastic tubes –
poor cow gone wrong. I didn’t know if I
would make it. Once I looked across the room
over staling milk and muslins, cries,
and saw my husband watching – so far away –
my island bed, a storm that raged and raged.



I wrote this several years after the event – I never knew about tongue tie before. Here is a handy article about it.


I recently had two poems commended in the Ware Open Poetry Prize (I may have mentioned this already one or two times). Both sonnets will appear in their anthology coming out in July, but here is one of them in the mean time (and here is a poem by the judge, Roddy Lumsden).


This small box is mine, I know it well.
I know its internal dimensions, and when
and how I am allowed to leave. I smell
the air; a clever fox must check the scent
and when it’s safe she’ll go. For when she gets
it wrong, it comes at her with claws and teeth
and even then she can’t believe it, even then,
back in the box and breathing hard with fear,
she’ll think she made it up and shift the fault,
curl up around it, try to make it fit
as if it could fit. For surely this intent
– to hang her out to dry, to keep her in it
is too fantastic, no true heart this black.
And yet, and yet, she feels him at her back.