Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I recently bought a scanner-cum-photocopier-cum-printer and have been playing with it this morning, scanning in various things that I needed on my computer. Which gives me an opportunity for a shameless plug. The above cover is from my first collection of poetry which can be ordered online from the likes of amazon.

I was fortunate enough to win an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors before I hit thirty and was too old to qualify. When I was called in for my interview, they picked one particular poem out of the bunch I'd submitted and asked 'What made you write this poem?' Too terrified to lie, I was honest. 'I needed 30 poems for the submission. I only had 29, so I sat down and banged that one out on the typewriter, put it straight into the envelope and posted them all off.'

That poem, Spin Cycle, was the only one of my early poems which made it into my first collection with Bloodaxe. I just wish 'banging them out' still worked that well ...

(for Becky

You’ve been blackberrying again.
I take your blouse
and watch it turn

through the white suds
in the drum, rinse-hold,
spinning slowly through the cycle.

I hear you up above,
bouncing on the bed
to reach the oval mirror,

see the purple stains
around your mouth and chin,
blackness under nails

and in your hair.
Soon, like your swan-necked sister,
you will not have to stretch

on tiptoe for the sink
or grip the rail
when coming down the stairs.

You say ‘When?’
I do not have the answers.
Just the slow loop

of your blouse
growing heavy with water,
as one cycle ends
and waits upon another.

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