Kansas City

Sidewalks too new to crack

force me to novel superstition,

bad luck escaped through careful steps

over the spent shells

of summer cicadas.


Originally published by Notes Cambridge.

Kansas City

old growth

humanity’s death started as a fashion.

bodies stained dollar bill green,

and cells verdant with foreign genes

growing into us, as ivy grows

into old brick.


escape from city life

with the clean air seeping from your pores.

greenhouse gases – now your slaves, and your sugars.

better to farm yourself than to rape the earth.

saving the world – a side-effect of free food,

and guilt-free minds.


but those seeds took root too deep.

forests grew from our flesh, swollen and rough.

when it rips, count rings –

new skin for each year passed.


hands that once held chainsaws and coffee cups,

now splintered.

a cascade of skeleton branches, and leaves

quivering with sunrise

that bleed when broken.


This placed in the finals of the Parallel Universe Poetry Competition.

old growth

Memories of sunlight at St Mary’s School

Everyday, parts of me die

in the most predictable manner.

By the time I finish this sentence, another thousand gone;

skin cells

quietly ruptured.


Death becomes mundane when so regimented,

so unselfish.

There is no drama in keeping to schedule,

none in the greater good,

when all you leave is dust


only when passing through sunbeams.


This was originally published by The Swan.

Memories of sunlight at St Mary’s School

Closed Curtains

Three days now

spent stale in the refuge

of my bed,

tucked between cupboard

and potted fern,

bought in a hopeful moment

of self-care and



I think I peaked

at seventeen.

Why else

would a sixth form savant

be eight hundred pages deep

in Stephen King,

to escape the four due next week.


Three days of morning.

A quilt cocoon, and the same


poured for breakfast


and dinner

a fair exchange

for any moments stolen

from knowing that I

am not good enough.


Originally published by Forward Poetry: Mind Matters 2 anthology.

Closed Curtains

Green frogs

How surprising we are,

drifting through half-formed days

that I remember through gauze;

a light and vague perception

of hours blurred to warmth.


Memories of green frogs,

with whom I share your chest,

leaping thread to thread on your favourite jumper.


We race through nights

that brand me as your own,

pidgin Mandarin spilling into me

with your tongue, and your seed.


We build covenants, promise time

and shared space;

words to make my heart leap to future days,

like green frogs on thread.


This placed in the finals of the Avril Gilchrist Bruten Award. 

Green frogs