My contributions to world peace

I don’t
give paper cuts to work colleagues who can’t spell
own a yapping maltese or a midnight fighting cat
drink more than three tequilas on any given party night

(although sometimes I forget)

read my friends’ books in the bath
mess cookie crumbs on our bed anymore
visit no-cellphone-reception areas

(without letting my mom know in advance)

Published in Carapace 83, Dec 2010

Bless the boys

for fighting their guitars – electric, skiffle, homemade

for making music that scratches at your soul

for wearing their silly hats

for staying teenage boys under all their grown-up cool

for passion for rock ’n fucking roll

for big hair and nerdy shoes

for the fleeting and for those who stuck around

for long wine-drenched nights laughing over loud music

for fuck it let’s do it

for shimmying over public walls and skinny dipping at two am

for the eyes closed and secret moonlit smiles

for hands fumbling with intent

for dehydrated cars vomiting their heat on the way to a movie

for every single mix tape

for eyes that gaze too earnest for comfort

for hands on my hips just tender enough

for keeping me up till those devil birds start singing

Published in Carapace 85, June 2011


It is not absolution – it is not
some kind-hearted tsunami
wiping the slate clean.

Just so we’re clear.

It is perhaps a thick pane
of glass that dulls
the backward view.

It is possibly the toy hammer
tediously whittling away at a
scarred monument.

It is quite probably nothing more
than the tiniest potted seed.

Second prize in the Folio Books Poetry Competition 2010
Judged by Finuala Dowling and Beverly Rycroft

my first swim of the summer

two buttered slices of white
toasted red on either side
lazy words nestled between soft kisses

then, inching through the ice, my limbs
too shocked at first to refuse
my first swim of the summer
past over against onto through
flat purple tentacles
decoding the braille below my frozen knees
and cantankerous boulders
crouching under the surface
pouncing through the waves
scraping knees and toes for fun

a blanket of water hurrying us from
our triumphant rocky perch back to
paragraph one

Published in Carapace 83, Dec 2010