Former newspaper sub-editor, now the news editor for Write Out Loud. Poems published recently in Lunar Poetry, Pennine Platform, Monkey Kettle, Orbis, Turbulence, South Bank Poetry, and the Morning Star. Read poems about trains at Cheltenham poetry festival and Sowerby Bridge arts festival in 2013, and as one of the Steam Poets at Worcestershire literature festival in 2014. Debut pamphlet collection, Trainspotters, to be published by Indigo Dreams in February 2015 – many of the poems it contains were first roadtested on this site. Other CV details: 1) Watched the second half of England’s 2010 World Cup drubbing against Germany in the back room of a pub in Ludlow with England’s poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. 2) Backing vocals on Chuck Berry’s 1972 no 1 hit, My Ding-A-Ling.
Railway poems at The Screech Owl 2 launch at the Poetry Cafe
Granite walls, deep gullies, pinnacles:
the British fleet, lost in late October storms,
headed home from the siege of Toulon.
seached for the entrance to the Channel,
took soundings, hoped they were safe,
kept wrong, battered course towards the Scillies.
Jewel anemones, corals, pink sea fans;
legend of a sailor hanged
for warning that they faced disaster.
Compasses that rusted, clocks could not keep time.
The Association, flagship of Sir Cloudesley Shovell,
smashed into the Gilstone Ledges.
Starfish, sea urchins, forests of kelp;
rending, ripping, splintering of timbers.
Eagle, Romney and Firebrand followed.
Two thousands men drowned,
crusted cannon wedged in rocks in shallows;
the Association’s hoard of silver treasure.
Sir Cloudesley’s body appeared seven miles away;
maybe two women hacked off his fingers.
Longtitude rectified, yet still they come;
one ship lodged on top of another,
propeller shaft, boilers, pistons, connecting rods,
wreckage of centuries in the Gulf Stream’s clear water.