Posts

Announcement: Beyond Words Literary Magazine, plus a word on 'Home' & homelessness.

Image
I am very proud to announce that my poem 'Home' has been published In the June 2020 Issue of Beyond Words Literary Magazine. Beyond Words is an international online journal of contemporary creative writing, photography and art. The edition is jammed full of beautiful art and photography, and deeply inspiring creative writing. Click here to purchase access to a digital copy. To order print copies click here and scroll to the bottom of the home page.
My poem 'Home' is inspired by both my experiences working with the homeless and recently moving homes. I try to explore the nuances of the meanings of the word home, which is more than a physical place (a house, flat, tent etc.) but, at the same time, is very importantly such a physical place. We can romantically say to our partner 'you're my home!' with a certain poetic truth, but it is an insufficient concept of home. We need a place in which we are home. I can't be my wife's home if we have no place to …

Day 8 or 9

Image
Confinement, A melting pot reaching boiling point. Neighbour's needs clash,  Irritations become sparks. Tiny kingdoms close in on their kings, Yet tiny kindnesses shatter walls. Cold weather confines further And our neighbours rattle inside their shells As our boy bounces off the walls Of our little world, Where the music is constant And his breathing always  Sets the tempo of our hearts And the rhythm of our sleep.



This little poem was written the 24th and 25th of March, 8 and 9 nine days into the lock-down here in France.  We're doing well, trying to keep creative as keeping our little boy entertained takes up most of our time. Things can get a little tense between neighbours in all this. We've had to encourage our nocturnal neighbours into a healthier rhythm as they kept waking Gabriel. Please be considerate and patient with each other, especially if you live in a flat. 
And while your locked in, get to know the poetry of Micheal O'Saidhail... Nothing to do with my poem but here h…

Πνεῦμα

Image
Πνεῦμα  (Pneuma)
I hear you in the near silent sleep of Gabriel The great proclaimer of good news, Resting in infancy. You whisper through his tiny nostrils Nourishing the matrix of his budding cells With so much more than bread.
I hear you in autumn’s rustling mural Fluttering flaming flakes before the blue With a cogency unseen. You whistle past our window cills Piercing through our self-made hells For which the incarnate bled.
I hear you sing beneath the sensorial The tone beneath the chord, within the myth the true, A resounding symphony That echoes between hearts and hills, That melodies in the deepest living well; The source from which all souls are fed.








This poem is inspired by the reflections of Owen Barfield, often called the ‘First and Last Inkling,’ who, in his book ‘Poetic Diction’, reflects on the evolution of language. The Greek work ‘pneuma’ can accurately be translated as ‘breath', 'wind' or 'spirit' depending on the context (It is the same with Hebrew word ‘ruach’ and…

At Sea: A Poem for Uncertain Times

Image
At Sea

We are all at sea. The horizon is fluid, It’s mountains are Ever changing. Squalls bring tomorrow into now. We intertwine our limbs Into the rigging And hope the waves Don’t tear us at the seams, As the celestial force of time Crashes over our bows And threatens our creaky hull With a premature eternity
We are all at sea. Planning our routes by Liquid landmarks. A drift in a stillness That stretches today Into starvation. We sink our teeth

For Gabriel, 22nd November 2018. (After 'Crowning' by Kevin Young)

Image
The following poem is a response to the experience of listening to this episode of the New Yorker Poetry Podcast, while Silje was 8 months pregnant. The episode features Tracy K. Smith reading a beautiful and raw poem by Kevin Young called 'Crowning', then a wonderfully enveloping poem of hers called 'Alternative Take: Levon Helm'. I love both of these poets, and both of these poems have become particularly special to me. 



Smith's poem is inspired by the voice and rhythms of Levon Helm, someone who has been a big inspiration to me since, as a young teenager in my best mates conservatory, I first watched The Last Waltz. However, it was Kevin Young's poem of a loving father and husband's experience of childbirth, that brought me to tears the morning of the 22nd of November 2018, as I walked to work.  




It was one month before Gabriel's due date. Throughout the pregnancy we had already experienced so many trials, growing so much closer through them, but we bo…

The 2nd Christmas: Infant Glossolalia

You took on flesh, True flesh and grew With the same astonishing  Life-long quickness  Of my one-year-old son.
You had a first birthday,  Finding your feet, The Word, imitating language With sighs and groans, The Word of Life, so deep within, So clear and true, In unadulterated expression Of a conviction beyond Language.



On the 28th of December my son, Gabriel, will have his first birthday. The year has been indescribable. Yet throughout all the challenges, just revelling in the privilege of being with our little boy as he grows has brought such sheer joy. At this time of year I'm obviously thinking about the incarnation. But rather than Jesus' birth, I'm thinking of him at the same stage of life as our little boy, as a one-year-old. Gabriel has been walking for a couple of months now, and often makes long convicted speeches in sounds that no one else understands, waving his hands like he's teaching some essential truth to a captive audience of thousands. This inspired the thoughts …

Announcement: Heart of Flesh Literary Journal

Image
I'm really pleased to announce that two of my poems have been published in Issue 2 of the Heart of Flesh Literary Journal.


Absolution was written while I was working for the Watford Homeless charity New Hope.   It is inspired by working with a homeless teenager with a particularly harrowing past, and explores the theme of redemption. To find more about the extremely important work of New Hope, please click here

Your Stare is inspired by my baby son, and how observing the beauty of an infant can reveal so much about humanity, communication and consciousness.
Click here for Issue 2Here to read issue 2 as a .PDFAnd here to go straight to my poems.
Heart of Flesh is a very exciting and unique new journal that seeks to publish poetry, fiction and art 'with a Christian element' though not necessarily explicitly Christian or by Christians, believing that 'God’s truth as written in the Bible can be found in both the secular and the non-secular, in nearly every work of literature…