In David Bowie’s song Five Years, he sings ‘It was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor’. I think I understand what he means here. I’m sure we’ve all had moments where it’s been raining and we picture ourselves as the hero of some great romance or drama.

Later, when we’ve been in the rain for a bit, we realise that actually we’re just wet and cold and pathetic.


Standing in the rain
Windswept turns to pitiful
As the rose tint fades

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These plants and I disagree about what exactly constitutes ‘good weather’



Humans do a lot of things that, at first glance, seem entirely normal but, if you think about them too much, begin to seem incredibly strange. I think it’s really weird that to express love, sympathy, pride, and other emotions, we give each other flowers. I think it’s a beautiful thing and I often give people flowers, and would be more than happy to receive them myself, but it is odd.


Remembrance or gratitude
Given with a card embossed with a platitude
Love or seduction
Why did we choose such a terrible tool?

These flowers represent my love
They look good enough
But some imminent day
They’ll wither away and you’ll discard them
You cow
Destroying the vegetation of my enamoured flirtation

I’m so very grateful
I bought you a handful of death
It’s like buying a pet for someone who did you a favour
Yes, thanks for your labour, now care for these plants
They are your responsibility now

How best to remember our dearly deceased?
He at least deserves hushed and regular mention
But more, more than that
On his grave I laid
A mass of dead matter
To biodegrade
And remind us
As above
So below
Do you know, I think that’s a marvellous idea!

But why stop there?
Lay a cut of old meat
Let us watch how it rots on the ground
For my lover, a pail of severed squirrel tails
They’re so soft and sweet
Here, have these feet!
I cut them from a rat I found under a rock
Then arranged them to form a floral display

I’m not saying that flowers are bad
I’m not saying that laying them’s bleak
But just take a moment to look at our race
The importance we tie to a thing or a place
Or a plant
Why a plant for those who’ve endeared?
I’m not saying it’s wrong

I’m just saying it’s weird

Photo Flowers.jpg

You have no idea of the horror that awaits you little buds




So, I was thinking about how to explain this poem and, to be honest, I don’t really think explaining is going to help all that much. But I’ll try. I wrote this very short poem a few years ago when I was listening to Steven Wilson’s then-new album The Raven That Refused To Sing.

The title track (which you can listen to here (and I highly recommend you do)), is a stunningly beautiful exploration of death and grief (I’m selling it really well). I wondered if there was a way to channel all of that profundity and beauty into a poem about something really ordinary, like a glass of milk.

I failed.


When milk is skimmed, the fat is trimmed
When semi-done, it’s much more fun
But when it’s whole, it heals my soul

Photo Milk.jpg

I honestly don’t even like whole milk…

200th Post: The Men Who Smell To Earth

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So often in science fiction films, books, songs or whatever, the presence of alien life is announced with either a sound or, most commonly, something visual such as a light, an explosion, or the aliens themselves. However they declare their presence, it’s usually an appeal to either our sense of sight or our sense of hearing.

But what if, and please go with me on this, alien life was revealed, not by a noise or a vision, but by a smell?

The Men Who Smell To Earth

The evidence arrived
Before the news of what it evidenced
Took residence in any nation’s TV stations
It came with confusion

Not a sound, not a light
But frightful all the same
More so, in fact
A smell
No, far worse, a nasal Hell
That filled the air

But more than that, it got inside
Behind the eyes
Right through the sinuses
They couldn’t see
They couldn’t hear
And with that came the fear

Way out on Mars
A rover drove over a stone
Which rattled and revealed a hidden hollow
Turning round
It swept the stone from the ground
Uncovering a cavern
Out stepped three mangy Martian men
A dirty throng
And brought with them the pong

So potent, even emptiness
The void of space
Could not erase the taste
That burning tickle in the throat

The world looked to its leaders
To tell them what reeked to high Heaven
A chemical weapon?
A zombie apocalypse?
Toppling governments threw up their hands
Until they heard the reason for the scare
And with it came despair

Humanity waited so long for this moment
Our coming of age
We at last take our place
In the union of space

But this wasn’t what we planned
For the ascension of man
Now we know we’re not alone
But is it worth
The men who smell to Earth?

Photo The Men Who Smell To Earth.jpg

A gift from Earth’s ambassadors



This is a poem about the procrastinational convenience of tomorrow.


Tomorrow is just a word
Designed to give us one last way
One more wedge of grace
A way to delay
To say, yes I will
Just not today

Photo Tomorrow.jpg

I’m going to regret this… tomorrow

The Animal Games

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It’s Olympics time! I’m not really a big fan of watching (or participating in) sport, but even I enjoy the Olympics coverage. A chance to see events like diving and gymnastics that aren’t  always on the telly is really exciting!

This isn’t a particularly original poem, as the idea of animals doing Olympics has been done many times before. But hey, I want to do it too. I’m not entirely sure where this animal Olympics is set as I’m terrible at geography but, judging by the fact that Penguins are the host and going by the kinds of animals in attendance, I’m guessing either the North Pole or the South Pole. Someone help me out.

This is one of my earlier poems, which is an excuse I won’t be able to use for much longer as I exhaust my backlog of poetry and can only post new ones. Also, my sincerest apologies for the picture on this one which appears to feature a demonic penguin, a slug/seal hybrid, and an owl getting shot in the head (a narwhal).

The Animal Games

Black and white penguins
Emperor, Gentoo
The very best penguin Olympics I’ve been to
The salmon were sliming
With excellent timing
If you’ve not yet grinned, you’ll begin to

Silvery seals
Dragged from the ocean
Saddled by penguins, they cause a commotion
Then ride round a peg
Playing catch with an egg
Considered the quirkiest notion

Warbling walruses
Skewering eskimos
Flee from the water where killer whale Billy blows
Blustering birds
All gathered in herds
Think it the greatest of shows

The cold sun shines down
On the wondrous event
Each gang in the tourny, their banners present
Each animal group
Every team, every troupe
Then back to their burrows they’re sent

Photo The Animal Olympics.jpg

This bee is busy practicing for the bugnastics

The Kraken Wakes

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I can’t quite remember where the idea for this one came from. Not my most inspired perhaps, but I found the concept amusing so there we go.

The Kraken Wakes

Three young men on an ocean rover
Opening a chest and taking something from inside
Lift the set of speakers out and lob them overboard
They undertook a mission no one else has ever tried

The speakers blare a sound that I have no words to describe
The men are on their feet, with a look of trepidation
A ripple in the water indicates something approaching
A harbinger of evil, a lord of devastation

The men are armed with nets and knives and even a machete
The water now is bubbling, there is something there below
The boat begins to rock and something pushes from beneath
They’re here to fight the Kraken but they’re caught up in its flow

The beast flies from the water and leaps up on to the boat
The men look disappointed with their wriggly little foe
Why is it so tiny? All the legends say it’s huge!
Well, people were a fair bit smaller in those days you know


When will our gigantification, and subsequent dwarfing of all other living beings, end?