Category Archives: New Poems

St Patrick’s Day

I am very proud to be half Irish, from my mother’s side of the family. My ancestors arrived in England during the Potato Famine. The one I know most about is Patrick Lawler. He was red-haired and illiterate. I do not know whereabouts in Ireland he was from. My mother’s family were pure Irish, as the community tended to stick together, and there was little intermarriage between Catholics and Protestants, as it was really frowned on. Mum’s maiden name was Coyne, and her father was Peter Coyne, her mother’s maiden name was Lawler.

I am beginning to find myself writing more about the Irish Diaspora. I wish I knew more about Partrick Lawlor; he is something of a legend in the family. Mum told me he should have inherited a farm but he could not be found when his parents died. I was talking to someone recently in Oxford and he thought it was likely that Patrick found work building the roads.


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Unpublished poem, ‘Ghost’



Come closer.

I want to tell you something.

I am my father’s only son,

the apple of his eye.

I cannot leave his house.


Come closer.

I would like to touch your hair.

Feel the breeze of my caress.

Can you see sepulchral light

in my eye, when I try to trace

my finger across your cheekbone?


How beautiful you are!

With that alabaster skin

you could almost be a ghost

then we could be together for always.

You shiver. Alas, only a living man

could warm you in his embrace.


Don’t be afraid. I never committed

a crime, did not push my wife

from this balustrade. It was only

a promise I gave to my father.


I was brought up to keep promises.

A solemn little boy, serious husband,

doting father. They’ve all gone now,

left me here. You can see my portrait

on the stairs, though it doesn’t do me justice.


But yes, my wife was lovely.

So are you, my pretty one.

Come closer, I want to see

what you really think of me.

Will you perhaps allow one icy kiss

on the moist warm palm of your hand?

Ah, it burns like fire? Do not run away.




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Valentine’s is about LOVE not Romance

I am not much of a romantic. I believe love is to do with things other than red roses and all that commercial stuff, like having a cup of tea brought to my bedside every day, or someone giving me a hug or an unexpected bunch of flowers, a piece of chocolate shared or a thoughtful email froma friend. I have been married to the same wonderful person for 34 and a half years today. This poem is for him.

Marriage Tea

Tea is a hug in a china mug
hot and strong, without sugar
and only the merest whisper of milk.

First thing in the morning
it is the kiss for sleeping beauty
brought to the bedside as the sky warms up.

It can be dressed in finer clothes
but the everyday chipped mug,
after all these years, is enough for me.


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Prose Poem by Paul Beech, in response to my poem I Sing of Bricks.

Bricking It


Paul Beech



He had a special feeling for bricks.  He loved crumbling garden walls encrusted in moss, herringbone panels framed in oak, Ruabon Reds at sunset…

Yet haunted he was too, haunted by a dark memory from his early days on the job, when divining rods were still in use and camera surveys undrempt of.

Down a Victorian brick sewer in the City of Chester, he was searching by torchlight for an unmapped drain.  Bent almost double, helmet scraping the barrelled roof, effluent overspilling his gumboots, he waded upstream with turds and rats passing under his nose.

Then the stench hit him, the get-out-quick stench – methane!

He turned, or attempted to, but couldn’t, because his shoulders were held in the rough grip of the brick curvature on either side…

Aye, it was a special feeling for bricks he had, Jane Austen’s house at Chawton a particular delight of his sixty-fourth year.





£6.50 from Salt publishing

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Filed under New books in 2011, New Poems, poetry

How to Create a Chinese Dragon

Yesterday in Kent I met a girl who loves dragons. She wrote a cracking poem about dragons. Here is one of mine as a thank you to one of the most creative schools I have ever visited.

How to Create a Chinese Dragon

Start with the body of a serpent,
weld on the horns of a stag –
a fitting crown for an emperor.
Set in the dark jewels of rabbits eyes
and manicure the dragon’s nails
so it has the claws of a tiger.
Decorate all over with the silvery scales
of a carp, a barbel and a pike.
With firm needlework, fasten on
the leathery ears of the bull.
Breathe life into your creation
when full of wisdom and passion.
The marvellous tail twitches and shudders
as life travels down its length.
You have made a creature
who can row on land, fly on sea
and swim through air.
It is the one, the many, the immortal.

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Filed under Children's Poetry, Education, New Poems, poetry

An Athlete’s Dream: A Modern Myth

Nike: Greek Goddess of Victory

The gun said Go and then there was running;

the rush of air zooming past;

the grip of the running shoes on the track.

I forgot the others, kept on running,

could not stop, round and round the track

until I rose high in air, while below

medals were suspended around necks,

rousing music struck up.

I ran circling higher and higher

above earth, leaping into blue space.

I did not tire. My shoes wore out,

the rags of my clothes fell away from me.

My orbit is far from earth.

My name is Nike.

This poem has been nominated on the Winning Words Website, so I thought I would share it here and see what you all think of it.


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