Green Tea

A zingy October day, over-hot
green tea
and the oak still in full leaf outside the window.

A few leaves spider around
the fragile glass
tiny roots swirling through the substrata.

Sunlight razors through,
floods the cup
with brilliance, fires the spinning particles

until it looks like a chalice
of dying stars,
like I’m holding a glassful of the planet in my hands.

Published in Dust Poetry Magazine, October 2023



I was idling outside school in my car

when a gorilla knocked on the glass.

I was on a short haul flight to Edinburgh

when a gorilla knocked on the glass.

I was topping up the bath with hot water

when a gorilla knocked on the glass.

I was in Singapore eating bluefin tuna

when a gorilla knocked on the glass.

I was checking the share price of Equinor

when a gorilla knocked on the glass.

I was turning up the radiator full blast

when a gorilla knocked on the glass.

I was looking at myself in the mirror

when a gorilla knocked on the glass.


Published in Dreich, Summer 2023


Five Degrees

Take one – another atoll gone, droughts, faster rate
of ice melt. Sweltering taxis. A few mortuaries fail
to cope in The Pyrenees. Chin up, it’s not too late.

Two degrees – forget the Med. Instead, investigate
Aberystwyth for a tan. Gozo is a no-go. You can sail
across London in a skiff! Now the planet’s heart-rate

skips a beat. Three degrees is when the floodgates
open. Holland (and the coral) gone. A large-scale
exodus from Africa. Geo-engineers arrive too late.

Work hard for a degree at Oxford-by-the-Sea, wait
for a Balliol boat. Bail out – Cambridge is a folktale.
At four, methane leaks from the sea floor, the rate

accelerates. Mangrove swamps, sapodillas recreate
the tropics in Paris. Bananas on a boulevard; so shale
had an upside after all! Take the fifth – way too late

to keep the lid on oceanic gas explosions so great
Hiroshima is but a flicker. Then the final coffin nail:
supercharged fireballs banging into cities at a rate
of knots. The lid lowers by degrees. Sorry: too late.

Published in Magma Schools Issue, 2023


Global Warming

(A Lipogram)


An ill mallow in a loggia, a marginal

growl, a growing nag. Algal alarm,

a wan bog, a blown worm on a lawn,

a lamb born in a binbag. A ragbag lion

agonal, a low moan, a growing nag.

A liana growing in limbo, a worn

rainbow, abnormal rain. An albino

gorilla aglow, an animal aria, largo.

A long low moan, a wrong aroma,

a brawling oilman in moralling garb.

Malign lingo. Wonga mania, grim loam.

A glib million gambling on oil, a raging

mob now blaming granola or a long ago

Big Bang. Raw war: no win, no air.


Published in 14 Magazine, November 2022

Warning: Dangerous Tree

says the sign tacked to a barbed wire fence
as if the singular anger of a pollarded old oak
could be contained months after it passed on

as if the wrath of a mass plantation shackled
by stanchions and slipped into plastic tubes
could be excused, as if the rage of the lonely

front garden acer could be easily explained,
as if you could justify the lopped off limbs
of an ash desperate to bridge a tarmac span

or the indignity of topiary inflicted upon yew,
cropped into outsize lollipops and peacocks,
as if being labelled scrub or urban furniture

weren’t enough or the slavery of being unable
to escape the chainsaw, the pain of being
stubbed and dehorned, your crown hat-racked

and topped, pruned wounds sun-scalded,
and invaded, plagued by pests and disease,
As if a tree didn’t already hold enough rain

Winner of the Urban Tree Festival Poetry Competition 2023