Wednesday, 26 April 2017


A plastic Frida Khalo Day of the Dead skull
with a gold chain drilled into the cranium
that threads two silver keys.
The crimson grin of teeth although
the powder blue's worn through -
leaves traces around the jaw, worn
away from years of locking and unlocking
and sometimes the skull, bone once more
rests in the pocket to be reached for –now and then, 
a worry bead, a talisman.

Two can lead each other astray.
An idea can catch fire
or turn into a mirror.

And the island in the arms of the mainland
freezes in the pulse of ultramarine water.
More of a rock, really - with pebbles like eggs
and grey-green sand on the landing shore.

A zig-zag of steps,
the island rises
black rock, 

Here is the skull, 
here is the key.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Straight Ahead

For some years now I have been a lucky recipient of Red Shuttleworth’s chapbooks published by Bunchgrass Press. Each chapbook is beautifully produced and testament to Red’s hard work and generosity. Now, in book format, Red has been published by Blue Horse Press. Straight Ahead is a fine collection of poems that have a bi-focal vision as the poet wanders through the sagebrush - the immediate surrounding is blended with visions of the past and the future in a sequence that speaks straight from the heart. 

Intimate Portrait

To grow up knowing how
to hold your own death
like a library card…
and to softly place it in a cupboard.
Perhaps field mice
would get it before
it got to you. You imagined
you could learn on-the-run.

- Red Shuttleworth

Available from Amazon

Friday, 14 April 2017


Late night bar room brawls 
in your own living room:
anything you try to hold on to
leads to a big dead nothing.

Closed curtains for moon filters…

white envelopes stamped
with vicious fonts -
best opened left unopened

cool water
water from the mountains
water from the mirror

space debris
burning stars
burning trees

the black notebook
a back breaker deadweight 
of paper dreams.

And the mirror
hangs in the space 
where the wall used to be

Saturday, 8 April 2017


Stars in the brew
sun in the blood
stain glass windows
lead frames
blue veins
sunlight in the bloodstream 

the way you hold
the bones of your hands

the mirror on the wall
shines with silver

Sunday, 2 April 2017


Sleep in a sound bowl -
the night sets up
invisible compartments

voices from a village away
revolve and resolve 
within a radio’s reach

you reach out
and the sound swings

like a flame in a lantern

circling and shadowing 
the steps of the old man 

as he walks through 
the leaves of the moonlit forest


Morlock Oil

Morlock Oil
A new collection of stories available now . Click on image for details.

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery
New Chapbook Available (email for details)


Bunchgrass Press

Essential guides for the journey...