Events & Publications

Reading with Sujatha Menon 7 November and Prole poetry publication

I’m delighted to say that on 7 November I’ll be reading at the launch of Sujatha Menon’s collection The Glass Puddle. More details to follow.

More good news: my poem Reunion After a Long Pandemic was a runner-up in the Prole poetry competition, and has been published in the July 2021 issue. Here’s the poem:

Reunion after a Long Pandemic                                     

You know the flat on the Hills Estate

where we slept under a pink striped blanket?

Start there. The block will smell of lime tree blossom

and there’ll be no drum and bass rolling like thunder

round the blocks. You’ll find the Escorts and Beamers

have disappeared: all that’s left are metal skeletons

hunched over faint smears of oil

between the dandelions.

Keeping your hood over your hair, head for

the main road. Watch out for the ditch –

a girl could drown in its khaki sludge.

Pass the green-tin synagogue and the stables

from where the ponies used to trot out,

proud as paint, on a Saturday morning.

My street is next to the mini-mart that sold

sesame loaves perfumed with butter and honey.

I’ll make a chalk mark faint as hope on the kerb

in front of my house. Go down the steps –

careful, careful – don’t trip and break a leg –  

whistle the first line of Catch a Fire

and I’ll be there, and the dog with the honking bark,

and the ebony cat called Emily Pankhurst,

and the gas fire hissing its salmon-pink song.

You can kiss me, and I’ll kiss you back.

Our teeth will be snow. Take off your threads

and hob-nailed boots. I can summon up enough water

for a bath. Naked, you’ll know you’ve arrived.