Slow your bones, my love,

And drift off away

Back to those fields we sat,

Content, on a summer day.

Imagine the slight smile

Which moved with certainty

across the shapes of your face

As you realised everything

You were searching for

Was here, 

in its right place.


I’m trying ever so hard

to exist today.

Feeling all see-through;

Thinking foggy, thinking greys.

Overcast by the thoughts 

which have settled behind my eyes

 and the headful of wool 

soaks up words from my mind.

Because I want to say I love you;

And I want to say I care,

but when the darkness falls

it’s hard to see you there.

And I know that you are there,

I can feel your sad eyes,

yet I’m sat here mouthless,

drowning as you sigh.

Please don’t leave me

Alone in my head

Because I’m screaming for help

With every word unsaid.


Slow your bones, my love,

And drift off away

Back to those fields we sat,

Content, on a summer day.

Imagine the slight smile

Which moved with certainty

across the shapes of your face

As you realised everything

You were searching for

Was here, 

in its right place.


The train seats are eighties brown etched with egg-yolk yellow. It’s rude to rest your feet on them, but  the carriage is empty so you do it anyway. Only one earphone works, the sun is burning your left side and, christ, there’s nowhere to throw your empty drink can.

A blur of trees. Trainlines always seem to look into the worst gardens the country has to offer. Plastic slides bask pale in the summer heat whilst branches sway like arms in a crowd. We move, with purpose, until the greenery dirties with concrete greys. 

The carriage fills, someone gives you a look and you move your legs. How rude. This is society and we all need to work together to keep everything from changing. Embrace the stasis. Embrace the eticate and expectation please, then we’ll get all get along just fine. The same person gets off the train at the next stop. A waste of a seat. Your legs return to rest upon the seat. How wonderful is it to rebel in the littlest of ways. I see you smiling.

Conversations are happening around you. All you need to do is stop thinking and listen. Suddenly, you are a part of someone’s dialogue: “Sharon never listens. She keeps going back to him.” Poor Sharon, people are talking about you and do not think you listen to them. Sharon, they are assuming that you disobeying them is you not listening. You strangely begin to defend Sharon, the absent party. Your thoughts move to a position of empathy. Sharon does understand and listen, but she still has a choice, regardless of what those around her think.

“Her choices are illogical.” The other person in the conversation says. How unfair. Choices are rarely ever illogical. There is always a logic to a decision. This, however, does not mean that every decision is a good decision. Sharon may be coerced into staying with whoever it is they are referring to. She may just love him more than he hurts or disappoints or annoys her. Or children. There could be a multitude of complex systems influencing Sharon and her decisions. Sharon weighs up her finances, hears what everyone has to say about her life, imagines her future, considers what change would look like then she decides on who she wants to be and who she wants to be with. Then she decides. It turns out Sharon decided to be with him and be that person that people talk about. She decided to be everyone else’s business when deciding her own. Don’t listen to them, Sharon, even though you probably did.


Life, is it over yet? 20 minutes into coffee and she looking at me like she’s wants to fuck or fight. I can’t tell which. I haven’t been able to in a while. And this might be why she hates me. One of many reasons, I suppose.

My book is closed and laid out in front of me on the table. I glance down at it every few minutes to check it’s still there. I would have hoped to had finished it during this lunch break if she hadn’t spotted me. Four hundred and twenty three pages down and I’m itching to read more. I hate finishing on an odd page number. I sat in the corner with my large latte trying to avoid the company of another person.

So here she is. Her hair scrunched up into a dirty blonde fist, mouth pinched and eyes cold grey. Should I just leave? I mean that’s what I usually do, right? Withdraw in cowardice. 

“I don’t hate you, James.” Oh, well that’s a relief. 

“You don’t?” I look down. The book is still there. Thank god. 

“No, but I still don’t think we should be together.” She gives me a half-smile. She’s relieved to no longer be a part of my life anymore. “I mean, you don’t seem to know what I want anymore.”

I nod in agreement. It disguises another glance at my book. 

“Or listen.” Her words were familiar. As though I have heard them before.  

I twist my mouth and nod in a way that makes it look like I’m listening.

“You never gave me the time.” She looks exhausted with me. Am I really this draining? I’m not perfect, but I’m no 9-5 shift either. 

“It’s 1.23pm.” I say. 

“That’s not what I meant.” Another sigh. I mean, of course I’m not making this easy, but Christ, just get it over with. This is clearly hard work for you. “So what do you think?” 

“I suppose it’s probably for the best.” Break ups make me talk in cliches. “Maybe you deserve someone better than me.”

“Maybe.” She stands up, straightens her skirt and leaves. Actually, just before leaving she did ask if my book was worth the read as she was looking something “new to get her teeth into”. I lied and said no.

And she is gone. I sit alone shaking my head to myself. Coffee must be ice-cold by now. Waste of money. A waitress appears at the table and I order another. 25 minutes of my lunch break left. The book opens and suddenly I’m over it. Completely over it. It was only a  £2.50 latte. Over it. 


And this is how you fuck up

And lose the ones you love

Because you let her down

And didn’t give her enough

Of the respect she deserves 

And the time she deserves;

Just moving, lazily and undecided,

Like it’s your right to be hers.

But it’s too late

To make a stand,

You’ve lost something special

Like you’re catching sand.

And even this poem

Is focused on yourself;

Grow the fuck up and change,

Become someone else.

The man she deserves,

Give the respect she deserves

And then you’ll have the right

To call yourself hers.

The Great British Dream

So you were wrong

about the skies getting clearer

because the people above you

built ceilings to your ideas.

But they don’t disappear,

they become memories;

The ever-present shadow

of who you were meant to be.

You try to move on

and you try to change,

yet every minute that passes

just feels the same

because you were wrong,

this world is not for you;

It’s designed for the suits

who want to sell to you.

So you forget

about times you smiled,

the times you fell in love,

and laughed out wild.

There’s a height to happiness,

reserved for a select few,

and our ladders are too short

to enjoy the same view.


Outside there is a tent

where mummy makes us sleep;

“Let’s go camping, kids!”

dragging out our bed sheets.

We are noisy little boys

and mummy can’t stand

when we fight and we shout

in front of the new man.

So we camp in our tent

made from bed sheets and pillows;

No matter the weather,

we camp in rain, wind or snow.

It’s naughty to tell friends

about the tent and where we keep it;

Teachers can never know

About mine and mummy’s little secret.

The hole

So where are we now?

It’s hard to see

if there’s anything left

here waiting for me.

Trying to look past

my next warm beer

at what needs to be done

to make a change this year.

Eat healthy, stay fit,

quit everything that kills;

Move on, get a job,

develop management skills.

And today doesn’t end

until she texts me back;

It doesn’t end, it won’t end,

until I’ve smoothed out the cracks

Which have formed in my mind

and stopped it working;

Forced numbness all the time 

which stops me hurting.

So where am I now?

Left outside your home;

Sad shapes against the sky,

Standing within myself, alone.


A cheeky wink and a smile

Four pints for a score;

The beer’s always flat 

When it’s rammed to the door.

Pushed up, pints up

pressed into my chest,

craning my neck out

to a view that’s best.

Watching the game

with roast peanut fingers

next to the toilets

where piss-air lingers

At the back of my throat

because I open my mouth

so I don’t nose-breathe 

until I scream and cheer out

Because my team has scored –

no wait, it’s been disallowed –

Fuck off, I say, 

to the chorus of the crowd.

A fight breaks out

between a pisshead and his dog

so we all have to leave 

and wade out through the fog.

I return to the flat,

stacked cans and a twenty deck,

and think about all the goals

which haven’t been scored yet.

It’s another day, another loss

and it’s hard to see

if there’s any way out,

any way to break free.


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