Book cover announcement

Pleased to share with you all the new book cover for my latest poetry collection

‘A mouthful of space dust’

The book is due for release in the next couple of months and I’m really excited to share this with you all. Some of the poems on the site will be in the book plus some new work never seen out in public!

Details of pre orders, giveaways and promotions will follow soon.


Mr Humbolt

Let me explain, we were not bad pupils, or bad people. We were troubled of course but those troubles were only exacerbated by our experiences with Aubrey Humbolt. We were just the tributaries to a deeper channel of ire.

Mr Humbolt taught us what it was like for a forty-year-old man to have a nervous breakdown, the catalyst to which we honestly played no significant part. He commenced with a novel approach to the lesson, firstly by brushing his moustache between trembling fingers for twenty minutes, softly humming ‘Eye of the tiger’ and ignoring us completely. He then jumped up and booted Kyle Longfellow from his chair, threatening to beat him to death with a tuna sandwich amongst other things. With spittle foaming at the corners of his mouth, he proceeded to entertain the class with a demonstration of his gymnastic abilities. He cried briefly, before launching into an exuberant freeform rap. I only recall the line ‘You can’t be a geographer from the wheel of your car, you can’t be a geographer if you don’t know where you are’. He thumped himself on the chest twice, performed a couple of star jumps as a warmup, then leaped headfirst out of the second-floor window screaming ‘I am an isthmus’.

In the following weeks pupils detoured round the landing spot. I remembered during my exam that an isthmus was a narrow strip of land, with sea either side that joins with another land mass. It was the only question I could answer. Sometimes I dream I am walking on an isthmus, life’s pressures either side and worry how precarious happiness is. I think of Mr Humbolt, successful in teaching at least one element of geography, literally putting our school on the map.


The 2nd Parakeet

I had a beautiful parakeet,

One decisive day, those proud feathers failed to shine,

A morbid discovery, in sawdust

At the bottom of the aviary

Mother in her wisdom,

Predicting an upset,

rushed out for a replacement

picked a perfect imposter,

plumes in symmetry,

inquisitive shining eyes

Yet despite her efforts,  

securing the doppelganger,

I knew it could not be the same

And that is why,

I had to kill that one as well

From the forthcoming collection ‘A mouthful of space dust’ due for release in June/ July 2023


New poetry book announcement

I am delighted to be able to announce that my new book of poetry, ‘A mouthful of space dust’ is schedule for release in June/ July 2023. An irreverent, uplifting and occasionally wicked book of rhyming poems that will crackle off the tongue. Details to follow on where to purchase, pre-orders and cover. Really looking forward to sharing this new book with you all. Stay tuned for more details


Analogue IV

Analogue IV

Just a second I’d said to my darling,
Take as much as you wish she replied,
But I wait for no man, she adds with a grin,
As her hands swish from side to side

She wants more from our time together,
Seems to her that I take and don’t give,
Her grandfather said the same thing to her
And it’s not a good way to live

I explained that the tocks weren’t a problem,
And it wasn’t her fault to be fair,
But she was driving me to distraction,
With her ticks that I just couldn’t bear

At least I’m not two faced like you she replied,
So I paused and I counted to ten,
Silence between us, the cogs start to turn,
Seems I’m winding her up again

My issue she gently concluded,
Was my head had been turned around,
By those digital chicks, who don’t suffer from ticks
Power mad without making a sound

She tried not to be too alarmist,
but the beeps that they make really grated,
And their plastic and buttons and wires made her ill
I said true, but at least they aren’t dated

But they make you so late in the morning she says
It’s a fact that I cannot refuse,
You can trust me to get you up right on time,
I won’t give you the option to snooze

You’re behind the times dear I protested,
Second hand goods if you will,
And as for your roman numerals,
Well – I’ve pretty much had my fill

Well, if that’s how you feel then we’re finished,
She chimes in, and we went our own ways,
Now I’ve lost all conception of minutes or hours
I do well to remember the days

I while away moments in silence
My alarm clock provides no rapport,
She just flashes at me from the corner
And I wish things were just as before

Take heed of my error of judgement
And that life passes by for all men
She won’t give me the time of day anymore
And I doubt I will see her again


Heist the Buller

It was a matter of fact, not opinion, that this was not going at all well. They were now half an hour into the job and still no closer to the prize. Starmy wiped drips from his brow, chucking down the industrial saw in anger.

“It’s no good, he huffed. This outer layer looks like a house of straw but it’s tougher than Kevlar. It will be a miracle if we break through this”

“I told you we should have brought Lambo with us on this one, his accomplice said. He’s the muscle in this outfit”

“Shut it, I’m in charge here, Nando” he fired back, digging in his pocket for a dribble free hankie. Finding none he rubbed his blue jacket sleeve around his face, lamenting that it had all come down to this. He stood up slowly, arching his aching back “Where’s Ed? We need him”.

“He said he would wait in the car; you know how he’s always one for a quick getaway. Nando paused, her tone changing slightly. You know sometimes I think you like him better than me. She pouted a little, hands on hips. She could feel the outline of the Dictaphone in her blazer pocket. I’m always here to listen” she added. She felt they trusted each other, it was just, insurance.

He chose not to respond. Starmy’s plan was crumbling round his ears. I don’t have time for this he thought. Time to be a strong leader now. He rubbed his hands together then placed them firmly on Nando’s shoulders, staring her straight in the eye.

“This is not a robbery its’s national service he declared. I need to see where your loyalties lie”

Nando looked confused at the concept. Frustrated, Starmy let go of her. Anger boiling over he could only hiss through gritted teeth.

“Tell Ed not to trip as he goes down the steps”. Nando moved towards the moonlit window so she could text the getaway driver on her burner phone.

What a useless crew Starmy thought. Although he admitted it was a good idea having the burner phones. He was just a bit surprised that they had all got one spare before he’d even mentioned the plan. That was a bit weird.

He wished he’d brought more tools with him.  He had always played by the book, tried to do the right thing till now. Patience had worn to a threaded hole in his ambitions. When would he get to wear the number 10 shirt?

He hated to admit defeat, but it was time to move to plan B. Or to be more accurate, plan D. The last thing they could try. Time to dance with the devil. Time to call in Dom. The loot whisperer.

Starmy was about to place the call when, out of the shadows a scrawny paw laid itself on his cold shoulders.

“No need to call Dom simpered, I’m always around”

Starmy tried not to let Dom feel him shudder under the clammy grasp.

“I’ll find a chink in this armour he offered with a sickly grin. I’m an expert remember”

He laid his rucksack on the ground, rummaging in the contents. Starmy and Nando exchanged a glance as they witnessed a brief reveal of Dom’s knackered boxers as he bent over the bag. As if feeling the gaze, Dom attempted again to tuck the back of his shirt in and failed. He withdrew a small bottle with a cork stopper from the bag. Deftly removing the cork, he wafted its contents under the subject’s nose.  The subject snorted a little but otherwise remained calm.

“Just a little lubrication Dom explained, loosen him up a bit”

Starmy got a brief whiff of the tincture in the stuffy room. It smelled like old money, and pig blood. The feelings of helplessness, like in the old place came over him in waves. He had to press home how important this was. How it mattered.

“We’ve got to get this right Starmy proffered, everything we need to know is in there, all the… secrets

Dom nodded sagely and waved him away as he leant close into the ear of the subject. He turned for a second.

“You can’t break in here with those crude tools he said pointing at the vast array of power tools scattered on the plush carpet. This will take stealth”. He gently stroked the flabby chops  of the subject and smiled again as if reminiscing. “That’s right my pretty he said. They’ll not get through this rhino hide like that”

The eye of the subject flickered briefly. There was a semblance of recognition, half a memory. A borrowed pair of glasses, a postcard from a family trip to a castle.

He leant in once more. The subject’s mumblings grew louder as Dom whispered softly in his ear.

Starmy heard almost incoherent words from the subject. ‘Hands, face, buller buller buller’ it seemed to garble. Reaching a crescendo, Starmy quickly closed the gap in the door. The noise had reached such a pitch he was worried they might disturb the Moggy, peacefully perched in its basement dungeon.

The garbling stopped abruptly. A scraping noise like a long-forgotten hinge cracked open the thatched lid of the Prime Minister’s head. Out rolled a pig skin purse, gilded with dusty swan feathers.

‘Remember you owe me now’ Dom uttered and melted waxy into the shadows of the cabinet office.

With a trembling hand Starmy picked up the bag as the hinged skull shut its door once more.

Stitched in italic gold on the side of the bag were the words ‘The Truth’

Starmy stuffed the bag into his inside jacket pocket. Nando collected their belongings and together they rushed out to the waiting saloon. Ed attempted to rev the engine, forgetting it was an electric. He pushed the pedal to the floor and sped off inaudibly into the London night.

The Prime minister, snorted in his sleep, oblivious to the raid. Only the darkness was now left to witness the midnight blathering, spewing nonsense in its slumber, all its secrets spilled. Inside the skull, the memories, the mistakes, squirming like a forced apology, spilling their way out of the open mouth.

“Hands, face, buller buller buller”.

First published by Punk Noir magazine as part of the ‘Heist’ prompt.


A cold day in Hell

From the diary of Phelan Tweed, Manager of People and Persecutions, Hell Inc

I didn’t think this would ever happen at Hell Inc. The fiery furnace is on the blink and with temperatures plummeting like the souls of devious scam callers through our gates the situation has become more and more alarming. We often talk about the day Hell freezes over. We may just have arrived at that unfortunate juncture.

Brian Bentham, the local representative for the UDP (Union of dead people) paid me a visit despite my email informing him that the engineers had been called. Here was a man with the face of a fairly disgruntled tortoise who had somehow found himself front and centre of an issue that neither of us felt would ever occur. His green roll neck sweater was not helping the situation either. Normally I am only honoured with a personal visit from our union friends in emergencies. One could typically anticipate a long-winded email, peppered with micro aggressions and blind copied into the world and his wife for good measure. Such is the way that the UDP conduct their business. Brian was highly vexed at the cost of no longer living crisis and how it affected his membership, not to mention it was getting rather chilly down here.

‘My members are not happy’ he railed, slamming his fist on the desk and disturbing my overfilled latte. They are not satisfied at all, and my members would like to know what you, being the representative of people in this business are going to do about it’

I found his lack of respect for my coffee break irritating but nonetheless in the interest of partnership working I allowed this indiscretion. The veins in his temples were pulsing and I began to speculate that the rupture of one of these vessels was likely the very cause of him arriving in Hell in the first place.

‘Take this one member of mine, he continued, waggling his podgy digit in my face. This member of mine can’t even afford to keep warm in his hovel of an evening, let alone feed his family. My member is shivering in his shack Mr Tweed.

‘Please would you refrain from describing your union colleagues as ‘Members’ I insisted. It conjures up a highly uncomfortable image in my head’. I think it was the unfortunate combination of the roll neck and his wrinkly bald head.

‘Be that as it may, what action are you going to take?’

By this point I am afraid I was beginning to lose my interest in the conversation and played the card that only a business as unique as ours can. ‘I’m sure they will survive Mr Bentham’ I said failing to hide a smirk. After all, we are here forever. ‘Perhaps we could offer some wellbeing support, how about a free yoga lesson?’ This didn’t go down well. His wrinkly face had turned bright red, he looked like he might actually explode. Although it did give him a rather festive look.

‘I am filing a grievance he yelled, you haven’t heard the last of this’ He stormed out of the office. I have sent him a roll up yoga mat and some candles in the post to cheer him up. I hope this won’t aggravate the silly fool too much. You see, as I have mentioned before, people round here tend to revert to type, they don’t understand or know that they are really dead, and that they are here forever. There is no point in trying to rock the boat or get into arguments with your colleagues about things. The things that affect you on Earth bear no meaning here. Oh it might look like Earth but it is Hell, it is designed to irritate you much as life would have done in the past.  It is about time you got used to it. Time for another coffee I shouldn’t wonder. It was getting rather chilly.



Hi All

Hope you are enjoying the Winter season! Thought I would share with you that I have just upgraded my free E Book, TRIPLICATED which is now available on this site. Follow the link here and you should be able to download the whole thing. Hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!



The Funniest book you have ever read

I recently put a hopeful question out there for a Twitter response. I hear you, why put a question out into a void that no longer exists due to a recent and somewhat controversial take over?. Well, contrary to popular belief there are still a significant number of us using the little blue bird page regularly. Lots of writers in particular have build up a following over a number of years and are not ready as yet to chuck the bird out with the bath water.

The question was this:

What is the funniest book you have ever read?

Frankly I was amazed by the response and it threw up some interesting stuff. There were books that were overwhelmingly popular and some of those tantalising new on the radar type books. So maybe some of these below will be familiar to you, maybe not. If you like to snort uncontrollably on the train or spit your coffee out when reading, maybe take a punt on some of the highly recommended books below.

The popular ones

There were two or three books that were overwhelmingly popular

A confederacy of dunces – John Kennedy Toole

Confederacy of dunces cover.jpg

This was overwhelmingly the most popular on the list, certainly amongst the twitter responses. I have this on order for Christmas.

Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy – Douglas Adams

H2G2 UK front cover.jpg

The hapless Arthur Dent careering round the galaxy, very popular and consistently a very funny book. If you haven’t read it already, go pick it up, you never know, the next Arthur Dent might be you. Also further advice was as often is the case, read the book, don’t watch the film!

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller


Confession here, lots of people love this book, I’ll be honest, couldn’t seem to get past the first couple of chapters. Humour is something really unique to the individual I think, what makes you laugh might leave me cold and vice versa. Perhaps it’s time for me to give this one another go.

Don Quixote – Cervantes

Title page first edition Don Quijote.jpg

There are many comparisons between Cervantes Don Quixote and Ignatius Jacques Reilly (see the earlier confederacy of dunces recommendation) in terms of the characteristic style. Both are eccentric and delusional. Is there something about this character style that tickles the funny bone?

Interesting to me that many of the really truly funny books in most people’s opinion are, let’s say, classics. Certainly in the sense that they were not first published recently. A confederacy for example was published in 1980, posthumously (sadly) winning the Pulitzer in 1981.

Special mention – PG Wodehouse

There were so many references to Wodehouse. Lots of mentions of a whole range of his canon. Obviously Bertie Wooster was perhaps one of his most enduring characters. People seem to appreciate the care and attention that Wodehouse takes to make each sentence deliver with real vigour.

Following on from this was a whole range of literature. It was interesting that different genres were still able to sit high on the list as works of humour. Bill Bryson’s travel text ‘A walk in the woods’ for example. Sue Townsend’s fictional diary of a teenage boy in the Midlands is as hilarious now as it was on release. I have included a whole reading list below of these and other recommendations. With Christmas round the corner, the season of good cheer, why not get one of these in your stocking and you can be spraying mince pies and Gluhwein all over the family from your little reading nook.

The best of the rest

A walk in the woods – Bill Bryson

Consider the lobster – David Foster Wallace

Dress your family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris

About a boy – Nick Hornby

Dear Committee members – Julie Schumacher

Wilt – Tom Sharpe

The Fan Man – William Kotzwinkle

Cats Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut

Travels with a donkey in the Cevennes – Robert Louis Stevenson

Norwood – Charles Portis

The Hawkline Monster – Richard Brautigan

Happiness – Will Ferguson

Dona Flor and her two husbands – Jorge Amado

Fight night – Miriam Toews

Seven nights at the Flaming hotel – Drew Gummerson

Lake of Urine – Guillermo Stitch

My life and hard times – James Thurber

The White house mess – Christopher Buckley

Notes from the Underground – Dostoyevski

Heart of a dog – Bulgakov

The secret diary of Adrian Mole – Sue Townsend

Did your favourite not hit the list? why not add a comment and share your favourite funny fiction. After all, laughter is the best medicine apparently!


Lies and scars

There is empowerment in scars,

Skin heals, a property that memory

Seems to lack,

But it does so with a ragged tailor’s eye

Inviting the daily glance, the fingertip

To explore its edges, see how they suit

My scars, the visible ones at least

Have cover stories that I attached,

Bravado is plastered to

This knuckle, split in a fight in the shadows

Of a rented room

The whitish wriggle of a small smirk

Is painted on the chin, a worm thread

A whip tip accident, I say it’s the

Curse of the lion tamer, scarred not scared

And this, the jagged forehead fracture

Perhaps the failed curse of an evil wizard

Almost certainly these days

my cracked skull offers no apologies

Just patchworks of dubious prose

In truth, the knuckle was a cat fight

in which I should not have intervened

And the chin, a trip into a playground wall

Both unhappy accidents

This forehead holds a vertical frown

Where a radiator corner

Broke the skin, I was six and it was the seventh day

The air flooded hot and metallic

a darkness in Summer

With a little needlework

The memories stitch themselves anew,

Fade and fold under the rub of time

They recall the fall, it’s clarity

Forgetting somehow the catalyst,

The soft hand, the gentle push,

the smoothness of lies


An interview on writing and the chapbook The Round Journey with Roi Faineant press

Hi All,

Here is a short interview with the lovely Kellie Scott-Reed and I from Roi Faineant press where we discuss writing, literature and my Chapbook ‘The Round Journey’. This is a great press and there are a whole raft of interviews with other authors to check out.


New Chapbook release date!

I am pleased and proud to announce that my debut chapbook ‘The Round journey’ will be launched on the 17th May 2022. This poetry book is a reflection on the circular journeys of life, nature and history.

Many thanks already go to Alien Buddha press and the three amazing writers who provided their lovely commentary for the back of the book, Scott Cummings (A chapbook about nothing) , Rev. Joe Haward (Heresy and The Ghost of Perfection) and Editor in Chief at Roi Faineant press, Tiffany M Storrs.

Available on Amazon now!!

Read more: New Chapbook release date!

A Mouthful of Space dust competition

It’s not long now until my latest book is officially launched. I have just received a bunch of copies and they are looking really great. Some of the poems in the book have been shared on this site (some more than once probably!) and I thought it would be really great to have the opportunity to put one of these books in the hands of one of my regular readers. If you already follow the site that’s great and thankyou. Only followers of the site are eligible for the competition.

If you would like the chance to win a copy of ‘A mouthful of space dust’ simply comment on the post and answer the question:

What do you imagine space dust tastes like?

Best answer will win. Winner will be selected and contacted after the official launch date of the book on the 1st June 2023.


Closes midnight 1st June 2023. Only site followers are eligible. Any accounts deemed to be AI/Spam will be automatically discounted. Delivery subject to reasonable postage costs from UK. Competitors must be willing to share postage address and details in order to send the book out. Reserve the right to withdraw competition. Competition providers decision is final.

A Mouthful of Space Dust

1st June 2023

Hi Everyone,

Really excited to share with everyone that my new book, a mouthful of space dust is due for release via Amazon on the 1st June 2023! I will be sharing further details as soon as it is available but really looking forward to seeing this out in the wild. A special thank you to those people who have taken the time to read and like my posts – it honestly means a lot. More to follow soon – watch this space!


Book release date – A Mouthful of Space Dust

Hi Everyone,

Really excited to share with everyone that my new book, a mouthful of space dust is due for release via Amazon on the 1st June 2023! I will be sharing further details as soon as it is available but really looking forward to seeing this out in the wild. A special thank you to those people who have taken the time to read an like my posts – it honestly means a lot. More to follow soon – watch this space!


Waving Marigolds

The day leant its full weight on my back,

Grated shins, black with dust from the mine,

Lifting heavy, flopping soles homewards to where

she was waving marigolds,

Dripping dish water tears

The evening news had travelled faster

than my dragged-up feet could slope,

Up from the timbers, that

Smashed under the weight of the world

Trickling through seams of clay and sod,

Along the telephone wires

Where weary starlings whispered,

Disaster, death, who?

She was waving marigolds on a

Sunday, step scrubbed,

scraped clean of mud and dust

Fire burning and kettle hissing, gently splotching on,

I saw this from the cobbled corner

I dreaded to turn

Potato pie and strong tea, double helping

For the new man of the house,

So many boys ate well

On our street that night

On the kitchen table,

I placed the pit boots,

That didn’t fit me yet

Soon they would return,

Deep into northern soil

Digging fuel for our fires,

Amongst the ashes of our fathers

The Writer

The writer hunched down by an ocean of hope

And let go of the anchoring rope,

seaworthy words that his spilled soul splashed,

into a bottomless trope

A launching without a champagne bottle smash,

A ripple bob in a still pond,

Poetical dinghies seeking a home,

after dismal days in the beyond

Their joyful old shanties had salted,

Susurration of waves was their song,

The marooning of words in a slush pile,

Where solitude stayed for too long

Those critical storms were relentless,

Not a bite in an ocean of hooks,

And the writer waits, baited, forever,

In the harbour for unpublished books

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