Power cut

Winter morning
starts out fun
two small boys
wielding torches.

But we squashed it.

Harried.
Fuses flipped.
Phone calls made.
Rushing them
out the door.

When I pick you up
they said you’d been
quiet.

That night
monster puppet
had something to tell me.
“I’m worried about the lights”
“What if the torches stop working?”

Sorry monster puppet.
sorry little one.
I wish i’d done
this morning
differently.

I wrote this poem after a power cut last winter. Sometimes it is hard to keep the show on the road and be the parent you want to be.

Otters

I remember
your hand in mine
as we scrambled over
slippery Scottish rocks.
Pulling you up past
ochre seaweed and barnacles
salt wind searing cheeks.
You were so brave.
Little legs leaping
to keep up.
You won’t remember
but we took on the world
that day,
alone against
brooding sky and sea.
Now your legs are so
much longer than mine.
But somehow
still
you’ll always be
my little brother
hand in hand
searching for sea otters



My little brother gets married this weekend. I’m so proud of him – all he has done and the person he has become. This one is for him.

Standing on the bench

Three years old
and arms reached high
touching the sky
on Selsley common.


I wrote this in the summer of 2020, as we were emerging from the first lockdown. Loved ones had died and been born without us being there. But over that beautiful, hard summer, there were also quiet moments of joy. Just over a year later my boys were back on the bench, a year older but still reaching for the sky.