Category Archives: Words

Poems, ideas, descriptions…

Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

The ghost of William Shakespeare to a pupil who accidentally conjures him whilst frantically writing an essay at 3 o’clock in the morning: “Don’t wrap me up in the chains of your poxy writing frames or pick at my remains … Continue reading

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Fourth Generation Verbs

A poem about ancestry and the distances between us, inspired by Tony Walsh I never really thought about my own Irish ancestry, growing up in Manchester. You didn’t really have to. It was everywhere; from the surnames in the register … Continue reading

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Syrian Snow

Syrian snow lands on homes, roofless bones of brick. It lands on barbed wire fences, photographed in yesterday’s news. Syrian snow falls on the boats of those whose only chance is to go. It lands in Greece, in Munich, in … Continue reading

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Butterfly Stitch

Manchester, 1987. It’s December, last day of term. We’re in the bathroom. My mother has me in a loving headlock and is brushing my teeth ferociously. I am seven. My older brother sits on the edge of the bath, awaiting … Continue reading

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Lampedusa

     Lampedusa And if I slip beneath the water, would the sun still  paint the surface, and would the tide still carry us out to Lampedusa? And if my hand loses yours beneath the waves, would I ever find you … Continue reading

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Fantastico: In Praise of Longfella and Project-Based Learning

Poetry, as I explained to the class, was never a real thing for me, as a schoolkid. For us, poets didn’t exist. They lived only in dusty books on that shelf of the library that nobody could reach. So, to … Continue reading

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Calcium 

Today is Manchester Day. This is a poem I wrote about the way the city stays with you, even (as in this case) as you leave it, it will draw you back.    

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