Saluting Magpies

Poetry in Motion


Non classé


I must do the washing-up
never the other way round
never the plates and dishes, saying
‘We’ve got this, Kate – sit down.’


unholy matrimony

The Economist slides to the floor
and on Radio 4
the news has blurred –

into religious hour,
falling on deaf ears.

what would their maker
make of them,

Sunday morning liberal lovers
Tea growing cold
Outside the covers.


More like war-making:
what a mess.
just as good
but back-of-mind, there’s

pain, stains, if
automobile; hence
dark towels readied
to over-bed-spread.


Suggesting a list of affirmations
as a candle to the gloom
ordinal statement of gratitude
cognitive behavioural headstone

I would oblige with pen and paper
though little make, I fear, of either
listless, yes, but less is more
than I deserve; in this love, all.


i asked myself
what is this bitterness
or better still,

i answered as best
as i could
but stumbled –

the story of my life.


it feels like September
something –
something about the air this morning.
cooler, perhaps,
imperceptibly distant.

you have imagined it.
the sunrise is as splendid as ever.

yet something, no?
about the air this morning
feels like September.
almost like – don’t laugh – a lover
who loves no more
and soon will leave you.

fuel gauge

I usually explain to my littlest
that the car is thirsty.
the backseat today is empty
I think it anyway.

quiet at the petrol station
and for once, unhurried,
come memories from
my own backseat childhood.

no credit card pumping.
my father, hawk-eye,
watching the dials
shirt-sleeves rolled-up,
hands to the nozzle –

cursing at that penny over,
whistling for a round pound filling.



breathe, they say
breathe, I repeat
to myself,
to my only self.

Breathe, but this air
burns as it flows
like the water
when we drown.


I have heard my child cry out
and I have been there
with words, and arms,
answers, or other medicine.

at the press conference
the journalists kept repeating
but you’re a parent, Sarah:
you yourself are a parent.

if this is border enforcement
it is of the wrong boundaries
barbed-wire separation
of what it means, to be human.

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