In those atoms,
you burned up dying
to survive.
I tried touching the salt
on your lips
but missed and landed
on the ripped felt seats.
It’s impossible,
but I’m on the bus again.
It’s Tuesday,
and I see you, later,
making a pot of tea,
holding your trousers
around your waist,
shrinking into the armchair
of your first house-
love. You outgrew
the furniture there.
You outgrew me.
But I will pause with you
when you’re eighty-seven
and an armchair is all you have left,
and Tuesdays will be ours
to burn out together.

I’m glad I have known you

like this,
your hair curling up
behind the shoreline.

Walking the length
of your limbs
I stretch into the sea,
muscles tensed as hills.

I soften these fingers across buildings
and your skin
as it scatters with the waves

where the sand knows my prints.
It holds my body like birdsong
soft at six in the morning,
the pier dreaming in ships.

I am steeped in you,
as you are in the breath of everyone I know—
on the edge of something,
an almost sentence,
a tiny pebble of a poem

thrown out
into the ocean
and carried back to us one day.

- This poem was published in the 2014 Poetry and Short Fiction Anthology Make Time For Aberystwyth


Stay at the window
reading. The sofa, the lamp, the view:
they’re all fictional here.
Let’s watch as the bleached sea-
spirit upturns the sand.

It could be honest enough,

though not quite as pure
as your hands moving
your hardcover from lap
to chest just above
the sill.

How many times have you read that sentence?
Each break holding your teeth back
like a secret
you almost lost in a smile.

Tell me the words that comfort you most.

I want to learn the lines
that keep you asleep at night
and I want to write
as if you are not actually here,
as if you have never read before—
tunnel out a place in language
for you and I to go
so that you can know the words I want to make
with you,

or stay at the window
and I will leave you alone.

Welsh Coast

I love living by the sea. It may be a little cliché, but being a poet and living only two minutes away from the shore is something I used to dream about as a child. Well, ten-year-old me, it has actually happened! The sad news is that I’m only going to be here for another six months. I’ve almost finished my creative writing course and have to move back to my hometown, Cardiff, when I’m done. Still, I have a lot to thank the Aberystwyth sea for – most importantly, I’d like to thank it for being such a big influence on my poetry. It has always provided me with something to write about, even if a lot of other poets produce better quality pieces on the subject, I’ve tried my best, and it’s not the sea’s fault that I’m so prone to frequent bouts of bad writing. I guess this is just a short post to say thank you, sea, for all the inspiration you have granted me (and many others.) May you continue to be such a great source of poetry and artistic inspiration.


The man with the tools
said the cistern was broken;
its water gushed out onto the tiles
and into the shrinking
skirting boards and his sensible shoes.

He changed the pipes to an out of tune hallelujah
and the whirring of the extractor fan.
We were drowned
in our own distractions;
I wanted different words
and he just wanted to be offered a hot mug of something—
maybe tea.

And as the paper tacked to the window
trembled with evening breath,
neither of us came any closer
to getting a warmish beverage
or improving our poetry.

And after all this,
we waded through the wreckage
and he left,
as I wrote this pointless poem
and stopped to mention you again.


When it is 2am and I am tied
and lost behind ugly tiles in the fireplace,
I look for strange words
in old notebooks and in myself.

Or I pour myself a mug of tea,
walk to the shore
and gulp cold seawater in between
each steamy sip and each crashing bore;
little finger pointed to the swell
of waves making poetry
up my legs.

I spend most of my days like this–
sleepless, wordless, wet through,
stood alone at the sill,
because when I can’t write, I cry,
and she says that weeping in the window is good for our health.


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