Our parallel lines
had so long been drawn together
but you now crossed me
and I crossed you back
we were intertwined
some might think in love
but really we were
strangling each other.

Happiness is…

By my nephew Sam, aged 10. Their words. My Verse.

Happiness is playing football
Happiness is playing football tennis
Happiness is the smell of victory
Happiness is eating cheese
Happiness is going on the Xbox one
Happiness is playing hide & seek
Happiness is playing sport
Happiness is watching Liverpool
Happiness is meeting famous people
Happiness is eating prawns
Happiness is a jelly cheese and sardine sandwich
Happiness is my brother farting
Happiness is listening to the 2010 world cup theme
Happiness is the sound of knives and forks squeaking on plates
Happiness is cows mooing and pooing in the water (plop)
Happiness is holding and kicking a football
Happiness is dogs barking
Happiness is 62% dark chocolate
Happiness is blue cheese
Happiness is the smell of marmite
Happiness is PE at school
Happiness is maths class
Happiness is talking to Mr. Norman
Happiness is talking to Mr. Ronlands
Happiness is watching champions league on TV in the winter
Happiness is watching match of the day (but not with Gary Lineker in his pants)
Happiness is the crossbar challenge
Happiness is the keepie uppie challenge (146 to date)
Happiness is playing slitherio

Why I bother

Why do I bother?
day after day, day after day
I see the morning sunlight catch her hair
she smiles
sweetness, strength, sexyness
She is why I bother.


‘Drink!’ he shouted. The people around the table, who were already quite drunk, drank. The next day they all questioned their actions, sat as they were, dud batteries aching with the loss of power. Later, the man who had shouted ‘Drink!’ the night before felt the cool, refreshing hair of the dog on his lips. He, and all the others who had joined him around the table again cam back to life. ‘Drink!’ was shouted, fully charged they were, toxic.


We looked up, clutching our identity; the cover of mine was faded. Faded like my blue t-shirt left out too long on the washing line in the southern sun. Faded because everything fades: Fading t-shirts, fading memories, fading empires. Losing colour, growing dim, disappearing. My passport was checked. I was moved on. As yet my privileges in this world hadn’t faded.


Irregular verbs used: (hit, hold, hurt, keep, know leave, let, lose, make, meet)

She held the racquet tight
and HIT the ball
but she hurt her arm (badly)

She kept playing
She knew she had to win
But then she lost her arm (sadly)

She left her arm with her mum
and let her other arm play
and she made history (gladly)

She met the King
who gave her the cup
The moral of the poem is
never give up.

Hold me

Flying high like a kite. The wind, which was unpredictable, carried me. I was a bird, soaring. Why do we go on?

While flying I understand why we go on. Wisdom. I must remember this when later I am pegged down like a tent.

Two Pizzas

Irregular verbs used: (choose, come, cost, cut, do, drink, drive, eat, fall, felt)

The pizza came with a free drink

and cost only €6
so I chose to order two

I cut them into eight slices

like I always did
and ate them (not with you)

I drank two cokes

and fell in love
with the taste of hot pepperoni

But then I felt sick

so dad drove me home
(Whose name by the way is Tony)

The Man Downstairs

Drawing by Laurie

Every night and every weekend my mum would shout:
‘Can you set the table, please!’
‘Have you set the table yet?’
I didn’t like doing it. I didn’t want to do it. It was boring.
Sometimes I did it in the end but I made it a real pain for my parents.

It was another Sunday lunch and
I ignored my parents as they called me to set the table.
A few moments passed before I heard my dad’s footsteps coming.
In a rage he dragged me to the kitchen and then to the cellar door (yes, we have a cellar)
He said: ‘If you can’t do one thing for us then you can eat your lunch in the cellar with the cats.’
I slammed the door on the way down. I didn’t care.

But when I got downstairs I was given the fright of my life by a man waiting down there. I was too scared to move. He had feet made of bits of knives, his underpants were knives, his hands were forks, he had bits of spoon on his face, on his knees and as a beard.
He looked at me and said:

‘Hello mate.’ (see picture)

He said ‘I’ve been hearing stories about you and your inability to set the table every day.
It’s not a difficult job is it?’ He asked me.
I couldn’t speak. He moved closer.
‘You know what an anagram for cutlery is?’ he said
I shook my head
I am the man downstairs.’ he said. ‘I can be cruel.’ he said.
‘If you don’t set the table then you’ll be sent down here again.’
As he said it he clanked his knives and forks.
‘And it won’t be pretty…’

I nodded and backed away back upstairs.
I got the cutlery out of the drawer and set the table.
My parents looked at each other with surprise, raising their eyebrows when they saw me.
I don’t know if they knew about the man downstairs that day but i’ve set the table ever since and i’ve learnt that It pays to be helpful.


Drawing by Laurie.

Ali often got in a bit of a mess because he overthought things.
He thought his shoes could be better.
He thought his sword could be sharper.
He thought his clothes could be smarter.
Sometimes when Ali overthought these things he got in a bit of a tangle and thoughts spun around his head much like a swarm of bothersome flies.
This made him angry. (see picture)
This made him stressed.
This made him feel like a lunatic.
Ali went on like this until one day, on his travels, he came across a dusty old book called mindfulness. He read the book and learnt that when his thoughts were buzzing, rather than hold onto them and think about them he should just watch them come and go and then disappear.
He realised it wasn’t difficult to do.
He realised he could do it whenever he wanted.
He realised he was happier when all his thoughts were


Irregular verbs used: (Hang (out), Have, Hide, Hold, Lead, Learn, Leave, Lie, Light (up), Mean)

Last Saturday we hung out
We lay side by side in the park all afternoon
Sometimes I leant on your shoulder
We held hands and the sun lit up your smile
I learnt things about you
I learnt that you often hid your feelings
I learnt that you had a wonderful way with words
I learnt that when you said you loved me. You meant it.

We left the park at sunset. You led me into the night.
I learnt that you were the one for me.

Irregular Verse: poems/prose written using irregular verbs as inspiration.


Sunrise. Summer. Slumber. Breathe. Seaweed. Damp. Sparkly. Sizzling. Calm. Ripples. Wonder. Sherry. Salt Marsh. Running. Eggs. Candlelight. Wine. Rain. Rugby. Thunderstorms. Glow. Shadows. Warmth. Anguish. Drunk. Confusion. Downstairs. Bright. Sensation. Reading. Running. Detox. Downton. Skyline. Blossom. Bulerías. Processions. Laughs. Nut roast. Cauliflower. Sprouts. Simplicity. Market. Flamenco. Flamingo. Pizza. Silence. Landscape. Music. Clear. Sierra. Horizon. Sofa. Running. Coffee. Brandy. Organic. Light. Memory. Fullness. Wind. Curry. Connections. Sunny. Unravelled. Cumin. Showers. Fish. Sea. Streets. Countryside. Golden. Blue. Visions. Ideas. Prose. Ginger. Blazing. Sunset.

The Wise Old Stork of Jerez


The wise old stork, who liked to travel to the coast some days was balanced on the top of a long television ariel in the town of San Fernando, admiring the full moon on the horizon, coloured peach and flamingo blush, as it rose over the marshes.

Across the town, he saw, in one of the many blocks of flats, a light on at one of the windows where a young boy was sitting at his desk. He could see the boy was studying. He could see the boy was tired and fed up.

The stork stretched his wings and looked back out at the horizon again. He watched as the moon grew from light pink to feint cream to a glowing macaroon as surrounded by a thousand changing shades of blue that draped across the town, dusk fell deeper into the night.

The stork knew how the boy was feeling. He knew that he would be filled with self doubt, anxiety and confusion but he also knew that as long as the boy toiled then from this turmoil he would grow and illuminate the world, much like the moon had that evening.

The boy would learn this over time.

He realised he had made a mistake…

He realised he had made a mistake.
It wasn’t the first and it wouldn’t be the last.
He wished he was fluent, first class.
But he wasn’t.

He realised he had made a mistake for which he held himself accountable.
People admired him for his honesty but they slagged him off behind his back.

He realised he had made a mistake mistaking his wife for another woman.
His wife mistook his mistake as intention so she hit him with a cushion.

He realised he had made a mistake
putting sugar on his chips not salt.
He was at fault
but too embarrassed to say
he ate them anyway.

He realised he had made a mistake
in trying to overtake
Now his last decision
had turned into a collision
as off the windows he was scraped.

He realised he had made a mistake while filling his tank.
Now misery was embedded.
His happiness shredded.
A moment he’d always dreaded.
Should have been unleaded.

He realised he had made a mistake believeing himself to be
for when he reached the the stage, turning to
face us,
he immediately
disengaged us.

He realised he had made a mistake picking up the stone to throw into the water because it wasn’t actually a stone it was a DOG POO.

He realised he had made a mistake drinking that rum.
His stomach on a s t r e t c h e r.
He took it lying down until pockets of normality appeared early evening.