Poems on a Beermat

A few weeks ago my poem Rock Plain Boxing Club was shortlisted in the Poems on a Beermat competition, part of the Bradford on Avon Arts Festival. There were over 400 entries, so I was as pleased as punch and very proud. My prize of twenty five beermats featuring my poem was the cherry on the cake. What a fantastic idea for a competition.

Rock Plain Boxing Club

I dream about the Rock Plain Boxing Club.
Wake up anguished
by its non existence.
I cry for the respected founder
who will never channel the town’s young men.
The august officials
who will never holler seconds out.
The local lightweight hero
who will never box me to life.

You can read the ten winning poems here:


The report of the competition judge, Martin Malone, is here:



Toying with Affection

Hello there. I apologise for my absence. Here is a new poem, written in honour of a little gang which I hold in very high esteem.

Toying with Affection

In a corner of my bedroom,
in a little ragged row,
stand a frightened tribe of creatures
who are scared I’ll let them go.

They’ve heard my recent careless talk
of giving them away,
and are hoping I will change my mind,
relent and let them stay.

Paddington, in his welly boots,
duffle coat and hat,
is looking disappointed at my
lack of grace and tact.

Fatima the Ratima, named
for purely rhyming reasons,
cannot believe my heartlessness
and thinks me close to treason.

The surviving two koalas from
a once immense collection
are distraught that after years of love
they’re heading for rejection.

Elmer and the rag dolls
try to comfort one another,
each are products of the labours
of my grandma and my mother.

I wrote this poem to document
them all for one last time,
before giving them to charity,
which is surely no great crime.

But in doing so I’ve triggered lots of
happy thoughts and feelings.
And before the toys are even bagged
I think I’ve started grieving.

These scruffy little lumps have stuck
with me through wind and rain,
and one day, maybe soon, I might
just need their help again.

So this poem can be a tribute,
(instead of a rebuff)
to their service to companionship
and unconditional love.