This body of yours.

Here is a new a poem I have written for an upcoming gig. The gig is something I’m really excited about. It’s going to happen during the SPILL festival, being made possible by the fantastic Amy at GetOnTheSoapbox Events, have a little Facebook search for the event at: “GetOnTheSoapBox: Tell Me Again Why We Don’t Need Feminism”, if you want some further information.

So, in preparation for this upcoming event I’ve had to get my poetic juices flowing again and here’s one that I think is finished (or at least as finished as any of my poems end up being).

I’ve written it in response to the crisis of body image that many people, in all circumstances, can and often do face. I know I’ve had my fair share of issues on this subject, most notably the eating disorder I experienced during my late teens/early adolescence. Whilst I am now a physically-healthy weight, there are still negative thoughts that flicker across my mind – sometimes I listen, sometimes I do not. I’m not saying I am 100% happy with myself all the time, but I’m starting to give myself a bit more credit, and a bit more love.

You may hate your flabby arms, your skinny legs, your scars, your freckles, your disabilities, your eyes that don’t work, your organs that don’t work, the list is endless depending on who you are speaking to – this poem urges its readers to stop focusing on what you do not have and cannot do, but instead focus on what you are capable of, and what possibilities may be open to you.


‘This body of yours’

This body of yours is beautiful.
This body of yours,
standing five foot four,
or maybe more,
that takes punch after punch as if it were nothing at all.
This body stands tall.
This body of yours is beautiful.
This body can create life through mingling with another
This body of yours becomes my lover.
Smother me,
with the pillow of your body.
This body is my bed and my mother and your widow.
This body of yours is beautiful.
This body of yours means chance.
This body speaks without words through the strength of its stance.
This body is circumstance.
This body will grow and shrink and make others think,
This body may be surprised by the amount that you drink,
but this body will forgive you.
This body of yours is beautiful.
This body will stretch and bend and can help you mend
by extending an arm to the body of your friends.
This body of yours is beautiful.
This body of yours is more than hair and skin and bones and nails,
and what this body entails,
cannot be measured by a number on a scale.
This body of yours can knock on doors,
and if this body of yours falls on all fours,
then this body will come back fighting for more.
This body of yours is beautiful.
And although this body of yours may fade in time,
This body of yours is beautiful,
and so is this body of mine.


An Inconvenient Anxiety.

It’s World Bipolar Day today, or so Twitter tells me.
Here’s a poem.


I want to do something new that excites me.
But, when I try and think of what that might be
I’m stopped by an inconvenient anxiety.
I’m anxious to not let life pass me by
But when I think of the things that I want to try
My life’s sent the message, but my brain doesn’t reply.
It’s those around me taking the plunge
Meanwhile, I’m home and dry.
Life’s boring.
Mine’s unimportant.
I should be doing something else
instead of loading the next Netflix installment.
Brain aching.
Body shaking.
And everyone around is unconvinced
by the tracing paper smile that I’m faking.
I wouldn’t describe myself as anxious
but the general consensus
among the nexus
of family and friends
that I’m still lucky enough to possess
would be that I am.
I act the laid-back flake.
Always game to participate,
Always ready to intimidate,
or imitate,
one of your mates,
But then, I’m home.
And I’m alone.
And the booze has run dry and the drugs are all gone.
And I’m just me again.
Me on my own
Going through last night’s pictures on my phone
Scraping dust from my grinder to get a little bit stoned
Enough so I can fall asleep
And count the sheep
Then slowly together my eyelids creep
and it’s two minutes later and my alarm, it beeps.
Here’s the morning, indiscreet.
As ever, the sun glares at me
through the supposed safety of my sheets.
It teases me
It chases me
to get outta bed and drink that same cup of tea
I always drink.
Without time to think
about how each day’s the same
and each day pushes me closer to the brink.
Now, in let that sink.

There it is again
that same old trend
that plays me round and round the bend
and never does it fucking end

A broken record in my head,
to play each day until I am dead.


I am made of thunder.
Bolts and nuts,
and all the chunks,
of my ancestors.
I am made of polyester.
I am made of sun rays,
and I am made of bread.
I am made up of all the insults,
the ones you never said.
I am made of beer
and I am made of wine.
I am made from all the prickles
found on the back of a porcupine.
I am made of leather,
I am made of lead,
I am made of the women before me,
the ones both alive and dead.
I am made of purpose,
and the thoughts you dare not speak.
I am made of cucumbers,
the leftover mouldy ones from last week.
I am made of raging hormones
and I am made of dust.
I made of nervous laughter
and of misplaced lust.
I made of sin.
I am made of dirt.
I am made from all the tears,
cried by those you’ve hurt.
I am made of wires
I am made of tea.
I am made of so many things,
but I don’t know what makes me.



I don’t remember writing this poem, but it found it’s way onto my draft messages on my phone (where most of my poems are born). I guess I was inebriated. Whatever was going on, I suppose I felt the need to write this down. So I did. Enjoy, it’s called Wishlist.


I want to eat ice cream with you in the morning at a quarter to three.
I want to steal the covers
and I want you to let me.
I want to get a dog together
and raise it the proper way.
I want it to be my birthday every single day.
I want to finish that poem
and I want it to be good.
I want you to keep your promise, the one you promised you would.
I want to wear the right clothes at the right time and never be too hot or too cold ever again.
I want to play the piano without having to learn how to play the piano.
I want to eat pastry without putting on weight.
I want to get the best grades
and I want to be cool.
I want to leave my clothes on and jump into a heated swimming pool.
I want to lay on the sofa in my pants watching telly, eating crisps on a Wednesday lunchtime.
I want to finish that poem and I want it to rhyme.
I want to know what you’re thinking
and I want to get better
I want a Staffy, and a Dalmatian and a well-behaved Irish Setter.
I want to drink wine for breakfast and eat cereal for dinner.
I want to buy a scratchcard and it reveal that I’m a winner.
I want every poem I have ever written to be received in exactly the way it was intended.
I want everyone to have a nice time, even those friends that I unfriended.
I want to finish this poem with a sentiment that stays with those that hear it
but I’ve run out of ideas and all I’ve got left is bullshit.


I wrote this poem after a “Careers Workshop” at my University. I didn’t quite know how to feel after approximately 30 minutes of questioning surrounding “what are my employable qualities?” paired with “Any experience for this role?”, or indeed “what makes me different from other candidates?” whilst simultaneously displaying a demeanor that reeked of nicely-fitting-in-and-being-a-yes-man. Ho-hum.

So, I didn’t write a CV out of it. I wrote this.
It’s called Credentials.

I got a 1st in Worry from the University of Panic.
I got straight A’s in Anxiety.
Special Achievement Award for when I’m suitably manic,
as for my depression,
much has been said for my ability.
Oh, and I’m top of the class for irritability.
I’ve got certificates in stress.
And the medals in my cupboard are for the countless
episodes where I’ve become
an emotional mess.
I’m No. 1 at overthinking.
I’m unsurpassed at second-guessing
and not being able to see the good in things
is simply what I’m best in.
I’m a fine student of chaos
in the field of disorder.
My brain is the ring
and I’m taking it to Mordor.
I’ve got trophies for uncertainty
and a grant for my fears.
I’ve gained a lifetime of troubles
in only 23 short years.








‘We met at the dog park’

So I’ve got this friend called Kay. It was her birthday on the 31st October and I wrote her this poem.

Then I thought I’d have a bit of fun and instead of writing it down for her, I’d plant a note with a Youtube URL on it inside one of her presents. It’s a video of me reciting the poem I wrote for her.

It’s the first poem I’ve ever recorded myself reading (and I learnt it off by heart!) and it took so many takes that this was the first one I did without making a mistake so, yeah.



4 + 2 = 1.

I wrote this poem for the most loyal, most-legged, hairiest, smelliest and most affectionate being in my life. Fletcher. It’s called ‘4+2=1’.

To him my voice is mute.
Unless of course, he’s being all cute
getting rewards and attention
for simply not being a brute.

But I love him like he’s my child
and for us childless wonders
who can sleep in til 9 or 1018619995_10155318474800477_1972283233689306115_n
getting up whenever we want
or maybe not even then.
He’s the world.

My world on a lead.
A four legged dream.
Insubordinate and rude
but we’re still a team.


Together since 8 weeks old
and the stories I was told
Trying to change my mind
But one look at you, and boy,
I was sold.

You’re my fur covered mate,
my night and my day.
You’re the reason I’m late
and the reason I can’t stay.

But coming home to you,
is never a chore.
And the look on your face
when I walk through the door…
it’s just love.
Unconditional, relentless, unapologetic

And it hurts to remember
that your life’s not long enough.
But when push comes to shove
I just have to think of
The far too few years you’ve spent with me
are more special to me
than all of China’s tea.

So let’s go to the park
before it’s too late.
And when you catch the ball
I’ll promise to celebrate
like it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen!
If we do everything right you might make it to fifteen.

I can’t promise you’ll be my only one
I got hooked because of you
But you’ll always be my first,
and that will always be true.



37 hours.

I wonder what your dreams taste like.
Do they taste as sweet as a kiss,
after not seeing you for 37 hours?
Does it taste the same for you, I wonder.

And does your heart beat like thunder,
when we hold hands in the rain.
And does pain seem to fade
when you’re sitting with me
with a bottle of dark rum
watching whatever’s on TV.

I wonder what your thoughts feel like.
Does your head feel fuzzy
and your heart a little lost
After 37 hours of me not being around.
And am I the hot head
And you the clown?

You’re the first person I go to
when I’m feeling too much up
or a little too down.

I gave up on myself a little,
when I got into you.
Don’t feel too bad, I’m just telling the truth.
It’s not often you find someone,
who appears to be
both poison and antidote
to your own mental health.

But whatever you are
and whatever we will be,
my eyes are wide open and my arms are free.

So let’s hold hands
and walk together.
Let’s take off our clothes and walk into the sea.
Let’s salt our eyes, so we can finally see.
Who we are now
and who we might be.
Two shadows in faded armchairs,
drinking far too much tea.


I wrote this poem in the middle of the night whilst in Kavos recently. We’d been out drinking, toasting to Tess. Commemorating her life, one year since she had passed. This poem, whilst it isn’t necessarily about Tess personally, attempts to harness the attitude she took towards life – an attitude I strive to emulate. This poem is called, ‘Today”.
We sit and watch

the world on a screen.

Putting the world to rights,

over fights and towards dreams.

The dreams we sink into,

never knowing if we do

or say

the right things to the right people on the right days.

‘Cause it’s nice to feel right and it’s right to be nice

chewing the fat, discussing the men and the mice.

Two sips of a rioja

and its anyone’s game.

Placing the blame 

of today

on tomorrow’s gains.

‘Cause today’s pains are yesterday’s mistakes.

The same mistakes that make today’s shame.

Stubbing today’s ciggies in tomorrow’s ashtray.

And today,

would be nicer,

if we were all, a little nicer.

Smile at the postman and tip the waiter a fiver.

It’s sometimes hard,

to be nice,

as we grapple with vice.

The mean things we say

when we should have thought twice.

But tomorrow will still come

and today will arrive.

When the sun and the flowers and the laughter thrives.

Looking at each other across the table and think,

I’m pretty fucking happy that we’re both still alive.

Today’s fun and tomorrow’s regrets.

Tomorrow remembers and yesterday forgets.

So let’s eat toast,

at 3.45.

As today’s drinks end and tomorrow’s hangover comes to life.

Turn on the tv

so we can say our piece.

Entwining our hands,

as tomorrow offers peace.

A piece of knowledge and a slice of truth.

The bitterness of reality and the promise of growth.

Today ends slowly and tomorrow comes too soon.

Blaming our problems on the sun and the moon.

Today is over and tomorrow is next,

and if today is the worst, 

then tomorrow could be the best.