I’m afraid that when the tide comes in I’ll still be out at sea.
I’m afraid that life has been exposed, has lost its mystery.
I’m afraid of empty corners and of these encroaching walls.
I’m afraid that the show is over and the curtains are already drawn.
I’m afraid of being a sidekick, not a someone, but a maybe.
I’m afraid that who I am will never be ok.
I’m afraid that the clock took more than its share.
That if I look too hard, there’ll be darkness hiding there.
I’m afraid that you will turn your back.
That you’ll look into the abyss of me, and see all that I lack.
I’m afraid that I am not enough.
That I will forever run from my shadow, that I will never be loved.
I’m afraid of failing, of a life overgrown with mistakes.
I’m afraid of being abandoned, that my choices will be fatal.
I’m afraid that I will not be heard, that the land will leave the sea.
I’m afraid of all that I was, and all that I may hope to be.
I’m afraid that giants surround me, that I am too small.
I’m afraid that if I dare to risk, then I will lose it all.
I’m afraid that the future is already decided.
That the shutters are down and I’m on the wrong side.
I’m afraid that night has kidnapped day.
I’m afraid that who I am will never be ok.
I’m afraid that I am not enough.
That I’m a lock that will not open, that I will never be loved.
I’m afraid of how much I want, of the volition in my screams,
the strength of my feelings, and the depth of my dreams.
I’m afraid that the sum of all my parts,
is a tragedy that continually falls apart.
I’m afraid that the sun will cease to shine.
That I will be never again see beauty reflected in your eyes.
I am afraid.

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I Remember

I Remember Walking In Snow
The way the rocks formed buttons
on its silver, white coat.
We waded through knee-deep velvet,
enjoying the gift.
Silver baubles of melt-water balanced on scarlet branches,
the air was still.
Blue skies stretched like a scarf,
and the sun was a glittering golden brooch.
We felt the kiss of it sting our faces,
felt the envy of those who desired what we had.
We clothed ourselves in its beauty, held it close.
Revelled in the fact that it was all we wanted.
Our joyous laughter was captured,
in the lines and creases of the mountains.

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Tonight You Will Sleep With Salt

The ocean welcomes,
makes hollows for bodies,
you are caught in the pauses.
The space between us no longer five feet,
the gap a step too wide,
and I am on the wrong side.
Words are not needed,
are carried away on the waves.
Tonight you will sleep with salt,
will feel the water as it washes yesterday’s grime from your mind.
The sea knows you, reads the weakness in your knees,
follows the lines of your face,
sees the story in your eyes,
and rolls onwards.

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Like Magic

Robert’s a story magician,
pulls tales out his hat,
has tricks for every year he’s lived,
each place he’s been.

He deals another story,
shrouded in mystery,
hidden beneath velvet cloth,
waiting to be revealed
by deft slight of tongue.

Blink and you’ll miss it.
A hint of humour, a glint in the eye.
And the punch line is delivered,
then disappears under his cap.

He waves magic hands,
we perch on the edge of our seats,
with baited breath.
Wondering where he’ll take us next.
We’re hypnotised.

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City of Sanctuary

This poem is about Refugees and Asylum seekers and was written for Newcastle’s City of Sanctuary award…


People fleeing danger simply want safety,
for the past’s become a movie on a loop in their memory.
Fleeing crisis is not a choice,
not a case of where can I go to sponge.
It’s not a holiday booked weeks before,
not a destination they’ve been dreaming of.

They’re not planning how they’re going to cheat the system,
they’re planning how to live.
They’ve come empty handed, and hope is all they have.
They’re frightened, they’ve left so much behind.
Leaving is not the easy option,
they’re running from fear.

Is it so hard to be human,
to help another who has fallen?
Why is it that the poorest countries, take more people in,
have the most open borders?

Are we so removed, so afraid of pain,
that we would deny those who have nothing?
I’m not one for religion, but surely those who can
should share something?

Never mind that they don’t actually take our houses, jobs or council tax,
never mind that politicians and media hacks,
play games and lie about the facts.
How would they like to live on less than five pounds a day?

If someone stands before us,
in need,
it is the least we can do to offer sanctuary.
The least we can do is offer sanctuary.

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I, being short of stature
always looked up to you.
A childhood habit
I never grew
out of.
You were friend to all
looked down on no-one.
And somewhere, round about your shoulders
there was an unspoken understanding.

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The Forever of Summer

Summer is a promise made at dawn,
beckoning bronzed skin. It is open skies
which always seem to smile. The pull
of the sea as it unstitches its seams.

Summer is gulls that call to morning,
before it has even begun. It is warm rain
on shoulders that will not fail.

Summer drifts, its truths revealed.
There’s no rewinding the sun.
Dandelion clocks let free their second chances.
In salty spray pink petals drop.

The forever of summer is caught in autumn’s spell.
Chased by an umber wind, just passing through.
Night bathes in the eye of the moon.

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