Incontrovertibly I grew up where
no rivers ran, no ocean rolled.
Confined by brown brick, soaked in rain
only the crowds and traffic
flowed from football games
factories and unemployment lines.
Arguing there must be more than
surfaces and rules and repetition
the clock strikes and the naked lady
rewinds the myth. She hides beneath her hair.
Enter Peeping Tom. Try too hard to see,
eyes get blasted, here in Coventry.
(From Lady Godiva and Me)
As the acrostic says: Made in Coventry. Educated by the city library system though officially at Sacred Heart School and then Cardinal Wiseman’s Boys School. Studied Medieval English and History at Birmingham University, then to Liverpool University to qualify as an English teacher.
Moved to Australia in 1986 and have taught high school English ever since. Completed a Masters degree (by Research) in Medieval Lit at the University of Qld and finished a PhD in ‘Creative Writing’ at Deakin University in 2017.
In Search of Blue Lines (Click on the slide show)
I started kayaking on the Wye River in 1971. Then kayaked in Australia, North America, England, Wales, Scotland, France, Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kirgizia and Uzbekistan. In the days when I wanted to appear wind swept and interesting I could claim to be the only lute playing, kayaking medievalist to be smuggled across the Kazak border and then detained and given twenty four hours to leave Samarkand.
I’ve done the typical range of oddly assorted jobs: barman, canoe instructor, professional sprout picker, Youth-Hostel warden, shop assistant, research assistant, writer in residence, guitar player, editor, private tutor, English teacher, Head of English Department etc.
Poems have appeared in Journals in Britain, Ireland, America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. To date there has been six collections: The Poet’s Confession, I’ll Howl Before You Bury Me, Lady Godiva and Me, Rough Spun to Close Weave, Holding the Line and Anhaga.
You can follow the links below to online poems. Clicking on the link will open the pages in a new window.
Poems in the Quarterly Review at
Poem In Meniscus 3.2
Poem in the April Rotary Dial.
Five poems in Mensicus 6.1
'Three stories from Gerald of Wales' taken from his prose 'Journey through Wales'. I've known the first one for a long time. It would make a fine grim TV episode....with a bit of scrolling you can read them here:
All three are taken from the forthcoming 'A Presentment of Englishry' which will be published by Shearsman in the UK in March 2019.