I hoped yellow things might save me –

bought tulips and freesias, tied a ribbon to my

bed frame. I plucked the hearts from daisies and tucked them

in my pillow slip, drew the curtains wide and waited for full moons

and sunshine. I lost contact with my knees first, and then my

hips. Didn’t know a body could fall silent. The doctor prescribed

dandelions – fields full, ticking with thrips and hover flies

and when I found one I stayed for days, but more parts of me

fell away –knuckles, wrists. Memories began to fade. Perhaps

it was too late. The X-rays suggested I was whole, but

disconnecting, and I knew I should’ve welcomed yellow back

before, because it was my first love, and I left it,

and it transpires that yellow is vital.


We shout HARE!
Like he’s the first hare. The only ever hare –
he curves his ears forward, lets his conker eyes flare.
Hind legs rise to the brink of sprint – but momentarily
he pauses, tastes the waiting air, so we fall silent…
then in a blink he takes his brake off, and in a breath’s
no longer there.

Collective nouns


I’ve seen
starlings murmurate, heard exaltations of larks
witnessed crows plot murder in lawless corners of the park.
I’m told owls hold parliament because they’re clever and also wise…
and I’ve gawped as gulps of swallows flee from fading summer skies.
I’ve braved bellowings of bullfinches, watched gnats pulsate in clouds
but as a mere human being I mostly hang
around in crowds

I’d prefer
to skulk with foxes, perhaps party with the jays
chase charms of glowing goldfinches, shiny as sun rays.
Unleash unkindness with ravens, join the herons’ iron siege
deal deceit with lying lapwings, help scything swifts to screech.
I’d tangle with a knot of toads, if it were allowed –
anything is better than
being in a crowd.




Squirrels get up early when the grass is damp with dew,

they skip around on tiptoes so their paws don’t get soaked through.

They’re busy seeking conkers stashed safely since September

but squirrels seem quite scatty, and usually can’t remember…

where they carried conkers to on golden autumn days –

did they slip them under stones, or drag them to their dreys?

And so when spring has sprung, when the weather’s wet and warm,

they’ll be skipping round horse chestnut trees sprouting in my lawn.