The University Collection

Basil's Summer - 2019

The sun was six years younger
along with the ground it dried
when you were mine.

Spinning pedals under my
battered leather boots,
the race to be together again.

The sticky embrace of English heat
wrapped around my limbs
as you ate the hills with your strides.

My laugh dancing with the
echo of metal hoof beats
on the summer-scorched grass.

But as winter tiptoed in with
it's sly tendrils around warmth,
my wheels  stuck in the thick sludge.

The holes in these shoes
swam with ice-heavy rain
dead weights upon us.

And my home crumbled
your breath in the air,
billowed out as she stole you away.

I'm Still Angry - 2019

You've tainted that city
connect the dots of places
we spent hours together

Three AM on my broken bench
splinters sticking into my tights
with your voice through my speaker

Alcohol tipped across my tongue
to stop myself from telling you
but I always spoke anyway

Patio doors open in summer
closed when leaves quivered
on their branches.

Resigned - 2019

I'm on pause, unmoving, as you
come creeping back to me,
with soulless sockets
instead of pigmented eyes.

Your aching bones poke through
scar ridged skin,
like roots ripped from
the parched ground.

Always stood on the toes of your feet
to get a better look over
the ledge you exist on.
A strong wind will topple you off.

I know your destruction,
the catastophe you weave.
Resigned in your familiarity,
I leave the keys in the door.

St. Albans - 2018

I watched too many heavy sunsets
in Verulanium. The weight of the city
became claws in the sunlight
tugging until she hid behind
the horizon to tend to her wounds.

A zombie she'd rise in the morning
casting her stubborn strength
over the selfish creatures who lapped
up her heat but left her to fall
she painted shadows to taunt me.

St. Albans could've gutted me
had I not fled from it's veins.

The World Through the Eyes of a Tabby Cat - 2018

Bushes hid monsters in their frizzy hair
tricky beasts that crackled my name
when the wind tickled their branches

Shadows were sly snatchers
hiding behind me, predicting every move
right as I make them

Beneath lily pad waters lurked creatures
that spindled round my paws
to drag me into wet darkness

Her bed was a fortress
where I ruled with a purr
and she protected me from demons
so I protected her.

My Decline - 2018

Six-feet under chest pains
and sweat drenched sheets.
Resting on week old clothes,
I raise my head from its early grave.

I’d rot here if you let me,
muscle snatched from bone
and skin sliding to soil.
Will you prise me from this coffin?

Or let my brain devour itself
synapses swallowing serotonin just to throw it
back up. Until hollow and echoing
I scream senseless into the chasm
I’ve chiselled for myself.

If We Meet Again - 2018 

Meet me in the long grass
that tickled your shoulders and the
mud caked heels of my old boots
as we bullet sped across the land
until the approaching night
doused us in gold.

Stand and wait where the rocks
are covered with natures velvet,
the place the river foam bubbled
up to your knees from where
the winter rain fed her
winding body.

Let me run my nails down
your bristle-brush mane,
let your haylage breath
surround me with a
warmth I’ve missed
for too long.

Life Theatre - 2018 (Terza Rima)

You constant performer, eternal disguise
your brick defence you cemented higher
relentless strength behind sapphire eyes.

You passion lit scorching wildfire
ice picked my way into your cover
candid heart and unquenchable desire.

Eventually you let me discover
it hasn’t crumbled now I’m inside
surprise me always you endearing lover.

So if it helps you, hold your head in pride
walk with an arrogance you’ll never feel
set those insecurities and fears aside.

I’ll envelop you, hide you just until
your forged confidence will be for real.

Old Vices - 2018 

You feel heavy under my skin,
slid through cracks in composure
nestled in my darker places.

You scream over reason
puppet my hands towards
the box I hid in the drawer.

I banish you, send you
spinning into light
and weightless, I breathe.

Until you crawl up my veins
into every pore and sit back
behind the steering wheel again.

We Are Wildflowers - 2018

You meet me by the overgrown football pitch,
where wild daisies are the white lines.
You slip your fingers through mine, I see what you don’t.
Piano ticklers, long and spindled. You trace my skin
with elegant movements that my clumsy paws could never decipher.
I wish mine would grow, with every other bone in my body.

Those eyes, flutters of blue beneath thick lashes
that peck your cheeks when you blink. Haphazard freckles
across your nose, upturned slightly like a flower towards the sun.
I’d like to touch your cheekbones,
but your tawny curls hide them when the wind straps them across your face.

If I could dance I’d twirl you between the daisies,
I’d watch those cheekbones darken with a flush.
If you could see yourself in this dappled sunlight
you wouldn’t change a thing. We both strap things down
the other would like to have, we sit in the wild grass and pretend.

Phoenix Identity - 2018

Wind blew sparks from the fire
on to my sleeves. Tiny orange dancers
pecking the wool with hot feet
then pirouetting away.

Between flames I saw me
wrapped in burgundy, blinking insecurities.
Flaring up like my heart rate,
pulsing the quick warmth through my veins.

Water on red coal, my identity
a crumbled blanket of ash.
I stuck my hand in, the charred
skin will remind me I don’t know who I am.

Under Misha's Sun - 2018

She sent me sunshine when she left,
tied up her goodbye with ribbons of light.
I unravelled it for days hoping that
underneath she'd be there waiting.

All I felt were rainclouds, they sent
cascades and splutters down my cheeks
into tissues or collecting into salty puddles
that she was never at the bottom of.

I felt thunder shudder my nerves,
screamed bitter hurricanes into deaf air.
When my storms hit her farewell
the rainbows remind me
I'm now under her sky.

An Ode to Trying - 2017 (Irregular Ode)

Here’s to picking up the camera again,
or finally turning the page
of a book that never seemed to end.
Here’s to appearing brave
when your hands won’t stop shaking
and you’ve buried them in your sleeves.
Here’s to realising you’re no longer faking
the smile that rarely leaves.
Here’s to leaving your bed
and then the room it’s in
and then out the front door
back into the world once more.
Here’s to trying to try
one more time.

Winter Basil - 2017 

He’s in the winter mornings
where even the birds
are nervous to surface again
and the wind is too harsh
slicing past my face.

He’s in the winter sun
fighting through the chill
when the stubborn rays
illuminate the frosted grass.

He’s in the winter darkness
that falls early
like a camera in poor light
when the night rushes in
and hides the day’s intricate details.

He’s in my winter
because I was in his
and when my breath
appears in the air
he slips out with it.

Taken Away - 2017 (Syllabic (8, 8, 3, 8))

How can I believe time can stop
when clock hands turn in a circle?
And the sun never sets on Earth.

Yet that day my time almost stopped
my blood in a chemical flood,
But the sun never sets on Earth.

Faced them after, I’m glad I stopped
because drawing a line was too
As I watched the sun set on Earth.


Free Mind - 2017 

I grew up deep in an inked paper land
and learnt about mythical worlds before bed
with a cuddly toy grasped in my hand.

I grew up with swirling in my head
helter-skelter ideas of my own
told to the invisible friends instead.

I grew up surrounded, never alone
with a spilling mind of hidden lives
vines of imagination overgrown.

A technicolour brain unchained can thrive
for a mind creating is a mind alive.