... was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, and taught there for ten years before moving to Bishop’s Stortford where she currently lives.
She was a lecturer with the Open University for sixteen years, leaving in 2009 to devote more time to writing. One of her poems was a runner up in the 2009 Mere Literary Festival. In that same year she studied on the first Faber Academy course ‘Becoming a Poet’ with work published in an anthology at the end of the course.
Her poems are inspired by current events, works of art and foreign travel.
The pier steps out in an elegant line
delicate as lace.
Along its length, the slender rails
set out to trace
a record of a love; a life; a loss,
bound and kept, the memory saved.
Each miniature plaque,
worked in brass, with name and date,
describes the briefest narrative –
retold and set to music
by both wind and wave.
He’d thought carefully about the music. Something soothing and harmonic, without sudden surprises; a piece by Bach perhaps. She was nearby, busy with her breakfast. He began playing. She stopped; then moved towards the sound, cautious because of her blindness. Near the piano she stood still, listening intently. He continued, un-intimidated by her massive bulk and close proximity. But the irony wasn’t lost on him as his fingers gently stroked the surface of the ivory keys.
By the sides of the lane leaves lie
abandoned, autumn glamour gone
in the chill of a winter’s day.
The tractor tracks are stiff with frost
and there’s ice in the furrows;
they give way under our feet
with a satisfying crunch.
In the distance the frozen trees
stand vague and forgetful, stranded
by time, mist trapped in their branches.
High above crows circle in a
slow dance, wings like rags, black flags
to mark the passing of the
waning year; but not much moves.
Then by the path, I’m distracted –
a fox – at the top of the rise,
hard-edged as a Bewick woodcut
and black against the opal sky,
head close to the ground, sniffing
out his quarry. Untroubled,
he turns, taking in my gaze
and, tail to the wind,
he breaks free of the frame,
flying through open space. ©
Chain-links and a brick wall ring-fence the caravans
where they once roamed free across the headland.
You could race through the grass
to the top of the cliff and the Sea View caff,
rubbed from the landscape now – like the pit shaft.
The wind runs the sea grass ragged,
stripping sand from the dunes
paring away time –
the beach a shadow,
ribs bare in the fading light.
But sea coal still strings the shoreline,
black-jet nudged smooth by the waves
and rocks stretch out their bones
leaving space for barnacles to gather
between the slither of emerald weed.
In the pools where anemones cling
blood-red as vital organs, shadow fish dart.
Here, then gone. Like a memory –
trailing ribbons of seaweed
squinting into the sun. ©