St Joseph’s School Poetry Week

I was delighted to be invited back to St Joseph’s school to take part in their poetry week on Wednesday. I had a great time meeting year 5 and year 6, talking to them about poetry, books and writing, and sharing some poems…

A poem I found floating on the canal (the names of boats)

Two hoots, Wellington!
Footloose, Mathilda Mae!
Bob’s your uncle, Talisker!
We used to make things
Spick-and-span and Prosper
Just Helen
Violet May
Bonnie three
And Serafina


A poem I loved when I was young…

Overheard on a Salt Marsh by H Munro

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?

Give them me.


Give them me. Give them me.


Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man’s fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

Give me your beads, I want them.


I will howl in a deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.


Libraries past and future

In the village-becoming-a-suburb where I grew up, there were two school buildings. The ‘Old School’ – a solid early 1900s red brick building with high rooms and high windows – had been outgrown by the expanding population, and I did my primary school time in the new school (a sort of flat-pack late 60s construction: our teachers used to mutter that it would fall down long before the Old School did, though as far as I know it’s still going strong). Continue reading

Coming soon: Assalay volume two

With fingers duly crossed against last minute disasters, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be publishing volume two of the Assalay Trilogy, The Singing War, on 30 November 2015.

Continue reading

Volume Two of The Assalay Trilogy

I have been busy revising and editing volume two of The Assalay Trilogy, The Singing War, over the summer, and have just about got to the point where I’m ready to send for a proof copy. Actually, I’m not quite ready to, but I probably will anyway, simply because there’s such a huge pleasure in having a real, physical book which you can feel and smell as well as read.

Continue reading