Featured Poetry

Welcome to my ‘Poetree’ page as my kids would call it. My posts here are a mix of featured poems I have written and photographs or videos from Open Mic Nights and Slam Competitions. I am also available as required for poetry or literature events.

All rights to all words on this page reserved

1st September 2019

Today I did a 20 minute closing feature for Swindon Mental Health Festival 2019. It was a great day and an honour to perform a set about living with Bipolar. My blogs on self injury were also available as handouts on the day. I am on the You Tube video about 2.25 in briefly

10th August 2019

Today’s poem is one about a mixed Bipolar episode where you suffer aspects of both mania and depression. This can cause a wide range of symptoms such as agitation or irritability

There are a million fleeting thoughts
In a microcosm,
The single beat of the restless heart
That drives the blood in fluctuant waves to the wandering brain.
And between the in breath and the out,
They bounce like so many urgent, scattered, escaping frogs
Chaotic, erratic and uncontrolled
From a neurological jam jar
Held by a clumsy child
With undue carelessness.
Paradoxical paralysis occurs due to the opposing forces in all directions
Each nullifying the other
Causing absolute decay of momentum,
This jittering body, this motor driven husk of blood and bone 
Stilled only from its ceaseless drive to be moving 
By the utter apathy of its directing mind.
Agitated instead into self directed cognitive flagellation
And wishing for silence
Blessed silence.


7th August 2019

Another mic night at RGPC at Baristocats plus an impromptu performance at the Ipsum event. Decided to feature a poem today written about Autism

Shes like a whirling dervish
Of energy/and fury/and rage
Exploding like a supernova, helpless to her impulses
Screaming her outrage at the world
Limbs uncontrollable
No matter how hard each time is for me
And it is
It’s a million times harder for her
Being in this world
THIS world
This world of noise-and colour-and confusion
This world where people don’t mean what they say…..
…..don’t say what they mean.
This world of conformity
Everybody made to be a Windows operating system
And she’s a Mac
So I calm my breathing
Ascend the stairs softly calling her name
Ignoring the answering shrieks of agitated incomprehension at the world that has wronged her by its illogical insistence on things that shouldn’t really matter
Like growing up. Or change. Or sometimes even being offered toast or weetabix for breakfast when those arent what she wants
But she doesn’t know what she does want so why aren’t the right choices being laid out for her to choose from
I push open the door and sit down on the bed quietly..
Just sit.
And wait.
Next to the jumbled tangle of arms and legs and helpless resentment
Waiting for the right time
The right moment
The right second
An intuition only borne of my own experience
Experience only mine because nobody experiences this the same way
And each time I experience this the experience changes
And at times my experience is that I dont deal with it this way
And I lose myshit
Because it’s exhausting to be the only safe place in a storm.
Then berating myself for not remembering that she’s the confused and frustrated one
But also feeling confused and frustrated
Clinging to the driftwood of my own emotions as I’m buffeted by hers
Raging at the hurricane because I don’t have the tools to control it and get to her in it’s centre and make her safe
Tools that nobody knows how to make
Tools that have to be made/and destroyed/and remade with each shift of the sands we stand on
Because the only predictability about Autism is it’s unpredictability
Perfect chaos theory
Affected by every flap of the butterfly’s wings
Whirling dervishes…


Photos from previous mic nights

Open mic Rusty Goat’s Poetry Corner August 2019. 5 minute slot. Photo by Jason Conway
Squawkers at The Sober Parrot in Cheltenham whete I had a ten minute open mic for the first time July 2019. Photo by Drea Macmillan
Ooh Beehive Midsummer Worders 5 minute open mic at The Beehive Swindon July 2019. Photo by Olivia Alexander
10 minute feature slot at Twigs charity night run by Rusty Goat’s Poetry Corner June 2019. Photo by Drea Macmillan

Open mic at Rusty Goat’s Poetry Corner May 2019 5 minute slot. Photo by Drea Macmillan