Love Letter from the Salt Marsh to the Scientist.

Recently I did a gig with my collective (Loud Poets) called Experimental Words. It was a gig that combined scientists and poets to make original pieces that talked about the work of the scientists. My scientist was a guy called William and he studied Salt Marshes. So thus this poem was born!

I know I haven’t posted in a while so to anyone who still reads these…I hope you enjoy it!


We both come from the salt

You and I

I watched you

Footsteps a symbol of defiance to the water

As you came crawling through the upside-down maze

Of my landscape spine.

This was the beginning.

Before the smokestacks and the engine

Before your boats carved paths through the ocean, through the horizon, through my coastline

You were always a traveller

Clever people

You’ve gotten taller since then

Learned to stand up right and defiant

I watched you make cities from the river banks

Crack the world open like the oyster made for your pearls

As if you owned everything you touched

I watched you swim backstrokes through all the consequences of your growth

Until now you and I tread water

Delicate in our balance.

There’s a push and a pull to things

You see that when you grow with the tides

There is life among the flat

Hidden depths

Kingdoms of crabs and shrimp

They scuttle their way through my channels

Me and the sea

We have been doing this for forever

We send each other messages in shrimp code

Tell each other secrets about how to make heather roots grow steady and

how to distribute a shoreline correctly

There is a push and a pull to things

We embrace for the smallest of waves

Give each other gifts from ourselves

I grow and shrink with the months

While she remains endless

You and I

We both know we can never go back to her again

Not like we used to.

I watch you dance light over my surface

A pirouette of discovery

Feel the weight of a fourth dimension 6 minutes and 38 seconds at a time

If we keep playing this song…

Maybe one day we’ll know each other

Maybe one day you’ll see the catfish in my dreams

Serenaded by a New Orleans sunrise

And the jazz of creole shrimp boats

Catching the morning in two hands

Light dripping from the open nets

Maybe I’ll see the slow lightning of my shape

Pull boots on and go walking through the high walls of my flat surface

The ocean breeze brushing back my reed-hair.

We both know about holding

We’ve got that in common

We can both weather a storm with open arms

I welcome heron into my rib cage long grass

Flamingos flock in my heart beats

My head’s full of feathers

Some days I have so much birdsong in me

And then it shifts

The fledgeling days give way to a coastal silence

The music of the waves

The push and the pull of a tidal rhythm

The grey days

Coal washed up onto the shore like music notation

To the duet between the water and the earth

In a way, we both exist in that in between

The space between grounded and floating

The push

And the pull

Dear human

You were once an easy scientist

Everything was a discovery

And dinosaurs lurked almost everywhere

When we met for the first time for the 100th million time

You were storyteller historian palaeontologist hybrid scholar

In your head, my trenches contained Vikings riding T-Rexs in King Arthur’s Court of Atlantis

You found bad-ass in the beauty of stillness

When did we change?

I’ve been doing this for such a long time

I don’t know how else to be

We’re still equal parts Dylan Thomas and Carlos Williams

Chopin and Mogwai

The push and the pull

The laser light stops

You move your markers again

And again

I tell you

We both come from the salt…


NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 22


When you look back on all the wasted time

Try not to look at it as wasted

Try to see it how i see it

It’s just time.

When you finally get around to putting your life in order

Stacking the shelves of your insides

With books and green things

And adulthood

And calendars

Leave a shelf empty

I’ll be waiting with the comic books

And the reasons why you still write poetry.

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 21

Did you know there are people out there who can see without seeing?

They’re like human bats or dolphins or something.

They do these weird clicking noises and then

They listen for the sound they get back

To tell them what the world looks like

Kind of like Daredevil

Except without all that red leather.

Kind of reminds me a bit of poets

They get out on a stage

Make funny noises

And listen for the sound they get back

To tell them what the world looks like.

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 18

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything (blame a very busy life!) but I thought I’d start uploading the remainder of the NaPoWriMo pieces I did so I can complete the set here, and maybe start posting newer stuff as well. Enjoy.

I’ve always been interested in language.

Like how read and read are the same written down

But context gives them both a sound

Which makes them different.

Or the words which are the same no matter what,

The only difference again being this thing called context

Can and can

Right and right

Beam and beam

So when you asked me to make my shots harder

It’s almost like you intended me to


Hit the ball off the sweet spot of the bat

Where it makes the dull thump sound

Where it feels like nothing at all

It’s almost like you should have been prepared for the cricket ball that came flying at you like a clarification

It’s almost like

You wanted me to hit you

Dead between the eyes

Like some kind of middle class, back garden David and Goliath.

So if you think about it

It isn’t my fault


Even if you did blackout for a bit.

Think of it as a brain reset.

It works on computers.

Maybe that knock on the head

Kickstarted something important right?!




Happy birthday anyway!

Sorry about the cricket thing…

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 17

There is a mouse in my kitchen

He and his mouse friends play poker

With the ghosts of my appliances

The ghost blender mixes drinks

The ghosts of pizza boxes are eating leftovers

The mice are little gangsters

Bank robbers and moonshine runners

They wear little suits and hats

They call the ghosts wise guys

The ghost of the microwave deals a new hand

The mouse we call Roach

He wins the hand

Straight flush

All hearts

Roach tips the blender

A moth hits the window drunk

The ghost of the vinyl sings love songs to the tattooed guitar

Another day in paradise

For little gangster mice

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 16

I’ve been writing a letter to no one

For the longest time

I have been gathering my thoughts into bags

Harvesting my imagery

And storing it for…something

When i finally meet the name that will come after the ‘dear’

I will open the doors of this grain store body

Watch the words tumble clumsy

Empty everything

Just to have space

For her spare thoughts.

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 15

This is the dream:

She lies under a peach tree

Carelessly running fingers across the bark

Beside her there is a basket of peaches

On her other side a pile of peach stones

The peaches are sunsets

As big as her palm

She eats them full mouthed

Light dripping

The stones are the cores of stars

Still clinging to the yellow

She places these peach stones down

Delicately imprecise

She and the tree they are on an island

Surrounded by a lake

The lake it is a mirror

The stars tread water

There are no waves here.

Everything is still.

The woman she takes a handful of peach stones

Makes them dance with small gestures

She takes them one by one and skims them across the water

Out of the water a bear comes


Pieces of sun stuck in single strands in his fur

The bear reaches her island

Shakes off the night

Take its fur and drapes it over her

They sit beside one another

Peach stones, the woman, and the bear

He tells her all about where he goes in the morning

She laughs but she knows she will never leave this island.

This is how they sleep.

Curled around a basket of sunsets.

Tomorrow they know they will do this dance again

And they smile at the routine.