(A prose poem)


The angry Giant can roar very loud! Aaarggh!

Yet he is lonely, for no one loves him.

Sometimes a stranger will see him in the town centre,

He will smile and go to shake the Giant’s hand.

As the Giant jumps on their head he bellows,

“Why do you not love me?”


He doesn’t like gays, or women, or scientists, or those of a different religion.

He has his own religion, “Giantism”

Sometimes, he lies awake at night thinking of new people to hate.



On his garden wall he has a tiny sign written in his childlike writing,

“Please come and play with me”

But the wall is one mile high. It has no ladders or gates.


When he goes to town,

Everyone runs away

And at first he cries. For he is lonely

Then he bellows at everyone

He has a limited vocabulary

But he knows words of hate

Words of dislike

And words of anger


The angry Giant can roar very loud! Aaarggh!





When people disagree, we communicate

We can use words

Or we can use weapons

Adjectives and nouns

Or missiles and bullets

How do you communicate?


Words can be happy, sad, nasty, nice, or neutral

They can be said in anger or in love

But weapons are always bad

How do you communicate?


When I wear a white poppy

I communicate,




[This poem was inspired by the nice people who attended the Peace Pledge Union Alternative Remembrance Day event in London in 2016.]



The Gael


Thanks to Annie Rutherford of Far Off Places magazine for using this poem in the first issue.


I am a Selchie walking from the sea

Dry land in sight, but it doesn’t much appeal to me

Taking off my Selchie skin,

Talking in a stranger’s tongue,

Trying to be “at home”,

In someone else’s world


I curse the moon, as it cursed me

I need the sea – cold, and deep, and salty-

To cover me


If I ever find my skin again…

Under the broken clouds,

I will lie upon the hard, sharp rocks,

Then dive into the

Crashing waves,

And be alive again


To be amongst my own kind,

In a world I know,

And love



And yes, afterwards

Perhaps there shall be what the humans once called, “Weeds”

Yet pretty in the ruins

Green urgent shoots, they do not know they were once called, “Ugly”

There may one day be trees

All over the World, surviving

Covering the scars. Giving out oxygen for what remains.

So much lives on through the radiation

Yet still, many species have been cruelly mutated

But lichens? Yes, beautiful lichens will survive,



The United States of America, Lecanora, The United Kingdom, Lepraria, Israel, Xanthoria, Russia, Parmelia, France, Physcia, China, Hypogymnia


The unquestioning masses are silent now for ever. No longer worried by doubts.

The believers are in their heaven – if it exists

And the Politicians have fought their war to the best of their abilities

But, the cost


I am not a heroine



Written after hearing a speaker (who was visiting Glasgow) from,

Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour



In China we don’t have heroines,

So I know that I am not a heroine

I carry all the shopping on my own,

But so little pay means there’s not much to carry

And yes, I don’t have time to meet new friends

So my workmates are my friends.

The machine is not my friend,

It is my enemy. It wears me out. It cuts me

So many accidents when:

You work so hard

Work so long

Work so fast

And aren’t trained

I am not a heroine!

I do though suffer when I speak up for my fellow workers

The Bosses all hate me

When I try to organise strikes, then the Police hate me. They take the Bosses side

If anyone is a heroine, it is the Human Rights lawyer

But she is in jail

We are not allowed to have heroines,

In China

My friend the Octopus



I will never write a haiku about you,

For I will never truly know you


I don’t know what thoughts pass through your head,

But I know that you are intelligent and love games

That your memory is good


Some people say that you are ugly and strange. But to me, well…

In your own particular way,


Like when you are

Covered in flashing colours,

All over your body

And I watch entranced the pulses of light

The changes in texture,

You are beautiful


Too beautiful to eat or experiment on


Many find it hard, to empathise with you

Yet your Pain for it to work

Must be the same urgent vital thing that humans feel

And fear