Twisted sheets,
Egyptian cotton,
pin me.
my body
collected, studied,
by a face
I don’t know,
Its owner has been
here all night.
Has pressed
his weight
into the hollow
of the bed,
and me
still as a fawn
in the sights.
He stretches,
hung over,
brushes the nape
of my neck,
wants breakfast,
and my number,
like it never happened.

I went for a drink.

Yesterday …
I struggle …

Yesterday …
I struggle …
to remember.

By the poet Cath Campbell.





I felt the shove

At my back

And tried to turn

To find something

Firm to hold

To prevent my fall

That’s when I saw you

And my breath

Gave out

Hitting the water

But then the sinking began

The dragging down

By my wet clothes weight

Into the depths

I felt the deepening cold

Of lake water

Enter my body

And the fear too

Uncontrollable shivering

Is never


I sank slowly

The surface

The light


It was the slowness

That frightened me

I needed to free myself

Of the weight

That drew me into darkness

Shedding clothes

That gripped my body

The barrier

Between life and air

There have been

More recent times

When falling into darkness

And the gut twisting

Feelings of despair

And the coldness of fear

And it was the need to let go

That saved me

And the urge

To grasp life

And head for the light.


Fantalle Mountain.JPG


This morning I stopped

to listen to a robin singing

in the tall birch tree

that overhangs our garden.


It is mid-August in Wales

but the robin’s singing

was the wistful and shrill

notes of an October song.


And it’s on cold clear

mornings like this

that I am reminded

of a small town

called Matahara

in the Rift valley

A lorry stop

on the badly cambered

rutted out road

from Addis to Djhibuti.


And of staying overnight

in the old school

over-shadowed by the cauldera

of Mount Fantalle


And woken by the sounds

of camels and the shouts

and whistles of men

returning safely again

from the long search

for nourishing pasture

emerging through

the rising dust

that shrouded and gauzed

the clear light of morning.


The sight of a man

running and carrying

a new born camel

on his shoulders.


And the sounds

of the joy of children

welcoming the men

their fathers, uncles

and brothers safely

back to their homes


All this will stay with me

for the time allowed

as I hear that the rains

have failed again.




Published in “Uncertain Times” Octavo Press 2016.