Only a dog

For all you dog lovers out there, my poem about an old friend – ‘Only a Dog’. Rain-printed marks on the kitchen floor; Out of sheer habit, I open the door To empty space, surprised to find he isn’t there. He isn’t there where he used to...

in the sea

I live in one of the most beautiful counties in England, Dorset; and one of the things I love most is being able to swim in the sea, especially when its very cold. Now, where does this insane fetish come from, I wonder? Because I absolutely hate being cold. In fact...

A.E. Housman

I’m reading Norman Page’s biography of Housman at the moment and I reached a quotation of the poet: ‘Existence is not itself a good thing that we should spend a lifetime securing its necessities: a life spent, however victoriously, in securing the...

Work in progress

I’d already had three books published when a friend told me ‘I never think of what you do as work.’ When I’d wiped the ironic smile off my face, I gave her the grudging benefit of the doubt. Writing isn’t road sweeping. It’s not plumbing. It’s not mountain rescue. In...

Do you dream in colour?

The senses are so important when writing – working them into the book. The taste of salt, or fear, or the dry mouth of shock; the sound of a voice. The subdued longing in a touch or the latent aggression in a clasped hand; the brush of wet grass against the skin. The...