Hexagonal Variations on a Circular Thought – the Process

Hexagonal Variations on a Circular Thought was written over a few years, between 2014 & 2017 and combines earlier poems of a similar theme with newer work. Final editing was provided by Ashley Capes at Close-Up Books.

The poem explores the interplay between the passage of time and memory, a fight between Old Man (or Father) Time and the present as a product of memories; that is, time as either linear and/or irrelevant, and memory as being the interpretation of fragments either ‘factual’ or ‘fictional’.


& Art Floats Away Like Love

Casting a street light shadow,

he leans against a wall

in a street gone to sleep,

plucks a soft tune on an

old guitar, sings, and drinks

in the resonance of the night.

The notes are like echoes, ghosts, smoke in the air.


… meanwhile, across town…

Hunched over a cafe table,

on a serviette he sketches

the woman across the room.

In blue ink alone he catches

the gleam in her eye as she

dreams her own dreams.

He folds the picture under his cup just before he leaves.


… in another place…

He watches the people,

imagines their lives, talks

for them, creates histories,

drafts & redrafts poems

for them in his mind, but

never speaks a word.

In silence, the poems fall as tears from his eyes.


& art floats away

like love.


Published in ZineWest 2014, October 2014

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books (December, 2017)


When I Look at My Hands (for my dad)

Around 1977, I think the photographer was my mum.

When I look at my hands I think of my father,

and feel his pain through my fingers.

Rubbing the tips for the memory

of a working-class legend and his stories,


and I thank everything that can be thanked

for not being born into privileged rank,

(for an honest life cannot be bought

but must be learned the hard way).


I was born to a man who worked his soul,

twelve-hour days delivering coal,

ten ton he packed into hundredweight sacks,

while the English winter stabbed at his back.


I look at my hands & the mem’ries are ingrained,

and as I watch my hand drag a pen across this page,

I remember his hard work and sacrifice,

and thank him for being born into such a rich life.