Return to Pisa

The canvas spans a screen before it folds and Tuscany is shrunk to yellow icon: olives spotted low in dipping…

Glue the Ballast

I had a train set like this when I was young. The service was delayed until lunch was cleared away…

Touched on the 19:45

They sat down next to her, him, the urine and the walking stick. ‘Go on, move up away from me…

Cross Country

A yellow grin is wiped across the landscape in the brilliant sunshine of a commuter morning that shouts Friday, which…

Discontent

A downlighter soaked the back of his hair. “We’re just not made to be people who say: ‘In five year’s…

Permanent Way

How many sleepers are there on the line to Charing Cross? I wonder if they count them all or whether…

Leaving Done

Now swimming in a foggy spa, warm as treacle, and people everywhere the same: happy, lost, finding themselves on the…

Littleone

Will you remember the mudstraw hug when, after autumn lanes of rippling squirrels, curling beyond the doglost fields, under hops…

Dramatis Architecti

I walk to the building. I enter. I pass Dimitri leaving, who frowns at me half-seen, and step onto light,…

The Return of the Prodigal

The prodigal dragged himself to the last but one crest and collapsed back to his bloodied palms. The heat seared…

My Mother

‘Have a look at this’. My father swayed, the living room a trench of obstacles, and wove string-ball to his…

The Lavender Fields

We broke from the platform in scattered sun to skim through a suburb of jungle elders and floppy sycamores, daubed…

Short Story Twenty Twelve

Hot brown tea on the table blocks the blue water of the pool scored in lines across the panning camera…

Standard Class

A thin mist hangs over the houses and a sharp, white frost in the brambles beside the track, as we…

The Girls

It’s Friday, and the sun is low: I wanted to work but couldn’t, so I picked up my pen to…

Elmstead Woods

In August the buddleia finally pushes electric purple heads to the third rail, a wave of dancers – jewelled feathers…

Grating

Said the back to the brain: ‘this vertebrate pain is driving my spinal ladder insane’.   Said the brain to…

Misbehavin’

We were all gazing up from our fingernails, some with powdered newsprint hands, some with screwed-up iscreen pixels, some with…

Greek Street

It never oozed like Dean Street, where the blooded wet the steps of the Soho Theatre and splay across railings…

Occasion

We stopped at Petts Wood for a group of Chinese twenties, which was odd for the time and the place….

Autumn of Summer

I’m walking to the station through the needling mist. The grass on the cricket ground is grey with dew just…

Platform Proverbs

1 1 A late train is better than a mythic one. 2 Better an announcement clipped with facts than a…

Watching You

Staring from a window on the south side of Soho was a young Chinese lady with noodles in her bowl….

My Father

is dying quietly in lines I drew, space we flew, paced in mind, rendered sane. I never thought the action…

From a train: February 2006

An open dawn widening eyes and chilling the promise of day, sprung to leap under blue-hung clouds; shredded in light,…

By Goodge Street

I’m awake in the sleep of an early end with a cup at my fingers, and the rhythm of Latin…

Bloody Business

I hate this recession, swollen twice in spate to obliterate the banks, to flush solids and spring beauty alike in…

Passion

Was I kneeling? They came out cruel, and made a king’s mockery of this man.   Purple and red are…

Cracked

I drop my polished, black tile of a mobile on the oiled, sprung office floor and the touchscreen breaks. There…

Corporate

I flew to Denmark in search of a soul that, I fancied, lived in cyan, bold on an unfamiliar stamp…

Loss of Containment

Waste is held at the junction, waiting for a green, overpowered by traction, bound with lead and steel; one engine…

The Ballad of Dives the Rich

A howl hit the Charing Cross canopy as Sir Gerald Ashwarlingham-Buckleby swore at the man on the ticket gate whilst…

Worship

I want to sing out loud but can’t because I’d frighten others on the train if I started. So I…

Itching

Breath, it is seriously quiet on this train. Look, that girl and her guy are energy-high on caffeine cans but…

The Journey Home

A humid, heavy yawn folds up the day and marks the seconds on the bright departure clock; scrolling hours unending,…

Katz

and suddenly I was in this little place in Christianshavn, drinking coffee, eating pear pie and watching the Danes tog…

Not a Good One

Look guys, just give me a wedge to pin my body tight, a rail to grab and stop the body-sway,…

Discharge

If you step up on the threshold of the seven thirty-seven you’ll find a lot of newsprint on its way…

Dice Advent

I had a dream that the whole world had burrowed to Oxford Street but they couldn’t get out because the…

The Truth Within:

When the Fifty-Five knocked me down on Oxford Street (and after I’d left my wallet at home) security picked up…

The Office Move

You left a lot of stuff behind me on the shelves: I’ve spent the last two hours dumping it in…

Reduced Function

Heat-wrapped and hit semi-conscious on a late week morning, snow icing the highs of the verge and the dawn candescent…

Passing lights

The man in the beige raincoat opposite has his nose in a book. He pulls on a frown, and then…

upper deck

she booked me first and so the blackberry jam and toast struggle for space interlaid with the blotter and gleaming…

St James’ Park

08.25 Underneath a black and spotted clutch of thirties ironwork, trace-lit by fluorine, condensed to white in damp reflection, backlit…

Grace

Take a linen cloth and screw it up, wring it tight until the fabric tears, peel it long and lay…

York Railway Station

And do I wish to worship under vaults, eight hundred years of patina peppered to a crust; or in one…