Poetry

Bellyache

The water cuts off suddenly; the spark died in an instant,

burnt out by the dragon’s unhurried burp.

He dams himself, lets it all build up around him

to cool the molten heat of his belly. Indigestion

from feasting on too many words of men,

paper crafted into delectable prey

that he swallowed too quickly, without taking

time to enjoy each morsel.

Poetry

Thoughts I had while eating chocolate spread from the jar

Scraping the bottom of the barrel,

those threads and fibres of ideas.

They’re no good, they say.

So I counter; I’m not scraping, I’m shaping,

crafting not a barrel but a watertight embrace

that I can shelter in as society’s laughter stampedes.

 

In my cave of solitude, while I wait for quiet,

those threads have been plaited into prose.

 

Like Tolkien, like Rowling – it’s all just the same.

 

No, it’s all just me. They may only see words,

but their children will see worlds.

Poetry

Prism Song

The warmth from the window hits me in time with the gentle touch of your fingers resting on my shoulder. In this moment, my eyes sweeping over the words of a book you gave me, hungry for the story you knew I’d love, I can glimpse the certainty of our future. It’s always these small things,

small comforts,

that get me. I’m at home in your embrace, alive in your company. And I know, with you, I can achieve all of my dreams. My ambitions don’t worry, scare or intimidate you. You see the spring of my creativity and bathe in it. You help me polish the crystals found in its waters, giving me confidence to share them with the world.

Poetry

Set aside

There are rocks at my feet,

all folded and crumpled,

fossilised words of untold errors.

Lists filling scrolls lie about the room,

checking for correct procedures

and slips in elegant form.

Tirelessly, I work through the night

organising scores

to serve as light music to others

who dream

of shelves of paper notes

holding keys to doors

hidden from most.

Uncategorized

My new book, The Door Between Worlds!

I’ve been talking about this on my social media pages, but sadly neglecting it on here, so it may come as a surprise to say I have another book out, a stand-alone middle-grade fantasy called The Door Between Worlds. It’s release day today, and I’m super excited to share it with everyone!

This book has everything I love in it – dragons, twists on fairytales, adventure, portals, more dragons…

The way I pitched it to my publisher was: Alice in Wonderland meets Big meets The Pagemaster. I still stick to that wholeheartedly.

So, without further ado, here it is (with the official blurb):

The-Door-Between-Worlds-Promo-Hardback-Ereader.png

Michael is a young bookworm who really believes in magic. But even he isn’t prepared for what lies behind the secret door in the school library: Treeshallow, a parallel land where all known stories originate from.

When Michael runs into the residents of Treeshallow, he finds them reminiscent of characters he’s read about in books.

Michael’s appearance there isn’t an accident. After he sets to find the famous wizard Ramble, the two learn that the school librarian, Mr. Rogers, has been taken captive by a band of demons known as the Desrai.

But even with their combined forces, can the two save Rogers from the clutches of evil?

 

(Find it HERE)

Poetry

Doorways

I love to look across at my bookshelves.

I don’t just see slabs of paper wrapped in pretty pictures,

or titles on spines acting as identities.

 

I see doorways.

 

I see vines of words reaching out to tangle around my arms and drag me in,

whether to another world entirely,

or to a part of my own brain that I’ve never greeted before.

 

Even after I close the book

once my ticket there is spent,

I know I can use it as a wedge to return to that place.

 

A place where I will always find a home

or a friendship,

a truth, a discovery

and sometimes

even family.

 

Poetry

Vanishing Time

It can overtake you, if you’re not careful.

That little bug, that tightly sealed jar that cracks with every move

and is just waiting for a chance to burst open

and flood the carpet with alphabet shapes that form words,

sentences, scenes, chapters,

faster than you can say, ‘I’ll just get in five minutes’ work before bed.’

Oh, what a lie. A page full of typed lies

that keep you from realising the time until

the strikes of midnight–no, I stand corrected–two in the morning.

Thank you brain, for that mad dash of creativity.

No, I mean it.

The pages would be crisp and white forever without you.

Poetry

Seed webs

Anything can spark an idea. A casual remark from a spouse, the sign for a road, the scent of a stranger’s perfume that has been applied so thoroughly it lingers in the air minutes after they’ve passed. Away to another land, a pace beyond the street, or maybe to the final land. Perhaps their perfume is not just perfume, but a way for the organisation they work for to track them, figure out the exact code that unlocks the doors from world to world. Random or systematic. Like the mind.

Poetry

Lignin

Walking across the threshold

my nose is affronted by dust and mustiness,

then underneath that vanilla extract scent comes.

The smell of old books, loved books, well-handled books,

books with broken spines and dog ears,

coffee stains on their covers

and notes from relatives:

‘Happy Birthday, love Aunt Mary’

‘Season’s Greetings, Frank! Christmas ’78’

‘To Mr Baldings, English Teacher Extraordinaire

upon your retirement.’

Love notes written in margins of epic romances,

the strict calculations of Vernians,

and the underlined and highlighted words

in a thousand textbooks read by a hundred thousand students

working towards their exams.

All books have a story,

not just the one printed on the page.