Diverse Verse 2 cover reveal

So Diverse Verse 2 the poetry collection for charity I’ve been working on is now out and available to buy.

It will firstly be available at Southcart Books from today onwards towards the official launch this Saturday,then online for everyone who can’t make it to the shop.

Pictures taken by Scott Carter.

Diverse Verse 2 is ready for launch

Late last year I launched a call for poets for a poetry anthology for charity entitled “Diverse Verse 2.” I’m pleased to say the book is at the printers and we have a launch date.

On the 27th May as part of Southcart Book’s open mic “Diverse Verse 2” will be launched. The official Facebook event is here if you are interested, it should be a great day with lots of superb poets reading and hopefully I’ll sell a few books for charity.

Embracing on an Autumn Day – Reprise

Hold me tight as the wind blows,
As the leaves gather round our feet.
So you’ll think of me next Autumn,
When you’re walking down this street.

Hold me close as the clouds gather,
And raindrops begin to land.
So you’ll remember me next Autumn,
When you hold another’s hand.

Then let me go as the sky darkens,
Free me like an Autumn leaf.
No longer attached too what I loved,
Our time together sadly too brief.

I’m reprinting this poem not because it feels like Autumn here in the UK at the moment but because I’m proud to say I heard this week it’s taken first prize in a local poetry contest. The Friends of Merrions Wood chose this poem as a winner in their seasonal poetry contest and it should be in their next news letter, considering I used to play in that very wood when I was young I’m proud to have won,.

Things that go Bump in the Night at Southcart Books

Catch me tomorrow at Southcart Books in Walsall as part of their great free event, Things that go bump in the night. I’ll be performing some spooky poems and there will be some great talks from Sage Paranormal.

New poetry collection seeks poets


UPDATE – Applications are now closed, if you are interested in buying or reviewing a copy when the book is available please drop me an email.

Earlier this year I took part in collating and producing a collection of poetry, “Diverse Verse,” which was sold to raise money for charity. I’m now pleased to announce I’m looking for poets again to contribute to a similar project, entitled “Diverse Verse 2.” As usual I’m working with the talented folks at the Walsall Poetry Society.

Here’s how you can get involved and see your poems in print

All you need to do to be involved is to email me two poems to the email address below and they will be considered for the book based on the following rules. Please note entry is free.

  1. All poems must be the authors own work, please don’t submit something that isn’t yours.
  2. Poems are welcome from anyone, anywhere in the world.
  3. Please submit no more than two poems
  4. Submitted poems must be in arial font in a format free word document. If you are unable to do such then just paste the poems into the body of your email.
  5. Poems on any subject and theme are welcome, however sexually explicit poetry and poems with extreme bad language will not be considered.
  6. Poems should be no longer than 400 words approx.
  7. Previously published poems can be submitted as long as the writer holds the copyright.
  8. When submitting poems please include your full name for inclusion in the book’s contents.
  9. Email your poems to Diverseverse@aol.co.uk
  10. If I receive more poems than I can fit in a reasonably sized book then I shall do one of two things. Firstly I shall endeavour to put at least one of each contributors poems in the book, failing that if there are too many poems I will select my favourites and publish those.
  11. The book will be published via Lulu the online publishers.
  12. Closing date for submissions is 31 January 2017

I hope to have the book out in 2017 by the summer at the latest, money raised from sales of the collection will go to charity.

Buy a copy of the first Diverse Verse by clicking here, now at a special low price

Click here to see how well the last book did.

Please note

The copyright of any published poems remains with the author.

A Poem in Support of Walsall Art Gallery


Standing tall in Walsall town,
Is our art gallery looking proud.
Visited by a million folk and more,
Flocking through its inviting doors.
Noddy Holder’s in the lift
Welcoming you to this artistic gift.
There’s marvels inside for all to see,
Bring the children, bring the family.
See the celebrated Garman Ryan collection
All lined up for your inspection.
View its famous statues and pictures,
All fabulous artistic history.
Or take in the work of Jacob Epstein,
Walsall Art Gallery is a shrine
To marvellous sculptures and letters,
You’d travel far to find better.
There’s all that and so much more
In the gallery’s many floors.
But this building needs your support,
Or maybe one day it won’t be here at all.
So visit it today, show it some love, come on,
Or one day soon it might just be gone.


A quick note. The Art Gallery and libraries in my home town of Walsall are under threat of closure due to funding cuts. I think it would be a shame to see these buildings shut, so here’s my poem of support to keep them open.


The Train now Departing


My last sight
Was your face.

Then as the dull brick
Of the station
Bled into the sprawling
Urban jigsaw of the suburbs,
You remained
Reflected in my window.

When rural emeralds
And russet earth
Sped into view
I thought I could still see you,
Keeping up with my journey.

Your features are burnt
Into my retina.
I don’t dare blink and lose you.

So when we finally pulled in
At my destination
I looked through the window
And watched you finally
Fading from my view.

Introducing “Southcart Tales”

Southcart Books in Walsall where I held my latest book launch have themselves launched a book of short stories entitled Southcart Tales. This is an excellent book with some great work from talented local authors, sold to raise money to support the shop.


Here’s the Amazon info

Southcart Book Shop is one of the few thriving independent book shops in the West Midlands, if not the UK as a whole. In this modern era of computers, video games, social media and reality TV, books are becoming an ever more precious commodity.
At Southcart Book Shop, Scott and Amy aren’t content to simply sell books. They are building a community of book lovers, regularly holding events with readings from authors, themed days and always a warm welcome.
The nine authors featured in this collection are all Southcart regulars, and royalties from the sales of this book are going direct to Southcart Book Shop, to help Scott and Amy continue their fantastic work of spreading the love of reading.

Fantasy author Stan Nicholls kindly provides the introduction to a great collection which will have you shaking in your socks or holding your sides with laughter. Having read the book I must say it is a vibrant mix of story types, from fantasy to horror, from real life to sci-fi and is an excellent read and worthy of your attention.


The Southcart authors, plus shop owners plus author Stan Nicholls

If you want to support an independent bookshop and read some great tales then you might like to pick up a copy, here’s some handy links so you can do just that.

Amazon UK – Kindle or paperback

Amazon USA – Kindle or paperback

Or if you are in Walsall why not pop in to Southcart Books and pick up the book direct from them, they might even have some signed copies.

Author photo courtesy of Rob Grimes

Where to buy my new book Poems on the Bus

Last Saturday I launched my third poetry collection “Poems on the Bus” at Southcart Books in Walsall. I’m pleased to say it was a great afternoon, with wonderful poetry and music from a brilliant selection of local performers.


Richard Archer and fellow performers at Southcart Books. From left to right Paul Elwell, me, Jess Law, Christine Loch, Marianne Burgess, Dan Oram, Lagriff and Katy Jay. Photo courtesy of Southcart Books

A big thank you to all who came, Marianne who co-hosted with me and to Southcart Books for allowing me to launch in their great shop. I’ll put some links at the end of this article of all those involved who can be found on the internet so you can enjoy and support their work.

So onto the book, it’s currently available as a paperback on Lulu.com, if you want a digital version I am converting the file for upload as a Kindle book which should be done soon. The book is also available at Southcart Books, which if you’re in Walsall is well worth a visit.

So click here to go to Lulu to get a copy of the book 

Jess Law’s great Music can be found here.
Marianne’s book is available here.
The fabulous tunes from Katy Jay are here.
Southcart Books is here
Links to the talented cover photographer Andy Simon and model Emma Dunn can be found here.


Walsall Arboretum lake

One of the lakes that inspired this poem in Walsall Arboretum

In a quiet corner of the park,
Lies a lake with water dark.
Surrounded by stooped trees.
Which guard it from the breeze.

If at its shores you stand there,
It seems no matter how long you stare.
The lake’s depths defy your gaze,
Whether you look for minutes or days.

But be patient, stand very still,
Put away your phone, wait until.
Very slowly before your eyes,
The lake quietly comes to life.

The surface ripples, then breaks,
As a water boatman skates.
Then a branch shakes and sways,
As a squirrel makes his way.

But as soon as nature comes it goes,
Your spectacle draws to a close.
Nature again hides away,
To perhaps return another day.

The trees seem to close ranks,
As you steal a final glance.
Then the lake’s water fades to black,
As you turn and don’t look back.