Just started a series of creative writing workshops at Carsington Water as part of my 2018 writer residency. Had a fantastic day talking, walking and writing with an exceptionally talented group of young writers. They bring some of the wild inhabitants of this wonderful landscape to life in their group poems…


 to hide is my nature

my industrial shell

small shy sucker


avoiding eagle eyes


feeling the dimensions

of the ground as I slide

my shining path

giving me away as I

leave a map behind



Squidgy champer

taking soil in his mouth,

making soil in his mouth

between the winter blades.

Squiggling, tunnelling

creating an intricate network

of passages, giggling as it tickles

his wet ridged skin.

Fat and slim, long and low,

silently enriching

the earth as he goes.



These ancient crawlers are watchers,

eyes fixed in every direction on

frost-dappled strings of light.


Dressed to kill in their furry coats

They are patient, predatory, poised

on intricate death traps, on eight legs

but it only takes one bite…



Ruby red and splattered with black ink blobs,

she dazzles passers-by with her stories

of fire and fairy wings; small creatives,

red midget ladies in a big world.


A world beguiled by the way she crawls

along its curious fingers until

a yellow, poisonous pus shoots out

of her knees, and we see her true nature.



You are stripy, buzzing, hard working, struggling.

juggling work with hive life, but you never stop humming,

your fuzzy gold and coal black body always turning

nectar into honey with a sting that brings a death sentence.


We prefer sitting, chatting, picnicking and when you come

we start running, batting, flapping, whacking, it’s true,

we run from you miracle workers, pollinators, propagators,

ironic as you don’t need us but boy, do we need you!

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