A young man called Ashraf Fayadh faces execution by the Saudi Arabian government for ‘apostasy’. Ashraf is a poet and atheist. It is his views on religion that has put his life in danger.

Tonight poets around the world come together to speak on his behalf. To share our poems in solidarity. Here is my contribution.



Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

Clearly no one told Saudi

How can we be afraid of just words

Words well thought fly like birds

And we just have to keep tweeting




There’s nothing more validly strong

Nothing that could be less wrong

Than speaking words.

We humans are the storytelling mammals

But here we are acting like anmals

What are we doing?


To Kill A Mockingbird – The Man

The Man
He polished his shoes
Before he came
He felt threatened
By the nerds
With their dungeons
And their dragons
Down the stairs.

His daughter told him to come,
Because lately he’s been missing Mum.
His shoes squeaked during the film.
He carries coffee, milky, in a tiny thermos kiln.
He’s surrounded by no. 7 faced women.
Picking at him like partnerless peacocks.
And as the daylight is dimming
He thinks he better be off…
Everyday he misses his mockingbird.

To Kill A Mockingbird – The Woman

The Woman
She read the book by accident
she told us over the gluten free
“Steinbeck and Lee are very different
Such a mix up at the book society.”

She said she wasn’t angered when it ended.
A feather thrown to an angry pit of Dalmatian.
She thinks her neighbour might be gay.
“Talk about guilty by association”.

“I just know what the world is like”
“I knew Tom Robinson was a dead man walking.”
The cat lets the injured bird hop on
Just to keep on stalking.

elderly lady peerimg through curtains