i’ve seen the way true grit splits,

carves sky and hacks Earth

on a butcher’s block

stained by sunrise, sundown.


up there, down here is absurd,

and the horizon mocks us all,

it serves nothing but a glow

i can re-create, lightbulb and shadow.


woodland surf, worlds away, whispers

to the rocks, they’ve seen the way i stand

to look down,

both of us ant-sized, nothing.



Ground level, voided earth

Bound to streaks of coppered clay,

Open hands of branches

Robbed by seasons,

Morphed emerald lime to bronze,

Still to be stripped by frost

on the heave of menthol lungs.


A cotton tundra rapes

The blue, holds sunlight

Stuck in smoke, its hue

Hazed static, wedged,

Boundaries of sky and stone;

The valley clasps, constricts,

Pulls tight, a duvet for

A child at night

Without blankets of stars,

Naked as the morning dew

That seeks to wet the scars,

Retreating past the

White damask

That coats tomorrows heart.




Blog, Uncategorized

One month ago, I was sick of this place. Nineteen years in the quiet isolation of the Peaks had led to a stagnancy of my appreciation and gratitude; if you were to be fed a Michelin star meal thrice daily, you would most likely lose all knowledge of its greatness with haste. I thought it was time for a change of menu, and ordered from the buffet section; 13 of Europe’s greatest cities, an ‘all-you-can-eat’ of splendour and awe served promptly on the drop down tables of 21 trains in 10 different countries. I was busy. I was privileged enough to see what many consider to be some of the most beautiful things on Earth, and appreciate them accordingly, yet I found something unusual stirring from my being. I was yearning to return.

Far from the cacophony of blaring horns and perpetual sirens, an age away from the hordes of tourists, weaving traffic and dirt riddled streets, lies the Peak District. My travels taught me a lot of things, most notably, that nothing is quite like the acres of ochre clay, deep soil, twisting rivers and emerald greens I am lucky enough to call home. It is a place that cannot be attributed as the creation of a genius artist, nor the design of a Renaissance master; it simply exists, eternal, in effortless glory.

Whether it’s the sharp frost of a winter morning or the rolling blues of summer skies, although I admit the latter is a bit of a rarity, it’s easy to lose a sense of reality when separated from the rest of the world by the great spine of the Edges that run goliath through the land. I used to detest this detachment with a passion, worried that I would be stuck here, trapped like a lamb behind a fence, yet now I see it for the blessing it really is; an offering of peace and tranquility, a bubble of serene independence.

I don’t think there is a single person raised in this landscape that could honestly claim to have not been moulded by it. As children, we enjoyed the freedom of space, adventuring into the woodlands, biking to the moors, building dens, lighting fires, seizing the opportunity to relive great battles with sticks and valour and learning to live with a grazed knee or bruised arm. The local farms taught us to respect wildlife and educated us about the intricacies of our food chain; their ethos on hard work and commitment to the land making them role models for those of all walks of life, regardless of future aspirations. As a writer, inspiration couldn’t get much easier to absorb; the magnificence of the land and the eclectic variety of the people ensure that there is always something to talk about, a story to tell; all I have to do is listen.

I have, after much deliberation, finally realised that no matter where I end up in this life, I will always have a home in the Peaks. I have no choice but to carry this place with me; it’s shaped who I am, how I think, and how I act, and has built loving communities with those around me. I suppose it’s true, after all, that the Derwent runs deep in our veins.





Tucked well beneath a blanket,

Morgue white, the colours run,

Rusting iron begs to feel

the wilting winter sun,

As the outstretched hand

of a heartless moor

drips all its palette into one;

Purple, lavenders wheezing face,

Lies deep beneath the silver lace

of an icy frozen pond,

Its violet blood clings hard to mud

to preserve sweet summers bond.

The golden glow of grass, in shoots,

Hides in respite from the soles of boots

that love to roam the land,

Tufts of ferny feathers wait to

scatter grains of sand, under this white

that lives forever

in the palm of winters hand.



Uncategorized, Writing

Upon the misted veil of solemn moors

the howling wind did come to pass,

Blew grey snow beneath the trees

and made the heath show white to black;

Shades of evening rolled on in,

Empty branches shivered bare,

Yet a body of tree stood limped; frail,

A wizened oak for centuries there.

The rock face sheer, silent, stood behind

its protector glad in wooden mail,

Gritstone shield for winter’s sword

and the axe of night to no avail,

All left the oak to stand alone,

No more shoots from earth arise,

The furies of storms swooped to provoke

The crack of thunder, lightning cries-

The oak did not stir from its place,

Roots well burrowed in frozen ground,

Within itself it remembered life,

The smell of summer and the blackbird’s sound;

How the creatures of nature refuge amongst

the scars of hearts that men have carved,

With their lovers and a rusted blade

before sitting where the ground now starves.

The oak can only look to days of spring

to warm its gelid, bitter core,

And there it shall enjoy its days

before winter creeps and kills once more.



We walked to the tomb of 

the hillside,

A wound carved caverns in smooth rock,

Eternities of echoes lay

with crumbling chalk and curdled clay,

The air was hot with fear;

Ancient thunder lay in wait,




Darkness pooled from drooling lips

of the crooked smile above,

We cowered in the womb;

Every chamber bore new paths

to the belly of the Earth,

No sun could have fed us there,

No stars to occupy our stares 

and distract us from our fate;

Bones shivered, broken by the sin

that dwelt deep within the cave,

Our brittle bodies grew so thin,

We became the echoes trapped within

that long forgotten grave,




How we wish we’d wash away.



I am surrounded,

stuck, shrouded on

an island, black and white,

Marooned by melancholy

draining colours from my sight,

They slip along these sands of grey

and mingle with the ocean spray,

Hiding like the night.


I want to step upon

the shore, fall into

water, start to swim,

Leave the dark behind me

as I claw with aching limbs,

Remember all my eyes have missed,

A palette that still glows with bliss

upon your rainbow skin,

Pink pastels trapped within

your lips,

I hear echoes as you sing. 







There’s a farm near where I live. Well actually, there’s only farms near where I live, but this one is my favourite. It’s a twenty minute walk, always quiet, and home to these gloriously wooly Highland cows. They were a bit apprehensive the first few times I tried to get close, but after a few trips they were used to me; they’re incredibly friendly creatures, and have a prehistoric presence that looks fantastic through the lens. I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed taking them…