Gentle and other poems

Over the past few months, I’ve been involved with a project with UoN LGBT+ Voices. Together with poet Maya Ruhinda, we put together a small booklet of poetry and illustrations.  Here’s a selection of Maya’s poems and my illustrations. A limited number of booklets are available for a small donation to Equation Nottingham. If you’d like one, get in touch with either me or the folks at LGBT+ Voices.



i’m not really happy


every night i used to wash my face with soapy water


splash splash splash


the smile from my face


because i am in love with you


and you are not in love with me





there is something about not going in


there is something about

walking past a gay bar

and not going




that treds lightly upon

my little gay heart

with a sturdy wellington boot


so i go home





for me when i am

in love i am a nicer



i would stroke the strands

of hair on her head to sleep

softly. soundly i


would hold her, embrace

her, feel her naked body

cloaked in the fluffy


white dressing gown she

would wear never did i picture

letting her go


she would flood my whole

existence with the kindness

of a mother,






internalised homophobia


that afternoon i

had sat by the pond and let

it rain on me i


prayed for more rain i

needed to feel clean and to

forget what happened


i had had sex with a girl




Somebody’s Trip to France

A while back I found a set of old photos in amongst some developing kit I’d been given. I know nothing about where they came from apart from the fact that, by the looks of it, they’re of someone’s holiday in France.

Along with some old postcards, they fell victim to a few collage experiments.






Experiments in Deep Blue

A few weeks ago I went along to a Cyanotype Printing workshop at the awesome Spike Island (check them out for lots of free workshops). It’s a fairly simple technique the was originally used for making prints from drawings and is where the term ‘blueprint’ originally came from. The paper is treated with a photosensitive solution and the objects laid on top create white silhouettes on a deep blue background when it is exposed to sunlight. These were my experimental creations using tracing paper, ink and some found objects.


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I thought, ‘It’s like it is burning’ and then I remembered that it was.



Recently I’ve been inspired by a friend’s work to have a go at working more freely and try and work from my imagination rather than copying photos all the time. It’s been hard, after doing A-level I’ve got so used to working in a really restricted way. If I try to draw something off the top of my head, I have no idea where to start. So I’ve been making myself work from life or my own drawings to try and crack my photo addiction. This one was a bit of an experiment. I worked completely from what I could remember from the sunset I’d seen earlier. And I forced myself to finish it, which is quite rare for me.