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When a woman falls in love with a dinosaur

When a woman falls in love with a dinosaur

When a woman falls in love with a dinosaur
she must be sure
to keep his nails cut short. She must 
remember to feed him well.
No doubt she’ll need a new, big bed
she’ll need to warn her friends
not to drop by unannounced. She’ll need 
to learn the meaning of his grunts and calls, 
his rubbish strewn trail speaks volumes 
of his inner reptile. She’ll need to frame 
her questions carefully, in a language he will 
understand, put aside her whims, begin 
the task of moving in the unfamiliar 
territory of the unexplained.
He, for his part, may miss the outdoors
both eyes trained in stereo 
to her comings and goings, eyes in the back
of his head, lashed to the rain dance of windows.
She will, of course, try everything to make it work.
She will bend over back-wards to convince 
herself and everyone else that this is not unusual,
anything is possible if there is love and a big enough bed.
But when his cumbersome tail catches once more and again 
the delicate china cups she’d arranged, heard 
their many fragments call, each a small refrain 
you are not thinking straight the spell will break, 
the human faces of her children once more visible
in the light from the long-broken door.

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Foul Mouthed Praise Poem 

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This installation came out of workshopping conversations around freedom of speech with the students at Sidcot School showing them videos of great orators like Martin Luther King, Kae Tempest, Emmeline Pankhurst.

After workshopping, the students created poems and thes
e were whittled down to phrases and ideas which tc arkle then used to create the final poem.

tc arkle was poet in residence at Sidcot School

in North Somerset from 2018 to 2022

The Freedom of You.



*A synonym for guerrilla gardening by Australian gardener Bob Crombie

The Lyra Poetry Festival, Bristol, Nature in the City, Eco Poetry, Reading with host Carrie Etter

Picture a garden          coated by night           stars

step into it        stroll around    belong to it    outside            the law

yarn bombers have been        the stop lights     wear sweaters and scarves

come with shovels      seed bombs                to bed down

lavender           tomatoes        serrated edges            smell

your fingers     grow bags    under rain coats   in single file    hoodies

up like monks             forget yourself        in the night shade of night shade           

in brother hood           with the soil

outside the hegemony      of council ordinations       crank up the trowels

earth pods        dew covered plastic               the froth of hands 

brassicas        footlet ratoon slip twig

                       bud bine stolon limb sprout sprig


the pitching arm throws         papier-mâché seed bombs     over

the barbed wire                  the rain will break         them open

wild                flowers will repopulate                     as the trains

perambulate               there will be                heads

full of bloom    burdock and blueberries       strawberries    kale    

                        spillikin spears mumbling branches and buds

                        cilium thread fibril length


the concrete confides             nothing                       holds      nothing

            confines                                 bind weed

in the triangulation between road signs                    Stop signs        walk signs       

road lights               an eden throws its hooks                   by morning

traffic once again      puffs and drags                       nobody saw

            night’s ninjas

but signs will be born            thistle head colt foot

                        briar hedge strim edible

                        wisp bristle stalk tooth


roundabout     underpasse     shopping centre

           guerrilla means ‘little war’                Che loved a gardening metaphor

sewing the seeds of revolution           the fruits of destruction

an organic movement            waiting for the right conditions          blown

paratroops      wind scattered                        to flower         adapt               in derelict

spaces             John ‘Appleseed’ and the Diggers

create              re populate     where council block is king

           and country machinates

                      cuts back         fight the filth with forks and flowers


imagine         a garden.

River Bed Apologia

River Bed Apologia

My daughter says

my generation owes hers

an apology.


We are lobsters. Curmudgeons.

Boiled, bouillabaisse.



a claw, fought for

in a war as if

we had something to win


given for a life

in the fight to carry on

in warmer waters


but an epic god has drained the river

and there are no more bedtime stories,

           there are not enough sorrys.


From the lip of the rim

we scurry to look down and in

to the abyss


we filled with plastics

and the matchsticks

of wax cities,


toppled temples, and gym


Starlight is a myth


solved by the greatest

machines known

to man.


           Here’s where it gets biblical:

aliens don’t need to land. They mow

fuck yous into the wheat fields



we can balls it up

on our own,


and hover

like sibilant smiles 
in our sky.

Who needs a boat 
when the bodies float
on the irrevocable sea? 


               A bumblebee 
defies gravity and we 
are winging it.


Children march the streets, and care-homes
don’t care; love is a neon sign flashing.
What solid ground there is slips in the ice flow.
I can vote with my feet in the supermarket 
but the one percent will butcher me on the forecourt. 
Rape as a fallout of war, 

tell that to her 
parents. Take a bribe, 
take a knee

poverty as a by-product of greed 
where the great board a private plane and wave 
from the steps. The bigger they are 


the harder they are
to hold accountable. 
                 There’s a slogan 


on the road, 
there’s a signpost 
that we passed a long time ago,
under the village 
in the mudslide 
I’m counting on your side 


Daughter, to win.

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The Nun's Son

T       H       E 

First light



As heard on the BBC





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The lavender is awash

with bees, just a thimble full

like an espresso

and they’re off!

Re-fuelling for the long flight home

legs full of luggage, but one

lags behind, stuck

head first in a blouse of bud

so deep in her cleavage

he hasn’t come up for air

breathless with homage.

Slacking on the job, no matter

how wholesome the goddess

is not the bumble way.

I poke him


but he doesn’t move.

We should all be so lucky

spirited away in her puckered bed

head full of bloom—Oh, Happy Death!

The scent of her skirts still full in his face

he will not unclasp his workman’s boots

or remove his calloused paws.

If only I could fill my heart

and lungs with such liquor

pass clear away at the height of day

the sun on my back

face planting that honeyed dew.

Happy Dick Head


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Wake up it is Time


up it is



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WhatsApp Image 2023-07-21 at 14.39.17.jpeg
Return to You

Return to You

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so you wonder why you are

not feeling quite


disconnected maybe? empty? perhaps death

seems more inviting? with its crisp

white sheets, bed made


why does the end appear

safe? almost an answer?

in death there is a return to

a soil truth

a sky truth

revealed to you

one great unified ahhhhh

what have we left out of here



to make it better seeming over there?

to make this hell?

what have we left out? Forgotten?

the single mother struggles with her kids

within four walls

once a community raised a child.

We cut ourselves off from the whole.

we say we are happy in our boxes on top of other boxes

on top of concrete next to other boxes

but then wonder why we are lonely and longing

and there is no one to help when things get tough. You have been sold

a box within a box; you sit and watch a box that sells you family ideas

but is not family

they are strangers who pretend but want only to buy your time

to sell you something

and the next generation is fed on canned milk and the screen teat

bread that has no name

life uprooted from source

a tree worth more cut down than alive

concrete covers over mycelial lives

square lives that were once round, complete, whole

there is no mystery here

a new tower is erected

it holds electricity

it is a long cross that bears along the land

connecting up the disconnected

trading hands for gadgets

strung up like pretty lights

you hold it in your hands but it is not hands

smell the sulphur of stars

faint as smoke trails in the sky

you who were once gods on earth

but have traded in your freedom

for smoke and mirrors

your divinity crushed under concrete

all along you have had all the wealth you could possibly desire

the plants, the trees, the sky, the sun, the earth, the animals, re

familiarise yourself with your kindred, re discover what you left


the one eternal poem that trines with every molecule in your body

you may no longer have wings but you have feet

Go. Return to you.

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