Restraint – 2nd ed. First published Feb 2014.

Available on Amazon.com

Burnt is a compilation dark poetry that reflects war, tragedy, grief, love and terror. It is a depiction of a poet’s journal as he observes the insidious events around the world in the light of his own life. These events play out in his mind and wreak havoc in his personal life as he struggles to cope with the growing demands of modern life.

Burnt contains content from the author’s previously released work along with new material that many people will relate to. If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated, desolated, or just sympathetic to the plight of others around the world; then odds are you will find a piece of yourself within the leaves of this book.

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Goodreads Reviews

The Inspiration

Burnt was my first published book, and although I’ve always wanted to write a book, there was something a lot more sinister than personal dreams and ambition that triggered it’s creation.

I was attending as a parent helper for my boy’s play centre one day. It was a typical Autumn day; chilly in the morning, but the blue skies above meant there was little chance of rain. The morning frost left a fresh scent across the grass and throughout the playground. It was, in a word, perfect.

It wasn’t very often that I could do this given my hectic work schedule and regular 2-hours of daily commute. I normally leave at dawn and return at dusk throughout the week, so I’m normally putting him to bed as opposed to moulding play-doh with him. It was only due to an internal audit happening at work for the week that I was able to attend his school and assist the teachers. Most of my duties were domestic, which I’m not afraid of, but the real special thing was spending lunchtime with my boy.

Apparently it was more special to him. He was so proud of having his dad there by his side and he relished my visit with his friends. He’s my middle child and I’d never seen him smile so much before, or should I say, managed to pay attention to how great his smile was. It was in this moment, during our lunch break when we were playing together in the sanctuary of the playground that I realised just how special our relationship was, and, how luck I was to have a fit & healthy boy who enjoyed my company.

All too soon it was home time and he chatted to me all the way home, inviting me to school the next day and convincing me that I should do it again. He was so lively and happy when we got home, jumping out of the car to open the gate and helping me open the front door to our lounge. With a spring in his step he flicked the television on and the picture quickly emerged.

Broken bodies. Crying parents and bits of ruined building scattered across the landscape…

I had been watching the news the previous night so the channel opened once again when we turned it on, right in the middle of a report from the middle east. It was, of course, the Houla Massacre with 49 children and 34 women killed in a cold blooded attack. While it was news that demanded the world’s attention, it wasn’t something that my little innocent boy needed to either see, hear, or become aware of. Not on this day.

Not in his lifetime…

While the images managed to ground my wanton sense of perfection in life, the next thing really brought me to my senses when my boy asked me what happened to the children. He wanted to know why their fathers hadn’t been there to protect them, and if I would always be there to prevent it happening to him…

I never anticipated that answering an innocent child’s questions would be so difficult and in my attempt to put his mind to ease and for myself to understand this global epidemic of terror and hate, Burnt was created.