Sometimes Ruth writes poems – here are a few of her favourites.

A&E Support Worker

NHS numbers, alcometers, leaflets

for patients to practice origami

constant arrivals of bacon sarnies, lattes

overpriced WHSmith sweets, pizzas and protein shakes

idly raiding cupboards with stale porridge oats

dog eared ketchups from night staff burger runs

computers that never work and chairs

that give you back pain

necky nurses, demanding doctors, puzzling patients

crises resolved and people knitted back together

fuelled by endless supplies of NHS toast

emotional fires purged

with the darkest of humour

tear streaming stomach aching belly laughter

holding each other whilst the world tears our patients apart

Break up

Dolphins pirouetted 

in the sun soaked sandy bay 

we sat in our opposing kayaks 

oars defensively across laps 

It was the first day it had not rained in weeks 

I wanted to forget the fights 

welcome you like the sky 

had accepted the sun 

but we were as distant 

as the facing cliffs 

my sorrow as deep as the ocean 

and you as cold 


I screamed 

set phrases 

from movies 

out of control 

then paddled off 

leaving a trail of expletives 

bobbing calmly in the ocean 

expressionless and silent 

you weren’t following me

Moving on

*Petrels are rare seabirds in New Zealand seen only when taking off at dawn from the mountains on Great Barrier Island.

thousands of steps 

slowly undressing the night 

crunching excited pebbles 

sweat trapped under jumpers 

we climbed higher 

blustery exposed crown 

dawn chorus rehearsals 

fog closed in on all sides 

sat watching our breath 

we listened for the petrels 

the day stretches and yawns 

the birds get louder 


fog burns off 

a valley appears 

emerald trees 

illuminating orange orb 

refracting light onto 

rich carpet of spectral greens 

it was a moment so perfect, unexpected and brief 

like our love 

the window closes 

mist curtains our view 

silence thickens in reflective light 


we have forgotten the petrels


I used to send you 

other people’s poems 

and now 

I write my own 

-how I have grown