David Ratcliffe

David is a poet, playwright, short story writer from the north west of England.

He has been published in a number of magazines both on-line and in print.

In 2016 his poem ‘Home Straight’ featured at the Fermoy International Festival.

The stage play ‘Intervention’ was produced for World Peace Day.

His poetry has been published in the following publications… Poetry Pacific Magazine, TRR Poetry, Sixteen Magazine, Mad Swirl, Tulip Tree Review (Print Version) Oddball Magazine, Poem Hunter, THE BeZINE, Creative Talents Unleashed, Drawn to the Light Press, Live Encounters & The Galway Review.

His poem ‘He Crawled’ was placed third for the Pushcart Prize in the Blue Nib magazine in 2018.


I ‘ve harvested every stalk 
from a field of regret,
pierced every pore 
in my spent frame,
spilt lifeblood in the hollow.

I’ve faced situations
requiring affirmation
leaving me doubting choices 
in the face of falsehood,
mindful of the predatory dove
switching cups 
toasting friendship.

Splinters flow downstream 
evading retribution
as I remain at the junction;
a point of indecision  
where trust 
is as rare as wisdom.

I am a stick caught in a dam
at the mercy of a churlish current
but for cranium noise.

But what a rush it was
to get to this,
what a thrill,
a ride through white water,
spawning tiddlers
becalmed in a calm, never calm
then headlong into rapids   
reduced, separated,
beached, abandoned
open mouthed
awaiting a flood. 

Her Smile

Notice the shine of her eyes,
venture behind lids that open for you,
travel along branches to the depths her mind
and see your grandma, at your age,
her grandma half the age she is now;
for old people knew old people 
when they were themselves were young.

The cine camera in her head
plays moments as a baby 
in an iron pram
can you see her? 

She’s with her young mother 
whose adjusting her blanket
outside the fishmongers
looking like a movie star.

Yes, that was your great grandma
a feisty young woman 
defiant and proud
with the best kept doorstep on the street.

Bask in the crinkle of her smile
and unite in the joy of simple childhood
when at last, her sisters’ shoes 
became too small for her feet.

Despite the passing of time 
remember you’re on the same journey
your flesh will also weaken, 
your bones may also ache;
so, touch the sincerity of her smile
and return it, 
it belongs to you both.


I am significant to some,
it’s okay for me to allow this.

There are those who would miss me 
and those would put the telly on.

I don’t try too hard to be liked 
so maybe I am disliked
maybe I am liked 
by those who don’t care to be liked.

Maybe I am missing out 
or maybe saving myself from grief,
for the more I love the more I falter
misplacing more of myself.

Thoughts pass, and I allow them to; 
It’s a strange thing to live 
and dodge so much that might enrich 
what’s left of me,
after all, I did not exist once 
and someday I won’t again.

So, what of these fleeting thoughts, 
moments I consent to pass.

Why am I so blasé?  

Seems I’m working towards something 
I cannot achieve
so, what’s on tv tonight? 
think I’ll waste more time 
allow misfiring efforts to slinter.

Yet, if I am gifted another dawn, 
I’m sure to bleed again.

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