New poem published


A new poem, ‘North Dean’, appeared in the autumn 2018 edition of Message in a Bottle magazine: ‘The natural world is very much James Kilner’s metier and he writes of landscape so well’ – Fiona Sinclair, Editor, Message in a Bottle.

from North Dean

A gust of wind, I swing wide the door,

rush in,

the stairs take my breath,

each step

a giant stride

for a child’s legs.

I turn towards the room where I slept,

the cold metal of the threshold strip,

the towering white wooden door

and, at eye level, the oval handle…

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Praise for ‘Persephone’


Persephone is my second book of poems. It is available from my publisher Lapwing or please send an email to enquire.

‘This is a fine collection that revisits the concept of our connections to the seasons. It does well to pin the Persephone myth onto truths about the light and shade in the human experience’ – Fiona Sinclair. Read her review.

from Harvest

Strips of cloud

stream north-westerly,

drawn to the ends of the Earth

where the sun lies,

a tractor’s twin spotlights

roaming the fading field,

bringing home a harvest

waylaid by the sun’s recalcitrance.

The Earth is turning

its back on the sun:

we know we have lost her…

‘Frequencies of Light’


Frequencies of Light is my first book of poemsWatch and listen to readings here.

‘This is a collection of poems that seem effortless but are technically skilful and a linguistic joy to read.’ The Lake

‘Who said journalists don’t have poetry in their souls? … (His) words will echo with anyone who has ever lost or missed a loved one’. The Press, York

A ‘very good book … with plenty to touch a chord with North East readers.’  The Journal, Newcastle

You can order a copy from my publisher, Lapwing, or please send an email to enquire.

from Driving into England

at Carter Bar

a last look back

down into Scotland

muted colours of hillocks

faded by retreating summer

mixing with yellows

endless plains of harvested land laid out against the horizon

somewhere near Edinburgh.                                                                                                                                         

Ahead is England

a fell blackened by heather

and by the declining October sun

brilliant behind Northumbrian summits

where the wind blows you hollow

like a corpse caught on barbed wire;

the sight of a rolled hay bale represents

a relief from something oppressive…

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