Tom Liney shares one of his poems called Home Flown: The Laymamma’s Guide to an Empty Nest. Take a minute to read some of his best lines!


Static caravans;

Tea wafts between-

Mixed heads.

Delayed by stories of sea crossings,

Dessert walks, biting cold-

We stare in anger through taught smiles.

Broken English rings

Through brutality’s

Sour cough.

I wonder how they would normally dress

I wonder if they could possibly feel less-

Like grinning fools in anger we stare.

Darkened silhouettes

Like the action figure we are taught to idolise

Beat a learned rhythm into

Faces too young to have seen the truth

Hands too gentle to have been cut open


We stare. Taught smiles. Grinning teeth. Silently buckling under bitter truths.

Dirtied fingertips

Trace the pages of Home Flown

Like the story of his passage.

He asks me the meaning of a word he doesn’t know

And I lie that it has meaning at all.

He recognizes ‘Love’ and I don’t have the heart

To crush his poster word-

Emptied like the teargas can at his feet.

Sodden Jumpers

Mangled into mud- lie

Rejected by comfort.

He shows me pictures of a sweet past

Like flares of hope

Giving reason to jump.

Jumping not into the arms of brothers

But the teeth of comfort’s fools.

Home Grown

Home Flown



Tom Liney