‘Where the road runs out’.

•August 22, 2018 • 1 Comment

I’m very excited to announce the launch of my 3rd poetry collection, ‘Where the road runs out’, on Wednesday the 12th of September, 7 pm at The Book Corner, The Piece Hall, Halifax. Tickets are FREE but you need to book them here through EVENTBRITE so we can get an idea of how many people will be attending.

‘Where the road runs out’ will be published by COMMA PRESS . 

” Gaia Holmes’ third collection of poetry transports us to the edge of things: to remote, treeless islands, to dark, unfathomable mines, to the gaping maw of grief. With frailty and ferocity, these poems map out the strange absences left in our lives when a rupture occurs like the sudden appearance of a sinkhole threatening to pull everything else down with it. Where the Road Runs Out is a moving, and often witty, portrait of loss, isolation, and ultimately healing. Above all, it is a paean to the landscape, and the myths, magic and mysteries that lie just beneath the surface.”

You can pre-order it HERE

And here’s the poem that the title of the collection comes from:


In Passing
We might have passed each other at Gretna Green

as you headed South and I headed North

up through Kingussie, Aviemore and Invergordon

to where the road runs out at Dunnet Head.


We might have passed each other

on the skinny road through Biggar

you, counting roadkill and clocking the miles,

me, shedding my clothes in the passenger seat,

high on the promise of brack and brine,

stitching my self back in to my selkie skin.



There are some words…

•April 10, 2017 • 7 Comments

I wrote this poem during a month’s writing fellowship at a Scottish castle. It was commended in the 2017 YorkMix poetry competition.



Grief needs feeding.

At first we feed it sweet and boneless things:

memories, halva, meringue,

the songs the gone used to sing.

We feed it whole boxes of Cornish fudge,

honey spooned straight from the jar,

cold custard sucked from the carton


and for a while, we appease it

until it starts begging for blood

and then we turn to the dead things

and though we’ve not touched flesh for years

we find ourselves in the supermarket

filling our trolleys with meat-

the reddest, most visceral kind:

packs of mince and liver,

black pudding, knotty hearts,

plump kidneys, slabs of beef and livid steaks-

things that leak and mourn in colour

in their polystyrene trays


and though we cook without tears

our lonely kitchens smell of dying.

Our garish fridges

stink of butchers’ gutters,

drift-tide rot, things on the turn,

gashes on the brink of gangrene.

Each meal is a little wound. (every meal’s a little wound)

Our plates are holes

we cannot fill.

Like grief, our hunger’s



Kummerspeck is a German word to describe the excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally translated it means ‘grief bacon’.




December, Orkney: A poem

•June 2, 2016 • 2 Comments

December: Orkney

Now the nights
are thick and heavy.
They leave their indentations
on our thinning days.

With no trees
to chaperone the darkness
they are wild, brutal,
seething with stars.

They bruise the windows
and kerb-stones of Balfour,
do not knock
before they enter
our houses,
outstay the welcome
of our winter fires.

Eyesight, a poem by A.R Ammons

•June 2, 2016 • 1 Comment

I was walking around Ogden Waters last week with my friend and he recited this poem:


It was May before my
attention came
to spring and

my word I said
to the southern slopes

missed it, it
came and went before
I got right to see:

don’t worry, said the mountain,
try the later northern slopes
or if

you can climb, climb
into spring: but
said the mountain

it’s not that way
with all things, some
that go are gone


Themes For Dreamers

•January 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Themes For Dreamers is a fortnightly show on Phoenix FM, Calderdale’s local radio station. The show is packed full of poets, poetry and music. You can listen to podcasts of recent shows by clicking on this link http://www.phoenixfm.co.uk/Podcasts_Themes_Dreamers

The Great Fogginzo’s Cobweb

•January 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

John  Foggin’s latest post on his rich web (blog) http://johnfoggin.wordpress.com/ features one of my poems, ‘The Light Bearer’.fireflyuntitled

‘Igniting The Spark’ creative writing workshops in Halifax

•January 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

ITS poster 2015 3