Thursday, 31 December 2015

Through the Glass
A long time ago, Alice saw herself
in her looking glass and walked through
into a topsy turvy world 
where everything was back to front and inside out.
She drifted into a dreamscape
of madness and unreality,
without breaking the glass.
She wasn’t cut by the shards of her mirror
or the place she entered into.
She had only to wake from her dream
to make things the right way round again.
But with a clear glass,
a transparent window to the world,
things would have been different.
She would look towards a place
where everything seems the right way round,
where everything makes sense
and adds up sweet with reason.
There seems no madness in this place
which looks easy for her to enter
and welcomes her without sharp edges.
But the clear glass is an invisible barrier
to the life on the other side
that seduces and entices her.
And to step inside she has to break the glass
whose sharp edges cut her, really cut her.
And then propel her crazily on.
Unable to wake, she finds herself in
a jagged, topsy turvy place
where things are spinning round wildly.
Where caricatures of humanity scream out,
distorted, trying to make sense of it.
Front to back and outside in
Everything is the wrong way round again.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dawn Chorus

It starts with one.
One skylark singing.
One Carson warning.
Then the robins and blackbirds join in. 
The early birds, like Carson.
Then the wrens and warblers
as the daylight warms them.
Listen.
Can you hear them?
The warning calls are warming up as well,
strengthening their numbers 
as the bird song
dies away.
Listen.
Listen.
Can you hear them?
Listen. 
Don’t sleep.
Don’t wait
to hear 
the silence.




First published by Ealain, Extinctions Issue 7, April, 2015




http://www.magzter.com/ZA/MPA-Publishing/Ealain/Art/142103?

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Behind the Mask

Will I ever see
the man behind the mask?
I think I can 
sometimes
through the eye slits,
sometimes
when they are open.
Eyes are revealing, after all,
and difficult to hide.
Maybe they’ll tell me enough,
tell me all I need
to know.
So I will have no urge
to peel off the mask,
to tear it away from the skin
underneath.
It would be too painful, anyway.
Too raw,
for both
of us
and would leave behind a soreness
that would not heal.
And still
not all would be revealed

by the exposure.




http://www.withpaintedwords.com/view_submission.php?news_id=944
Butterflies
So many new warriors
grown from the seeds

planted by the invaders 
sent by the money men,
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
So many dead warriors
lying whole or in pieces,
destroyed by the invaders
sent by the money men,
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
Dead warriors.
Soon to be transformed,
transformed into butterflies,
according to the Mayans who knew
about transformations - and about warriors.
Butterflies with the souls of the dead warriors.
Butterflies that can fly across continents,
cross oceans and borders.
There are no barriers for butterflies.
And they are experts in transformation,
experts in disguise.
They will consume them,
the money men, the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
Will worm their way inside them,
infest them and destroy them all,
Yes, they should beware the butterflies
with the souls of dead warriors
and the memories of slaughter.
They carry karma with them.



First published in Ealain, Karma Issue
Spark
He looked down,
aloof.
Eyes deliberately 
downcast.
Not to be met.
“Hmm”, she said,
"Aunt Celia."
He looked up.
Surprise.
Contact.
Charge.
Eyebrows twitched,
a spark.
The spark.
The spark
that would ignite the fire
that would consume them.

First published in Leannan  

http://www.magzter.com/ZA/MPA-Publishing/Leann%C3%A0n/Art/
Then

She’s standing still 
pale as England, 
slim and serious
as I stood 
then.
Hair chopped 
above her shoulders
with a little curl allowed
as mine was 
then.
A little curl allowed,
in memory of it’s ringlets
earlier than
then.
Then it grew longer 
and we pulled it straight.
So now, it’s more like it was 
before then.
Before then, 
when
it was longer still,
and ironed straight
under thick brown paper.
It had been shorter still before
then
it’s feminine length curtailed, but
with a little curl allowed,
a reminder of it’s ringlets earlier than
then.
Of it’s earlier hated ringlets
grown  from loose curls.
Ringlets cut 
when 
father died.
Not until
then.


First published in Silver Birch Press, Looks Like Me series 2015



https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/then-poem-by-lynn-white-looks-like-me-ekphrastic-poetry-series/
Washed Up
So many dead people
caught in the crossfire
created by the the money men, 
the arms traders,
the super ego-ed politicians.
They lie dead where they fell.
Flesh and blood transformed to
fertilizer to nurture the seeds
and grow the crops, in a future
they will not see.
Their bones decaying to dust
to form the building blocks
of homes they will never inhabit.
Dying where they fell,
over there, not here
and not looking like us.
Unseen or soon forgotten
by us here.
But the dead washed up
on holiday beaches
look like our flesh and blood.
They’re wearing our clothes.
They’re washing up to haunt us
in the Old World.
Then there’s the living,
washed up alive
and by any means necessary
moving on to bear witness,
if any one is listening.
To bring the horror home
to those who created it
in the Old World.
Bringing it home to the Old World,
but not as yet to the New.
First published in Whirlwind, Issue 6 2015


https://issuu.com/whirlwindreview
Roots
It’s said that you should remember your roots,
remember where you came from,
remember where you belong,
anchored by your long tap root.
But I have fibrous roots too,
growing out strongly from the main tap.
I have spread them out and
put them down in many places,
taken sustenance from them.
They’ve been part of my growth,
fed my main stem and it’s splits and branches.
I’ve branched out from them and belonged in them all,
all those places.
And some rootlets have broken free
and I’ve left them behind there
no longer belonging to me.
And I’ve left something of myself behind.
Would I find it if I returned?
I don’t think so.
But others may
still.

First published in Writers Ezine, November 2015 https://www.facebook.com/writersezine/photos/a.212677528928918.1073741826.212673548929316/419794431550559/?type=3&theater
Leaving
Last night at the theatre I saw you again,
Your smile in a face so much younger.
My confusion, my thoughts, my stares made him turn
And your warm smile chilled me.
The past and it’s future all came flooding back.
The shock of sensations long gone.
The dance and the music, the books that we read,
the memories that we must both have
of the pain and the pleasures,
that were part of our love
a long time ago.
So I ask myself now, can anything stay
to give pleasure to us in remembering those days?
For my remnants now seem to be only pain,
and their sadness engulfs me
and halts my return.
So I left, in the end, as I left you, my love,
Saying nothing, taking nothing,
leaving nothing behind.
Without saying goodbye.

First published in Leannan, ‘Lovers’ Issue 1, October, 2015

http://www.magzter.com/ZA/MPA-Publishing/Leann%C3%A0n/Art/
Michel

Traveling through northern France
with Michel driving.
The Beatles singing on the radio,
“Michelle, my belle”.
A sky of uniform grey,
dark, dark grey.
And then,
a surprise rainbow.
And then,
to one side,
a helicopter 
outlined black.
Mosquito like.
Black.
And then,
I bottled it.
I can still remember.




First published in Silver Birch Press, Song Series, November 2015

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/michel-poem-by-lynn-white-when-i-hear-that-song-series/

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Aftermath
How can it be that someone
I don't see,
only think 
about sometimes,
but never contact,
or try to,
leaves such a gap,
in their final leaving.
My life has not been changed.
All is the same.
So why the difference now
that you're really in the past,
when you were already part of my past
and not of my future.
Nothing has changed for me,
not really,
not in reality.
So why do you occupy my thoughts
in a different way.
Why does my future feel different
now you cannot be part of it,
even though you never would be
and I knew it.
Perhaps because I can no longer
dream you there.
But why not
when you could never be there
and I knew it
the same then,
as I know now.
Why is it different,
now
even to dream?


http://www.withpaintedwords.com/view_submission.php?news_id=926
There’ll Be Ice Cream After
If they hadn’t asked her
to smell the nice scent.
If she hadn’t remembered
the scent from before.
There would have been
no screams, no stamping
up and down on the trolley.
The nurse would still
have her cap on
and the doctor would have
no fist or feet marks
on his white coat,
no red hand mark
on his pale cheek.
There would have been
no shock, horror reports
to those who had put away
Red Riding Hood
and were waiting
anxiously for news
of their little girl.
But they did ask her.
They did ask her.
The scent wasn’t nice.
She knew it.
And there was no ice cream
afterwards either.
They’d lied about that
as well.
A disappointing day.

(first published in Calliope 2015)

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/therell-be-ice-cream-after-poem-by-lynn-white-my-sweet-word-series/

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Through the Glass
Alice saw herself in her looking glass
and walked through
into a topsy turvy world where
everything was back to front and inside out.
She drifted into a dreamscape
of madness and unreality,
without breaking the glass.
Uncut by the shards of her mirror
or the place she entered into.
She had only to wake to make
things the right way round again.
But walking through a clear glass,
a transparent window,
it would have been different.
Her reflection would float
towards a place where everything
seemed the right way round.
Where everything made sense
and added up sweet with reason.
A place without madness,
which looked easy to enter
and had no sharp edges.
Apparently.
But this glass forms an invisible barrier
to the other side and the life
that seduces and entices her.
And to get through she has to break the glass,
whose sharp edges cut her
and propel her crazily into a place
where she cannot wake.
A jagged, topsy turvy place
where everything spins round wildly.
Where caricatures of humanity scream out
trying to make sense of it.
Front to back and outside in.
Everything is the wrong way round again.




https://www.facebook.com/anomaliemagazine/photos/a.541483862651072.1073741829.473131546152971/711895328943257/?type=3&theater

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Doll

My little princess.
My china doll with your
peachy skin and
golden hair. 
In pink frills
I dressed you up,
combed you and curled you.
Made you into
my special pet,
my little angel,
to be loved and cherished.
My creation.
My little girl.

But all the time
you were making up yourself,
getting ready to 
smash the porcelain,
and break out
to become 
the creation you had
already made up
even before you painted 
and inked your pearly skin,
combed your hair straight,
and gelled it 
into jagged spikes
with a pink splash.
Shockingly, piercing the past,
you broke out into your future.

For you were never a princess,
never a doll,
and most of all, little girl,
you were never mine,
never mine to mould.



https://thankyouforswallowing.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/doll/

Friday, 2 October 2015

Which Way

I’m on the edge of the horizon
looking back.
There’s no looking forwards.
Looking up
I can see the sky,
blue or grey like the sea.
Reflected sunlight,
clouds rippling like waves
making shapes in the sand.
Wave shapes on the land.
Sometimes it’s so bright
I can’t tell the blue from the grey,
the cloud from the clear,
the sky from the sea.
The light blinds me.
It’s too bright for my eyes
and leaves me confused
on the edge of the horizon,
on a thin line
with only one way to go.

First published in Calliope, October 2015



http://www.calliopemagazine.com/

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

In The End

In the end 
I’ll be like you.
Dust with
flakes of skin and bone
wrapped in long hair.
Teeth chattering
With no voice.
No sense of taste
or smell.
No reason.
In the end
we'll be invisible,
impenetrable,
anonymous,
figments.
But then, we always were
you and I,
we always were.


Published in Saudade, Issue 1


Half of the proceeds of sales will go to the schooling of underprivileged children in the Philippines. We have chosen Virlanie Foundation. Virlanie Foundation was established in 1992 by Dominique Lemay, a French social worker, with the help of his Filipino friends. Virlanie cares for children in need of special protection - those who are among the poorest of the poor, the abandoned, abused, exploited, neglected, and orphaned. 

https://www.createspace.com/5522912


A Rose For Gaza


Gaza is a garden full of roses.
Stone roses.
Rock roses.
No petals to crush and bruise
to release their fragrance.
Only dust.
Dust and the stench
of death.
No green space left.
No sweet tranquility,
peace or quiet.
No escape.
No garden of Eden here.
No gateway to paradise.
Rubble and rock roses.

So I shall plant a rose for Gaza
in my green space,
in my tranquil garden.
I won’t bruise it,
just gently sniff its fragrance
and hope that one day
fragrant roses will bloom again
in the garden of Gaza.


What else can I do?


Published in Zaira Journal 1




Half of the proceeds of sales will go to the schooling of underprivileged children in the Philippines. We have chosen Virlanie Foundation. Virlanie Foundation was established in 1992 by Dominique Lemay, a French social worker, with the help of his Filipino friends. Virlanie cares for children in need of special protection - those who are among the poorest of the poor, the abandoned, abused, exploited, neglected, and orphaned. 

https://www.createspace.com/5605584

Monday, 14 September 2015

Sunshine and Shadows


There are black clouds lingering over me.
Casting shadows.
Even though
there’s a big red sun above 
shinning down on me.
Warming my face.
Caressing me.
reminding me of other sunshine days
when the rays beamed more sweetly.

The clouds make today too close,
too hot,
yesterday too far away.
And the rays are stabbing me sharply.
Hurting me.
No longer warm and sweet
but hot and sour. 
Piercing me. 
Cutting me like icy splinters.
Because there’s cold there as well,
coming from somewhere.

This sun is too bright for me to see clearly,
too red and swollen,
like my eyes feel now.
Heavy.
Black with shadows.
So I’m waiting for the rain to fall.
Fall away.
Drop by drop until they’re empty and cold.
And I’m waiting for more cold days to come.

And I’m waiting for the empty clouds to pass 
and the sun to shine again
and warm me
if it can.


First published in Aubade, September 2015


Half of the proceeds of sales will go to the schooling of underprivileged children in the Philippines. We have chosen Virlanie Foundation. Virlanie Foundation was established in 1992 by Dominique Lemay, a French social worker, with the help of his Filipino friends. Virlanie cares for children in need of special protection - those who are among the poorest of the poor, the abandoned, abused, exploited, neglected, and orphaned. 


https://www.createspace.com/5522901

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Transformed

We were such special people then, 
flying high above the rest,
like the arrogant angels we saw 
playing way above the clouds.
We could almost touch them
with our arms outstretched
as we danced our way through 
a youth of endless possibilities.
But other people were unimpressed.
They had no wish to touch the angels, 
or reach the stars, even if they could.
They looked down to us, not up.
Laughed and shook their heads
at our strangeness and waited
for our dreams to fracture as theirs had done.
We did not hear the soundtrack of their voices.
Did not see that their dreams had split open 
and rotted away consuming them in the decay.

Now we have become the rest
and know that we were not so special then. 
But just practicing for a life that would elude us 
as our dreams remained dreams.
Dreams which became decayed imaginings 
growing dusty with time and fading.
Like them, we were consumed in the rot of our dreams

as ordinariness reclaimed us and the angels let us fall. 


Friday, 11 September 2015

                         Washed Away


        Cool cleansing water running over me,
        washing away my sins, my impurities,
        Cleaning me up, getting rid of the villainy
        and lack of chastity.
        Absolving me.

        But who’s to say they should be washed away,
        like the scruffiness of childhood innocence.
        Who should judge these scents and tastes and sweats 
        of a life cleanly and clearly remembered.
        What sins, what villainy?

        I wished they could remain unwashed and pure 
        retaining their essence within my reach.
        Hanging about me in my lived in face.
        A testament to my life, an affirmation.
        It didn’t take much water to remove them.
        But I was already clean.
        I can remember.


First published in Snapdragon “Your Wild And Precious Life”, September 2015



https://www.facebook.com/SnapdragonJournal/photos/a.387135344771906.1073741825.387134538105320/519366738215432/?type=1&theater


http://www.snapdragonjournal.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Bucket Man
I saw the Bucket Man today,
Upside down, his head in his bucket,
his arms folded tight
to entertain the crowd.
“It’s my living”, his sign says,
“puts a roof over my head”.
Such focus and fitness,
such determination,
such imagination,
such creativity.
Will it lead him him 
to a different place,
one day,
this man and his bucket?
And what if his parents were wealthy
and had sent him to Eton or Harrow,
What then for the Bucket Man?
Such focus and fitness,
such determination,
such imagination,
such creativity.
Would it lead to a different place
for this man and his bucket?
But he does well, it seems.
And for every coin in the bucket
there’s a ‘thank you’ and
a thumbs up from an arm
released from it’s fold.
He’s a popular entertainer,
on facebook now and Twitter.
So, what if one day his head
meets up with the treasure in his bucket?
Will he kick his bucket away
and pay
to send his kids to Eton or Harrow,
What then for the Bucket Man,
would he still have his head 
in a bucket, screwed on tight,
or up in the clouds?
And what if he falls, or his body
says ‘Hey, I’m not designed
to work upside down’.
Will his bucket be kicked away from him?
What then for the Bucket Man?
What then for all the ‘bucket men’?


First published by Ealain in Issue 11, ‘What If’


http://www.magzter.com/ZA/MPA-Publishing/Ealain/Art/124528?


Friday, 21 August 2015


        Don’t Go


When I’m with you
I feel I am whole.
Captured and completed.
Engulfed by you.
When you kiss me
all my fears disappear
in the kiss.
Where do they go?
I don’t know.
Do you wrap them round your tongue
and swallow them whole?
I don’t know.
I only know the comfort
I feel, such peace.
So don’t go.
Don’t go.
Please,
don’t
go.




http://writingknightspress.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/the-squire-page-day-poetry-anthology.html

Friday, 7 August 2015


In The End

In the end 
I’ll be like you.
Dust with
flakes of skin and bone
wrapped in long hair.
Teeth chattering
With no voice.
No sense of taste
or smell.
No reason.
In the end
we'll be invisible,
impenetrable,
anonymous,
figments.
But then, we always were
you and I,
we always were.

http://www.typoetic.us/latest-issue.html

Perfectly Imperfect

It started when we stood hopefully, 
with our thumbs outstretched
by an English roadside.
We were heading towards Italy and Yugoslavia
without maps or money, 
or sense of direction.

And we made it to Italy. 
and swam off the rocks, 
with a man we’d met in a cafe,
because he said we could.
And we swam and swam until two policemen came, 
(one very stern and one very twinkly),
and said we couldn’t.
Nor could we leave the rocks without clothes on,
or with clothes clinging to our still wet bodies, 
or lie on the rocks until we were dry,
in case we disconcerted the traffic or populace. 
This being the main street in Trieste.


And we made it to Pec and lived 
in a house ‘typique du Turque’ 
with a water pump in the garden
and a toilet, also ‘Typique du Turque’, 
which made us very ill indeed.
But the parties were good and 
the conversations interesting,
Even though no one spoke English.
And we learned to speak some Albanian, 
which was always handy.
And we survived to sit thirstily by a hot, 
dusty roadside and fantasise 
about the ice cold mountain water 
streaming through the streets of Pec,
and even about the water pump in the garden. 

And we made it back home.
We had got lost a lot, 
but hadn’t got raped or murdered. 
So far as we can remember.
What perfection.


First published by Silver Birch Press, Perfect Vacation Series, August 2015

Saturday, 1 August 2015

On the Edge

I’m standing on the edge,
on the rim 
of the perimeter,
on the outside, looking....

I’m not sure where I’m looking,
outwards over the horizon
or inwards to the inner depth,
the inside of something.

The inner void or the outer space.
Face or about face.
But there’s no confusion.
Both faces are the same,
I think...

Can somewhere be full
of emptiness?


First Published in Calliope, June 2015


https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=calliope+magazine+june+2015&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjL3YCVpofMAhVBfxoKHWbxCwYQsAQIKw&biw=1659&bih=828#imgrc=WUWyGcLCrMeEWM%3A

Friday, 31 July 2015


     Am I Dreaming?


Is this a dream, a mirage?
I could be sleeping.
I was looking out on trees
with rooks calling and nesting
when I started to eat 
my picnic.
But am I asleep now?
The trees are dancing,
but no longer trees.
Young people from another time
are dancing to the music,
swaying to the music of the crows.
No longer crows though,
but fiddlers and singers
making raucous music
for the dancing.

So am I dreaming?
The cheese is real though,
and I’m still eating.
I’m still chewing the bread 
and drinking the wine.
And I can feel a stone
against my back, 
digging into me.

I’m sleepy now though.

Will they be there when I wake?
Or will I come back into life
to see the trees and rooks 
as I clear away my picnic
and pack up.





First published by Pilcrow and Dagger, Midsummer Night’s Dream Issue, June, 2015
http://www.pilcrowdagger.com/issues/

                      Where is the Real World


There was a broken circle in my field of wheat this morning.
Can’t explain it.
Walked through the wheat scratching my head with a stalk.
Can’t explain.
There are shapes in the circle, shapes which look like
the shapes and spaces of this world. Lands and seas.
Can’t explain them.

Fell asleep in the scratchy stalks of my field in the sunshine.
Can’t say why.
Awoke in England, I think, lying there, floating above it,
I think.
Lying here, drifting away, like a balloon out of control,
but avoiding the sun and the stars and the other worlds.
I think.

Or am I lying below, in my field with my heels on the ground?
Difficult to know. 
Hard to discern this place and know my place in it. 
Can’t explain 
why I’m floating here, unsure if I’m drifting above or below.
I might fall. I might fall up or down. I don’t know which.
Can’t explain my confusion.

But, I’ll know when I stop spinning round, seeing the stars
in the sunshine.
But how will I get down if I’m already below, my heels grounded
in reality,
in England, in my field of wheat, scratching my head, looking, 
up at the shapes in the space of the sky drifting above me.
Can’t explain.








First published by Pilcrow and Dagger, Midsummer Night’s Dream Issue, June, 2015
http://go.epublish4me.com/ebook/ebook?id=10084703#/0
http://www.pilcrowdagger.com/issues/

Legacy

Vera Lynn was a famous singer,
the Forces Sweetheart, no less.
My mother was Vera,
so I should be Lynn.
My mother liked things to be
right.
But even more than 
the correctness
of Vera and Lynn, 
she abhorred diminutives.
They were definitely not 
right.
So I must have a name
which could not be shortened.
Joy was a contender, but, 
just suppose that
I was a weepy child.
That name would not fit me.
For me it would not have been
right.
She needn’t have worried.
But worry she did.
So, Lynn it was
and Lynn I am.
My legacy
from my
mother.

First Published By Silver Birch Press in All About My Name Series, June, 2015

American Dream
We were such special people then,
the two of us, flying high above the rest
like the arrogant angels we saw
playing way above the clouds.
We could almost touch them
with our arms outstretched,
as we danced our way through
a cinemascope of endless possibilities.
But other people were unimpressed.
They had no wish to touch the angels,
or reach the stars, even if they could.
They looked down towards us, not up,
fulfilled and sacred to each other,
with a specialness unknown to us.
We did not hear the soundtrack of their voices.
Did not see the fractures of their dreams,
or of ours to come.
But now we have become the rest
and know that we were not so special then.
But just practicing for a life that would elude us
as dreams remained dreams in cinemascope.
Dreams which became decayed imaginings
growing dusty with time and fading,
as ordinariness reclaimed us and the angels let us fall.

First published in Amomancies, Americana Issue, 2015