Sunday, 25 October 2015

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,
even to dream?
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)

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.
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.

Sunday, 11 October 2015


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.

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