Thursday, 28 January 2016

Mirror, Mirror
Mirror, mirror, tell me,
who do you see?
Is she white,
snow white,
whiter than white,
fairer than fair.
White as virgin snow
unbroken by footprints,
Or is her snowy white
as time passes,
picking up some of the dirt
in passing.
Maybe darker still in places
as its whiteness decays
and melts
Tell me, mirror,
who do you see?

Monday, 25 January 2016

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’?

The Hoopoes Are Back
The hoopoes are back,
even though
the walls and holes they liked to nest in
were destroyed by human nest builders
four years ago,
when there was a housing boom
and money to be made.
The hoopoes are back,
even though
the new holes and rubble they liked to nest in
were destroyed by human nest builders
three years ago,
even though,
there was no market for nests
and no money to be made.
The hoopoes are back,
even though
the new holes and rubble they liked to nest in
were washed away two years ago,
as the walls which stopped the storm flow
were destroyed by human nest builders,
to prepare the ground for money to be made.
The hoopoes are back,
even though
their nesting places are hidden, buried
under growing mountains of rubble brought
by the human nest builders a year ago
as there is no demand for human nests
and no money to be made, except from rubble.
Hey, the hoopoes are back! I’ve seen them!
The hoopoes are back!

The Lighthouse
I was a little crazy
to buy the old lighthouse.
I knew it at the time.
But I wanted to be somewhere,
somewhere where I could shine,
shine lamps out into the vastness,
shine like a beaming beacon.
And it was so high.
It matched my mood and then some.
Higher than high.
Higher than high.
There was no housewarming.
No one came.
There was no one to come.
So, only I could relish the exposure.
Only I could walk round the top
of the tower and look over the edge
into the dark deep depths.
Only I could see the swimmer,
a mermaid, surely? waving.
Or was she beckoning
as she approached the mooring.
Only I could come spiraling down.
Come down from the heights
to open the door,
to run down the steps
to the mooring.
And then the lamps went out.

Monday, 18 January 2016
I shouldn’t have done it.
I’ve always shunned 
the spotlight,
always feared it.
Unlike the horses and dogs 
who play the game, 
do what’s expected
by their human providers, 
by their audience.
I’ve always been afraid 
of being seen
just in case
I was taken short
and golden notes
fell from my arse
and made 
than the spotlight,
the lighting engineers.
I think we’re all the same,
we unicorns,
shy creatures.
That’s why we’ve 
in dreams.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Dandelion Seed

There's a dandelion seed
caught in your hair.
A fluffy wisp of white and grey
hanging there,
in your frothy crown.
A shimmering seed held
like a star in a wiry halo
made by the light.
Blow it away.
Perhaps you will,
if I tell you it's there.
Blow it away.
But it looks so beautiful
suspended there.
I won't tell you.
I'll just admire it's beauty
as it hangs
in your hair.
Blow it away.
No, I won't.
It will leave soon enough.
Best not to rush these things.
Who knows where
they will end up
after all.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Little Sister Lost

I woke in the sunshine
and salvaged my book
from the damp grass.
I stretched..
I looked around..
She wasn’t there.
I looked behind the stone,
then under it.
A pretty blue mouse
from under,
but no little sister.
Then I thought 
of the rabbit hole under the tree
where the scraggy, stripy cat
had spat and snarled at us 

I found the tree
and the rabbit hole.
Was she down there?
It was too small for me to go.
I shouted down
and scraped
and scraped
and scraped
to make it bigger.
A rabbit would do better
with it’s big feet.
A rabbit,
like the one standing behind me
with such big strong feet.
Help me.
Help me.

He sniffed disdainfully
and removed one hand 
from the pocket of his purple fur jacket
to brush the soil I’d splatted
on his white velvet breeches.
Such big strong feet
for digging.
Help me.
Help me.
Help me.
He gave me his spade.

I started to dig
and dig
and dig.
Dig till it was big
enough for me to go
Scrabbling down.
looking for the light
and my little sister.

First published in Silver Birch Press, Fiction series, January 2016
Christmas Tree

Trimming the tree was a Christmas Eve ritual
in my family.
Each year my cousin would come to help my mum.
They would carefully take the glass baubles from the box
that used to hold her big doll called Topsy.
Then they would put them all in their special place
in my family.
“No the elephant doesn’t go there,
that’s where the peacock should be
and the Christmas pudding goes above.”
Everything had it’s place on the Christmas tree
in my family.

There were shiny miniature crackers never to be pulled
and curly, coloured candles never to be lit, for economy.
No tinsel was allowed for that was cheating.
Only baubles to cover the tree, hiding the green.
The glass baubles had belonged to my cousin,
so had the tree. And earlier, to her mother and granny,
all in my family.
The only family to fall out over trimming a tree,
my cousin’s husband used to say with some truth,
as every year the arguments as to which
bauble should go where were replayed
in my family.

So much stress over trimming a Christmas tree,
that I think they drank Santa’s sherry!
They must have needed it!
And ate his mince pies, 
after trimming the tree
in my family.

First published in Me In The Holidays Series by Silver Birch Press, December 2015
End of the Season

The season of wrinkles 
and over ripeness
has arrived 
too soon.
Shriveled buds. 
Fruits bursting open,
their seeds drying out,
beginning to crinkle
and wrinkle.
Beginning to split
and break.
Beginning to moulder
and dribble with damp.
Their past spring 
a distant dream.
Or not remembered at all.
like the fresh shoots
of hopeful green growth.

Even the memories of the 
florid, blowzy summer’s blooms
are fading.
Fading fast
and faster.
Perhaps this season of dry 
has been here a while
and I haven’t noticed.
It’s been approaching
a long time.
Slow at first
Speeding up, then
But still
as everything
slows down
So quickly

I think that winter has arrived.
The season is over,
beyond returning.

First published in Writers Ezine, December 2015

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

I think I am less afraid of the dark
than of the light.
I can hide in the dark,
seek comfort there.
The light is a different matter.
Exposing that which should be hidden.
Shining into my hidden places
and yours,
exposing us to view.
I am afraid to see these hidden places.
Afraid of what the light will reveal in me
and you.
What lies beneath the skin is best hidden
in the dark, lost in the shadows
where it should be.
I don't know what the light may reveal
only that I'm afraid to see it.