Tuesday, 28 February 2017


You tell me I can look inside you
penetrate you,
delve amongst what’s hidden there,
know you.
And yes, I know you.
Know that you hide yourself 
in subterfuge.
Know there’s both fantasy and fact
in the mixture
you expose
in your stories.
And they’re hidden inside.

I know that you bar the door, 
and don’t let anyone in.
Make up stories.
Or spit out what comes first 
into your head.
Let it escape.
Then, if it’s true, 
hide it,
cloak it in make believe, 
in fantastic lies.
So no one knows 

Yes, I can see inside,
see the grand mixture
of nonsense,
of deceit and anxiety, 
truth and concern
for privacy.
But I can’t separate out one from 
the other.
And it doesn’t matter, you see, I like
the mystery.

But you are wrong to think that
when I look inside you
I know who you are.
Only that you are a mystery.
And that I like mysteries.
I can understand them.


Sunday, 26 February 2017


Can I be a rose?
Yes, I think so.
It’s my calling,
after all.
And I have pinkish skin
and rosy cheeks.
And I am as multi layered, 
as complex, as any
petalled rose
worth my name.
Yes, that’s for sure.
Is there a fragrance 
on my breath?
I like to think so.
And will it be discernible,
rosily perfumed?
Yes, especially 
in the moist evening,
but take care not to 
disturb my roots,
to cut me off
and watch
me fade


Saturday, 25 February 2017


Snowflakes lit by sunbeams
blowing gently,
fragile as shadows
making rainbows in the sun.
Smiling in the soft light.
So soft.
So soft.
Catch them quickly in your hair 
to melt them
while the sun 
is still shining and smiling. 
As, for only as long as it falls,
the snow can renew them 

when they melt away.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

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.


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

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.
First published by ITWOW, She Did It Anyway Anthology, May 2015

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Mr Taylor

Probably a polar bear was not a good choice
for my first attempt at whittling. 
A hamster would have been simpler
and avoided the multiple leg fractures..
“Don’t worry girl, no problem”, Mr Taylor said,
when I showed it to him.
“Leave it to me. 
Bit o plastic wood, 
That’ll soon sort it”
and it did.
The tail was more challenging.
But all was not lost, just the tail,
and I managed to convince the Examiner
that polar bears don’t have tails.
Maybe they don’t.
I’m no expert.
I progressed slowly, and probably 
a rocking elephant was not the best choice
for my Final Piece.
There was a lot to cut out,
a lot of curvy bits.
The huge electric saw bench
loomed ominously in the corner.
“Don’t you go near that, girl”
cried Mr Taylor if I glanced in it’s direction.
“Here, give it here, 
Leave it to me. 
There you are.
Now just a bit o plastic wood...”
And then disaster!
Someone stole the rockers.
Who the fuck would steal my rockers?
They never rocked very well,
but even so, they were better than nothing.
And Mr Taylor was hard pressed 
to make new ones 
in time for the exam,
even with multiple,
“No problem, don’t worry, girl”s, 
I was concerned.
But in the end
we both passed.

Saturday, 18 February 2017


It’s all that’s left.
A gossamer fragment,
The headband still attached
but nothing left to cover the face.
I wonder,
what happened to the rest
of the veil.
I wonder,
if it went the way of the marriage.
The way of the faces hidden
behind the net curtains.
It’s all that’s left now.
A gossamer fragment
floating like a cobweb
in a dusty room
Ready to be swept away
with the rest.

First published in Visual verse, January 2017


Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Best Medicine

Humour heals better than hate.
You can confront hate with reason
but humour is best
if unreason prevails,
if more hate is your only return.

You can wind up the anti,
add hate to the hate,
add aggression to aggression,
madness to madness.
But he'll like humour less.

Anyway it's more fun.


First published by Harbinger Asylum, Literary Review, Spring, 2015

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

In The Balance

Again, I wonder,
Is this a dream
that I am here with my feet in the air
and my head down below,
maybe getting ready to bury it
in the sand.
If it’s not a dream, I can’t explain
this terrifying topsy turvy world
where everything
hangs in the balance.
Will I ever be the right way up
again, I wonder.
I don’t want to have my head
in the clouds,
just five feet four inches
above my feet,
which used to be the norm
for me.
Now I’m like a fly without wings.
And with no suckers
I’m ready to fall
off the ceiling
in this upside down world
where everything
hangs in the balance.
Will it ever be the right way up
again, I wonder.


Sunday, 12 February 2017


Every time
we listen,
a little piece
of her heart

cries out.


Friday, 10 February 2017


Regrets are best forgotten,
laid to rest in peace or 
in restless confusion.
Dump them with the other debris,
the detritus of the past
no longer needed.
They will be taken away in time, 
disposed of
in the future,
by the future.
Displaced by more things 
to regret
and forget.
And by more things to keep

and remember.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Every Breath
It's interesting to consider that
every breath I take
has already been breathed by
someone else,
another person or creature.
Been part of their breath.
Perhaps that dog over there,
smelly and hairy,
licking it's own arse.
I would prefer not to have
molecules of oxygen from it's breath
entering my blood stream,
giving me life.
But there's nothing
I can do about it.
Have to take what comes.
Breath the air that's there
wherever it's been before.
Rebellion is not an option.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Once I was whole.
Once I breathed
Once I walked.
I spoke,
I smiled,
I looked sad.
once I had feelings.
And then,
my sadness was selected.
and frozen in it’s beauty.
And then,
the rest of me decayed,
returned to dust.
And now
even the effigy is broken,
the marble decaying.
Only sadness remains.
And soon,
even that
will join me
in the dust.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Beauty Parlour
Step inside my parlour,
my pampering parlour.
You will be remade, reborn,
stroked and smoothed,
petted and prodded,
cosseted and curled,
given the attention you deserve
as well as a new face
and shiny new hair.
In Pampers Parlour we’ll recreate you.
We’ll reboot your confidence
and give you a new chemistry
as we gloss your hair and lips.
As we shape your face
with new shadows and glows.
As we apply layer upon layer
of chemical shit topped by
nose retching fragrances.
You won’t know yourself when
you step outside
dolled up to perfection,
protected in your new mask.
And what then?
Will you go home
and comb it all out
and wash it all off,
after all,
the person,
with the old skin
and fresh air colour
to the new robotic doll.
The pampers product is
designed to be disposable,
after all.
Or will you keep it
as long as you can..
Try not to move your new face.
Try not to upset your new hair.
Place a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign
on your forehead.
Keep it as long as you can.
Even if stinky and crusty,
you’ll still have your face on.
You feel
so bland,
so pale,
so wan,
without it
on the journey back
to the beauty parlour.
Published in Guide To Kulchur Creative Journal 6, 2016

Sunday, 5 February 2017

How Will I Know You
How will I know you,
the man behind the mask.
I can recognise you
with the mask in place.
And sometimes it may slip and reveal ....
another layer, another mask, perhaps
masquerading as an unguarded comment
wearing stage clothes, even if naked.
You are in there somewhere.
But even though I peel off
layer after layer,
mystery after mystery
I still never find you.
First Published in Firewords Quarterly, Issue 6, 2016

Saturday, 4 February 2017

If in the afternoon I come upon a land
and find the lotus blooming there,
Will I recognise it’s flowers and fruits, 
I wonder.
Will I remember it’s story,
I wonder.
And in the evening, 
after sniffing the fragrance
of the flowers and tasting the fruit,
will I have forgotten
to wonder.
First published in Miscreant, April 2016

Friday, 3 February 2017

I Remember My Father
I remember my father.
Remember being carried high
on his shoulders when
he was walking into town.
I remember that I was scared.
I had never been carried
on shoulders before.
Was there a bus strike
or no money for the fare?
That I don’t remember.
I remember my father
sitting in a chair, a passenger
on a bus or tram,
as I collected his fare
and gave him a ticket.
He drove trams once
and then later he cleaned them.
I remember my father.
Remember sitting on his knee
looking at Rupert Bear books.
I knew the stories by heart
so people thought I could read
and were very impressed.
But I could only remember.
I remember my father.
I don’t need photographs
to jog my memory,
which is just as well
since there are none,
None of him whole, anyway,
just one of his legs
in loose grey trousers,
sitting by me as I planted seeds
in my first garden.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

All those lost people wandering the streets,
perambulating among the passers by,
who are
walking with purpose,
or texting
for contact or comfort.
Loose souls, dreaming products
waiting to be fixed in frames,
or pencilled in,
placed on a page, or stage,
finished by my hand.
Finished off.
They are the products of my day or night dreams.
They don’t draw glances from the others
even though they are not quite right,
just a little strange,
or a lot.
Eccentric beings who don’t quite belong
here wandering,
perhaps falling,
tumbling, waving their arms,
or wings.
And the others pass by
Sometimes though,
they may inhabit the others,
briefly take over the passers by,
the purposeful ones
who know who they are
and where they are going
without my intervention.
Then I can watch the strangeness develop.
Can transform them into wanderers.
Make them speak unheard words
that I understand.
I hear them perfectly
and reply silently
knowing that they will understand.
My whimsical wanderers,
my flying fancies.
just waiting for me
to decide their fate.