Monday, 31 December 2018

Tomorrow Never Comes
The orcas decreed
that the dolphin’s wedding
should be delayed by a day.
Delayed till tomorrow,
if tomorrow ever came.
This would give more time, they said,
to decorate the wedding gowns,
to weave more shells into the kelp,
the tiniest of muscle shells for him
in every shade of blue,
sweet pink cockle shells for her,
sometimes veering towards red
as if warning of danger.
The music was to be rock ‘n’ roll,
played by the Killers, of course
on improvised pianos.
The octopus was responsible for
the wedding breakfast.
He had enlisted the help of every friend
to enlarge and beautify his garden.
To transport rocks with anemones attached
and bring a multitude of coloured pebbles and shells
to enclose the fishy titbits collected specially for the feast.
But in spite of their reassurances,
still he worried about the guest list.
So many orcas and dolphins
who did not have a good reputation
so far as the octopuses were concerned.
But the garden was beautiful
and surely it was a fact
that tomorrow never came.
He had always believed it.
Now time would tell.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Silver Baubles
The little girl loved the glass baubles
loved their shiny surfaces
that could catch the light
and shine it back
loved the fragility that
she was not allowed to touch.
The oldest ones were especially fragile
like old people, she thought, so easily broken.
They had been bought by her grandmother,
her old dead grandmother,
so old she had never known her.
Their colours had faded,
it happens with time
she was told.
The glossy paint had cracked and peeled away,
it happens with time,
the heat and dryness does it
like wrinkles and flaking skin
even here where cold and damp prevails,
yes, it happens with time,
even here.
But the baubles were still shiny
gleaming silver
underneath underneath their fading colours.
The old people she knew weren’t glossy
just wrinkled, dry and fragile.
She wondered when they would become silver.
She knew that just a touch could break a bauble
shatter them
so they no longer existed
just like her grandmother
and they other dead people.
She wondered if they became silver
after they died.

Friday, 28 December 2018

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,
But then, we always were
you and I,
we always were.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Fairy Queen
She wanted to be queen
of the fairies
and live on the top of the tree
displacing the star.
That should belong in the sky,
she thought.
So she picked it up and threw it
watched it float upwards
to join the other stars.
And then it snowed
starlike snowflakes
which engulfed her
even on the top
of the tree.

SPILLWORDS.COM presents: Christmas at Spillwords - Fairy Queen by Lynn White, who lives in North Wales. Her writing is influenced by issues of social ...

Thursday, 20 December 2018

The Shattered Glass
The glass has been shattered.
Safely shattered,
with no sharp shards.
With no damage to anyone,
But Alice is missing.
Only her absence is revealed
in the shattered glass.
Perhaps she is broken,
like the glass,
but not safely.
If only the shattered glass
could reveal her
If only
the cracks would heal.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Look This Way
Look this way.
Turn away from the salt wind.
There’s nothing to fear.
Let me see your face.
I know mine looks a little strange,
but there’s nothing to fear,
It’s just that I’ve been away
a long time.
I have a long life history,
you see.
Look this way.
I’ve brought you flowers.
I found them when I woke up,
when I rose up.
I didn’t see who left them.
I hope wasn’t you.
It would be discourteous of me
to return your gift.
But at least you know I’m no thief,
no grave robber,
just someone who has been away
a long time.
Look this way.
Let me see the salt wind
blow back your hair,
let me see your face.

In this issue: Eat the Poor by Michael R. Collins All the King's Men by Sandy Rozanski Little Black Box by Jennifer Slatosch The Villain by Linda M. Crate Messages by Rick Powell Magical Moments by Ava Bird An Effigy by Lana Bella Winter Storm by Shawna Platt Riven by Carl Scharwath Look This Way...

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

The Old Curiosities Shop

“Curiouser and curiouser”, cried Alice
as she rummaged through the remnants
of other people’s lives,
now offered for sale, 
to become part of 
another person’s life.
“Curiouser and curiouser”, she said 
holding up two fat schoolboy
salt and pepper pots.
“They look like real characters,
I shall name them Tweedle Dumb
and Tweedle Dumber,
for now.”

She searched in vain for a looking glass
to see if she could walk through it.
She had heard this was sometimes
a curious possibility.
But among the objects in a large shiny bag,
she did find a set of playing cards
with a fearsome looking Queen of Hearts.
“I could write a good story about her”,
she thought.

She found the butler with his empty tray
somewhat unsatisfactory.
So she removed the tray
and hung a tape measure round his neck
and put a thimble on his finger.
Now he could measure his former master
for a new suit, she thought.
She was pleased with the transformation 
and thought that maybe it was now time
to transform herself.

She undressed
and donned a little black dress 
that she found in the shiny bag.
She painted her face
and covered her blond hair
with a dark wig
in a new style.
Such a pity 
that there was no looking glass
for her to view her appearance.
She could only imagine
her new self.
Such a pity 
that no one
would ever see 
what she had created.
That no one 
would ever know.

Or so she thought.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Vase
The kitchen looked tired and worn
like my mother did,
the last time I saw her there.
I felt no nostalgia for it.
It was not my childhood kitchen.
It held no special memories,
I thought.
And then,
I saw the vase on the counter top.
My friend found it on the Kings Road.
Bought it and brought it home.
I’d asked her to buy me something,
a souvenir of swinging London.
She bought the vase.
I never much liked it.
Dark and bulbous,
it spent most of it’s time at my mother’s,
though she didn’t like it much either.
Then time stole it away,
took it from my memory,
erased it.
And now,
here it is again, sharp as ever
bringing the past home
as it stands empty
on the counter top.
It seems that her death
invested in it a poignancy
that it had not known before.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

The Revolution Is Postponed

The revolution is postponed
until the towels are on,
so they once said.
last orders had been called
and the beer pumps
with towels
to make it clear
that they would be pulled no more
that night,
ten minutes drinking up time
then it was, 
“do your talking
while you’re walking”,
we’ve had your money, now piss off,
and a beery smokey exit.
 there was a lock-in
in which case the revolution
would be postponed again.
Now they’re open all hours.
There’s no last orders,
no need of towels 
to cover the pumps.
No ten minutes 
allowed to drink up.
They’re open all hours
and the revolution is postponed.

Monday, 10 December 2018

It’s a rare thing to see,
a fox in a field of pink,
a fox in
a field
of foxgloves.
He looks up and sniffs them.
He could put his nose right inside
if he chose.
But he doesn’t.
He could slip each paw
in turn
the pink glove,
but he doesn’t
choose to.
Why would he,
unless he knew
the connection,
the link,
the identification.
But he doesn’t
know it.
he just sniffs the air
and moves on.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

He picked us up near Torino,
a dapper Frenchman
with an impressive moustache.
He was going to Nice.
So were we!
Such luck.
One lift
all the way from Torino to Nice.
We settled back to enjoy the ride.
We came to a roundabout.
With gesticulations of frustration
and twitches of his moustache,
he missed the turning.
We went round again
and the next time,
he missed it again.
The third time we were ready
to call out and point it out
in good time.
But with more expansive gesticulating
and moustache twitching
he still missed it.
There were many roundabouts
between Torino and Nice.
We came to know them intimately.
On arrival we were hugged and kissed
in thanks for our help.
Without us, who could say where he’d be.
Not us, for sure!
He invited us to accompany him
to Monte Carlo the next day,
if we would like to.
Yes! We would like to!
We turned up at the allotted time and place,
but he never came.
So, we never went to Monte Carlo.
Possibly he never went there either.
We imagine him still,
going round and round a roundabout
somewhere in Nice,
his moustache twitching in frustration.
He’ll be a very old man by now.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Dreams And Plastic Smiles
The accordion player was from Eastern Europe.
He was there each morning
on the promenade in the south of Spain,
He plays popular songs
with an unremitting plastic smile.
A little further along
sits the beggar with no legs.
He is also from Eastern Europe.
He sits there every day
with an unremitting plastic smile
and a cardboard sign
written in English and Spanish.
I wonder what lit the fuse
to set them off on their incredible journey
into the unknown.
I wonder if the smiles fade on the way back
to their new homes.
I wonder if the dreams have faded
or whether they scrape along
as the men scrape along.
Or perhaps they’re as vibrant as ever,
full of hope,
surviving in the mild winters,
ready to blossom like the cherry trees
in the spring.
First published in New Reader Magazine, March 2018
Download our released issue here. New Reader Magazine is a quarterly journal for fresh, brave new voices in literature, culture, and the arts.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018


They had a reputation for reliability
but there’s always an exception to the rule.
Mine was the exception
with an inclination
to come to a halt
for no reason,
just a whim.
It was worse after it was fixed,
it’s tappets adjusted
or perhaps renewed.
It became so afraid of stalling
that it was reluctant even to start.
One part of the car park was on a slight slope.
I got to work early to make sure of my place.
I switched on the engine,
gave it a push,
leapt inside
and put it into gear.
Usually that did the trick
and the engine spluttered into life.
No way will I let anyone fix tappets
on my car again.