Sunday 29 August 2021

 The Language of My Dreams

I have such beautiful dreams.

They speak sweetly to me

inside my head. 

Inside my head

such sweet dreams

growing louder and harsher

as they struggle to be heard,

as they struggle to get to the outside

into the ragged, jagged

outside life

which passes for normality.

Such beautiful dreams.

Such perfect words.

Such a perfect life

lying inside my head.

I would like it to be

on the outside.


Every time

we listen,

a little piece

of her heart

cries out.

Thursday 26 August 2021

 An Alphabetical Error

We had a map, 

of course we did!

And the names of the streets 

were clearly written

in English.

The names on the streets

were also clearly written

but in Cyrillic Greek,

of course they were!

This was Athens in 1966

and we were struggling 

to find the Folk Museum.

Then we had a stroke of luck!

We spied a grand building 

with sentries in national dress

standing outside

and we knew we’d found it!

So we went inside

and wandered around for a bit.

It was unusually empty,

the rooms and corridors devoid

of the expected folk exhibits.

A smartly dressed woman 

descended the stairs

carrying a file of paper.

We asked her if she had a Guide.

She threw us out! 

Of course she did!

The Royal Palace was not open to tourists!

It was to be an unrepeatable incursion.

A few months later the colonels took power

and everything changed

except the alphabet.

Wednesday 25 August 2021

 The Neighbours Fish

The neighbours had asked her to feed their fish.

They were going on a short holiday.

It sounded straightforward,

should have been straightforward.

“But I overfed it,” she said,

“and it burst open,


all over the place.”

She looked glum.

“But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Next thing is

the dog’s eaten it.

And that wasn’t the end of it,

next thing is

he started to be sick,

just puked it up all over their carpet.”

She looked glum.

“The carpet’s wrecked,” she said.

Sunday 22 August 2021

 The Stack of Stones

The stack of flat stones

was piled much higher once.

It formed a rough stairway

all the way to heaven,

till someone took it down

to pave their patio.


It was the change in her hair she noticed first

growing now like harsh thin weed

but attached



and inedible.

She tugged at it

but the pain was too great 

to separate it from her head.

And then her scales

began to disappear

her beautiful shiny scales

washed away with her gills.

Her brothers and sisters

and the rest of the school

swam around her still

but she couldn’t hear them,

couldn’t understand 

what they were saying.

The art of communication

had been lost

washed away 

with her gills.

What was she now?

Neither fish nor fowl.


where did that come from?

She ran her fingers over her skin,

still smooth


up to now.

She waited

waited to see what would emerge.

Then the next wave came

and carried her

to the beach

so she crawled along

the sharp sand


on her swollen belly

until she found a rock 

and clambered up

then slithered down

algaed slime

into a recess

a safe cave

a haven

with a shallow pool

left by the tide,

a birthing pool

she thought

and she knew 

that the next tide 

would bring her sustenance

while she waited to see

what would emerge.

 Like Alice

I’m too big.

I’m too small.

I can’t I fit in,

fit into this, rabbit hole world,

any more than I did the other,

the above ground world.

Both can’t be wrong,

can they?

It must be me

that doesn’t fit,

that can’t be made

to fit into them.

Me that’s wrong.

Both worlds can’t be wrong,

can they?

Friday 20 August 2021


Don’t challenge his growls,

said the man with no face. 

Look down on the ground,

be humble, not brave.

Don’t cry if you fall,

the blind girl explained.

The field’s full of dog shit,

so don’t touch your eyes.

I loved my pet doggy,

the dead baby cries.

We all loved him so much

until the day that I died.

Thursday 19 August 2021

 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?

 One Last Time

Before the trees begin to fall

I’ll take a walk

through the woods

one last time,

hear the leaves glistening

and shaking

in fear of what is to come

some are already fallen



it’s the season for it

after all.

I’ll see the light shining 

lighting on the leaves of grass

that push soft spikes of green life 

in between the fallen

see the light shining 

through the trees

one last time.

It lights up the white crosses

chalked on the trunks

as it passes by

too many white crosses 

all ready

to mark the graves

of the fallen.

It’s the season for it

after all,

always the season for it

one more time.

Saturday 14 August 2021

 Dance Of The Damned

At last the party is over.

Friends and family are gone,

long gone in some cases,

though with us in spirit


Now I’m the only one left

still dancing

all alone


the ravens came to join me

bringing with them more guests,

not only the souls of the dead

but the souls of those

we had taken care to exclude.

They’re with me now,

the souls of the damned

ready to join in the dance.

And they won’t let me leave.

Thursday 12 August 2021

 Spread The Words

Words of love, words of hate,

the conjoined twins of freedom.

Spread the word.

Psst… have you heard… pass it on..

Chinese whispers spreading

truth and lies,

the conjoined twins of freedom 

in the age of misinformation.

They’re spewing out of mouths

clacking and clicking

in the scrabble

to be free.

Wave after wave


breaking up

washing up.

A tsunami

of words.

I’m drowning.

Tuesday 10 August 2021


Friday 6 August 2021


Imagine a sitting room peopled with dolls

an attic space filled with toy trains and cars

adult places filled with children’s playthings

passive playthings

out of their time

and moved on

into a time

when even the box

with it’s wrappings

and writings

fails to excite us


no spark,

no glamour,

only needy memories

in passing

as time



Sunday 1 August 2021

 In The Wilderness

I may be in the wilderness

but I’ve not lost my way.

It’s far too easy 

to keep to 

the road

the dirt road

the straight and narrow

the predictable

way through

this predictable landscape

each second

each minute

each hour

the same as the next.

And I know that

each day 

will be the same

until I stray

until I find a way

to escape this desert

of dust baked sand and clay

sand and clay 

and clay and sand

sun dried desiccated

and deserted 

dressed in it’s orange brown uniform.

If only I could see another way

if only a door would appear

to take me off piste,

a door that I could open

and pass through

into the unknown

where I could

lose myself

wet myself

in a muddy pool

and find the dark or the light.

 Far Horizons, Distant Dreams

Once the light shone so brightly

that time and distance stretched for ever,

the horizon at infinity strung with the pearls

of distant dreams.

And in between

a hinterland

of possibilities

just waiting to be grasped.

But then, as the light dimmed,

time and distance collapsed inwards

dragging the horizon closer

a hinterland 

of rubble

in between,

the spent remains 

of possibilities


or untried.

Only the dreams stretched further

beyond the horizon now

in the fading light.

Soon I’ll reach them

and perhaps discover myself

as part of someone else’s dream.