Monday, 31 January 2022

 To Paint A Tune 

I’m sitting quietly now


not looking

at you anymore 

as I rest

for a little while.

It’s a change for you

to play for me,

to paint my portrait in notes

instead of paints and pastels,

but believe me

you are made of music

full of it

and soon

all the notes will be freed

from the shackles of the tune

and re aligned on my canvas

to become the brush strokes 

of my picture of you.

Just think about it

play for me,


let yourself sing


my head


I’m ready

to paint you 

a tune.

 Home Fire

They told us it wouldn’t be long

but still we’re waiting

for our boys and girls to come home.


still waiting

no one knows how long

the wait 

for their return,

especially not them.

No one knows how long 

we must keep it burning

the fire

in our home

and hearts.

If they never return

it will burn the house down.

 After The Party

It was a good party.

“you’ll be seeing pink elephants tonight”

they laughed.

I didn’t believe them

I thought the elephants would  be blue,

a better colour for me.

But it was me that was blue.

The elephant I was riding

was just 

elephant coloured.

It was a very good party.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

 A Cup Of Light

I’m giving you a cup of light.

It’s dark on the outside


the darkness can’t penetrate


Just look how it shines

from the inside out.

Sip from it.

Let it light you up

from the inside out.

I’m giving you a cup of light

to replace the glass of dark.

Glass lets the darkness through

from the inside out

and the outside in,

lets it penetrate.

Let’s break your glass of dark

beyond repair

and sip from my cup of light.


They’re hanging like spangled banner

draped over the night black globe.

Pin pricks in the blackness.

But no red blood flowing.

Silver spangles oozing 

gleaming white light.

The red will follow soon enough as

the sun plots its rise to power.

As it schemes to flood the black,

obliterate the white,

drown them both,

blind them in it’s 

golden glow and

blood red heat.


 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 the other dead people.

She wondered if they became silver,

perhaps it was after they died.

 Moon Pool

I have left behind me the dark deep lake

with the threatening shadows waving,

with the wild waves crashing and

breaking on the rocky shore.

Walked away from it all.

Taken the path to the sweet water,

to the pool bathed in moonlight.

Bathed in smooth bright light.

Free of ripples.

Free of shadows.

Smooth and clear.

As if it has swallowed the

tranquility of the moon.

Taken in all it’s peace

so I can wallow in it.

I will not go back

to the dark lake.

Not this time.

Not ever. 


No more.

 Joining The Dots

She saw the night sky as a join the dots puzzle.

She was an expert

far better than the adults

who could never work them out.

They told her that these formed a plough

and those a bear, well two bears,

Great and Little.

She couldn’t see it.

They were quite wrong

she knew

the stars 

were glittering cairns

pin point sharp

marking the pathway to the moon,

to Venus,

to the sun

and beyond.

You just had to join the dots

and follow the paths

to find your way

to paradise.

Friday, 21 January 2022


This little piece of gold

will not be enough

to feed the fruit 

of my swelling belly.

And it will take bigger scales 

to weigh out the quantities

we will need to survive.

But I still have jewels to sell

and I think they will be


I shall weigh them carefully.

It’s in the balance

but I think there will be 


Thursday, 20 January 2022

 The Grey Men

It was an ordinary outing to the cinema

for the little girl and her mother.

But first, the Pathe News

showing a large meeting - 

“the United nations”, her mother said.

A fat, bald mad was shouting angrily.

Then he took off his shoe 

and banged it on the table.

next came a shot of the listening faces.

Grey men - well the film was black and white,

but she thought they would be grey even in Technicolor.

They were frozen speechless with shock.

“What’s it all about?” she asked her mother.

It seemed he was angry because of

some perceived injustice or hypocrisy.

It sounded reasonable to the little girl.

“But it just isn’t done”, said her mother.

“you just can’t do that. Not there.

Not in such a place”.

“But he did do that”, said the little girl.

And she thought of the shocked expressions

on the faces of the faceless grey men

and thought:

“I would do that”.

She pictured them again

and thought:

“I will do that”

and I think she did.

The grey men are still with us,

but the shoe thumpers are still


the palette with colour.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022


Willow don’t weep.

I won’t keep my sadness inside

your billowing summer canopy.

I’ve waited 

for the winter, 

the winter of our discontent 

which falls every year

as another page turns

and more leaves 

are lost

turning golden


then brown

with decay

then white

with the silence 

of the first snow fall

I’m waiting now

for the songs of spring

to make me smile again.

 Reaching Out

There was a time when

I knew where to find you,

knew the places and spaces

you inhabited

in my dreams,

in my day

and night


Now I’m reaching out



for you.

It’s hard now,

it's harder to find you,

to recognise your shape and form.

You are becoming fragmented 

and ephemeral

and I’m reaching out

to catch you.

Don't pass me by. 

Don't let me fade




She’s standing on the beach

with a small suitcase.

It’s unclear

if the suitcase is full 

or empty.

Once she packed it full 

of her dreams, 

but it’s unclear

if any remain.

She thinks now

that they were built on sand,

sandcastles on the beach

to be carried away

on a storm tide,

or washed up 

and buried 

in the sand.

All that is clear

is the emptiness 

of a long horizon.


I must wait till tomorrow,

that’s what I was told

when growing up.


would bring the sunshine,


would bring the treats,


would be glorious.

It was always tomorrow.

Now I know

that tomorrow brings death

and there is no glory in death.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

 A Plastic Pandemic

Looking back to 1969 the words seem prophetic

“He’s got a plastic heart, plastic teeth and toes,

plastic knees and a perfect plastic nose.

He’s got plastic lips that hide his plastic teeth and gums”..

so sang the Kinks then about their plastic man.

Now in the twenty-first century it seems he’s here

as plastics ingested from our food,

and inhaled in from the air we breath

are becoming part of our bodies,

part of ourselves

to be inherited 

by our children.

We’ve filled every hole in the ground

with our plastic waste, our plastic excesses

and soon the sea will be transformed into plastic land

Now we re-cycle it by the shipload from rich places to poor,

to places where the people don’t matter,

where “plastic man don’t feel no pain”.

There we dump it on the newly plasticised people 

in the plastic land we’ve created for them.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

 Getting Better

Things can only get better,

that’s what she always told her little sister.

Things are getting better all the time

even though it doesn’t feel that way.

So eat it up!

It’s important

as Jane Eyre said,

to keep in good health and not die.

So eat it up.

And save a little for the cat.