Monday 30 May 2022


Murphy was a poodle.

He didn’t choose to be a poodle

and he certainly didn’t want to be a poodle,

but he was born that way.

It happens.

He hid it well.

No one knew.

Well, no one would have known


for the one time each year

when he was taken to a poodle parlour

and given a shampoo,

(oh, the horror of it)

and a clip…

a clip that made it clear 

that he was a poodle,

probably with French poodle genes.

Quelle horreur!

His shame was enough 

to keep him indoors for weeks

He emerged hesitantly, 

always on a wet day,

where he could be sure

of finding mud to roll in.

Soon, he would feel like Murphy again.

Sunday 29 May 2022

 Nothing Is Impossible

Even when the window is obscured

entirely draped in white fabric

it can’t hide the outside,

not completely.

In the filtered light

I can still see shapes shift outside

and even a sliver left open

lets me feel the draught

of a breeze,

and inhale

the scent or stink

carried on it 

from the outside.

Even when I bury myself

in the cool white sheets,

even then

I can sense it.

And I know


what it’s like out there.

Nothing is impossible.

Friday 27 May 2022

 Music And Movement

The music of my youth

still plays inside my head

Dylan and Baez,

Blues and Rock and Roll

the subversive music of the streets

challenging the surround sound norm

out of tune with it.

Songs of struggle,

rebellion, civil rights,

songs of peace and love

sung in a climate of war and hate

and the hoped for revolution

that seemed so close 

but didn’t happen.

All that is left are the songs

still breaking boundaries,

timeless and placeless

in tune with changing times

which can be any time at all.

 Play Me A Tune 

Sit quietly now

you can play later

and don’t be sad,

it’s a bit of a muddle

but, believe me,

you are made of music

full of it

and soon

all the notes will be freed

from the jumble

and re aligned neatly


to be arranged.

Just think about it


let yourself sing


your head


you’re ready

to play me a tune.

Thursday 26 May 2022

 The White Worm

The white worm left his lair.

Well he had to at some point

if he was to inspect the neighbourhood

to see what was what,

who was coming,

who was going

and there was no way

that he would keep 

to Bram Stoker’s script,

no way at all

he’d always been a rebel.

But he didn’t know about the dare,

didn’t know she was lying in wait,

waiting to leap on his back,

waiting to be taken for a ride

off piste.

The wormed turned

his head in alarm.

If only he’d kept to the script.

If only he’d stayed safe

at home.

Friday 20 May 2022

 Out Of The Blue

Blue skies splashed white

to hide the horizon.

And then, 

out of the blue,


I knew you from the back, you said,

the cut of your hair, 

your old blue dress.

and I wanted to see your face again.

I wanted to 

abate the sadness.

So no blue moods

on this bright blue day 

where the future is as hidden

as the horizon.

We’ll go together now, 

for now, I said.

After all,

everything ends in tears

one way or another,

so let’s take our now time

and chance the rest.

Tuesday 17 May 2022

 Off With His Hair

“Off with his hair!” Cried the Red Queen.

“I don’t think that’s quite right,” said Alice.

“It should surely be, off with his head”.

The Red Queen’s frown deepened.

She didn’t make mistakes.

It was a well known fact.

Never the less…

She shouted to Jack 

who was reclining lazily as usual.

“Which is correct, hair or head?”

“Well, you are quite right, of course

as everyone knows.

But consider..

As all strength flows from hair to head,

Cutting off his hair may make it unnecessary

to cut off his head

even though all around are losing theirs.”

“Of course”, cried the Red Queen.

“Off with his hair!”

“They’re as mad as hatters” thought Alice.

But she didn’t say so,

Just in case an unfortunate judgement was made.

One couldn’t be too careful in a mad world.


One tank drew the crowd

down in the museum’s aquarium.

It was not the tank with pike

gawping threateningly,

teeth bared ready 

for an audience.


though there was a monstrous pike in it,

swimming with its mouth wide open, 

in wonder at its strange environment.


it’s not often that a pike gets to swim

in a drawing room

furnished from times past.

It was a crowd puller, 

though still not enough

to satisfy such an audience

the pike reflected 

as it considered the strangeness 

of its un-fish-like companion:

the young girl costume-dressed 

to match the drawing room,

standing there dreamlike—

or maybe drugged— 

steadying herself

with the chair.

Perhaps earlier she was seated

when the water was lower.

But now she has to stand.

The water is already

up to her waist

and rising slowly.

The audience gets larger,

their eyes bulging fishlike

as they gawp at the spectacle.

It’s almost supper-time.

So it goes.


They’re following me,

like black vultures circling.

They’re shrouded in winter’s mist 

almost as dark as the shrouds

they wear to cover themselves,

to cloak themselves for their journey.

Shrouds like dusty abayas

once black, now

uniformly grey,






Only their mouths still red

like vultures feasting

on death


stained by this final feast.

The feast of what was left

of the harvest.

And now there will be


nothing any more.


Wednesday 11 May 2022


Is it ghoulish

to think

that life 

is more

than a small collection of cells

in a uterus.

Is it ghoulish

to think


the life of the mother

and the spillage

of her blood

count for less

than the small collection of cells

in her uterus

that are unable to bleed.

Is it ghoulish

to think

that infant life

needs love

as it grows

and support networks

and things that cost



through life

if it does not supply them.

Is it ghoulish 

to ask


the highest court

in the land

was taken over

by ghouls.

Friday 6 May 2022

 Sweet Heart

He’d seen it glint earlier

when a shaft of light hit

the open box.

He kept watch till they left.

Back now, still watchful.

Turn his head this way,

then that. 

No cats.

No humans.

Upturned the box 

and seized his prize

glinting gold among the dull

browns and creams.

Carried it off.

Then carried it home,

a home now fit for his new lover,

his sweet heart.

But he didn’t unwrap it.

Didn’t discover the greater prize

lying under the surface glitter.

Didn’t find the jewel 

of sweetness in the centre.

Soon life dulled the surface glitter,

screwed it up.

And  the sweet heart 

melted in the warmth,

Melted into sticky goo.

Melted away as

sweet hearts do.

Thursday 5 May 2022

 I’m Tired

I’m tired of trying to see the good in people.

I’m tired of making decisions about good and bad.

I’m tired of endless discussions in armchairs

judging and justifying what is good or bad.

I’m tired of procrastination,

of enquiries and commissions designed

to delay until death or forgetfulness.

Tired of time servers,

jobs worths,

pocket liners.

Tired of them all.

So where shall I go now?


Last night I dreamt

a squirrel's dream.

It must have been a squirrel’s.

Possibly red, possibly grey,

but definitely a squirrel’s.

There were so many nuts.

They were falling from the sky

like heavy rain.

I had to put up my blue umbrella

to protect me from the showers.

And on the ground,

ankle deep acorns

and hazels

were overtopping my blue boots.

But I saw no squirrels,

only their

of nutty profusion.

 Birth Or Death

Death begins at birth

for pro-lifers.

The birth day 




is lost


in those post foetal

post natal


which move us


into hours


into days


into months


into years


into decades



our death day.

They’ve long

lost interest

these pro-lifers.

They say that life

must be lived

according to

the law of God

as it is written

and dispatched

to them

in nightmares

and dreams.

Only break it


they’re back

with interest

and concern

those pro-deathers.