Wednesday 31 August 2022

 Left Behind

Once the trains were full

stuffed with commuters

sweaty strap-hangers

wishing they were

somewhere else,

anywhere else.

Well they got their wish

and it wasn’t the pandemic

that did it - not that one



this was more immediate,

Magical even,

One minute they were there


next minute..


as if 

someone waved a wand.

They’ve vanished!

Where to?

Who can say when

there’s no one left 

to say

no one left to know

only the objects are left behind,

the ordinary and the incongruous

left behind to tell their story.

Are you listening?

Sunday 28 August 2022

 The Lizard

The lizard loves abandoned places.

They make for an exciting life,

so many nooks

and crannies

to seek out

for shelter

or snacks

from the creatures

ill-advised to shelter there.

There’s compost to scrabble through,

rustic brickwork to climb,

even a tightrope to practice balance.

And the sun

shining through it all

to be soaked up with joy.

Such a haven of perfection!

Tuesday 23 August 2022

 Mad Swirl

She always preferred to blend in

to the background

to lose herself

in the mad swirl of colours

from other peoples lives.

It’s how she became 


how she became


 Little Sister Lost


I woke in the sunshine

and salvaged my book

from the damp grass.

I stretched..

I looked around..

She wasn’t there.

I looked behind the stone,

then under it.

A pretty blue mouse


from under,

but no little sister.

Then I thought 

of the rabbit hole under the tree

where the scraggy, stripy cat

had spat and snarled at us 



I found the tree

and the rabbit hole.

Was she down there?

It was too small for me to go.

I shouted down

and scraped

and scraped

and scraped

to make it bigger.

A rabbit would do better

with it’s big feet.

A rabbit,

like the one standing behind me

with such big strong feet.

Help me.

Help me.



He sniffed disdainfully

and removed one hand 

from the pocket of his purple fur jacket

to brush the soil I’d splatted

on his white velvet breeches.

Such big strong feet

for digging.

Help me.

Help me.

Help me.

He gave me his spade.


I started to dig

and dig

and dig.

Dig till it was big

enough for me to go

Scrabbling down.







looking for the light

and my little sister.

 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?


 After Time


“I’m late,

I’m late again”,

said the White Rabbit

staring at his pocket watch

with exasperation.

He turned the minute hand back a little

and perused the new time

with satisfaction.

He knew the effect would be limited

unless he could turn back the hands

on all the clocks everywhere,

but it made him feel better


He had pondered this issue of time

many times.

He knew that clocks and watches were irrelevant

to it’s passing,

which made him feel better 

about his manipulation.

Philosophically speaking,

he knew that he could change the time.

He could break the watch and freeze it.

Break all the wheels that turned inside.

Smash them to smithereens.

But even then,

even when 


he knew

the wheels of time

keep turning, time after time.

Sunday 21 August 2022

 The Sound Of Silence

Sometimes the silence speaks 

louder than the words,

louder than the music

as loud as the sounds

inside my head.

Sometimes the silence shouts

and I turn on the radio

and open the window

and block up my ears

to shut it out.

Once it was a welcome guest

entering as others left.

Once it was a time of peace,

a quiet time alone,

a rare time alone.

Now it’s all there is,

that deafening


Friday 19 August 2022

 Hold The Light

Hold the light in your hands

let it warm them

with the scents of summer

let it shine through

then let it go.


Time is healing.

Time is stealing.

Time congeals

if you let it.

Even then,

even when broken

it’s wheels keep turning

casting shadows

on my skin.

Tuesday 16 August 2022

 Sister Millicent

The teapot was full catering size

perfect for the church function

where I first met Sister Millicent.

She was balancing it on her head.

Her eyes were uplifted

so were her lips.

It was her party trick.

I didn’t know nuns did such things.

 The Purple Boat

The purple boat sank.

There was no explanation.

Our father made us three,

blue, green and purple,

from sheets of coloured paper,

blue, green and purple.

We thought they were hats

at first

and ran around

holding them

on our too large heads.

But he said they were boats

and showed us how to sail them,

pushing them from the side

with long twigs 

until they made

a small bright flotilla,

blue, green and purple,

in the glass clear water.

And then the purple boat sank

leaving only

the blue and the green.

A sad flotilla,

of blue and green

in the glass clear water.

There was no explanation.

But I think, most likely,

it was spied by some creature below,


loving the colour purple,

grasped it 

and took it below

to make it her own.

But I don’t know.


I have found

that life is often like that.

Monday 15 August 2022

 What Else Should I Say

I unscrambled my thoughts

to text you my love.

It’s the most I can do 

in this strange

distanced year

when there is 

so little new 

to tell you.

It’s inadequate

but what else should I say

when it’s your touch I long for,

your strokes

and caresses

and they’re as un-textable

as you are untouchable.

So what else should I say

only that 

you’re still the one,

it’s still you 

I’m looking for,


Saturday 13 August 2022

 An Upward Glance

Is that heaven in her eyes

that I can see,

a morsel of paradise

captured in an upward glance

or is she searching

in exasperation,


to find

something better

in the dark mists

of time.

Sunday 7 August 2022

 The Hedgerow Fairies

Where have they gone,

the hedgerow fairies

in their harebell hats?

I used to see them sitting

under their leafy roofs

stitching their summer dresses

of poppy and mallow petals

with long silk threads

catching the summer sunlight

as the smiling spiders spun.

I miss them so,

the hedgerow fairies

in their harebell hats.

I used to see them collecting

armfuls of meadow sweet

to stuff their nighttime mattresses,

making doorways in their new

toadstool homes with sharp stones.

Maybe they’ve gone underground

to escape the passing cars and tractors.

Maybe they only come out at night now

and stitch and stuff under the moonlight.

I don’t know.

But I miss them so,

the hedgerow fairies

in their harebell h


 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.