Tuesday, 29 November 2022



It should be the dragon that breathes fire,

that’s him there above the horse,

but he’s quiet and calm 

in tune with the sweet music

quite breathless just now

while in flight



in metamorphosis.

It’s the horse that looks dangerous,

his breath steaming

about to catch


no doubt 

about it

they will surely change places

when their metamorphosis 

is completed

and the music stops.



 Green Dragon


Does the ghost believe what he's seeing

as the green dragon floats by

breathing rainbows

from flower filled puffs of breath.

Would you believe it?

Would I

believe it?

After all,

this is not the usual sort of dragon

whose fire filled breaths register alarm.

But alarm registers, nevertheless,

as this is not the usual sort of dragon

and none of us are sure

what will happen next.



Monday, 28 November 2022


Regrets are best forgotten,

laid to rest in peace or 

in restless confusion.

Dump them with the other debris,

the detritus of the past

no longer needed.

They will be taken away in time, 

disposed of

in the future,

by the future.

Displaced by more things 

to regret

and forget.

And by more things to keep

and remember.


Saturday, 26 November 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.



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.



 Bare Back Rider

He was used to bare back riders,

he had been a circus horse
after all,
but she was different
as bare as Lady Godiva
covered only by her long hair.
He could feel her auburn curls
with the curls
of his long black mane
her flesh was on his flesh.
He felt it touching
felt her warmth
against him.
The audience would have felt it too,
his audience and hers.
He rolled his eyes
and stole a glance
He opened his mouth
to tell her
to cling on tight
but no words came
they were unnecessary
she knew he would help her,
help her escape them
as he carried her towards the light,
transported them both into a brighter future



 It's Raining Again

The weather god doesn’t speak Welsh.

She’s tried.
She’s really tried.
She’s wept tears
of frustration.
She’s wept tears
of anger.
She’s wept tears
of sadness
that flow from the mountains
to the sea.
It’s the vowels
she finds hard.
And the consonants.
And the mutations.
And the way it’s spoken form
over the distance traveled
in the time it takes her
to make a small cloud
and a tiny puff of wind.
A tiny puff,
not enough to to raise the cloud
above the mountains.
So it hangs in a sad, sullen mist.
Or blows in angry swirls.
And still
she tries.
She really tries.
She weeps tears
of frustration.
She weeps tears
of anger.
She weeps tears
of sadness.
Floods of tears.
Tears which fall
in cascades
from the mountains
to the sea.



I Was Always Afraid Of Rabbits

“I was always afraid of rabbits”
said the purple dragon.
I knew it to be true.
I’d known him for a long time,
long before I became a witch
and took to the water
to watch over him.
It’s the white ones he fears most
and they are mostly white ones
down here.
He won’t eat them.
He used to eat fish
but now he is afraid to eat them
now he’s seen them eating the rabbits.
They’ve eaten the fur off this one,
but he believes it was white
and believing is seeing
after all.
The fish have eaten everything
except for the head and eyes
the most fearsome parts
for the purple dragon.
It’s found him now,
he pushes it away in panic
but it won’t go,
it won’t go.
It’s covering his face,
taking it over
and getting ready
for the rest.
It won’t go,
not unless I can grasp it,
and hold it
peel it off
take it away,
then bewitch them both.


 Dividing Lines

The shapes and colours

are cut out

in symmetrical perfection 

to lie close,

seemingly random but close.


but divided by the black lines, 

drawing boundaries between them.

Only some shapes can be joined


That’s how it is.

Matisse torn them all up

joined the pieces


made something of them.

But that was in his art,

in life they’re still distanced,

more Mondrian than Matisse.

Art and life,

make what you can of it.


Wednesday, 23 November 2022

 Art Therapy

See how my mind is playing hopscotch

jumping from one idea to another

creating a beautiful world

of colour

of writing 

of music.

You try to make sense of it

and conclude

there’s no sense to be made

from a mind

that’s taken leave of its senses.

But I understand it all

and I’m here

watching you

as you try to work it out

watching you fail,

and feeling



Tuesday, 22 November 2022

 At The Crossroads

I’m at the crossroads 

looking each way, 

looking carefully

then deciding

which road to take.

One way leads to paradise,

or so I’m told,

but how to know 

or when,

or where 

I will find it.

Will it be

along the way,


or at the end of the road,

or later still,

after I’ve moved on.

How to know.

Are there clues on the surface?

On the smooth tarmac,

or in the ruts and potholes, 

or yet deeper down.

And what of the other roads?

Who can say whether paradise

can be found there as well.

Perhaps it can be anywhere,

down any road,

if I can only see it.


Sunday, 20 November 2022

 Like Father Like Son

I wanted to be like my father,

to follow in his footsteps,

or rather,

his wheel-steps

as he drove his tram along the shiny rails.

We played the game constantly to give me practice

but I couldn’t quite get the hang of driving.

I was scared of crashing and tumbling on to the city streets.

So he bought me a Conductors uniform 

and a bag for the money and tickets.

He drove and I sold the tickets.

It was a good compromise.

I think about it now as I look down on the city,

with its streets and green spaces

which no longer have trams.


Saturday, 19 November 2022

 Dead Letter Drop

Once the words sprang off the pages

like the green shoots of spring

eager to be greeted

eager to be read.

That was before 

the winter chill

froze them

into remnants.

Tattered pages,

empty envelopes 

and empty words

as worn and shrivelled

as our love became.


Or almost dead.

But I cannot quite let them go,

cannot quite let us go

so I’ll bundle them up

tie a ribbon round them

for old times sake

and hide them away 

in the winter branches.

And I’ll try to forget

and try not to forget.

And perhaps come spring

they’ll rise from the dead

like the new shoots on the tree 

and burst into life again.

It’s worth a chance.


 Green Dreams

I am dreaming, I think 

I’m dreaming

as I try to separate the layers

of real and unreal,

peel them away like the crinkled leaves

of a cabbage.

I’m peeling off the dark green leaves first.

What lies hidden beneath looks 

much the same as the outside,

a little less battered, more crinkly,

a little paler with some yellow

languishing in the green,

but fundamentally the same.

Now for the next layer.

There’s a drop of water 

shining full of light

and something darker, more solid,

khaki green and brown,

the leavings of some hidden creature.

Another layer reveals the holes

and then, 

the sleepy caterpillar

in his cabbage camouflage,

his dietary disguise,


of eating his greens.

He’s without his pipe, 

without his crown.

So, unsure of 

his identity, 

much less mine,

I continue my peeling

layer after layer until

I get to the heart of it,

the pale, pale green centre

of naive youth.


I will soon understand 

where I’ve come from

and unpack the dream,

find the pipe, put the pieces 


make sense of the cabbage, 

crown the king.


 Dandelion Seed

There's a dandelion seed

caught in your hair.

A fluffy wisp of white and grey

hanging there, 


in your frothy crown.

A shimmering seed held

like a star in a wiry halo 

made by the light.

Blow it away.

Perhaps you will,

if I tell you it's there.

Blow it away.

But it looks so beautiful

suspended there.

I won't tell you.

I'll just admire it's beauty

as it hangs

in your hair.

Blow it away.

No, I won't.

It will leave soon enough.

Best not to rush these things.

Who knows where

they will end up

after all.