Saturday, 31 December 2022

 Crossing Over

Running downhill, on and on,

the orange sun bearing down

on me.

Scorching me, 

burning me up


I come to a river cold with ice.

Icy water flowing too fast.

Too fast.

Faster than I can run.

Flaming under that bridge.

A bridge to somewhere 

from here,

from where I am.

But where is here 

or there?

And is the bridge real

or a bridge of dreams.

Or, a bridge for my dreams,

leading nowhere.

If I cross over

will I plummet

into the nowhere

on the other side.

Shall I try?

Or shall I stay here


looking for the light


I find it.


Don’t squeeze too firmly

you never know what will emerge

from inside solid walls

and even caring hands can be destructive.

But sometimes

something beautiful can emerge

from that which is destroyed.

So sometimes

it’s good to take a chance

give a squeeze

and wait

and see

the new growth burst into being.

Friday, 30 December 2022


I shouldn’t have done it.

I’ve always shunned 

the spotlight,

always feared it.

Unlike the horses and dogs 

who play the game, 


do what’s expected

by their human providers, 

by their audience.

I’ve always been afraid 

of being seen


just in case

I was taken short

and golden notes

fell from my arse

and made 



than the spotlight,


the lighting engineers.

I think we’re all the same,

we unicorns,

shy creatures.

That’s why we’ve 



in dreams.


To discover an icon painting course 

in a mountain town in Wales

was unexpected,

but as a lover of the unexpected 

I enrolled.

Tad, the Orthodox priest looked authentic

with his black robes

and long beard.

That was unexpected too.

There was no gold there

only slate

which was not suitable

so we made do with paint

and shiny foil.

Tad was pleased with the results

and congratulated us all.

We gave them to his church

as expected.

Thursday, 29 December 2022


She said, I was her heart’s desire,

her beloved.


I think

she meant it.

I think


I felt it too.

But now I feel 


of desire

I feel

only strangeness

holding her heart in my hand.

I feel it pulsating with life.

I feel the blood flowing like tears,

while she lies still,

so still,



of desire


like me.


They’re shrouded in mist almost

as dark as the shrouds

they wear to cover themselves,

to cloak themselves 

for their journey.

Shrouds like dusty abayas

uniformly grey,






Only their mouths still red,

stained by their final feast.

The feast of what was left.

And now there’s nothing,

nothing any more.

No more.


 Feed The Flames

Gather round

the hearth

it’s a cosy place

if the fire is burning

and we’ll keep it burning

never fear

the flames





a living fire.

Gather round,

we’ll keep it burning

the home fire



let yourself

be hypnotised


be mesmerised

by the flickering flames,

waving and dancing.

Listen to them 

as they crackle

and scream

as a living fire must.

Gather round,

never fear


feed the flames.

 Sore Fingers

At night my long hair was wrapped

in rags - pristine strips

of thick white cloth.

Sore fingers, my mother called them.

My unruly curls bandaged

into six stiff sore fingers,

to be unravelled in the morning

to reveal

shiny ringlets


to be tied in bunches

with broad, bright, bias cut ribbons.

I wanted plaits.

All the heroines

in my childhood 

books had plaits

I dreamt about plaits

fantasised about plaits.

No more sore fingers.

I wanted plaits.

Sometimes I untied the ringlets,

to my mothers displeasure,

and made untidy, unsuccessful plaits.

Plaits would ruin my hair, my mother said.

Would spoil it’s natural curl,

destroy it

in some




I didn’t care.

I hated ringlets.

I hated sore fingers.

I wanted plaits.

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

 Mellow Yellow

I’ve never been mad about saffron,

or turmeric, come to that

and the colour yellow

doesn’t suit me,

makes me look


washed out,

or so I think.

I like the colour though,

love daffodils

and buttercups,

even dandelions,

so I could celebrate them

by wearing it concealed.

But no one would know if they couldn’t see

so I don’t do that.

Instead it graces my kitchen walls.

There it’s timeless,

part of the kitchen

in every place I’ve lived

from back then to eternity.

 The Essence Of Me

You have to dig deep

to find me in there -

the shape of my face,

the source of my breath

among the squiggles and swirls

making a frame for my hiding place.

I am more than the breeze of those movements

the touch of those fripperies,

those feathers and fans

and what lies beneath is more fluid,

more difficult to grasp 

than my exhalations.

I am more than black and blue,

more than breath and bone,

so much more

and my essence lies in there somewhere

waiting to be discovered.

Saturday, 24 December 2022

 Talking Turkey

There is a rumour going around

as rumours do

in this community.

It is said

that a celebration is being planned

by humans.


by those humans who feed and pet us.

It is being said

that we will be invited

to join them,

that we will be a part,

an important part

of the celebration.

So now we are waiting


what role we shall play,


if we will get drunk,


if we will enjoy it all

as much as our humans will enjoy 

our presence.

 Christmas Crow

We watched the crow with fascination

as it tap tapped on the window pane,

saw its black eyes gleaming,

its wet feathers shining

in the moonlight.

And we understood.

We understood that it wanted to join us,

to perch amongst the baubles

on our shining tree

to share our fireside warmth

on Christmas Eve

and escape 

the cold winter rain.

We heard it promise

to sing for us

We opened the window

and let it in.

It crowed a Christmas carol.

 Christmas Tree

Trimming the tree was a Christmas Eve ritual

in my family.

Each year my cousin would come to help my mum.

They would carefully take the glass baubles from the box

that used to hold her big doll called Topsy.

Then they would put them all in their special place

in my family.

“No the elephant doesn’t go there,

that’s where the peacock should be

and the Christmas pudding goes above.”

Everything had it’s place on the Christmas tree

in my family.

There were shiny miniature crackers never to be pulled

and curly, coloured candles never to be lit, for economy.

No tinsel was allowed for that was cheating.

Only baubles to cover the tree, hiding the green.

The glass baubles had belonged to my cousin,

so had the tree. And earlier, to her mother and granny,

all in my family.

The only family to fall out over trimming a tree,

my cousin’s husband used to say with some truth,

as every year the arguments as to which

bauble should go where were replayed

in my family.

So much stress over trimming a Christmas tree,

that I think they drank Santa’s sherry!

They must have needed it!

And ate his mince pies, 

after trimming the tree

in my family.

 Father Christmas

I was so excited.

It was nearly Christmas

and I was going to meet

Father Christmas himself.

I was so excited, 

wearing my best coat and bonnet,

hopping from one foot to the other

in the long queue of children

waiting with their mums

to be allowed into Santa’s Grotto.

I was so excited.

We were nearly there.

I could see the grotto

with it’s tinsel and fairy lights


I was going to sit on his knee 

and have my picture taken,

and that was in an age when

photographs were even rarer

than Christmases..

I was so excited.

There were the elves...

But wait..

they were cardboard.

Where were the real elves,

the magic ones,

why weren’t they there?

“They’re much too busy”,

my mum said.

“But Father Christmas will be real”.

We paid our money

and there he was.

He really was.

I couldn’t wait to climb on his knee

and examine his beard.

I’d never seen a beard before.

But he was very tetchy when I pulled at it

and told me to stop.

Then it went lop sided

and I realised 

it was a false beard

and I told him so, angrily.

He put it back.

“Stop thy wriggling”, he said.

“You’re not the real one,

I don’t want to sit on your knee” 

Flash went the camera.

And outside there was a queue of children


to be addressed.

Hands on hips.

“He’s not the real one.

He’s got a false beard.

He’s not magic at all,

they’re cheating you!”

It’s a swiz!

Then the store manager came..

I was so excited.