Sunday, September 7, 2014

Inner Child

I try to ignore you, keep you away,
You sleep in your tiny bed,
Covers up to your ears,
Rhythmic breath beating time
Until you demand attention again.

You are my unacknowledged sigh,
The bloated disappointment
As I wait for an absent friend,
The chill of resentment

As another takes the stage,
The strangled cry of despair
As the door shuts too loudly
And footsteps fade to a rustle.

This is all you, stripped potential,
Graceless, denied,
Dormant, staring, silent
Except for the heartbeat we share.

If you were to speak,
Would you strike out in anger
Or resolutely state facts?

 I do not know how to parent you.
Should I be your saviour
Or your friend?

 We walk two very different
Tightropes together,
Hand in hand
Each other’s safety net
Until the next crisis
Leaves us both weeping,
And running from the storm.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Phil Collins’ School of Romance

Everything she knows about love
She learned from Phil Collins.
She learned that love can’t be hurried
That against the odds
Something is in the air
That leaving can be easy
That sometimes you just don’t care.

The big lesson came early.
Pulls away at a sign,
A glimpse of affection,
He shunned at the time.
You dust yourself off
Pick up your heart
Stow it away
Forget it ever came into view.

When he marries another
With a soft shaky voice
As she watches close by
Taking note not to cry
You dust yourself off
Pick up your heart
Stow it away
Forget it ever came into view.

When he tells you he loves you
Then disappears from sight
Leaving you bewildered,
And shivering in fright
You then dust yourself off
Pick up your heart
Stow it away
Forget it ever came into view.

She learned not to trust
She learned not to hope
She learned very early
Not to give herself rope
Just dust herself off
Just pick up her heart
Stow it away
Forget it ever came into view.

She hopes against hope
That situations will change
That the gods and the stars
Will the times rearrange.
Will she dust herself off
And pick up her heart
Stow it away
Forget it ever came into view?

For she knows that she’s worthy
She knows that it’s there
But waiting and hoping
Just lead to despair.

But until the day comes
When her love can run free
Not sit hiding in silence
Or run up a tree,
She’ll just dust herself off
And pick up her heart.
Stow it away
And hope it may come into view

One day.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


A country road. A tree. Evening.
Two tramps meet and wait
For something that never arrives.
Just as everything depends on a
Red wheelbarrow
And Mrs Bloom screaming “Yes!”
Cracks  the world into
Another dimension.
As Frankel sits within the fetid
Emaciated, stink of humanity
Searching for meaning
Amongst the hopeless
The desperate and the damned.
Just like the diamond-filled sky
Over marmalade trees and
Tangerine rivers which
Blight the dreams of the many.
For I am the walrus,
Goo goo ga joob.
The absurdity lies in the inaction.
For what if they searched for Godot
Or the wheelbarrow was blue?
If Mrs Bloom’s orgasm was silent,
Non-existent, an unknown Protestant pleasure.
That Frankel marched to his death
Shuffing skin and bones
Of the tattooed, hopeless, stinking throng.
For it’s not in the waiting
The absurdity of hoping
For a different result
That kills the lives of men.
It’s the never said I love you’s
The silent wanting
The thought that nothing changes
On a word, a look, a sign,
Which kills the dreams of many.
It’s the inactivity of waiting
That’s the saddest, most absurd
Utterly desperate action of all.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Saint Godric Dreams of Other Times

You never forget the smell
The dank, damask musks,
The secret acrid vinegars
The flower scented hair
That rests on your chest
Snoring gently, twitching occasionally,
Muttering lists of nothings 
As the boat rocks around you,
Eastward bound to Jerusalem.
Ah, the freedom of the sea,
Rolling, never still, never silent,
An unquiet of redemption and destruction,
As you skate along the surface
Sails full, ropes taught,
Sun blasting your fragile skin
As you squint into the white horizon
Endless journeys across water
Eastward bound to Jerusalem.
So here I lay, flailed, failed, prostrate,
On a mattress of moss, with a blanket of leaves,
Penitent, pining, prickled, poked,
Searching for silence
An ultimate peace
Demanding a vision of ultimate hope
Yet I dream of the time
And the girl and the sea
Eastward bound to Jerusalem.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Unwanted Gift

I know they meant well.
The wrapped extravagance
Sat on the table
(An unexploded bomb waiting to be tripped)
Begging for comment
Desiring attention,
The pink and blue bows
Cascade over the box
(Some would call it precursory smoke)
A silent reminder
Of obligatory hope
At such a happy time.
(My smile was forced, burned on with napalm)
A gift brought to us
In paroxysms of joy
The final hurdle crossed
Loins ungirded and fecund.
(They cannot see the inside, the desolation and fear)
Here is the gift they
Longed so much to give,
Sitting between us
(Twinkle twinkle sparkling wrap, how I wonder where they’re at)
Waiting on the table
Quietly ticking away the seconds
Before every paradigm
Of our collective happiness
Shatters the ether
Like a nuclear blast,
Detonated by the words
“She’s gone.”

Sunday, June 8, 2014


We will box up all the bad in the world
Lock it away, seal it up and place it
In a sacred repository.
Somewhere safe where no harm will come
Nobody will be able to see
The potential damage
The pointless harm
The unheeded destruction
The futile pain.
We will lock it all away
And let the innocent care for this burden.
An obedient child, caring, unsullied, meek,
A child who has not seen the world
A child who will not know the world.
A girl child.
For only she can carry the burdens of the earth
Not knowing the sacrifice
A willing, unwitting pawn.
They gave me a box.
We gave her a box.
“Don’t open it,” they said.
“Don’t open it,” we said.
“You don’t need to know what’s in there,” they said.
She knows better
Than to have a mind of her own.
I know about gifts
They are never any good.
Just ask Silent Cassandra
Or Shrinking Sybil
Or that gormless plank Narcissus
Gifts are never bring happiness.
Not that this was a gift.
More mine to care for.
A beautiful jar, lid held fast,
Heavy, hollow, round.
Whatever could be so horrid
To be held in such an object.
Carefully, I opened the lid.
And my mind went blank.
“Don’t open it we said,
Silly girl. Silly, silly girl.
Only the innocent
Can hold these furies.
Once seen, there is no going back.”
It’s not the hatred or bitterness.
I can cope with the pestilence and war.
Death, riding a horse of no colour
That doesn’t bother me.
Anger, greed, gluttony, sloth
None of these matter.
They escaped, blighting humanity
Like dye dissipates in water.
It’s all part of the fabric of life.
Silly men, silly silly men -
To think a simple jar could hold
The potential damage
The pointless harm
The unheeded destruction
The futile pain.
It’s not what’s out of the jar
That gives the grief.
I look at the jar
Lidless, forlorn.
Inside sits the most awful evils.
I look at the remnants at the bottom of the jar,
Hope and opportunity.
And I weep the tears
Of a million widows.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Why have I always accepted the crumbs
Foraged for love like dog seeks out food
Searched for acceptance and twiddled my thumbs
And wandered the globe, all unseen and crude?
How is it I've wanted, yet never had,
And longed for another, unknown desire?
Gormless and graceless and seemingly sad
Warmed by the notion that will not retire.
Why have I waited so long for this myth?
A notion that carries all peoples’ belief
That wholeness and goodness are seldom blithe
And love come too all with blissful relief.
Crumbs cannot feed the famished and fawning
They give enough hope, and ignore warnings.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lilith II

Why am I the one who has to be brave?
To endlessly place one foot, firmly in front of the other
Banished to the rocky outcrops
Alone, fragile, mourning, hating
Surviving on wits,
Thriving on the pickings like carrion birds
Scavenging over long dead morsels
Feeling no honour as I steal in the night
Mourning a life that was never provided
Forlorn in the hope of vindication.

I can only be me.

Should I blame you for not loving me
And abandoning me at a time of contempt?
Or should I blame myself for not fighting harder
Wearing the shame and hatred as my banner
For the rest of the planet to see.
Woman wounded, victim or instigator,
The whore to the mother.
The bully to the scapegoat,
The story changes with time and heartbeat,
The narrative wanders over the world.

I can only be me.

The woman you fear as she bleeds
The woman you hate as she stands against you
The woman you try to suppress with your slaps
Your words and your silence.

I can only be me.

Placing one foot in front of the other
Stoic, mourning, willful.
And brave.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Little Star

Looking out, looking back in time,
Before the wrinkles, the grey hairs, the bills,
The too wet/too dry/too hot/too cold
Of the weatherman’s drone,
Back before the humdrum was ordinary
And the ordinary was unwanted
And life was measured between pints of beer
Scoreless draws and delayed trains.
We go back further, looking skyward,
Back to the essays and endless conversations
Of Jude the Obscure and Robespierre
And how the Proletariat will never win
And how Thatcher stole milk
And how scraped knees and hopscotch were far more
Important than the nightly news.
Back to the time of short pants, Sunday best,
Weekend roasts with grandma, cloth nappies
Hand knits, bowl cuts and standing quietly
Never saying a word. Adored, held, safe, secure, sleep.
Then gasp, BANG! Heartbeats. Then Silence.

The little star, out there, somewhere,
Looks forward towards time, towards you.
Seeing the potential as it searches the universe for signs
A light that you may or may not see.

You both scan the dark, where your gazes
Will meet, somewhere in the middle of time.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lilith I

Liliith I

I have learned to sit and scream
Betrayed beyond grief
Beyond hope, beyond life,
Sitting in the mud that bore me
The mud that raised me
The mud that makes me whole
Mad with the knowledge
That I am nothing more
Nothing less, than complete
A perfect mix of elements
Heat, moisture, wind and dirt,
Pristinely unclean
Perfectly, beautifully hideous
Unseen in plain sight
Shunned from the world.

They cannot see my strength.

They cannot see my power.

It is not for them to know
As I remain perched, howling in the brambles
Moaning with the West Wind
Covering myself in excrement
Piss flowing over my feet
Blood, clotted, drying tangling above
Skin  stripped bare, scaly, scarred.
Hidden in plain sight
Wanting to be loved once more.

They cannot see my truth

They cannot see my pain.

For every night life flies from me
Like a lemming over a cliff
Flowing predestined from my womb
A morning tide of sorrow.

All for standing in my truth.

All for wanting to be equal.

All for wanting to know love.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


You cannot tell me that I’m an Amazon Goddess
Walking fearlessly, head held high, chest proud
Bare against the breeze, hair tangled down my back.
Feet nimble on the crags, legs strong, fast, solid.

For I am not a warrior. I do not have the presence,
Banshee voice, ferocious, eyes focussed
On destroying anything and anyone in my path,
Skin smeared with the blood and bile of my enemies.

How can you see me as a woman of war?
I do not have the attention or faith to fight.
Crouching behind boulders, scared, terrified
Watching as others claim their just prizes.

Maybe you see what I cannot see. Me in my pack,
Walking fearlessly, head held high, chest proud
Knowing not when the battle will soften or end.
Bundled together, a battalion of soft hardness.

You know that I don’t see the weakness that is woman.
We stand firm, at war with the world, at war with ourselves,
Skin smeared with the blood and bile of our enemies,
Oozing, seething, drowning in our own seeping juices.

Maybe I cannot see that in being soft, I am strong,
In standing proud, insular, I am a part of the whole,
In being fearless, I walk an unknown path, silent alone,

Walking the unknown road of every woman who ever lived.