Sunday 28 August 2011


Standing here,
in front of the entrance
to Merlyn's Cave
on Tintagel beach.
Midnight, deserted.
Noisy, intrusive tourists
are long gone.
An eerie silence, broken only
by continual crashing
of mighty Atlantic waves
onto jagged rocky outcrops.

Stepping into the darkness,
leaving protective glow
of full moon outside.
Moving slowly, cautious
of slippery rocks
Cold penetrates
right to the bone here.
Dripping sounds
echo spookily
around ancient sea-sculpted walls.

A sudden movement.
Holding my breath,
listening intently.
Shivering in the clammy
I'm unnerved.
Feel like retracing my steps,
escaping to the safety
of moonlit beach outside.

But a strange impulse
draws me onward.
It's as though my feet
have a will of their own.
So I'm led ever deeper
into the dank interior
of the Earth's bowels.

Peculiar whispering
surrounds me on all sides.
I'm convinced
there's someone in here with me.
'Hello,' I call out,
trying to sound much more confident
than I feel.
No reply,
just the returning echo
of my own voice.
But the whispering
abruptly ceases.

I'm approaching the far end
of the cave now.
I can see the Moon's reflection
in rippling water
through a narrow aperture.
A dark figure passes swiftly
from left to right
just a few feet
in front of me.
'Hello,' I call out again.
Still no answer.
Intrigue competes with fear
as I grope my way forward
to the exact spot
where I just lost sight
of the shadowy form.
There's nothing here
but solid rock wall.

I've never moved so fast
in my entire life!
Impervious to the slippery floor,
cracking shins on stone,
splashing knee-deep in rock pools,
I scramble to the relative security
of silver streaked
sandy beach.

Catching my breath,
I'm compelled to turn
and make sure
I'm not being followed.
in the shadow
of gigantic Tintagel Head above,
stands that same figure,
watching me.
'Who are you?' I call out,
as much in frustration
as any other emotion.
'I am Merlyn!'
a deep voice replies.
I blink
and the beach is deserted. 

This face appeared on the wall in my hall just after this experience.
It is no longer there, but continues to periodically re-appear in the
condensation on my bathroom mirror.
I can find no rational explanation.

Saturday 20 August 2011


A memory of being nineteen

You told me you loved me once,
in the very beginning
and I believed you
and was happy.

But then you said
I wasn't beautiful enough.
You weren't keen on my hair
because it wasn't black,
and my green eyes
were too pale for your taste.

So I dyed my hair
and used brown contact lenses,
and hoped you would
love me again.

But you said
that at four-feet-ten
I wasn't tall enough.
I couldn't do much
about that, except
teeter around on six-inch heels.

Then you said
my conversation was boring.
So I tried to think up
witty things to say.
But all that did
was annoy you.

You said
I wasn't sexy enough
in the bedroom.
So I bought lacy undies,
black stockings and suspenders.
But you said
I looked ridiculous
and I believed you,
so accepted all my faults.

Then I asked
why you stayed with me
if you found me
so repugnant,
and you replied that I
relieved your boredom
until someone better
came along.

Yet, still I stayed
because I loved you
and hoped you would change.
But you never did.

And when I finally had the courage
to tear myself away,
you said
I was weak and pathetic
and would never survive
without you.

Yet here I am today......

Friday 12 August 2011


Why do vandals have to smash
Everything in sight?
And why do they do drugs and drink
Then go looking for a fight?

I suppose they think they're really tough
Intimidating us,
But I'm sure they're aware most passers-by
Are unlikely to make a fuss.

When they're in their marauding gangs
They think they rule the World,
Lording it over everyone
With baseball bats fast-twirled.

They kick our garden gate and throw
Beer bottles over our wall,
Then trash our car with an iron bar
Before attacking the shopping mall.

They shriek and whoop with wild delight
While racing a stolen car,
Then set it alight before running away
Like the cowards they really are.

For when you see one all alone
He'll swiftly pass you by,
With head down and hoodie over
In case you catch his eye.

His power, it seems, has deserted him
With the mass testosterone.
His voice is almost a whisper now
As he answers his mobile phone.

His sunken eyes have a vacant look
As there's nothing much within,
For the little intelligence he once had
Has been lost to cocaine and gin.

He'd be shocked to see himself
The way others do,
As the scourge of society
Respected by so few.

And what will happen when he has
Children of his own?
Will they be raised to mutilate
This land on which they've grown?

So heed this tale as a warning if
Like him, you're so weak and afraid
That you have to hide behind a brutish mob
For your life will soon degrade.