Saturday 30 May 2015


Inspired by the movie, "Mary Reilly"...

I am duality,
                      am in continual conflict
between light me
                      and shadow me.
My life-force is stretched
                      to breaking point
between light me
                      and shadow me.

Everything is vague,
                      everyone fears me in shadow form.
I represent their worst nightmare.
This me is undeniably handsome, yet beneath
lurks something hideous.
Each night my teeth and nails draw blood.
My instincts are vile, loathsome.
You'll find me irresistible - at least superficially:
Venus trap to a fly, chicken to a fox.
Bright moonlight over skyscrapers cast it,
my habitat of deep shadow
where I prowl in fiendish delight.
In this blackout you'll not know what hit you -
and they'll be little left to tell...

But in light form
                      I'm quiet and studious.
This man's without vices -
                      at least harmful ones.
His heart longs only to love,
                      his hands to gently caress.
Lips crave yours without ulterior motive,
softly whispering,
                      "Be my love, free me from this infernal curse!"
And you'll never, ever, suspect
there exists this other me.
You'll see only your ideal lover
who daily brings you flowers
and fulfils your every desire:
elevating humble housemaid to grand lady status,
while strolling beside softly murmuring brook
where you'll see a future beckoning in rosy pink hue...
but then inside I'll feel him rising,
growing angrier by the moment
at such mawkish softness.

And when the sun sets
                      and the shadows deepen,
he'll toss me aside -
                      being so much stronger than I -
and will force me to watch
                      as he tears you limb from limb.
Oh why did I ever even contemplate
                      experimenting with that infernal concoction?

Perhaps it is the tear in my Soul
                      that has left me with a taste for oblivion...

Saturday 16 May 2015


That day, a week ago,
what terrible fears did our silence conceal
as we left the hospital and crossed the car park?
I reached out to take your hand, but whether
to offer comfort or seek it I cannot truthfully say.

You'd just been rendered defenceless as a baby.
I longed to hold you then as never before
but, embarrassed and numb inside,
I said and did nothing.
All around us life went on as usual,
totally oblivious to our personal tragedy.

Oh surely, while a heart still beats, there must be hope.
There has to be. Mine was aching. Was our story to end
after only thirty-eight years? Must it end soon - no more to tell?
There is no answer in the chaos of a shattered dream.
Oh what shall I do? I screamed inwardly.
But no one seemed to hear.

I hardly remember the long drive home,
being focused on how to tell our only son
that the sun may soon be setting early.
Gut-wrenching guilt: it should have been me,
as punishment for being the less-than-perfect wife.
On auto-pilot, I demolished the daily chores.
It was only later, alone in the shower, that the dam finally burst.

That evening, we watched a movie together.
It was a sad one, full of ominous subliminals
that served only to increase my sense of impending doom.
I looked at you and stark reality hit me.
Oh God! Will this chair, like my arms, soon be empty?
How can I face a future without you?

But life has no compassion for the selfish.
Over the years I'd developed a child-like dependency,
an assumption that you'd be there for me forever.
Oh how I'd taken you for granted!
Now my foolish complacency had imploded.
Heartless wench! You'll need to grow up fast now
if you're to take the family reins...

STOP! Self-recriminations are futile.
Better to just let the feelings flow -
no one can hide from their own fears,
nor from the harsher lessons of life.

Today, I can still see the consultant's eyes,
hard, from trying too hard to remain aloof from others' sorrow.
Oh yes, I'll remember that face for the rest of my days,
along with the sobering words he uttered without emotion...
as if your beloved heart was merely a clapped-out machine
that they may, or may not, have the ability to fix.

As I sit here in the garden now,
in the bright spring sunshine,
all I can feel is your possible death sentence
hanging heavily in the air...

I am taking a break from blogging for a week or so.
I will truly miss you all, and will be back as soon as I can.

Have a great weekend. xxx

Saturday 9 May 2015


My earliest memory lingers:
my parents' cherry tree.
Reclining in my push-chair
and gazing up at the crazy patterns of sky:
bright blue patches
between lush green leaves.
Cool shade on hot summer days.
Rich red fruits, like crimson marbles
that I desperately wanted to grasp
but hadn't yet the co-ordination.

Later, playing with friends:
Cowgirls and Indian Squaws,
beneath the huge canopy of that tree
whose shadow now embraced
over half of our lawn.
By then we could reach those rich red delights -
at least those on the lower branches,
so gorged ourselves to our hearts' content...
or until we made ourselves sick -
which we did. Frequently.

I recall my father high up on his ladder,
cherry picker even higher.
Then mother baking cherry pies,
cherry crumble, jam and tarts;
and still having ample fruits to pack
into cardboard punnets to sell
at the end of our drive on Saturday mornings
for a few pence each -
my summer pocket money.

Waking on school holiday mornings
was utterly enchanting,
thanks to that beautiful tree
whose highest branches on stormy days
tapped against my bedroom window panes:
a secret code language between best friends
of different species.
It provided the ideal playground for birds too -
from the minute wren to huge black crow,
they all seemed to adore it as much as I did.
And I loved nothing more
than to fall asleep on windy nights
to the rustling of it's leaves,
knowing I was totally safe
with this giant Guardian just outside.

Then, tragically, it became too huge.
The entire lawn and half of a rose garden
had grown gloomy beneath it's shade.
My mother was cross - she had lost
her favourite sunbathing spot.
So, that spring, my father cut it down.
In it's place, lay a pile of severed limbs -
it hurt as if they were mine -
and it's snow white blossoms filled the air,
rising on the breeze and swirling around me
as if it's noble Spirit had come to say goodbye
before rising to the Other world beyond.
And no one but me seemed to care.
I was completely broken.

Nothing was ever the same after that fateful day.
Bare blue skies of the summers that followed
seemed somehow much duller, joyless and barren,
whilst birdsong took on a decidedly mournful air.
And nights devoid of comforting leaf-murmur
became reminiscent of a lead-sealed tomb.
Even our lawn in sympathy shrivelled
to barren lifeless stalks,
as did my painfully sun burned skin...
without our beloved tree.

Friday 1 May 2015


At the crematorium ashes revert to ashes. Lacking
all sensation now: they can no longer laugh, cry,
nor hold or caress those they've left behind;
but have, world-wrecked, seemingly entered oblivion.

Not so their thoughts, though, for these still
permeate the airways, influencing the living
on subtle levels that we fail to perceive
from within our dismal cocoons of grief.

Yet...if only we could train ourselves to see
beyond the pain, the sorrow of our loss
and realise they haven't left us - not in truth.
Their forms are simply lighter now, too fine for human eyes.
And they sit not at God's right hand, nor the Devil's left;
but continue, just as before, to love and live with us...

So sorry I haven't been able to visit anyone this week, but as most of you know, I travel a lot throughout the spring and summer...and have been in a signal dead spot...:/