Friday 23 December 2016


Midnight on the Norfolk Broads. Moored up.
Snuggled up in fleecy throws, sipping hot soup
from Land's End mugs, we sit in silence on deck
each lost in our own private thoughts.
My gaze wanders past you to the pub lights
beyond the tow path and their reflections in the water:

a constellation of dancing rainbow stars
glittering in the velvet blackness.
There isn't much else to look at,
apart from the occasional glimpse of headlights
rising up then descending as they
pass over Potter Heigham bridge.

Soup growing cold. But I try to hang on
to the moment, to stall time, to take in
the enormity of the task ahead of me.
Tiny raindrops begin to spot our faces,
but it barely registers.
We're both light years away,

absorbed in two wildly differing takes on us :
you, never doubting that we belong together;
and me, not having the heart to shatter your illusion.
Slipping off my engagement ring for the first time
while searching deep for the appropriate words
to let you down gently.

But, try as I might, I just can't find any.
So, feebly, I begin by blaming the stars,
"Capricorn and Aries?
We must have been joking, eh?
You, serious and home-loving. Me, outspoken,
restless and easily bored - what were we thinking?"

There is no satisfactory answer to such a question,
only more and more self-delusion.
And the torture in your eyes envelopes me like a sad blanket.
I want the deck to open up and swallow me.
But now I've begun there is no going back -
I must follow it through.

"When we first met, I believed I'd found my Heathcliff -
excitement and danger. Instead, I found myself
trapped in a world of tedious sameness.
There is this space in me that you can never fill
and it constantly aches for something inexpressible,
something only Emily would understand...

And I'm sorry,
so very sorry...

Wishing You All a Truly Magical Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And for those of us of other Faiths...Very Happy Holidays...:))

Saturday 17 December 2016


How the mind plays tricks
and teases! Oh what a parody of foolish desires
set in daydream's whimsical realm
are here materialised in the red-gold hues
of a mid-December sunset.

And how such spectacle evokes and holds
intense amorous longing: for to sheathe in fire
the Adonis form intensifies mania -
however illogical. Ever since the first Eve
was formed from Adam's rib

has not woman been tormented
by irrepressible urges? The inner voice
cries, Touch him, go on - touch him!
And tingling fingertips
eagerly reach for the shimmering mirage.

But distance armour protects
the God-form from harlot's assault -
and we all know sunset eventually gives way
to dusk, that gathering darkness that shields
the Idol from wanton gaze.

And in the morning
he is no longer there, just an empty sky
and light unformed. The ice blue,
now victorious, seems to mock:
See - there is nothing here but space!

But, once aroused, the seventh sense
will not relent: scrutinizes still
in desperation clouds and flocks of birds
for any semblance of humanoid form
that imagination can illogically deify.

For certain the Gods have struck a pact
to place great power within the grasp
of man and etched his glorified image
deep into the female psyche -
is this what the intellects term "instinct"?

He, stunning once more in a new sunset,
is shimmering less though in the fiery glow: over-worshiped,
his perennial perfection is overstretching
and fading into another dusk. His body askew,
he is disintegrating and dispersing

into illusion's fractured sunbeams
that once gave him lips to kiss in dreams:
an exaggerated promise that seems suddenly absurd.
Now, as storm clouds gather, the ideal anatomy transforms
into irony's most hideous fiend.

Saturday 10 December 2016


Over centuries, slowly
creeping. Discreetly,
very quietly,

our expanding forms
take hold on rocks,
creep over the gravestones.

No one questions
nor halts our progress,
other organisms make room.

Soft tendrils adhere
to hard surfaces,
imperceptibly melding

with even the mighty Oaks.
Our power is in our resilience,
our footprint is indelible.

Although non-malicious,
we breech all defences,
invade the crooks and crannies.

We feed on moisture,
on sunlight, air;

very little,
only to exist, to be.
We are legion.

We are unintentionally,
subtly, pernicious:
we can be poisonous -

but only in self-defence.
In spite of our meekness, though,
we are formidable.

We are
relentlessly engulfing the Earth
in green and yellow.

No one has seen it coming
so, soon,
our conquest will be complete...

Saturday 3 December 2016


For my mother...with deepest compassion

"I know dementia," she says. "It is all I know.
It is your worst nightmare.
But I do not fear it. I live there.

Is it my instability that frightens you -
my unpredictability?
Or fear of contamination, that my condition is contagious?

Love is an illusion,
how it runs from the hard times!
See how it disappears like a puff of smoke

just when you need it most? Loneliness
is turning me to stone. I lash out in frustration.
I'm hurting. I want you to know how it feels.

They're slowly poisoning me, you know -
these demons who visit me.
See this pale, gaunt face in the mirror?

I have suffered the atrocities of alien abduction:
have been probed and experimented upon
by beings with huge eyes and needles for fingers.

Now I am disintegrating into odd-shaped pieces
that will never fit together again.
I am losing myself. I can't stop screaming.

The sky is darkening: it is coming for me,
the darkness. It will drag me off
to God knows where. But I will not go!

It's not real. It's not real.
It's all in my head - that's what they're saying,
these strangers in white coats who accost and hold me down.

I am deafened by shrieks.
Nightly they pierce my eardrums:
has the Banshee finally come to claim me?

I am terrified of this dark red thing
that lives inside me, just awaiting the right moment
to close down my brain. And what may come after.

Birds fly across the sky.
Are these the bearers of Souls to the next World?
Is it for their deliverance that my arms rise skyward?

Sudden sword-thrust through my head.
What is this blurring of senses, this petrifying
of body and will - some horrifying contusion?

The red thing is devouring me.
A sea of faces, weeping.
The final separation.
A clinical voice saying  Apoplexy."


Now we, the living, are left
with our legacies of guilt...