Friday 29 December 2017


Tall trees reach up into greyness.
Humans and dogs
overlook me. I am practically invisible.

Passing cars leave a trail of white.
Red bus
the only coloured thing,

and even that appears faded
as the embers of a dying fire
almost obscured by ash.

Frost-encrusted primulas in a window box.
My bones, too, are stiffened with coldness
in a garden no longer welcoming.

Hunger. The seed and fat balls,
rendered inedible by frozen fog, are lost -
like me - in the depths of winter's abyss.

Friday 22 December 2017


He's practically a saviour
when you've run out of sprouts on Christmas Eve.
Standing there
in his vegetable-stained apron
that resembles a map of the world.
He has hand written tags with all the prices - only
now three times higher than the rest of the year.
And he never closes, except on the Big Day itself.

He's fourth of the Three Wise Kings today,
bearing gifts for the humble customer:
lucky dip for the children
and a scented candle for the festive table
that his wife made only yesterday.
Well you can't really blame him, can you,
if his Christmas spirit is really the proverbial carrot?
After all, the business rates have just hit the roof! ;)

Wishing You All the Very Best of Seasonal Greetings & a Magical and Happy New Year :))

Friday 15 December 2017


For Roger Moore...In Memoriam

On Saturday early evenings
she dressed up
in white frills and lace
and styled her golden hair
into loose ringlets
piled high.
She tidied her bedroom,
scattered cushions on the bed,
then turned on the TV
to watch "The Saint"

Outside, the family
barbequed without her.
They knew it was pointless
to even ask.
She wouldn't be hungry,
not on this day of the week.
The noisy jocularity in the garden
fell on deaf ears. "The Saint"
was just beginning.

The TV lit up the room
behind closed blinds.
Her flushed cheeks glowed.
She was no longer the shy, unremarkable schoolgirl
when he spoke in his Oxford accent
to her and her alone.
She was suddenly all woman: sensual, seductive.
Something had changed forever.

And...oh, how the vowels of his name
still smoulder
like molten embers through her life -
even now, in the tragic wake
of his passing on.
Ah, such poignant, exquisite legacy...

Friday 8 December 2017


Rocky Valley, early December, evening

Wild gorse merges with inky sea.
A stony uneven path climbs steeply upward
towards a star-dotted, almost black sky

devoid of any comfort. I pause, suddenly uneasy.
The shadowy precipices, blurred depth of landscape
in darkness and the ceaseless crashing of wild tide

far below are all too evocative of nautical phantoms
I'm extremely reluctant to confront alone.
yet, here I am, utterly powerless to resist

this crazy, reckless compulsion to return
and touch the past, when we were together
and loneliness was no more than a vague concept

of something that only happened to someone else.
But now the ties are so stretched. Perhaps any memories
I can conjure up will help to clarify

these abstract images of blissful bygone days spent
with my only child: his brown eyes, dark hair,
red hat and striped shirt. And he, barely more than waist high;

small hand in mine, happy laughter. Traversing
this very path, over twenty years ago. Somehow
tonight feels less real. It could so easily be not now,

but back then. The fierce crashing of waves on rocks
so far below: trance-inducing. Timeless.

Ayrton's rock

Reaching the jutting rock, feeling the way -
risking life and limb in the steeply sloping blackness.
A dance of shadows spiral around me

in the tall grasses and jagged edges
of primal stone, as I squeeze into the sheltered alcove.
Remembering, with a choking lump in my throat.

Bending down, running fingertips over the great slab underfoot.
Pushing aside prickly undergrowth - it's still here!
Carved in the stone: AYRTON 1997. Tenderly tracing every letter and digit.

And I never thought then for one moment I'd return

someday in an older form of myself. But here, now,
buffeted by the chill night wind,

I turn towards the restless Atlantic and clear
a space in gut-wrenching nostalgia to whisper,
Ayrton - like a mantra, over and over again:

a magical chant capable, I hope, of reversing time itself.
And the Universe is stilled. The years between unwound.

Rocky Valley, dawn

The return journey. The last thing on earth
I want to be doing. The cold, long shadows
so vividly reminiscent of the empty space I carry

deep inside. Even the mournful cries of the gulls
speak to my Soul of abandoned nests
and redundant mother-love steeped in mourning.

However, living in the past is not really my scene -
not since my hot tears drowned my daughter's gravestone
and smudged the heart-broken messages on rose bordered cards:

debilitating agony, synonymous with relentless winds like these.
Motherhood is an excruciating affair -
at least, it has been for me.

Nine pregnancies, and only Ayrton lives on.
I find him, suddenly, on the approach to Trethevy Mill,
anxiously seeking me. Dare I even hope it is an omen?

That the maternal bond is actually elastic still?
The gulls are deafening, waves still crashing. Everything falls into place.

Friday 1 December 2017


I sometimes churn out utter tosh -
meaningless, not deep; sprawling, not neat.
But, occasionally, I re-read it through and discover
an atom of Soul expression embedded
within these incompetent words, then I know
it's worth all the extra hard graft and frustration.

When people ask my why, I reply
"Why are Nuns drawn to the Convent?"
Theirs is a calling, so is mine:
a perception of something most profound
that demands from me utter devotion.

So I take out another sheet of paper
and dream myself into it's fabric.
Studying it's subtly mottled whiteness,
it begins to speak to me of a tree
whose noble sacrifice enables my craft.

And this sacrifice is preying upon my mind,
honing in like the sight on a gun.
And I cannot stop it - the strange conviction
of guilt that is powerfully compelling me
to record the feeling - and express it right!

Now the tree is embracing me in tender green
as if in forgiveness for the pain I've inflicted.
And I've become one with her rising sap,
her deep roots, her joy of living -
until all is cut short by the brutal felling.
And I'm moved to tears by this sheet of paper
and my wretched inability to find the words...