Thursday 29 November 2018


The echoes of long dead miners fill these chambers:
hollow, clanking sounds
coupled with an eerie distant murmuring.

The tunnels run for miles below ground,
like the digestive system of some giant beast
meandering down into the bowels of the earth

where, if you touch the walls,
you can feel the core's heat.
But none of this is in the guide book

you've been reading since descending the ladder.

Suddenly claustrophobic, you could swear you glimpse
shadows drifting through the silent gloom...

Thursday 22 November 2018


For Billie...

I sit, in faded jeans and leather jacket, on a groyne.
I listen to the continual crashing of waves -
and beyond them another sound. Electrifying. I stand
and train my eyes along the shoreline...and wait
among the pebble banks and dried seaweed
for the appearance of stallion and rider.
But no one comes.

I think of last century and of you
riding madly, recklessly, before the groynes or I were here.
I scramble up the beach
as the tide turns, and head for Stocks Lane
and Perley's Marsh your old home,
and your riding stables.
Both are now replaced by modern buildings
jarringly out of place - and I feel
suddenly so alone...

Friday 16 November 2018


People out walking in the frost
wrap themselves in coats, scarves, hats, gloves;
believing that without all this paraphernalia
they will freeze to death.
Well, perhaps they're right.
But I walk through it completely unclothed
because I am made of ice. They still tell
of the hoar frost that clung to tree and mountain
at the time my mother expelled me from her body
amid a pool of blood that instantly froze,
and how the midwife had to rub some life
into my tiny pure white body.
I am daughter of the Ice Queen -
born in north Iceland, raised in coldness,
and six month nights were all I understood.
I had to stay one jump ahead of the summer
because I knew it's alien nature would thaw my body
and burn out my pale eyes.
So I hid beneath the snow drifts
like a white vampire.
But it's harder now I've reached womanhood,
as I'm driven to flirt with the sun
and be caressed by his deadly rays
like all the other women I see around me.
He is like no other lover - dangerous
and therefore irresistibly alluring.
What happens when fire and ice combine?
The Aurora Borealis tells my story.
I think I'm inviting chaos. My reflection
is up there in that northern evening sky -
all the colours of coldness, remoteness,
a reminder of what I am...

OK, OK, I'll come clean:
the above is all fantasy, you know!
In truth, I am an ice sculpture that adorns
a corridor in this year's Ice Hotel.
But I so want to be human.
You see, my beauty encloses no Soul.
There is only cold rigidity inside me.
I can only hope that one day global warming
will come and put an end to this half-life:
will reduce me to a pool of water
that cannot think, cannot feel,
and cannot yearn to be loved.

Just to let you know...I have been diagnosed with cancer, so have lots of X Rays, scans etc. coming up before I have surgery. 
I will visit you all as and when I can in between all that is going on...try keeping me away!! ;))

Thursday 8 November 2018


Dedicated to all those who suffered...more than we can ever imagine...

Remembrance was your greatest tormentor -
perhaps even your torturer. Now, all
your possessions, your wife, your life,
no longer held any meaning for you.
All had been superseded by the horror,
the sickening retro-visions
that came nightly.
This horror took on the hue of your bedroom walls
and concealed itself in the undulating folds
of the matching curtains.
You could taste the blood in your whiskey,
hear shells exploding in each passing car engine.
Body parts and lost faces lurked in their myriad lairs:
your candlewick bedspread,
your latticed windows, your carpet, your wardrobe.
You stared at these. You perceived the presences.
They hid in your army uniform -

that was their favourite place to lie in ambush.
When you dressed, you would pause halfway
to closely scrutinize jacket or trousers,
absolutely terrified of what may be secreted in the seams.
Khaki: fear personified
there in your hands -
the rising neurosis that threatened to choke you,
suddenly erupting into the uncontrollable shakes.
Your entire being turning to jelly.
Your wife, your son, your body, your life -
all dissolving into the carnage of the battlefield.
You could see it all, there
in the faded bloodstains ingrained in your uniform.
You knew the horror would never leave you.

So you took your own life.

Saturday 3 November 2018


For Ayrton...

In this empty room now devoid
of your clutter and chaos, I'm lost.
The door and windows have stories to tell
of the boy who grew to manhood here
amid deafening music blaring out
and technology wall-to-wall.

Though silent now and stripped quite bare,
this will always remain your room.
It's filled with precious memories
that once acknowledged spring to life:
happy times shared between mother and son
that I'd thought would never end.