Thursday 28 February 2019


My child never sat her exams,
she didn't have time.
You can't count two weeks as a lifetime.
There were no birthday boat trips in June,
nor Christmas presents in December.
She never slept in the pink bedroom with the nursery rhyme lamp
and Disney curtains that never opened.

No terrorist atrocity has marred my life.
There's been no news coverage, no public outcry.
Fate's attacks are deviously executed, are underhand and utterly devastating.
They leave no visible scars.
It's all on the inside - the damage, the agony, the loneliness.
And for those like me there can be no full recovery.

But there was a laburnum tree weighed down with blossoms,
and speedwell blooms spread over the entire garden.
They awaited her arrival with a joyful anticipation
that even a lingering sense of foreboding failed to subdue.
I picked some of each to press for her,
pretty blues and yellows to frame in a card.
I would give it to her when she turned eighteen,
when the danger had long passed I thought,
that heavily pregnant me, who had
just purchased cot, high chair and baby clothes.
That much younger me, with heart still intact.

Thursday 21 February 2019


Inward lurch of the stomach, as though
I've accidentally slipped from a precipice.
Such biting utterances. Surely
                                      that wasn't my voice, was it?
       I could never be that harsh!

Disbelief, combined with intense embarrassment. Choking
on those words, cursing the very notion of retaliation.
Rumour: it must have been someone else -
someone touchy and aggressive, not like me at all.
                                    But I am betrayed by my own face.

In the mirror I see her -
that spiteful, scowling harridan
who sometimes takes control, while all
I can do is watch and listen to her scathing utterances
until her stream of vitriol is spent.

Then I
         am left with her unpalatable legacy:
a huge helping of humble pie. 😉

Saturday 16 February 2019


Our vocation is eternal drudgery. Every day
is the same: washing, cooking, cleaning, shopping -
and all this without an ounce of gratitude.
And many of us are little more than breeding machines...

But what we really want
is to be Rock Stars with wild hair,
we want our men to notice us up there on stage, where
we're belting out power songs, prancing seductively,
letting the lights melt us, sweating
with our heavy makeup running into creases
that will someday deepen into wrinkles (but we're ageless, aren't we?).
Let us girls form a united front. Support each other,
go shopping for perfume, wolf-whistle
workmen on building sites, and make eyes
at passing truck drivers. Let us find our equality!
Let us take coffee breaks in the park lying on our backs,
and accept complements from passers by
with knowing smiles. Let's wear micro skirts
with bare legs. We'll walk barefoot along the shore,
totally free of time schedules, duty or obligations -
all without the slightest pang of guilt...

Oh yes, it all begins in our imagination, girls - self-belief!
Why shouldn't we be wanton mistresses if we choose
or, perhaps, independent career women?
But the choice should always be ours alone.
Our lives, our way.

Saturday 9 February 2019


Where the Battle of Culloden was fought I am.
Where the voices of the fallen call me
down into their comfortless tombs of clay.
I'm sinking, sinking

to where sunlight never reaches
and the soil weighs heavy
on the tartan and bones
enshrouded in despair.

I am lucid, not dreaming,
nerves on highest alert for recollections
not my own. Mentally recording.

Fear spikes my blood
as I gradually descend
through the centuries of suppression
anger and resentment
concealed in this forsaken patch of earth.

My inquisitive nature
has brought me here
to this place of utter misery.

Deeper I sink to where the blood has dried.
I've only my faith to shield me
from the clash of murderous steel
and the unimaginable horror
of frenzied hate and treachery:

an English King and Scottish Prince
so unequally matched.
The rape and pillage, torture
and slaughter...

that prompts the gnawing question:
whose side am I on?

Friday 1 February 2019


Inspired by the British TV series, "The Life and Loves of a She Devil"

A tower, perched on a cliff edge:
picturesque, isolated.
Oh how I loathe and detest it!
It is the residence of Mary Fisher.

Bobbo, you promised you'd always love me,
but how husbands can lie
when they promise to never leave you.
Now, I am alone

in the house we once shared.
Alone, with only memories
of how we'd lived together, loved,
and conceived our children.

Did you really believe it? That I
could share you with that whore?
Well, after you left me I burnt the house down.
Let you and she be saddled with our children!

I  had my own life to rebuild, without you.
Each night I cried and cried though,
until blind fury ousted heartbreak. Naked,
I studied myself in the mirror. Yes, perhaps I was ugly -

what some men would term "a dog."
And as I scrutinized my eyes, I was shocked:
I searched deep into the pupils. There was nothing there!
You and she had sucked out my very Soul.

The She Devil took up residence then, in my hollow core.
Red eyes stared back at me, and pure power rose up inside.
I did it then - the thing you'd driven me to.
I dedicated myself to revenge.

Ah, the anticipation of payback felt SO good! It had begun.
I befriended the mother she had tucked away in a home
simply because she couldn't be bothered with her,
and I brought her back to her "beloved" daughter.

Oh how she hated the chaos her mother created - just as she hated children.
And ours were already driving a wedge
between you and her, Bobbo. I was exultant!
The She Devil's influence was growing stronger.

Others like myself I drew around me: the
ugly, down-trodden "dogs."  Together,
we helped each other to find our place of power.
We all wanted the same thing. To gain control of our lives.

Soon, I had stolen all your clients' funds - we still had a joint account, remember!
Ha! Bobbo the successful accountant! Your boring wife had outwitted you.
I was by then a wealthy woman, even more so than Mary Fisher.
 could afford nice clothes, expensive

jewelry and sexy high heels. Bobbo,
eat your heart out! But I hadn't finished yet.
Oh no! The ultimate satisfaction was yet to come.
Agonizing, extensive cosmetic surgery.

I had to be petite, like her. But
six feet two doesn't go into five feet four.
They said it couldn't be done.
But how I proved them wrong!

Liposuction, tucks just about everywhere,
complete facial and genital transformations -
and even a section of bone
removed from each long leg.

Now, I was a much better version of Her: in fact, she was
a mere shadow of myself.
The She Devil had cursed her.
And there was no coming back from that.

Her life fell apart. The celebrated novelist
had become boring to her once adoring public.
And you, Bobbo, were growing tired of her. Poor fragile thing!
Her looks were fading too. Now had sucked out her Soul!

Just one look and you were mine again, but this time on my terms.
The She Devil had total power over you.
I now owned you, body and Soul, just as you'd once owned me.
And the She Devil smiled...