Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Insides Out

I made a reliquary
to hold your finger bones
the tones
of ochre and ivory
a counterpoint
to burning red silk
and milk-
white, bone white, stone tight joints.
I told you once before
I wanted to possess,
to dress
and make a mess and more;
to crack your porcelain skin.
You thought I joked
and croaked
until I let your outsides

Cleethorpes Beach

Salt in my nostrils
rollercoaster rattling
sand under my toes

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Seduction of April

I put on some soft music and turn the lights down low
and dress up in my negligee;
a harlot good to go.

Candles on the table, wine waiting to pour
Boeuf Bourguignon in the oven,
listening for the door.

He crashes through at midnight, the candles have gone out.
He sneers at carboned food and wine:
“Woman? Pour a stout.”

Soft music drowned by TV, lights turned up to see
he’s brought a little something
a present just for me.

“I got it down the pub,” he says, holding out a ring
A tear forms. “Does this mean?” “Yes,” he says,
“I’ve got a raging hard-on. Will you do the decent thing?”

Boythorpe Woods - Treehouse Made of Fail

Overcast and dreary
hawthorn hazed green with new leaves
sock lost in welly

Sunday, 29 March 2009


Over tea he’ll address you with tales of his past,
of places he’s going and where he went last
of people he helped gain their innermost wish
of creatures extinct and of birds and of fish.
With fingernails polished and teeth nicely filed
he’ll seem to be bashful, benevolent, mild.
He’ll ask for a menu and tempt you to eat
but once you accept he will turn up the heat.
By then it’s too late for a shout or a yell
for your charming young host is a demon from Hell.


Daisies in the grass
circles of pigeon feathers
cold windswept ears

Saturday, 28 March 2009

I Remember Earth

I remember the crash of waves against the shore
and the clattery scramble of pebbles desperate to avoid their clutches.
The rush of a bats wing past your ear,
and the glimpse of it against the fading dusk.
The scent of turned soil, a breath of mint and the
ant’s eggs like golden treasures under a warm stone.
I remember setting a bonfire to light the darkness,
the flames dancing and the wood crackling
and the smell of roast potatoes
and the tang of the first snowflake of winter.

Rainy market

Hugh and Lelani's:
A contemplative Buddah
and headless lady

Chesterfield market
very wet and overcast
We hurry past

Would this look suit me?
A coffee in cafe Nero
and then pootle home.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Painted Clouds

I paint clouds like bruises on a sullen sky;
roses like the skinned knees when you came off your bike,
trees like the butterfly stitches and the scars. You try
to find something in my work you like
but fail. “What is it then?” you say,
I shrug. “The landscape of another day.”


House sitting for Hugh
bright sunshine with scattered rain
heating man cometh

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Collector of Things

They caught me rooting through the rubbish bin.
“Look,” I said, “I’ve found an old tobacco tin
where some lettering still remains
to tell us what the tin contained;
and see! I’ve also pulled a mirror from
some lady’s handbag. Why not come
and have a delve yourself and see
if you can find things just like me.

Rainbow over Boythorpe

Meadow, misted rain
sun peeks through soot-darkened clouds
rainbows in Boythorpe

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Summer Daydreams

The scent of summer meadows still follows me today
reminding me of childhood, of frolicking in hay
I wish I were a little girl just running with the breeze
with orange hair and pigtails and scabs upon my knees.

I’d wear a Laura Ashley dress and learn to knit and sew
and ride a bike and play the flute and be the one to know
where all bestest people live and which ones to avoid;
which parents give you orange squash and which ones get annoyed.

I’d ask to do a martial art and choose the class right there
that trains you with katanas if you handle them with care.
I’d like to learn to ride a horse and gallop through the field
a knight in shining armour with a lance and sword and shield.

But that was if I had my wish to live another day;
my life is half-past over and my hair is almost grey.
I’ve made my peace with angels and I’ve tallied up the cost.;
I have to say I am content; I’ve loved more than I’ve lost.

Sunny Morning

Fresh graveyard soil
dries and crumbles in the sun.
Twisted hawthorns stretch.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Balloon Man

I saw an angel in the street
with thirty bright balloons.
Dressed in black from head to feet
with multicoloured moons.

His back was bowed beneath the wings
of oily rainbow hue
I thought of many wondrous things
and think he saw them too.

“Do you like balloons?” he said,
There’s one for every fear.
Pick whichever suits your head
and sign your name just here.”

Balloon Demon, watercolour, 10" x 6", for sale: $50.


Walking in the rain
wind howls around my ears
dogs caper through mud

Monday, 23 March 2009

Sullen Skies

It feels like the seaside
with wind blowing and waves crashing
against granite-pebble beach
and the hiss and clatter
as the waves drag pebbles back
to the bosom of the tide.

But I’m not at the beach
and the waves are the plastic sheets
on the shed roof
creaking and banging
and the bags of recycled plastics
taking flight
into sullen grey skies.

I want a lazy day
a crazy day
a wrap-up-warm-and-watch-an-old-film day.
I don’t want to write
or draw or paint or sweep the floor
I want to just snuggle with a blanket and the dog
and a book
and a cup of tea.

Flea Market, Chesterfield

Busy people shop
for antiques and bargains
I stop to drink tea.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Ostara Haiga

Blackthorn flowering
white flowers against dark skies
sunshine on gravestones


Multitudes of dogs
field mowed - fresh grass lingers
patches of comfrey

Saturday, 21 March 2009

What Ears?

She stood in the shallows, a half-smile
on lips longing to burst into full-
blown shrieks and peals of mirth but guile
waves a velveteen hand and says “Pull
the other one – it has bells on it
and she nods and smile behind tears
of mirth and answers, her face lit
with innocence of babes: “What ears?”

An Ungodly Child

An Ungodly Child has dropped in price on Amazon -- it's back down to £6.59 again. Hurrah!

My debut novel where Harold first meets the demon Jasfoup. But you knew that.


Freshly mown grass
thrushes and sparrows sing
hunt for nesting twigs

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Princess who Snogged Frogs

There once was a princess who kissed a frog
in the hope of a prince full of laughter.
With a croak she became a frog just the same
and they lived happily ever after.

Exchange Building

Paying taxes
on a windy day - at least
the sunshine is free.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Market day

Watering cans
and leather cases
made of memory

Push-along train
and truck wait for boys;
leather satchels

Old glass bottles
fetch a fair price.
Waiting for take-out.

Lesbian Decembers

We romped again last night. I caught the sweet
first light of dawn as madder on your lips –
a kiss before the morning drapes your feet
with worries of the day ahead and dips
your shuttered eyes to work and grime. Tell me
of your lunchtime plans that I may steal you
to a different shore, a place where we can be
past lovers who have met by chance and who
have dallied long in old regrets and learned
of one another’s dreams to be the sort
of modern women who have always yearned
to love each other. Wait a minute! Ought
there to be such condoms labelled sod-
omy and liquid latex…Oh my god!

Boythorpe Wood - Hanging Tree

Warm sun on my face
birdsong in my ears and
a smile on my lips

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Her mother scolded Jennifer for being very late.
“It’s half-past seven now,” she said. “The appointment is at eight.”
But Jenny didn’t care she’d had enough of Doctor’s rooms
it was as if they had control of all their patient’s wombs.

“We want a quick abortion,” said the mother when they saw
the doctor with his gleaming knives and needles in a drawer.
“It’s just a little maggot for she’s only six weeks gone
Please tell us you can do the job before the day is gone?”

The doctor bade her take a seat, a glitter in his eye
“We’ll have the foetus out,” he said, “your daughter needn’t cry.
“I don’t need the wheretofors, the who did who with what
just sign where it says ‘next of kin’ – and give me all you’ve got.

Jenner looked up at him through fuddled murky sight
and said “Why does my mother still say ‘we’ when she won’t stand and fight?
I want to have my baby so please go and fetch a porter
I’d rather be a single mum than Mummy’s spoiled daughter.

Scented Garden

Buds are just showing
but a clump of daffodils
highlight the dry fountain.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Thursday’s Angel

On Thursdays an angel comes
to clean the house and wash
the clothes and sheets. My gums
bleed from the toothbrush
that she dips in bleach
when I’m not looking. She puts
my glasses out of reach
and dresses the cuts
I got from falling on
the kitchen floor
after she’d gone
out the back door.

I call her “My Angel” because
I wouldn’t want to make a fuss.

Peacock Restaurant

A tea and coffee
in excellent company
(when the texting stops)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Flea Market, Chesterfield

Narcissi and tulip
flowering in a window box -
teapot inside

Market sale find -
A writer's desk teapot
for fifty pence

Railway signs
Penalties won't exceed
forty shillings

Gin trap
I was tempted
to leave it set

Cigar selling Mr. Punch
Made of cast iron pieces
and set on tiny wheels