Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Open Graves

standing guard
the king in yellow -

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


autumnal sunshine
and a pound of blackberries
impatient dogs

Monday, 28 September 2009

Sunday, 27 September 2009

...and left a lock of my hair...

I got this award from DJ

The "Your Blog is Fabulous!" Award stands for: Integrity. Commitment to Excellence. Stubbornly Optimistic.

The Rules:

List five current obsessions:

- Tea. I love tea. Usually Ringtons, in a china mug. We were on holiday last week and the dear lady who owned the cottage we were renting left me one of her grandmother's gold-rimmed china cups for my tea -- she remembered how particular i was about china.

- Books. I have too many and I keep buying more.

- Angels and Demons. Not the Dan Brrown tosh but the whole mythology ot the elohim

- Writing. I get panicky if I'm not writing, and if I don't write I get lazier and lazier.

- My dog(s). Trickster's mine, though I adore Jack and Mr. Bear too.

Pass the award on to five other bloggers


A bunch of heather

newly-turned grave
heather and crocosmia
a single tribute

Saturday, 26 September 2009


cheerful -
Echinacea in the sunshine
cold day

Friday, 25 September 2009

Friday Bench

pigeons in the trees
squabble with a magpie
warm autumn sunshine

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Luisa's Bike

dogs and motobikes
There should be a novel
in progress

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Winds of Autumn

leaves bling
in the sudden winds -
no answers found

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


vesterday's open grave
a bed of flowers

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Sun Inn

there goes The Sun
(do-do-do do)
it's all right

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Parachute Fountain (again)

Prelude to horror
please take a sip
(if it was working)

Friday, 18 September 2009

Bench Friday

bright nasturtiums
autumnal shadows
discarded axe

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Wetlands Field

a blaze of orange
among the last blackberries
purple thistles

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

North-West Tower, Haddon Hall

After lunch
we look to the tower
and brave the steps

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


not sure
what happened with this photo
but I like it

Monday, 14 September 2009


In my argument with a gentleman friend
about some obscure Biblical anomaly
he insisted I was missing the point

"Fiddlefaddle," I said
insisting we settle the matter
in the old-fashioned way

He wished afterwards he had missed my point as well
after I stabbed him in the leg
with my 1574 Italian rapier.

Gatehouse Garden, Haddon hall

A peek
past 'private'
reveals a garden

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Saturday, 12 September 2009

After Mother was Buried

I draw a fingernail
through the ice on the inside of the pane
and see a single strip of the world.

The trees likes ghostly sentinels
on the road.
A car going over the hump-back canal bridge
with a toot-toot.

I pull the blankets up,
my breath condensing in the cold air
the quilt has beads of moisture.

I glance at the ticking clock.
Twenty minutes before the rush
to travel ten miles to school
and I select a book
Tolkein or Enid Blyton?
I choose Proust.

Haddon Hall - Fountain Terrace

We peer
over the wall
to the terrace below

Friday, 11 September 2009

The Aforementioned, to Appear in Court

There were a multitude of reasons
for not returning your call
I considered some before I thought
I didn't care at all.

You called me once, you called me twice
you called me 'bitch' and 'Madame Vice'
but nothing penetrates the husk
of alluring Mistress Ice.

You offered me a pittance if I did not conform
to seeing my solicitor and remedy my scorn
divorce proceedings would extend
to co-respondent limelight, shorn

of all the trappings I'd grown fond
of: furs, martinis in the nude
confections of a gallant sort
to get me in the mood.

'Begone,' I said, though to be fair
you did not hear – you were not there
and I did not return your calls
for truth be told, I did not care.

Haddon Hall - Bench

Quiet bench
away from the crowds
walled garden view

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Beltane Wedding

We married while sunlight
slanted through the trees
and the heady scent of bluebells
permeated our dresses
and the guests, in a ring,
threw fresh cherry blossom instead of confetti
and the priestess laughed at my tears.

The bark of birch saplings
smelled of rain and decay
and the promise of warmer days to come
while underfoot the moss
released water over our shoes
and clouds of burning sage
banished the ghosts of the past.

You laughed as we said our vows
eyes flashing and the scent
of Poison on your wrists made
me remember the night we met
but the clearing at the foot of the quarry
was redolent with vanilla and patchoili
and your lips were cherry soft.

Over the Peaks

over the hill
and we stop to look back
toward Roseley

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

regression therapy

regression therapy
was 'made of crazy'
but I went back
to past lives and prophets
and the court of
King Arthur
who didn't exist
after all

but the kind lady
gave me a badge

Chapel, Haddon Hall

Glorious light
from old glass windows -
cool stone

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Writing from a Skiff

On September the eigth, 1952,
Hemingway published his last,
a book about a man who fished alone
from a skiff for eighty-four days
and caught nothing.
Then he catches the biggest fish of his life,
only to have it eaten by sharks
before he returns to shore.
I sometimes think I am that old man
fishing from a skiff
in a sea of publishing houses
and mediocre novels
and one day I'll land a publishing contract
only to lose it to the sea of apathy
before I reach the shore.
Ah! I have written ten --
seventy four to go.

Birthday Treat

A cup of mocha
with a 5p coin in the bottom
The King's Shilling?

Monday, 7 September 2009

An Inessential System

I was idle one summer's day
sweating in the heat of the afternoon
on sheets already sticky with sweat
and the tang of too-long-till-washday
rising in my nostrils. I was nineteen.

My fingers running down my stomach –
still flat then and downy like a peach
under my fingers and I imagined
what it would be like to have a boy
touch me there, or a girl. I was nineteen.

Under questing fingers, as long nails
probed the surface of milk-white flesh a lump
the size of a marble rolled beneath the
skin and I thought of a cat's eye in red
and yellow spinning inside muscle. I was nineteen.

I reached across to the dresser where, on a plate
I'd left my penknife and excised
a lump of bone, round and smooth but for
a single tooth embedded, left over
from the twin who died before birth.

I put it on the mantlepiece and lay back down
exploring the hole and the pain
with a finger slick with blood and thought
about my mother looking down on me
from Heaven and wondering.

It was, after all, an inessential system.
I was nineteen.

Chapel Altar, Haddon Hall

Rood screen long gone,
the Christ in stained glass
watches over the Manners

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Angel's Fall

Call yourself a writer?

In lieu of content I offer a meme - I was tagged be the delightful DJ Kirkby

1. Which words do you use too much in your writing?
smiling, shrugged, grinned, burbleflipped and other 'actions while talking'.

2. Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
adverbs and adjectives. I don't need to know the horror was 'dark and coldly calculating'

3. What's your favourite piece of writing by you?
a short piece about the Four Horseman that I sell again every time the rights revert to me.

4. Which blog post do you wish you had written?
the ones that garner 10,000 page views and corresponding book sales.

5. Regrets. Do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn't written?
I'd have liked 'An Ungodly Child' to have some publicity from the publisher, and another line edit before printing. I look back on some of the work I've had published and think 'that was rubbish' but if I hadn't written it I wouldn't be writing as well as I do now.

6. How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?
I think it's brought smiles to a few faces. Nothing I write is important.

7. Name three favourite words
serendipity, contract, published

8. ....And three words you're not so keen on
profanities - they show lazy speech patterns

9. Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
successful satirists - Pratchett, Gaiman, Iain Banks

10.What's your writing ambition?
I would like to earn enough as an author to pay my bills.
That was DJK's answer and I see no need to change it

I am passing this on to anyone who wants to do it

Enjoy your tea.


Dorothy Vernon's Bridge

clear water -
the River Wye:
never questioned

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Derelict Factories

Past their prime
shttered windows
protect broken glass

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Mistress Cat

She wears fur and leather
and a tail attached to her belt
and carries a whip at weekends
men bow to her
and call her 'mistress'
but few see beneath
to the real woman.
She stalks past them
followed by her retinue
of slaves and lovers
of both genders.

What fun it is, she thought,
to be Queen of the role-playing society.


fresh blackberries
glisten with morning dew
pots of hot jam

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Dressings Dressed

I called for a taxi
which arrived promptly
before I've even had a 'make-sure'
or put my shoes on.
The fare to the doughnut cost four pounds
and I logged into the doctors
and read my book
before being called in to see the nurse.
Progress on the ankle was good, though the wound wept
(was it counting sorrows?)
iodine strips and dressings
and enough to do the same at home.
I limp into town
to post a promised CD
then buy some black tulips
and dog chews made to look like orange cats
and find a taxi
which stops at every traffic light
and costs another fiver to get home.

The Gravedigger's Rest

under the trees
the gravedigger rests -
filling in later