I am lagging and flagging,

I wink at the Moon,

I make her swoon.

Tides crawl and creep,

Brides look and leap,

Season of harvest.


Deconstructing a miracle.

What else would you call it?

The X and Y chromosome,

Are they available on the phone?

I am nervous.

The world around me is changing,

Alien and hostile,

Scrunching in on me,

Squeezing me to the size of a pip.

It’s me, I am changing,

The world is the same

And it terrifies me.

People smile,

Glib and bright,

Their eyes, oh, their eyes,

Dead turtle eggs,

The foaming sea claims them,

Baubles for merciless angels.


A face, an imprint,

Watching, judging me.

Are you up to it?

An image of purity,

A cup-bearer to the gods,

No, no, let me keep him!


Blunt and bland,

White white white,

Stark and blinding,

Keep them away from me,

Slobbering shrieking creatures,

Put them in a pen,

And use the cattle-prods.

I blink and tap my heels,

No, this is real.

Everyone tells me it is wonderful,

They must be mad,

Or drunk, or lying.

Resentment has flourished,

Heart tangled with Japanese Knotweed,



I am calm…with terror.

I fake it,

Here is my smile,

I stole it from a clown

Whose face became a balloon,

Up up up it floated,

Harpooned by whalers.

My body is a bucket

Brimming with a bulbous babe

Who squirming like an angry carp.


I am distant,

I am Moses,

I am with God,

I am with child;

Frantic tribes rush,

Ants by my feet,

I look at God,

He shakes His head,

Answering my unasked question,

Fuck it.

I rage at them all,

Their smiles, their exhortations,

Give me a scalpel

To surgically remove their hypocrisy,

My words dissolve into howls,

What is this agony?


I trundle with the bundle,

A weary carthorse,

Clippety clop,

Slippety slop,

I am an empty vase,

A fresh wound,

A shrivelled prune

Gory with battle.

This offering,

This bloody parcel,

Anointed crown,

Angry sponge,

My pores sweat joy,

My heart is a burning rose,

I find my religion

In a gummy smile,

I pass out speaking in tongues…

Noli me tangere!

Twenty silver pieces,

I would have held out for more;

Asleep in Gethsemane’s groves,

Ripe disciples to be plucked,

I have a spear for them,

The world is too fast,

It spins and spins,

I feel dizzy,

A goblet awash with scarlet worship,

Could I ascend?


He inherits my anger,

Eyes flash lightning,

Puffs of ash,

Zapping the unbelievers.

I laugh and laugh,

My physical torment,

My stitched scar,

I survived the Wilderness,

I came back a prophet,

Carrying a living logos.


I am possessed,

An instrument of torture,

Blue oceans mottled with corpses,

I am moribund.

I could go into exile,

I could find a new Hell,

My skin is parchment,

Arcane language scribed upon me,

Walking miracle,

Read my body,

Proclaim the words,

Darkness flows from me.


She haunts me,

Alive in my head,

Jagged memory,

Tiny hand raised,

Blessing? Imploring?

Stars bleed for her.


Prison cots,

So helpless,

She sleeps,

She writhes,

She cries,

Oh how she cries,

My tears, so many,

I love you.


I want to scream,

I am not the same person,

Hand on the mirror,

Who are you really?

The woman you knew?

She has gone.

Eviscerated by a knife,

Disintegrated by life,

I haven’t auditioned for this play,

I have no lines,

No prompts or stage directions;

Everyone is so familiar,

Your grins are like adverts,

I’m not buying it.

I apply lipstick,

I smile casually,

I am ready

For the parade,

For the charade,

I am a wife,

I am a mother,

I am a woman.


How can I have her nightmare?

A dreary weary foghorn,

Swathed pallid bundle,

Floating in a bullrush basket,

Drifting out to sea,

Away from me,

She is asleep,

At peace,


She is an arrow snapped off in my heart,

My soul bleeds,

Guilt eternal,

I love you.


I am her again,

Red lipstick mirrored,

She smiles when I smile,

Laughs when I laugh,

But if I catch her eye,

She reveals herself,

Silently pointing at me,

Je t’accuse! Je t’accuse!

I can taste her bitterness.


I am reflection

I am sunshine

I am shadow

I am faded

I am evaded

I am lonely

I am exile


The old wound,

Red raw memory,

Burrowing and munching,

Am I dreaming?


Seasonal symptoms,

Boing boing – Spring!

Floral pageants,

Birdy ballads,

Pulse of rebirth,

I can forget the nightmare,

Ignore those tiny hands

Behind my eyelids,

No, no, you do not belong,

She said goodbye,

She abandoned everyone,

I exist because of her,

Just like you did.


It is a peaceful evening,

I feel I belong,

That taut knot twisting my heart,

It has loosened,

I am healed,

I can share this revelation,

My smile drops like a careless pebble,

Oh no, no, no,

Cruel, cruel Fates,

I am the understudy,

I am twice revisited,

It is her husband,

Her son, her loss,

They belong to her,

She fell apart

And I healed her.

I weep scalding tears,

It’s not fair,

I go to the mirror,

She is crying too,

She can feel my pain,

Now I understand hers,

We press our hands together,

I turn into glass

And she is resurrected.


Insomniac Maniac

The sky is a piece of coal,

Weighty and glittering,

A cowl with a noose,

A neck is on the loose,

The crown sits heavy,

Dripping with blood,

The blood of death,

The blood of birth,

Eye sockets are hollow rims,

Fleshy orbs sunken and shrunken,

Paranoid moons in a skull face;

Three blind mice,

Leprous and haggard,

Their flinty tongues grate

Like the gates to Hell,

He drowned them in a well.

He was the curse,

His throne a hearse

Stuffed full of corpses,

Ravens had their beaky fill,

Eyes fell from the skies.

Labyrinthine mind,

Of scuttling scorpions

Of hungry horrors

Of baneful banshees.

The butcher of the innocent,

The executioner’s axe,

He swished and he hacked,

He dished and he racked,

Prime cuts of offal,

Injecting him with gall.

His blighted muse,

Her nightmare obtuse,

A bladed demise,

Fresh blood on her hands.

He bellowed and charged,

The Scottish Minotaur,

Unravelled thread,

False promises fed,

Off with his head.


Engine of death,

Slicing of flesh,

Use it all up,

Bargain sale,

Jewellery and soap,

A necklace of melted teeth,

Cleanse yourself with murder,

Glossy sheen of genocide,

Breath in fresh air,

Free from human ash,

A child’s rattle is a skull.

Herder, corralled, imprisoned,

Names became numbers,

Inky sleeved tattoos,

Inventory of slaughter,

Empty abandoned suitcases,

Testament to vain hope,

Testament to absolute horror.


Go to the city!

To evolve,

To be broken,

To be buried.

Skyrapers puncture clouds,

Loose change and

dreams tumble out,

Shiny gold florins,

Put them in your eyes,

Pay your dues,

Play your ruse,

Lay your muse.

Suited and starched,

Sell the lie,

Loud stride,

Only the poor shuffle.

Roof-top bars,

Haughty and aloof,

A poker game,

Glances and egos,

Champagne pop,

Erotic bop,

Erratic fop,

Terribly gauche,

Straddled and saddled,

They make love to mirrors,

Sweating nectar,

Drowning in libido,

They are immortal,

Mannequins in shop windows.


Mega ordinary,

Lord of the cabbages,

Nodding, mumbling,

Maybe dribbling a little.

Deafening thunderclap,

Birds take flight,

Angry lightning bolt,

Fizzing and whizzing,

Targeting a vulture,

Surprised squawk,

It flaps aflame,

Dying with a deflated sigh.

Clouds unleash rain,

The cabbages stir,

Their faces open up,

Violent hungry mouths,

I run for shelter,

For sanctuary,

For my life.

A singed feather drifts,

Rapacious snatch,

I enter the glass house,

Hot humid breaths,

The plants are sweating,

Glittering condensation

Washes blood from windows;

A monster lives here,

I can hear it,

Weighty foot


Reluctant soil,

Slow deliberate killer,

So sure in its lair,

Dog-headed man,

Crooked crescent smile,

Drooling oily bile.

Fear molests me,

I could run…

A throaty growl,

He has found me,

Does he remember

Who he used to be?

I swallow a seed whole,

No going back now,

I am the offering,

He is too strong,

I am pinned down,

His darkness swathes,

Gnarled hands choke,

I am going to die,

Another forgotten victim.

Not long left,

Pain is a bruising echo

Why did I come here?

I stab the creature,

The feather drinks his souls,

And feeds mine,

Making me him.

I can feel the seed

Growing inside me,


I will be the monster,

Will I remember?

Maybe memory is a curse,

Before I forget,

Happy Birthday, father.


Stoic house,



Standing silently,

Shadowy rooms,

Dark cellar,

Dusty attic,

The well is swell,

A tunnel to the past,

Slimy descent,

Lugubrious water,



Keep going!

Peel back your sin

And breathe again,

Glowing bones