Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Burning My Fingers

Burning My Fingers

If my imagination
was a person she’d
be a trapeze artist
swinging regardless
of gravity or fear
from idea to idea
grabbing, hanging,
                            to clutch
                            outstretched hands
or dangled foot
poetic tropes would form 
                                  or somewhat obvious
                                                                  I can only guess if
                                                                                                I’ll be flying
                                                                                                                         through air
                                                                    or my hands           heart          mind
                                                                               will suffer rope burns
                                                                                as I turn, falter,
                                                                                     crash and 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Paper Flowers

You gave me
a flower
made of paper
in neat folds.
At its heart,
concave petals
tightly ovate,
splay delicate rays.
Breaking free
of their enclosing
a star of sepals
they light up
the lazy morning.
Thank you for

the flower sunrise.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Memories of my Grandmother

In a drawer,
paper lined,
I saw the lace
that time
had gentled to
pale cream.

It reminds me
of you.

Powdered skin,
thinned with age,
a tracery
of lines,
the pattern
of joys, woes
and final

Your fingers,
nimble almost
to the end,
that flew
over fine threads
creating webs
of patterns
that fashioned
your home,
and clothes.

Even then
you were a relic
of a bygone age.
Your heritage
despite nomadic

How strange
to find you
lingering still,
woven into
the fabric
of my


Saturday, 21 May 2016

Manic Steampunk Blackbirds

The blackbirds 
flew at
the ivy-covered wall,
calls, more 
screams than musical.

Floating in a book, I 
looked up to see them ex-
plode into a nest of road- 
map lines
and leaves.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Blank Spaces, Space for Poem

Something that I'm keen to immerse myself in, after my EMA is finally posted, is the idea that blank spaces can form poems. Not just the 'white space' concept of leaving breathing space but poems from erasures. I've made a few poems in erasure form, redacted poems from found items and yes, it is time-consuming but oh so very satisfying. 

Just another two days of waiting, editing, re-editing, more waiting and then finally posting and my time is my own. After that... the world of blanks is my oyster - with invisible pearl, of course! Naturally there are blank spaces that aren't quite so wonderful, erasures of individuals or writings that are a whole different thing but this, erasure poetry, yes, bring it on!

I present
blank           spaces
Intellectual e-r-a-s-u-r-e-s
Enclosures [] for lost


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

My neighbour air-dries magazines!

Today my brain is totally frazzled! I am working on the last little parts of the submission for my EMA (end of module assessment) and oh, how I need not to be looking at a screen or paper or.... anything written.

However, looking outside my window, trying to retrain my eyes to the real world I am struck by a poem hanging in front of me so bang goes my attempts to focus (pun intended) my eyes and brain.

Yes, my neighbour really is drying magazines!
The Garden of my Neighbour

The wall between us
is chest height.
It ends at heart level.

Over the wall
is a mystery,
strange and unexplained.

There, rampant weeds
nod familiarities
from untended borders.

Before she was widowed
her washing danced adagios
with her husbands.

Now she hangs beige
items that refuse to move
they are so independent.

She keeps flighty socks
constrained with tear damped

magazines to distract them.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016


new shoots
on the honeysuckle
are reaching
breaking free
of the trellis
hanging loose
from our

ruddy and robust
they reach towards
the sun
like daubs 
of rusting paint
dashed against
a sky of pallid blue
and the clotted cream  

of our cottage wall

Sunday, 15 May 2016


To be an Individual

is measured
in things
the tangible,
the black and white.

             treasured and
artistic tendencies
                             that shape
our responses
to encounters
and futures.
We cannot see
the far horizons
                           clouded by mists
                                                                       ping un-
And echoing
to the sound
           of  f o o t s  t e p s 
                                      w e
                    t a k e.

But the rich diversity –
that which makes us
                                     different –
shapes u s while

                          we  s h a  p e  it.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Palimpsest Pavement 1

here, not set
              in ancient stone
but tarmac trod
             and quite alone,
a footprint from
            an unknown foot
an upgrade fossil
            contemporary look
that caught my eye
            as I walked home

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Feline Inspiration?

I wonder where people find their inspiration.
Mine comes in flashes of ‘oh, that’s interesting’ and gets squirreled away in my notebooks, generally accompanied by a small scribbled drawing to make it easier to find, and there it rests until retrieved.
Of course, there are times when the inspiration, that ‘interesting’ thing, is too interesting to let alone. I won’t let me alone. And those are the items that declare themselves and are worked on first – to exorcise them and allow my brain to move on.
Today started with just such an event. I heard a small snippet of information that seemed to me somewhat bizarre, made a note of it intending to return at a more opportune moment but no, it stuck with me. Bang! That was an end to what I was doing and the start of more poetry.
Someone had mentioned cats on my tutor group forum and when felines came up in a somewhat freakish way on the radio… well, it seemed like fate. So I bow to the edicts of my poetic brain and am creating cat literature. Who’d have thought it?

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Raining all night

All night 
rain fell,
heavy drops
slapped pavements,
like a desperate

Drains gargled
ill-mannered reproof,
but the clouds wouldn’t
the roads stretched
away holding up
a mirror of
‘see what you’ve 

This morning, when
the world woke,
it coughed out a
gift of green
leaved morning.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Writers Muse

While I'm tidying up the last parts of my Open University module I'm thinking back to the journey thus far. Funny things popped into my mind while I was procrastinating... where the inspiration for various short stories and poems had come from and how far I've come on my writers journey.

The one I'm adding below is about a friend, Jacquie, who wore an amazing fur coat despite blazing sunlight and (almost) patiently waited while I soaked up the art in our local gallery. I went there for inspiration but it turned out that Jacquie was the real inspiration - my muse. 

Here my muse is immortalised in Sonnet form and represents the Greek muse Euterpe and naming her 'Melissa', as she is a honey bee. ;-)


…blows into the gallery, airily
waving, weaving like a bee    blown    off    course.
Overly muffled in her fur coat, puck-
ers air kissed greetings from a walnut face.
Cicada-heeled clicks mark her territory,
hums eighties tunes, flits frame-to-frame, simply
impervious to reproach, tuttings. She
fills rooms with untamed hair and ringtones. We
quit artistic constraints, choose decadence,
suck Turkish coffee floats through fluted straws.
Time slips, listening to vinyl, dusky notes,
mesmerised. Lounging on cushions, she thaws,
leans close to buzz seductions in my ear,
musked, honeyed inducements - 'I live quite near.’    

Monday, 9 May 2016

Waves and Leaves

                                      Waves and Leaves

New leaves
                 are shivering ,  
                                      pinned by
                                                     their petioles.
In saffron morning light,
                                        a portent of rain,
                                                              each apex like an index
          pointing and
                               playing in
                                               the breeze
making masses of
                          lime green
                                         palms playing

                                                           jazz hands.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Good, or Popcorn, Morning World

Good Morning World!

today I have eaten 
a popcorn
parody for breakfast
and noted how forlorn

it left me

Here's a link to the last of three poems that Reuben published in The Curly Mind ( ). Thank you to Reuben for his kindness.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

I'm on the cusp of having to submit my last assignment for my present course before slipping off into the world of studying art history... and it is scary!!!
I've had to channel all my poetic efforts into the submission but... well, my poetry brain won't stop and keeps pushing up new thoughts at a tangent. So below I've put a small poem that cropped up during the night and a link to another poem of mine published in The Curly Mind - my thanks yet again to Reuben and his kindness for giving it a home. (The image on the right was my inspiration.)

Empty Spaces

These are the empty canvasses
for images stolen or destroyed.
These are the empty shelves
for books or authors burnt.
These are the empty seats
for those who did not survive
or took their own lives rather than
These are the empty buildings not safe
as houses, that
fell before their time.

Fill them with new arts that Creatives have created,
building on the tracery traces of what others had learnt. 

Monday, 2 May 2016

My poem 'Venetian Blinds' finds a home....

I’m so proud to say that my poem Venetian Blinds has been accepted by The Curly Mind poetry ‘zine’. 

My inspiration was the fantastic artwork seen at Salts Mill ( where David Hockney displays artwork created on his iPhone and iPad. Heaven!

My thanks to Reuben Woolley, the amazingly dedicated site owner for giving the poem a home amongst such wonderful poetry.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Voice of the Lacuna!

So this is my autobiographical submission for my TMA 04 (fourth tutor marked assignment) for my current creative writing course. I chose to start the memory poem with my morning walk and remembering my mother, who died two months ago. The paper cut might have to be re-photographed as I'm not happy the image but apart from that I'm fairly happy. 

The Voice of a Lacuna Conjured Up With Smoke and Mirrors

      i. Violets: For the Woman Behind the Camera.

It was bitter today. A low winter sun shone without warmth.
I walked, remembering you, while tiny ice sparks blew
against my face. It was trying to snow and I was trying to forget.

The violets were out, not knowing it was early, scenting the air
with funerary florals. Memories of you came and went with
ice shards and violets; stinging, elusive, recurring, and I remembered…
Violet scent, once registered by olfactory receptors, temporarily nullifies them before reemerging, like a magic trick or flashes of memory.

ii I Learned the Truth at Seventeen, Waiting Silently, in the Wings

Backstage spaces are cousins of soft black nihility.
Curtain hyphens cleaving scenes

and the unseen, sundry assemblages (animate /
inanimate) quartered backstage, redundant props await

reanimation; whilst mirrored front of house, we actors glimpse
our spectral viewers, props to our staged universe.

At Seventeen’ from ‘Between the Lines’ by Janis Ian, released 1975

iii.    Faust the Magician presents: The Girl Without a Middle, Sword Cabinet Illusion
Wanted: Assistant for world famous magician.
Must be biddable, willing to work in small spaces and have current passport. Experience unnecessary. Dancer preferred. Must provide own tights.
                                                          The Stage, 1978

The auditorium doors whoosh and click, like an intake of breath,
the smacking of lips, begins your journey to the land of Sleight of

Hand; my world, where brief life span’s of three-minute illusions
are circumscribed by black tape crosses, a designated spot, invisible

to audiences, each player knows their station. Each person, prop
seemingly randomly stowed, occupying that ordained position,

receiving brief moments under a dazzling electric sun.        Basking
centre-stage – ominously costumed as Fu Manchu – Faust the Magician, 

Master of Ceremonies, the named one, holds - spellbound -
the phantasmal faces beyond his stygian domain.

I make my entrance, his glittering assistant, Eve to his Adam
in a treeless dominion. I’m briefly named, quickly replaced,

forgotten. I am the costume, the flesh, his foil.    My role…
walk stage left,   I am spot-lit sparkle,  walk stage right

rotate           centre stage, to demonstrate       I’m whole.
Retreating, I stand within the cabinet. Receding into the gilt

and black lacquer, my casket, arms sacrificially crossed at my
chest. Kimono sleeves swishing decorously, he shuts the doors

leaving me         head and legs        exposed. Am I thinking? Breathing?  

He wields a sword,                    slices            a floating silk scarf
Drives the blade home         through           the cabinet’s side

Ritualised gestures,      pierces, daggers    beneath my smiles.
Ceremoniously rotates    the cabinet,        nothing behind.

With accomplished flourish, he swings the doors wide, reveals

the woman                                                  with no middle.

Can I be human at all?  I have a head, perhaps a brain; but observe
my inane grin, these blades for ribs! Can you be certain these are real legs? 

I’m hardly a woman, perhaps a rhinestone automaton. Obscured behind
my black false wall, subsumed into your perceptions of the magical.

iv. Mum and Me on N54 (All-Night-Bus) to Bellingham

How you’d laugh riding home, me in full slap, aping Faust, the Magician,
‘is Lancashire accent kep’ slippin’ out. There’s no smoke an’ mirrors, Mam,

tha’ knows’ ------ just contortions and negations behind black hyphens.