Sunday, 30 December 2012

First Attempted Loss

First attempted loss – public toilets – Central Park – Chelmsford – after Chancellor Hall – disco – between O-levels – and results – the next – to get it over – under – bare light bulb – slipped off – they'd be locked – at night now – he said he – didn't think I was dirty – tried again – in his bedroom – not much to say – he took off – his ring – I could lay down

Saturday, 29 December 2012


Ribbon or buttons from Roma, Romany lace, warming her whole life around a mug of tea.


Purse full of copper and silver for Saturday market. Five of the pink ones and a length please, fifty pence… was all. What could I say, I like your hair? She'd know I was lying; her curls were a mess more than mine.


We were alike but it was like May trying to get next to October.


My change in her fist. Feeling the numbers. Leveret sense twitch a warning, watch over her shoulder, no turning, and mine, run be ready. A posy of I can't explain slung on her back and a braid flower sewn on her hem.


Girl out on the precinct parade, younger than the years ago. Scented and painted Cortina metallics, dull by Sunday tea-time desperation. I dread Monday morning.


Did teachers at school show her or was it from a book Roma learnt how to twist fine satin around the dirt lines old in her palm?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Between window and clouds

a shape of birds weaving

heron bone returning

dog tooth and back

over the page off to

find their place

I wish my room

had a clear ceiling

so I could see


more than I can

Sunday, 23 December 2012

I Once

I once

heard someone say

I like you

you laugh at everything.

Sparkly swirls

over an unfathomed dark.

And everything

I bought

was bright brittle plastic.

Now I'll

only buy

if it's made

to last.

I feel

crowded closing


and wonder if

it will all

last longer than



Saturday, 22 December 2012

Raspberry Wine

My friend was on the bed

with his friend,

not her boyfriend,

when his Dad opened the door

and announced, 'no, she's not deformed'

to no one in particular.

Somehow I remember this

from inside the room.

Though I must have been downstairs

drinking raspberry wine,

to see someone spill theirs

and him scrubbing

the champagne coloured carpet.

His Mum said the raspberry wine

had all gone

and gave us something clear

that tasted like vinegar.

Monday, 3 December 2012


A taste of Jesus blood

for my voice

to sing

the fall of rose petals,

softly landing

to seal his wounds.

I wore dove white

like the petals,

though at a touch

they are blushed

with his pain.

I came as a nurse maid

with pearly lullaby

of hope,

my mouth a sweet cup

of his tears.

And leave promising

a kiss

seven days long,

'till you find me

in home I found

I will wait

for your battle dress

to be torn and abandoned.

My memory of him

is young,

so in trust

I fly to you

man by a cross

with love, my song

and life

for you

who holds

the thorn

to pierce my heart.



In a tavern a man drinks

with the illusion

of a widow dressed in black.

She remembers,

but he still tells her

of his riches all lost

at the market,

two crows watched

from the clock.    

How he lost his way

down at the crossroads,

two crows flew

from a tree.

And the wife he lost

to sail with a merchant,

a crow calling through

the dock yard din.

For lost luck

he blamed the birds,

so to free his life of

ill fortune

he served a poisonous feast.

'Be a good woman,' he said

'and pour me another,

there's a sound from my glass

like a bird cry.'

And through his eyes

clouded with laughter,

he failed to see the widow

add a dose of

dark powder,

throw off her shawl

and fly.



I, the Devil gave wing

to the rumour

of a man on a cross

in a crown.

Jewels from heaven would surely

tempt song from a magpie

and let fall my ruby

a rattle on his tongue.

I met the thief at night

in a boudoir

as we admired our finery

before the glass.

With a flourish my hand

flared seven candles

and the bird spied

my ruby set in a ring,

heart alive with flames of hell.

With artful swoop, beak and claw

he claimed it

and mocked me

from high on a niche.

In legend it's told

the audacious drop

is my blood on his tongue,

but be assured,

he only stole my ruby.

Now I've marked him for vengeance,

though my powers are low and sickly

magpie's cross

was carved by my hand.