Poetry for the bewildered

Emotions, thoughts, words.


I sat on a bench in a tree-filled square, in Prague.
It was dusk, and the air was filled with the leafy smell of autumn.
I was talking to a stranger, and
Unexpectedly my heart filled with gentle light,
Why did it do that?
Was it something in his kind smile, Or his careful, halting English?
The way he listened, or the way he moved his hands?
‘Oh’ said my heart,  as he spoke, Unaware 
That I loved him.




Doesn’t he smell? Don’t you feel repulsed –
By his wicked smile and oily ways?
Can’t you tell he is after something?
You think you don’t know what it is?
Are you stupid?
Dancing about, picking flowers, as he devours your grandma?
You feel uneasy – don’t you know?
Your grandma – how often have you seen her?
Those are not her eyes, her mouth, her teeth!
How can you ask such silly things!
You hear that false voice say ‘Come in’ –
Why don’t you turn around and run!
As fast as you can, back to your mother!
Drop your cake and wine and butter!
Leave it all behind, it doesn’t matter!

What then, if through fear, little Red Cap doesn’t meet her wolf?

Doesn’t he smell? Don’t you feel repulsed?


Life is just a dream; things that long seemed fixed in stone
Evaporate, are gone.
The house  I live in, familiar, known
Will soon be a memory, a ghost of itself.
I’ll be sitting in a new house, a stranger to myself.
Isn’t that how time works?
The new replaces the old,
The tired replace the dying.
At the end of the light there’s a  tunnel
Which weaves it’s  way through history,
A dusty table in the sunlight, fruit wizened in the bowl,
A photograph, a moment,
Twenty years forgotten.
No reason to remember this;
The backdrop to a life let go,
Wheeling into space.

Working from home

I would like to have some

+++Have you seen my new t-shirt?

Time, so I could

+++Your mum’s on the phone

Have a little

+++Fancy a cup of tea?

Space with

+++What’s for dinner?

No interruptions!

Mindfulness at the Botanics – 2

On a bench, beneath a tree,
Warm wet gunk plops on my head.
A fat woodpigeon sits on branches high above,

Leaves rustle behind me –
I turn around, expecting a squirrel.
Out of the bushes comes a sleek black cat.

Two children.
The older one throws a blue plastic toy.
‘Josh, fetch!’ he repeats, encouragingly.
His brother runs off in a different direction.

Mindfulness at the Botanics – 1

Splashes of colour from rhododendrons,

Red, orange, deep pink,

Life springing everywhere.

Astilbes halfway grown.

A magnificent magnolia,

White flowers in abundance, obscuring leaves.

A magpie, blue-black feathers on white,

And a single hoverfly just above the grass.

In a grove, there is an old tree, not tall,

Its trunk and branches covered in green moss, like a sheath.

The branches spread like an outstretched hand,

Pink buds at the tips,

Leaves only just emerging.

There is birdsong all around.

The blue sky contains heavy grey clouds.

Tall trees reach up, framing the view.

A small sense of peace, of the eternal,

Appears and escapes again.

Seagulls fly in vast circles overhead.

The wind lifts, moves my hair, and drops.

The astilbes quiver.

There are flattened daisies on the grass.

Thoughts rise up from deep places that feel

Impossibly dark and huge.


Sometimes there is a spacious emptiness,

Filled with love.

A wren, its tail twitching up and down

Hops around the branches.

The air is sweet, with undertones of earthy and fungal.

A bumble bee, low to the ground, buzzing.

A bluebottle crawls around the grass.


She has a heavy heart
The girl, who only loves
The boys who do not love her back

Love offered up and given freely
Is another thing entirely
Soft and flawed and close to rotten
Something better left forgotten
While flying high to soar and sing
Cool fresh air beneath her wings
Feeling only joy and light
Gravity can’t stop the flight
Lies and deception fuel desire
As the heart lifts ever higher
At this height I can see all
I see how far I have to fall
I wish someone was there to catch me
That’s the problem with reality

She has a heavy heart
The girl, who only loves
The boys who cannot love her back


These things happened today;
My daughter laughed
Several times
Under a blanket;
The cat was wild
Huge black eyes
Ready to pounce;
My mum baked scones
And made strawberry jam
At her age;
My husband went to work
Steel toe caps and a high-viz vest
Changed days;
The day was grey
And the wind was cold
In summer;
I lay on the sofa
There was nothing better to do.


Lying here, surrounded by myself
Layers of me
Deaden the sounds from the world.
The net tightens, wider and wider,
Freeing all thoughts of escape.
Life goes on relentlessly.


The fly falls back into the web
Silky, soft and giving
Only when the struggle starts
It becomes the end of living

The spider tends with spindly legs
He wraps, injects and ties
A silent white and snowy tomb
Indifferent to cries

The fly unmoving, stares
Submissive in the joining
A passive and receptive state
Administered by poison

The sticky strands of honeyed love
Bind me to the bed
Try and try with all my might
I cannot lift my head.