Closing Time

A husband died at half past two
What has that to do with you?
The  past is like a candle  blown
The heart a grave beneath a stone
Grief is very close to fear
Shaking legs  and frozen tears
It’s closing time

The  poppy fields , the linseed blue
The cottage where I loved with you
Noone else will know  it all
The Suffolk Rose, the paint all worn
The rented car, the yellow corn
The cottage windows seemed to yawn

Closing time

But I dream and I see you
Smiling widely as  you do
Ask me where the car keys are
Ask me if I’ll take you where?
Whitby,Staithes. all understood
All gone now,god sweated blood
Closing time


The past a lost abyss





What to you may be a worthless weed 
Bears its little flowers to create seeds
Thus  it spreads itself as Love requires
Humble speedwell,hear of our desires.

In the pavements cracks were home to grass
The sidestep slabs were broken like thick glass
When heavt frost came, rain made frozen pools
I trod in them as I tore up to school

The crackling ice, the mist dropped on the park
Our ginger cat, the trees, the dog that barked
A woman in the kitchen making tea
The oven by the fire, the big door key

Little signs spark  tender memories
The future  fiction,  past a lost abyss

Please talk this way

photo0033 (2)


I’m waiting for delivery
I didn’t even know you were expecting
I only heard this morning
Will it survive?
Survive what?
Being 9 months premature!
Are you crazy?
Not yet

I’m going to move after this crisis
Yes,I agree, it was Pontius Pilate.
He denied it


I don’t like the Telegraph
No,to Hell and back
Is it God’s wrath?
No,Sylvia Plath

My order is delayed
Disorder was unpaid
At least it was spared

Where is God?
Nowhere in our language space.
Orlando’s, great!
Sandwich Base
Anguished face
Sanguine grace
Penguin stays
Felix raves
Long disgrace
I’d like a date
Find a plate

Dreams dangle  like stringed balloons

Black against light sky
Bright flowers blown ; bare branches now
Reach  beseechingly.

Reluctant sun hangs
Sending thin light  and pinkness
To clouds sleek as  cats

Now paling, blue grey,
I see mauve dying into dark
Night sky edges in

The  blackness awaits;
Dreams dangle  like stringed balloons
A new born gurgles

How full the holly!
Forsythia large and darker,
Birds shelter  wisely

In the end, our roots are what remain

Uunstable winds and clouds that veer and swerve
The sun appears and vanishes again
Trees  adapt  to nature, life’s a  verb

The birds have sung but no-one here  has heard
Their mates and nestlings in their home have lain
Evading winds and clouds that veer and swerve

From this chaos, what can humans learn?
Life can swiftly change and cause us pain
Yet trees  swing round,  clouds swim life is verb

Virtue,honour,love have no rewards
Evil men have faces quite unstained
Despite the winds and clouds that veer and swerve

Gazing at the storm clouds,long I stared
In the end, our roots are what remain
We must  adapt  to nature, life’s verb

All desires,all wishes will be slain
We lose ourselves in evil  then are shamed
Uunstable winds and clouds that veer and swerve
Life flows like the  stormy Thames unnerved



Witch doctor?

On the e referal form it said, witch  particular doctor do you want to see?
I thought, they must  be using voice typing except we had  to write the answer
Is it a Freudian slip?
Or maybe with the pandemic we are going to get witch dctors where there aren’t enough
medical ones
Which witch doctor  would you like?
Would you like a witch doctor?
I feel bewitched already
Be off Witch

He’s  got a Ph.D,  she’s çalled Diane 


Attracted by the first line of your verse
I set myself in aspic and feel worse

Drawn  over  to your garden  by a rose
I broke my glasses then I broke my nose

When I left I felt like being soothed
 Oriental massage made me  bruised

When the books I read were full of dust
I  felt I had to get them off my chest

I wonder why the doctor  was so kind
I was dead but now I’m going blind

My doctor is  a  brilliant young man
He’s  got a Ph.D,  she’s çalled Diane 

He wondered why I  eat just Weetabix
Why ask a pin to explain why it pricks?

Mother gave us Ovaltine and cake
Surely  one day she must  learn to bake

I wonder why he married you?



Why do we have roast beef on Sundays?
So mother can clean the oven while we go for a walk in the park?

I say, what thick lips you have!
Is that a compliment or an insult?
Gosh,clever too

For Xmas he gave me lavender wax polish and a new duster
I gave him an insult

For my birthday he gave me  silk scarf.He’s never noticed I don’t  wear scarves, bracelets and dangly earrings.
I wonder why he married you?
So does he.

I got so angry,I said I suggest you marry a man next time.Someone as obnoxious as you.
He said, it’s a sin
Well, think how I feel.

He loved dripping.He bought a new car just to drive around Essex seeing if the butchers sold beef or bacon dripping
Then what?
He died of blocked arteries.They were worse than the North Circular  before the M25
What about the car?
Is that all you can think of when I have lost my husband?
Well, you should have eaten all the dripping yourself
What!Murderess.You wish I’d died first?
It might have stopped a lot of arguments
Shooting every one in Britain would have stopped brexit
Except  for  the gunmen
The EU would not want them.
What’s logic got to do with it?

Feel the  loving sun  and kiss the bees

I wish that I could be inside a tree
To put my entire body in its form
To feel the sun and wind and hear the bees

I’d like my hands to dance as   flexibly
As birds move  through  the air, as rises dawn
I wish that I could feel myself a tree

I’d love my  garden sweetly, ardently.
I’d love each single  daisy on the lawn
I’d feel the sun and wind and hear the bees

But would a holly want to  be just me?
Oh, poor tree that walks about  forlorn
I wish that I could turn into a tree.

Perhaps a cat that sat upon my knee
Would mioaw inside my  home by   dust deformed
She would love the sun and wind and hear the bees

When I change,I’ll keep you all informed
You may hear me singing in  the Storms
I wish that I could dwell within a tree
Feel the  loving sun  and kiss the bees


A near miss

img_20191122_203051I said there’s no access,not,you’ve got sepsis
I said.we’re having chicken today not where  the dickens is May
I said, why not go to bed, not, try not to wed
I said turn off the taps, not take a nap
I said,good night darling ,not god, that’s appalling
I said, give me a  kiss not, what a near miss
I asked if you were  here, not can you steer
Well, that was an error,I was full of terror


How I stand on air

I am fortunate
If I find  any two gloves
One left and one right

The other problem
My hands are misshapen too
Ladies’ gloves might not fit me.

I can be a man
If I decide I want to be
There! I wear your gloves now.

But I prefer scarves
Made for women, with flowers

My taste is quite good
I know  I like your image
You stand on the bridge in Prague

In Wenceslaus Square
The orchestra played Ma Vlast
The Elektion

Holocaust Museum
Children’s coloured drawings are
Butterflies for God

He died too with them
So we have no  floor to stand on
Everything’s trembling

I forgot I am.
I was lost somewhere other
How do I stand on air?

God once hissed

Ice cream,burgers,pancakes pizza,swell
Deliveroo brings succour, if you ask
What to eat in Lockdown, Jezabel?

What did Adam look like when he fell
No nurse,no Urgent Care, no breathing mask?
Just ice cream,burgers,pancakes  bloody hell

Elijah  climbed a mountain,man impelled
Who cared for him, who fed him at great risk?
What to eat in Lockdown, Jezabel?

The angry Queen  pursued him,wished to kill
In high Caves he loitered, that’s the gist
No ice cream,burgers,pancakes, who  fried hell?

He heard a little whisper on  this Hill
What do you here,Elijah, God had hissed
What to say in breakdown,  who can tell?

Snaking   round the hilltop feeling pissed
From the peak we see what we have missed
Ice cream,burgers,pancakes, snails with shells
Where to  sleep ,whose arms will be my cell?

Choose your own

Corned beef and banana  balls with tamed rice
Roast egg yolks in batter with pure peas
Burnt bacon and  boiled beans on mashed potatoes
Lamb’s tongues on  the Oxford English Dictionary [page 45]
Pike and tinned carrots in gravy
Half a dictionary roasted  on olives and macaroni
The other half  made into a  collage with my thesis  and brandy butter
Father Xmas  on Ice with Creamed Minced Pi and Temple

For love  seeks not to prey

Soft corns,blisters,hard corns and toe nails
Ankle socks and stockings, tights and  boots
Cover up the wounds with dressings white
Put  your feet up, rest  by  doing nought

Skin so thin it frightens me  to think
All I am  finds boundary just here
Yet our heart and soul can  contain  more
Spreading like a shawl on loved ones dear

We cast our love like fishers cast their  rods
Not too sure  of what will take the bait
A   simile  so poor I blush bright pink
For love  seeks not to prey but rather waits

Across the entire world the hate runs wild
 Bleach your brain , don’t poison  with  your smile

Choose the form 

On Saturday I read the book reviews
The day feels calm and still, we  get up late
I sometimes catch my breath and hear the News
War past War, past War, but not past Hate

I read how civilised is modern man
See the architects’ designs illuminate
See Cathedrals.Synagogues, new plans
Mosques and little Chapels consecrate

Yet offending other Peoples is innate
Like children stealing toys and throwing stones
Through what maze do adults reach that state
Where order,frames and boundaries are known?

Free verse, sonnets,nonsense villanelles
Choose the form  and then  begin to tell



Down beneath the  silence of the sky

Startled by the lilac of the sky
More blue dilutes the pink I saw before
Dark branches stand like fingers pointing high

The little bay tree potted is too dry
I gave it drops of tea but it needs more
Entranced by  softest lilac ,oh, the sky

I see two trees have grown like Russian spies
They got stuck in and blossomed then I saw
Dark branches,unboned fingers pointing high

Elderberry,cherry, seeds  have strayed
Don’t tell us that  green Nature may have flaws
Enhanced by  lilac , darkening, goodbye

Soon will come the ending and the prayer
The drama is all done, if any care.
Dark branches ,boneless fingers, pointing high

We may live, but God it is that stares
Like the Langdale Pikes watch Windermere
Down beneath the  silence of the sky
Dark branches stand like judges  from on high





I seen the light

He hit me with a flying pan
No, he bit me  with a  jar of jam
No can

Do you have a sinner every night?
Not on Sundays

Where is the olive oil?
No, never boil
In coils

We liked apple pie  hot
Sorry, it leaves me cold
I say, stop!

My sister  is like a  triplet
We  miss the other one
Never met

Who reads books these  days?
The editors?
Google say?

Ted Hughes was gay?
So his sister says
Trying to illicitly advertise for  the dead now!