It’s the start of a new year. We leave behind a year that many of us won’t miss, a year which seemed relentless with global news and human meanness.  I realise now, there is a limit to our control. We can stand up for our beliefs, we can make art, and treat others with kindness […]

Sadness comes  the cresting of a wave  on a quiet beach catching us unawares like the sting of a wasp  on tender flesh   Sadness finds us  between rumpled sheets though we smooth them out  a creeping vine with the stealth  of a summer wind  chilling to frost   Sadness slips  into the crevices of  […]

I worry for my boys, and yours in a world of knives and guns and groups of boys pretending to be men Once they might have played on the swings, or watched the stars Instead they plot to win wars on streets yards from their homes All the while groups of men also play at […]

‘Has the world always been broken?’ asked the girl, eyes laden with sorrow Her grandfather knotted his fingers together, paper-thin skin over cobweb veins and considered which truth to convey Should he comfort her as he longed to do, until her heart had no knowledge of hate or unfold to her the wisdoms he had […]

I lie in the concrete box of my bedroom inside the mausoleum of my childhood house with no means of escape My body is as heavy as a corpse my gaze is mostly fixed, still I hear the mocking flick of leaves on the asphalt outside You come to visit with frozen smiles I must […]

My stomach swells from beneath the swirl of bathwater I sink until every inch of me is pressed to the white enamel internalising hearing the drum of my heartbeat eyelids closed, imagining multiplying cells and spirit the newly forming life inside the walls of my red womb I already love you more than myself, this […]

A thousands suns can’t melt the ivy veneer of your heart No child’s smile can chase the shadows from the caves of your mind You dive into wells of loneliness swim amongst sewer rats convinced it’s where you belong your body a mummified corpse, sinking Come, let my words gush over you, seal the holes […]

I lie against the pillows in the half-light listening to bricks shifting mortar crumbling in our silent home because you have flown far away, briefcase in hand Often the world grows dark All I see are angry men and despairing mothers, fields of upside down flowers, skies of shredded crimson, a march to our graves […]

This week I’ve been thinking about motifs in literature: recurrent images, symbols or ideas an author employs to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Motifs are woven through the books we read, used by authors to add depth and convey meaning. They might be colours (red for passion or victimhood, for example), the elements […]

A relief to walk alone after the press of company the demand for painted faces and strained smiles We wander deep in mud wordless through the oaks reels of our togetherness playing in fractured minds I remember Road trips to escape the rest when we were enough the breeze playing with your hair your hand […]

The coolest girl in school had secret trysts behind the bike shed, drank wine from a water bottle at mass, hitched up her skirt to show her knobbly knees, shaved her hair into a mohawk and wore an insolent stare Other girls lamented over cracked lips and frizzy hair but the coolest girl in school […]

I’ve been thinking recently about how responsibilities grow with age. Freedom too, in many ways. When I was younger happiness came readily, bubbling and buoyant, easily read from the smiles on my face. That happiness is no longer a constant effervescent source. It has eased instead into a contentment I have to work at. It’s […]

Who does not feel small in a universe basked in starlight? Like faithless pilgrims we trudge the road alone We turn towards the shrill ensnared by the quest for riches and popularity Forgetting serenity is the pauses between breaths Progressless march halted at our last breath or before – as luck would have it Divine […]

Soft rains fell upon the lagoon from a night sky shrouded in clouds The nymph perched on the gently sloping bank trailing her fingers through wiry reeds She dipped a toe in still waters a cleansing ritual in the witching hour Her hair fell in lank strands down her bare back A sapphire at her […]

Her fingers glide over the swell of belly once there She remembers A morning long ago when he first cried, ejected from her womb The weight of him in the crook of her arm Cocooning, disquieting love She remembers Soft fingers at her waist The imprint of teeth on tender flesh The future bloomed through […]

A gauze falls between her and the world Anchorless girl senses unreliable irises unseeing Her epidermis an armoured hedgehog which spurns touch The tide takes her sanity until she no longer knows who she is Everything becomes a performance The ticking of time a judge’s gavel Her make-up sits thick upon her skin like a […]

She loved with a passion that requires courage, her heart a tiny bird in her chest Not for her the robotic focus of suited men and painted wives Or the false gods of screens and cables, the trappings of human endeavour Instead, she ran barefoot through fields and slept unafraid under the stars She read […]

Come into my laboratory where I toil over a bunsen burner, pearled beads of sweat on my forehead You’ll find me in a white coat and goggles the Mary Shelley of my time venturing into the dark when all is lost I hover at the abyss: a witch, a mad scientist, a soul doctor risking […]

Darkness came to take the lost girl Those who were left mourned and beat their breasts They knew not her unease had fled No longer imprisoned by her broken body her sleep was peaceful for the first time since childhood Night blurred into day When she woke an old lady was waiting, blue dots trailing […]

We went back to bright city lights and siren calls bleak rain over stacked chimney pots where the big clock stands proudly amidst carved buildings of yellowed stone sticky pubs and well-trodden streets, in which street lamps cast familiar shadows We travelled back to the rhythms of my childhood of parental love and my grandmother’s […]