Probable Lady

Such a joy as a boy, uniformed yet unashamed, now newly named, I admire how you wear the sequinned word, your coiffured hair, and the self-made vintage dress. Your chiffon body drifts in clouds of perfume, rouge stains and clothes your lips, and femininity inhabits your curvaceous hips. Kim M. Russell, 16th June 2020 My […]


I have a poem in this month’s issue of Visual Verse, and I’m in great company again, including Jane Dougherty and Frank Hubeny, to name but two of the writers. I really like the sepia-toned image by an unknown artist (circa 1880) from the Getty Open Content Program, which inspired me to write something lighthearted. […]


Ice-cold loneliness numbed her body and soul, shielded her heart, with starry snowflakes. With her eyes the colour of slush after snow, embrangled in winter’s undertow, her personal winter drifted into spring, hoar frost still sparkled on everything like a silver Midas touch, until she found a crow, ebony black, stiff on the ground. She […]

Rossetti’s Harp Player

The harp is made to play laments, and her fingers pluck its strings mournfully in mellifluous torment. Notes spill like dawn birdsong from the instrument she clings, as if it were the first song the harp had learnt to sing. Her velvet gown is black as night, the harp of ebony made, but light shimmers […]

Without Lips

The fabric’s stale and hot with breath, slightly damp and beginning to chafe, but alluring with its pattern of pink, full-petalled and sensitive to touch. The eyes do it, dark depths above the matching mask. In a moment of pandemic madness they come together, flower on flower, blossom into a kiss without lips, and he […]

Free Breathing

Earth is an ornate looking glass, Inviting us to reflect honestly on the past, when fields were green, forests of ancient trees breathed freely, and we lived, loved and laughed. She wants us to remove our masks and see ourselves and Earth as we are meant to be. Kim M. Russell, 3rd May 2020 My […]

Reading is No Sin

I’ve never heard a mockingbird, a New World multilingual, and I’ve never seen one fly. But I have climbed inside numberless books, read numberless words, breathed numberless characters’ lives, walked around in their skin and thought their thoughts. Characters are the only kind of folk I ever felt comfortable with, willingly lent my reader’s ear, […]

Heavy Suitcase

They took away my suitcase. There wasn’t much in it: a book to read, clean underwear, a nice dress for visiting hours (no one ever comes) and church on Sundays, moisturising cream for my hands and face. I didn’t think I’d be here long. Now I need to fill it with the weight of nightmare […]

Shakespeare’s Women

If I were to save a piece of Will, from all the pleasure he has given me, I’d need the wit of Beatrice to sway my choice and the cunning of the Nurse to keep it to myself: the women who populate his plays, living on today in modern Mirandas and Violets, Ophelias, Lady Macbeths, […]