A smear of lipstick on the way out the door

Mum greeted everyone with a blooming smile,lips frosted pink, applied and blottedbefore leaving our top floor flat. I used to delve into her make-up bag,untwist precious tubes and smearmouth, cheeks and chin with colour. I learned to love carmine caressesof creamy lipstick, blotted with kisses,or left steaming on cups in restaurants. But during this pandemic […]

There’s a lot you don’t know about gnats

So wicked are these summer larvae,with their sun-blessed insect wings,swarming the cemetery, suckingblood like vampires of the day. But you are not to know or carethat they travelled here through time,tiny chrononauts buzzing in your eara warning from a future clime.   Kim M. Russell, 12th April 2021 Free image found on 123RF My response […]

Fan Mail

Letter to Klimt (from a devoted fan) Dear Gustav,This is my final letter to you.So unconventional,so talented, and allyou send me are postcards.I explored your imagery,learned your language,but I can never comprehendthe erotic depths of your mind,where Eumenides watch a condemnedman’s punishment in a sea monster’s embrace. Postcard from Klimt (unsigned) I write not in […]

I stick these pages together with blue

The blue-tack tucked in the side of the drawerreminds me of days when I listened to your voice non-stop. My younger self wrote your lyricswith a blue ink italic calligraphy pen on index cards; I even copied artwork from album sleeves,shaded in with rainbow-coloured pencils. Leaves unfurled and fell with your smoky timbre.I played melancholy […]

Judith’s To Do List

The maid, Abra, must be ready and willing.Wear finest and most revealing garment.Ensure that everyone in the camp is sleepingbefore entering General Holofernes’ tent.Instruct Abra to wait in the gloom for a sign.Extinguish all but one of the candles, and pourHolofernes a jeroboam of wine.Keep within reach his sharpened sword.When he slumps into sleep, signal […]


I lie beneath this rusted cross of curlicues,surrounded by these muted churchyard hues,alone among lichen-covered stones,in the peaceful housing of my crumbled bones. You’re imagining my life, how bright my smilefor parents, siblings, husband, perhaps a child;you know my my name, the date when I was born –and died – but no idea of those […]


Ayoungstream fillsthe spring woods,fizzes and chatters,bubbling up from its aquifer. At first it forms a tiny pool,clear and natural,eddying,untilspringfloods. Kim M. Russell, 7th April 2021 Image found on dreamstime.com My response to NaPoWriMo Day Seven Today’s prompt asks us to choose a syllable-based form: the shadorma, a six-line, 26-syllable poem or stanza – a poem […]