Mary Alice Muted

She is muted, not just in colour.He has painted her in hues of dolour.and taken away her voice.I wonder, had it been her choice to find herself so portrayedin shades of violet, green and greyto the modern art world’s eyes,to be so closely scrutinised, or did she trust the artist’s view.Lacking softer tones of blue,I […]

Curators of the Night

Curators of the Night They are busy on the night shift,dusting off star drift,polishing up the moon in all its forms.(It’s always being tarnished by space storms.) The library’s astronomerscans the sky for astral bodies, gathersmoons, and stars that fall to Earth,and shelves them until their monthly rebirth. They lend them out too,to people like […]

Sett for Life

Don’t badger me about my burrow, it keeps me safe from rain and cold, from dangerous predators, humans too; my ancestral home is centuries old. My forebears’ powerful claws dug deep a sturdy network of chambers and tunnels, a realm with a semi-circular keep beneath the hills and wooded dingles, where I gather grass and […]

Sonnet for Joni

One sunny April afternoon, I wanderedonto the edge of your atmosphereand devoured your records. I meanderedfrom old songs to new, from there to here, and found I could not choose. No favouritefor me. If I could mix all the melodies,all the lyrics, inhale your music, savour itlike spring air, I might forgive the parodies, the […]

View from an Open Window

No curtains in this humble room,no fabric flapping on the breeze;a smudge of smoke in the distant gloomand a street devoid of birds and trees. The clouds are tinged with morning pink,a forecast of downpours yet to come;a thought to make my poor heart sinkand resolve to spend the day at home. This view of […]

Cat Walk

I am the cat who walks by herself,still proudly practisingsocial distancing,a shadow on a garden fence. I purr as the spring sun strokes my fur,luxuriate in long grass,sniff flowers as I pass,camouflaged in bush and tree. My human wrangles with words,so I curl up on her lap,listening to each tap –until I fall asleep, twitching, […]

In Praise of Rosebay Willowherb

Wasteland and railway banksare aflame with rangy ranks of fireweeds. Neon pink spikeslight up ditches and dykes, seducing moths and bees,releasing clouds of fluffy seeds from ostentatious spires,spreading beauty in windborne fires. All the while their creeping rootsand rhizomes advance like troops, leafy shoots invade gardens, giving riseto cerise fireworks exploding in the sky. Kim […]

Between Speed Skating and Waitressing

We were chalk and cheesebut thick as thieves,haunting the ice rink together:bright smiles in the photo booth;cheese burgers and ice cream floats;sneaking in the bar underagefor rum and coke. We were young, and drunkon our own loveliness,maxi coats buttoned against icy air,dashing through the foyerwith cheeky grins and a waveat red-coated bouncers,embarking on a friendship […]