Wednesday, 18 October 2017


and once I had seen
her face
the mirror
in my en suite bathroom
for the first time

Monday, 16 October 2017

Five Hundred Thousand Mothers

Stranded on a beach of sinking stones,
she whispered mute words to the ocean’s spray.
Despair matched its depths,
filled by a single tear.
Waves conjured half a million sisters,
whose emptied arms grasped
unseen ghosts to torn hearts.

Drained blood birthed stems of thorned wounds,
their flowers drowned in salt water.
Held fast by loss, they eroded,
the sound of this slow shattering
their one lullaby;
the distance between each note
eternal and infinite.

[“Half a Million Women” is a book which tells the stories 
of some of the mothers, many of whom had no choice, 
who lost their children to adoption
The style and tone of this poem is 
inspired by Antony Owen's exquisite collection,'The Nagasaki Elder']

Whither Sleep?

What time is this to be awake?
The night cut short; the stars still out;
The mind alert. For goodness’ sake!
What time is this to be awake?
What chance that rest will overtake?
Is slumber out of reach? No doubt.
What time is this to be awake?
The night cut short, the stars still out.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Sign on the Door

I find myself opening the door
to The Disaster Shop. Inside,
there are disasters everywhere,
and dust, and concrete, and a ceiling
which collapses every now and then.

I trip over the carpet, land,
if that’s the right word, on my knees,
and ask to see the manager.
His hair is on fire, his clothes ash,
his words a yoking of the mismatched.

‘Wonderful bombs. Beautiful hate,’
he signs with opposable digits.
‘Speaking in thumbs,’ he signs. ‘Like speaking
in tongues, but somewhat less salacious.
Gorgeously dead. Gifted despair.’

Laden with thoughts of mute disaster,
I leave the shop by the wrong door,
quietly. The ceiling collapses.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Inside the Sounds

I give up wearing glasses, watch
the sunrise crash into the clouds,
and wait until the sky fades out.

I have no words as all my thoughts
jostle inside my head, displaced
by beats and notes, guitars and lights.

I catch a streak of gasoline,
light a match, then stand well back,
watching the flames from a safe distance.

Nothing reflects off nothing, jumps
aside (waving its arms), dissolves,
reacts, and waits to catch its space.

I walk sideways along a bassline,
displace my thanks but no thanks mood,
disarm myself and swim in sleep.

I place more questions in my case,
carry my thoughts inside a box,
laugh like a coffin, breathe in sounds.

Floating in minor chords, awoken
by pianos, folded into masks,
something occurs (I don’t know what).

I land in silence, walk around it,
inspect its lack of empty substance,
go back to wearing glasses.