The Offence of Squiggly Lettuce

An alliance of women by the bedside:
Sisters by twos, 3 generations of strength
(Though certainly, it felt otherwise.)

When it came, I was ripe for escaping.
She stopped breathing, we looked,
and gave her our final kisses.
There’d been a robot breathing on the bed for days.

My sister didn’t want the body taken;
but they talked her ‘round within the hour.
I called the nurse quickly and packed up her things.

My Nan, who liked tea in a glass teacup
and sent sandwiches back to hospital kitchens
for the ample offence of ‘squiggly lettuce’;
was already doing something new.

Death of Me

My ego is dying; its claws
scrape me back to bare bones
that taste of source

I see myself best in blackened
feathers – your face always
seems much fuller
than the one I wear for you now

My edges meld into patchwork
invitations; my gaps into creations –
vague-solid salient impressions

The concept plays
with my shape.

Until I am an ocean built of ships;
A mountain made of metaphors;
And a body pierced by passions.

A Tiny Secret

When I am writing
I do it alone;

the presence of others
distorts my tone.

(I worry what you’ll think).


We are, all of us, creating ourselves // pieces piled up on others // crevices and convergences serving to draw nourishment greedily down to the whole // splayed, fingers spread, hearts open, we stand // until in pain (or purpose) we fold our layers in and contract // and slowly begin again.


I see in myself a troubadour;
a mute, wandering minstrel.

For though I have not the courage to
read my words to you aloud,
I could write to you until the end of days.

I could write for you all my secret tales –
some real, some imagined; all delicious.
Or scribble my wildest wishes on a note-scrap you
dropped when you left me behind for your day.

My typewriter and I would be in cahoots –
me hiding behind with my whispered words,
it standing bravely forward with its mechanical strength;
each covering the tracks of the other.

We could travel the world this way;
filling in each other’s weak spots –
and eventually, if I am lucky,
end up at a beginning.


She’s a pyre of prettiness;
burned by her own excess.
combustion colours her cheeks.

He is quiet quality;
a solid sort of human,
who dresses his sadness like death
and hides happiness in plain view.


what a thing it must be, to be grown for beauty; to attract // to serve
the purpose of catching an eye, turning a head, inviting a smile // existing and
subsisting with the sole intention of brightening and blooming, even when rudely plucked from the whole // looking at you, I feel all of my plans quite abandoned; sure that I shall live my life forevermore with roots extended and drink my fill – face to the sun // and dissolve.

Find a Nice Girl

What you are offering me is lovely,
smooth and rounded in all the right places.
That is why it can never be.

Those shiny curves make me want to
chip them; to pock them –
use my sharpest tools to mar and maim.

Your ease and smile floods a solid light
on my recessed places;
and makes me dig them deeper.

Find yourself a nice girl.
She’ll keep you soft.

Alms For The Poor

You find it funny
when you swing hammers
with a laugh and a smile.

Catching your sibling’s eye;
not to be alone in your odious offerings.

You find it funny
when you see me shrink –
handing ‘round your generational trauma
like alms for the poor.

Like we all should have what you’re having…

But you don’t find it funny
when you meet my eyes –
and the laughter of us all paints
a paltry picture of love
wrapped up in hurtful hand-me-downs.

You know it’s been vicious.
You know I’m hurt.

But really, you’re wondering,
if this will be the time
I finally stand up.

No Rest For An Open Heart

There is no rest for an open heart.

We swirl and swill the depths in our mouths
like yesterday’s coffee.

We of the feeling realms are
bound by our natures, to move
and melt into shieldlessness;

no matter the outcome.

Is surrender the answer?
I’m not sure I’ll know.

For my heart being open
and my gates being closed
is a battle never to be won.