Dear Dad

Things you could not have divined or imagined

Are now a dystopian reality

There’s not much left of humanity –

Was this predestined?

Or was this always the nature of your God

Of superior intelligence

And advanced technology

Who belonged not in a church but in a laboratory?

These strange times would be fascinating to you –

War of the World – Episode Two…

The chances of anything comparing to SARS

Was a million to one – they said.

So, it’s a shame really that you’re dead

And every time I hear that soundtrack I’m all the way back

To the smell of hot leather in the emerald Capri –

A misremembered German landscape scrolling past like the credits

At the end of my childhood.




Toxic Positivity – Prompt 3

The problem with having a rule that you have to be positive

Is that forced positivity

Can lead you – to use the pejorative –

To feeling a bit shitty

When your fake full-beam smile is dull in comparison

To ‘insprational-quote’ Maddison.


Because deep down I knew that being authentic

Was the best way to feel really splendid.


It was an admirable thing to ban self-doubt

But actually as effective as banning a drought –

The more I was instructed not to be real

The more negatives I started to feel.

It was like the Stepford Wives except on crack –

The Mindfulness Militia on fast-track,

Self-affirmations sung by a gospel choir

Any skeptics cast on the fire.


And deep down I knew that being authentic

Was the best way to feel really splendid.


After an unwelcome, unexpected reprieve

I found that it really was much simpler to breathe

Without a noose round my neck ready to tighten

If I cried, frowned, questioned or ever got frightened

So I’m practicing my own positivity –

Without a brand or an army – it’s really just me.


And deep down I knew that being authentic

Was the best way to feel really splendid.



Recipe For a Solo Lockdown


  1. One accommodation, occupied solely by yourself
  2. A scattering of well-meaning friends, popped up from nowhere
  3. One long distance relationship
  4. One far-away family
  5. A mixed bag of acceptance, fear, pride and loneliness


1.Take the accommodation and stuff well with largely useless items

Bought in the mistaken belief

They might offer some relief.

2. Discard the scattering of well-meaning friends

Since you are quite used to making this alone without

Any flavour any of them lends.

3. Add a long distance relationship,

Brought swiftly to the boil by the impending apocalypse.

4. Take your far-away family and place them

At a safe distance beyond a border;

Check on them often for signs of blanching or over-heating

Which may prevent any future meeting.

5. Take your mixture of acceptance, fear and loneliness and steam slowly

Over some simmering resentment.


Frida Kahlo – Hour One

I very much enjoy the conversations you and I have in my head,

The rambling dialogues cast from my bed

(For different reasons I am anchored to mine much of the time)

Where we find comfort in commonalities –

Teachers who valued connection over hierarchy;

Nurturing souls who lived child-free;

Passionate nationalists for rose tinted lands;

‘Difficult women’ who let nobody force their hands

And over this period of lockdown especially you have focused my thoughts

On how a true period of confinement

Can lead to a refinement –

Unencumbered by oughts –

After all – we could all be hit by a bus tomorrow

But who among us would see a window for growth,

Beyond sorrow.




Hi, I’m a returning Marathon participant, back for my third marathon. Joining you from the UK! Any tips on staying awake? That’s always what I struggle with the most!

Changing Horizons – Hour Twenty Four

So much changed this year –

My horizons were rearranged

When the fancy new build

Drew curtains across my field of vision

And the old lifeboat station was taken away

Bit by bit,

Day by day,

I can still just about see the ocean,

Pretentiously adorned with several boats on

Like costume jewellery

To gild the lily quite unduly.

The benches punctuate the sea wall

To commemorate Sids and Normans and Arthurs,

People’s brothers and best friends and fathers.

The old lobster pots on the corner mark a chapter break,

But there’s a notice to say somebody will soon take

Those away too

Unless someone raises an objection

With a valid interception.

The pages stacked against the sea soon

Will be all blank

With nothing left to tell a story

Or to really interest me

To be frank,

And that eight mile stretch

To somewhere different

Has me instantly a kvetch –

Oh to be o isolated is such a wretch,

Whatever was I thinking?

It’s enough to set anyone off drinking

Until, inevitably, I am lured back

By another claret sunset

Most magnificent .


Then I’m once again madly intoxicated

By this little scene, which only three hours ago, I hated.


Time Well Spent – Hour Twenty Three

I miss our batshit friendship,

Our crazy ‘third-on-the-right-eighth-on-the-left’ road trips

Our concerts in the park bandstand,

The sense we had the world in our hands,

About to be conquered by our own unique brands

Of madness,

But I’m happy we had this –

\the sky high jinks,

The far too many drinks,

You returning my coat covered in piss….

Even things like that I miss

Because in the moments I’ve

Never been more alive –

Than when every near-miss left me revived,

The kangaroo court

Where, with a great deal of thought,

We’d spent whole evenings deciding what ought

To be the most suitable punishment,

For every recent misdemeanour,

As the evening wore on, growing meaner and meaner.


We, my friend, were invincible

And we paid no mind to anyone inconvincible –

It was time well spent.

A Lady in Waiting – Hour Twenty Two

Her gaze fixed on this aphrodisiacal male,

Taking a tour outside – just outside this frame,

Her hem rising with the edges of her mouth

Skirts caught in a lascivious grasp

Lips now clasped

To erase a gasp.

With her free hand she relies on the table for stability,

Overcome with a burning fragility,

A quickness of breath,

A lust not suppressed,

Her eyes narrow in on her desire,

Her opal skin scorched white by fire,

And a delicate sweat

Dampens the curls on her neck,

As she waits for him

To come in.


Ode to Sergei Polunin – Hour Twenty One

You alone dance away our collective sin

A modern day deity of Ukranian origin,

Who can walk on air not merely water,

For whom a thousand sacrifices freshly slaughtered,

On the alter of your holy martered feet,

Could not begin to make this act of worship complete –

Your grace is envied by every swan and dove –

A majestic poise, knighted by Gods ungloved

Eager to be the blessed ones who touched

The body that can defy mere physics,

That pirouettes its way through limits –

For you, Mr Polunin, are a miracle worker,

One swift movement propels us to bliss and further –

You compelled even Satan to allow your genius,

You performed a pas de deux with his weakness

And left him powerless to resist

Your passion, your power, your turns and your twist –

Even when this Earth suffers your withdrawal,

You will be crowned everlasting, invincible and immortal.