Hour 9: The Other Woman (a sonnet)

What if they see us holding hands?

What would they think? I’m scared to guess.

Right now I’m grateful for this darkness.

Though I’d prefer a visa to some foreign land.

Because who but us would understand?

Words of defence are meaningless

And God knows I know it’s a mess.

I’m the Other and I am banned.

But this will work out because love always wins;

That is what the literature states.

I fell for the wrong man, for my sins

And now we hide, something he hates.

In the dimly lit cafe, more people pour in

And see two people in love, their merged fates.

Hour 8: We Need.

‘We need to be here’, said my ex-husband’s new wife.

‘Can we come in? It’s been a long drive.’

He mentions the house, a quarter his, looks nice.

“The kids put the lights up”, I try to surmise.

“Your mother around?” She’s in Greece, I reply,

Wiping my hands on this apron of mine.

“The stress was too much; she needed to go.”

“So just you then,” says New Wife. She seems a bit slow.


“We need coffee,” he says; I guess this is my cue

To go to our kettle and bring them a brew.

The clock’s echoing tick in the hall strikes three.

He stands slightly in front of her and looks at our tree.

“How much did that cost?” he asks all of a sudden.

I say nothing back and look out at the garden.

Hour 7: The Bride’s Speech

It’s my turn to speak and I’m beginning to sweat

A quick read of my notes and I try not to fret

I say something sweet to my aunts; they’re old.

Thank the catering staff, my two grans, the Welsh fold.

My parents in law can’t be in the same room, I’ve been told.

The speech before mine was beginning to grind

It was unfunny, untrue, too long and unkind

I smile as I have all day been smiling

I tidy my speech cards for the millionth time.

Welcoming my guests as expected to is best

This is the easy part and I start to warm up.

It’s like acting,

Where I tell a joke and it’s witty because it has a fact in.

Brides don’t do speeches, but I have to, for my boys

Brides don’t do speeches but the groom’s left no choice.

Now, the punch line:

The silence is mine.

And I grip my cards harder because now it is time.

I mention the space below each chair.

“…In each space is an envelope that you need to tear open

because inside, there is proof.

It’s a gift to you all. I give you the truth.”

The cards fall from my hands and I leave the hall.

Now I am free.

Good luck to them all.

How are we all doing, guys?

I’ve been sat in my little apartment in London and I have to say, I’m struggling; not only physically (my bum has moulded to the duvet I’m sat on and feels like stone) but mentally, I’m definitely dipping. I am looking back over my work and wondering if the effort of today is worth it.

What’s even going to happen as a result of this? Does anyone have any plans for their work as a result of creating it?

Let me know!

<3 PJB

Hour 6: Estate agent

“Here, this is the bridge you cross; it’s old,

And has been crying out for something more;

Perhaps you could knock it down.


“This stone path takes us to a meadow

It is said that Keats once walked here. Or something.

Imagineer it: gravel.


“The courtyard is 15th century

Original features intact, as was.

Paint this blue, I would. Trendy.


“The view across the valley is vast:

Lush green foliage and scented jasmine.

Would make a great golf course.”

Hour 5: I hate for a living

I’m 40, and blonde, and on TV sets nationally

I’m online, on trend and can comment fashionally

Some say I’m hated, but why am I in demand?

Anti-PC and honesty are parts of my brand.


Called your kid ‘Tyler’? You scream working class.

‘Full Time Mummy’? You sit around on your arse.

Ginger babies are harder to love.

Ramadan brings more bombs from above.


Hate me, you say? But I speak sense.

Criticism makes you a leftie hence.

People are jealous that I make so much money,

That I’m in demand, wanted, so witty and funny.


I make sense and I’ll continue to grow:

The businesses, appearances, have my own show.

I’m a professional disagreer in this media circus.

Now let me finish my piece on burkhas.

Hour 4: Fighting Clichés


All bent out of shape, I abandoned ship

As the Cliché Monster destroyed every quip.

I tried to look on the bright side, but he was armed to the teeth,

He preyed on every word I tried to bequeath.


At my wits end, I beat around the bush

Writing lyrics I knew would fall at a push

I put my heart into it, but pound for pound

The monster threw curveballs and they all hit the ground.


I cried ‘all hands on deck!’ And help was at hand;

As luck would have it, the best in the land.

I had an ace up my sleeve that was good as gold

I invited her in from out of the cold.


The Poetry Fairy had got back from her hols,

From the sun, sea and sex, from the booze and the lolz.

“What’s up, m’love?” she asked with a grin.

Said I, “The Cliché Monster has wandered back in.”


“I’m back to Square One, and I’m bored to tears;

The monster attacks my work in all gears.

I wish he would just go and bite the dust

Or I’ll be unable to earn a crust.”


The Poetry Fairy sighed and looked pained

She took out her bazooka, took position and aimed.

The magical dust bomb puffed a plume of pink dust

Coating the clichés in a fine, single gust.


“Thank fuck!” I exhaled. “He’s gone back to the bogs.

Thank you so much; you are the dog’s.”

“No problem” she said. “Another day, another dollar.”

“Just a joke,” she tittered. “If you need me again, holler.”

Hour 3: Fishing

Not him; he’s fat.

And he puffs at the tiniest move.

He buys shirts for a body not his; I see he’s in Alexander McQueen.

So last year.


Not him; he’s trashed.

And his eyes are the blackest of black.

His thin body curves to the bar, trying to assume an air of cool normality.

So achieving the opposite.


Not him; he’s loud.

And his muscles have muscles have muscles.

His body is too big for his head; he spends his tedious life at a tedious gym.

So what.


Not him; he’s short.

And he walks in the angriest way.

He goes to one girl, then another, then another: a spread better, I see.

So predictable.


Not me; I’m too good.

And I sit with ostensible cool,

With a glass in my hand and eyes scanning the dance floor.

I’m fishing.

No, not you.

Hour 2: The mountain climbers of Kinabalu


“Be honest,” she said, as I’m pulled into the night,

Feeling at odds with the soft moonlight.

“Tell them the truth; we have nothing to hide.

We’re just kids. Nothing happened. Nobody died.”


We had heaved ourselves up to the mountainous heights

In the dreadinous zones, nature’s deathly death bites

We slipped through, unannounced, we four foreign bodies

Ecstatic, relieved, thanking whichever its god is.


The sky aglow, deep red, softest touch

I, at one with the earth, (and, perhaps, being Dutch)

Threw my clothes to the ground with such joy and delight

And the others’ skin warming in the soft growing light.


It’s after hours now, and the cold pulls me back.

Bent over, head covered, my body is slack.

I hear flashes of light and alien chattering

I’m rough-tumbled to a car, cold, feel the rain spattering.


I can cause earthquakes; I spite the divine.

I state my name when I’m next in the line.

Her once child-like face is heavy and wan.

I take hold of her hand as we’re moved along.

Hour 1: Crocodile

The rumbling in my stomach is the curse I possess

I glide into the black, its lapping caress

Thunderously hungry, it’s night but I’m chill

I wait. I wait. I’m the silence, the still.

I own every movement of the water surround.

Moving over my body, unaware, not a sound.

I own the darkness, the cool of the meer

The watery depths, the mud, the fear.

The ache in my belly growls deep but I wait.

For my prey to be lulled to the peaceful strait.

My eyes fix on this space; beyond, stars like jewels

The last he will see as the darkness falls.