Seventeen. Seed sowing

She turns the soil over

Heavy clagged clods

crusted by wind-grab and sun burn


She rubs  the chunks

between broad hard palms

and it breaks like a wave on a shallow shore


She uses wide knuckled fingers to

crumble the dirt until

It has the spill of rice


She places the ribbed balls of seed

on the soil and pushes them deep

into the earth’s breath


She smells the loam scent on her hands

A robin comes

and she sits back on her heels






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Sixteen. Poem Hunting

The mind is a hound.

Set it out hunting to sniff

out a tasty word, or two or three.

Stalk them,

pin them down.


Pick the words up and

then stretch them.

Add, alter, reject

until they become emerging

strands of  scent and colour.


It starts slow but they tumble

and fall into slight being.

They fall onto the page

and the weaving begins.

Warp and weft.


Woven into texture.

Woven into shape.

Taste the words.

Add seasoning if required.

Serve up the meal.


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Fifteen. Cat Doggerel

The cat awoke on my bed

And asked if it were bad

To dream of fashionable shoes.

‘No’, I said. ’It only shows

How easy it is to be misled

By the magazines you read.

I advise complete text rest.’

The cat was aghast

How was he to let his friends know

His likes and what was new,

Or his preference for today’s food?

‘Worry not’ I said.

‘You can’t read,

And you don’t have an opposable thumb’


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Fourteen. City Café Lunch

Bright chatter of staff breaks office morning  trance

and  sharp earth tang of coffee brings on hunger.

Deciphering the neat scribble of the day’s offerings.

In or out?


On the counter bulging hunks of cake

and doorsteps of bread are swaddled

like babes in their shiny coats.

Black or white?


Women in suits, men in suits enter

and retreat

tenderly clutching liquid caffeine.

Hot or cold?


Silent cribbage players

Girls sharing the gleanings of their retail therapy

A couple hold hands across the table

Large or small?


Family, history, plans and politics

revealed, dissected, done and dusted in thirty minutes

before re-entering into afternoon track.

Brown or white?




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Thirteen. True Love

When my face is a basket-weave of wrinkles and my bright eyes start to fade

I want you to tell me when:

Black hairs sprout from my chin

I talk to myself – too much

I have stains on my dress

I smell of piss

My jumper is inside out

To take the cake out of the oven

You need a tender embrace

And  where my glasses are


And in return I will tell you when:

You fall asleep during conversation

You fart  – too much

To cut your fingernails

To have a bath

You forget the names of the grandchildren

To be tolerant

I need to feel the warmth of your body next to mine

And  where your glasses are





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Twelve. Here and Now

Sun sliced room

sunday morning slowness


follows me



Quiet light hooks memory from

somewhere unseen and


time slips off its dress to show

sun sliced room


Sunday morning slowness

swimming in the stretch


and certainty of youth

Quietly absorbed in


the intricacy of an undivided day



If that Sunday morning slowness

bled into this sun sliced day


perhaps the walls would expand

to keep today in and tomorrow out


Gently  Tenderly

Sunday sliced slowness





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Eleven. April Mix Up



Winter bone-ache breeze

stirs spring drift blossom . Summer

sweat on skin confounds April.



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Ten.  Dance Hall

Under the filigree canopy

mosquitos flit

in  low beam of thinning light.


This is no flash mob.

Their chaotic meanderings

mean nothing on the dance floor.


Throwing shapes in the air

they are solo dancers

of wisp wing and limb.


Crazy scribblers

they step out their message

to the shy


lurking in dark edges.

The smoky crowd shifts and

tumbles to the silent tunes.










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Nine. Settle



Calm. Peace.

Contentment. Comfort. Compromise.

Behave. Stay put. Curb curiosity.

Give in. Capitulate.





Fall. Pitch.

Powder. Flurry. Sleet.

Slush. Snowstorm. Blizzard

Avalanche. Whiteout.

Blindness. Lost.



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Eight. The Abandoned

The scent of abandonment follows her through the day. It winds around her catching the nostrils of the passing rejected who make a sharp intake of breath in recognition.

The pieces of memory interrupt her. They drop, sharp and heavy, into the day, like spring showers. The first times; the last times; the touch; the look.The questions that can’t be answered rattle like thunder.

The noise in her head deafens her in the night. On clear days she can let go and allow quiet and colour back in, but in the monochrome of 4am the scent of abandonment follows her and will not leave.





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