Not these darker, hidden things

The above-titled poem appeared in The City Fox magazine a while back, pages 14-15. A beautifully illustrated issue which I hope you’ll enjoy 🌸

Illustrations by Laura Bennett  



It’s raining quicksilver blankets speaking of whimsy but I know what they are thinking as I, slowly drawn into the clouds drifting over my little nest of wood and glass

and scraps of fabric

wish my wings visible, insolent children pleased to escape the confines of my eyes from which memories trail ghostly fingertips across the rolling sky like fine wool put to the skein so easy to turn a mind like the mourning billow of sheets on a craggy moor

where the fire’s lit

heralding damp winter days to come when you’re not quite ready for all that yet. Not willing to resign yourself when

the beauty is still too resonant to slip like eels into the melange of melancholia’s weave and become embroiled in far away glances and gauzy sighs, so maybe

I should take down that painting

hanging there and finally commit those remaining trails of paint to its questioning fibres or maybe I should just lay in the pools of bright colour forming little skins on the palette, I am not quite sure




and perhaps that is what it is to exist on a day like this

Does God wear socks?


Just look at him laid out there like some

long lost God in nothing, not even socks all

perfect and alone in his ebbing

contemplation while I look on wishing I

could slither into his sphere

of thought, a silk scarf drawn

over his back with no painted red

nails to score my notch or leave

the slightest trace of desire that

drips from freshly washed

hair and thighs with not the faintest

aroma of how a woman wants.




let me just watch like a secret and breathe

the moment into myth

(painting ‘Patroclus’ by Jacques Louis David, 1748-1825)


Bleached-moan-bone knuckle-tree flowers
skulk over skull-stony roots, granite-cold with permanence
amid misty swathes of cotton-grass, the tenderness
of grave-diggers humming water-hollowed rock and sleepless moss
Under the crab-apple she lays, she lies, a laze-stricken Lazarus in deathly completeness
forever, now, wholly fractured among us piss-ant poets
wholly critiqued and human. Holy

Hairy Girls & Silk Blouses (please, a little humour)

 I’ve known people

to blatantly balk at my underarm hair.

In fact, they’d feel

quite queasy,

find it

out-and-out odious

to have gleaned a glimpse

I wonder how we had come to be like this

so out of love with nature

so niggled by naturalness

so loathing of Lucinda’s long-haired legs

so baffled by Belinda’s burgeoning bristle

after that, I realised I too was

unaccountably uncomfortable

when my arms were lightly lifted

like swans necks
Then of course, I’d be overcome

by the urge to have

underarms like newborn cuckoos

those brazenly bald little baby birds

as little-big boys bow down to a fully waxed female

all skimpy and oiled, as slick as a seal

I think I must reassess my appeal
Oh, but that’ll never do!

The time it takes to strip the skin

to highlight the hair, to neaten the nails

the time it takes to buff the body

to dodge

the derrières



is time less spent

in intelligence
so you see, rebellion’s set in

the razors been relegated

to the shadows of the shelf

to the corner of the cabinet

to the bottom of the bathroom bin

the unaffected new me, the wild woman of wonga has 

taken over the bikini line

and the whole length of the legs

I struggle, now, with skirts

any shorter than 

ankle length

well, girly clothes do no justice to natural Woman

as hairy girls and silk blouses do not mix, so I’m
selling up and shipping out

to a place where I can beat my drum and

bellydance bare-assed beneath

voluminous veils of un-vanity

where I can pee standing

if I so choose

yes, as well I might

urinate in the upright

and in broad daylight


if I so choose.

And, to answer a question

I’ll quaintly quantify that

I’ve no beef

with men who don’t shave


Who wantonly wangle out of

waxing the wayward on winky and

deleteriously depilating their downy derrieres


maybe instead I’ll raise them a salute

while welcoming all to my haven

for the happily hirsute


We lay bleeding, scratching the soil for reasons amongst the kindling. I’ll be first to fan the fire at our feet, simply tofeel

life is precious. Disregarded.

Flowers to blind men.

We are lost, unthinking, turning round inside ourselves seeking a quiet corner where there is none to rest our heads motion gnawing emotion, the rat of suppression ripping flesh from the pyre of bones that

once knew joy

look into all those guarded eyes, if you still see with your soul past flaccid bodies bent on their daily grind, cool actors that we become. Life, the carousel of consuming, not real, fed to us line by line, line by line yet somewhere beneath the practiced faces

we tend our joy, we tend our pain, alone together as hermits in caves

and just like you, I am lifted



I too want to join the fold but cannot be the stranger we have become

Melancholia (or, when you become winter)

Beautifully Bruised (on Exmoor’s Dunkery Beacon) – A Poem

Death followed her there, in burnt-umber magnificence he lay
scorching away all trace of the living, the Baron of barren

nestled in the moor’s shadowy cleavage, the sea, slab of icy steel
on which she floats, a cadaver awaiting post mortem cuts in the cold

tissue-paper skin, exposed, beautifully bruised inside
On a crag, a hawthorn tree bent in toil, an old crone scratching

an existence, mocking with bony fingers, arthritic
cackling in the wake of each zipping car, people rushing by

in other worlds, fleeting dervishes
not noticing her, high above her sorrows, above the cracks and

folds in the landscape hiding crumbs of despair, disappointment’s litter
A derelict mouse, a tiny bird’s jutting ribs the gateway for crawling things

Tiredness calcifies her bones as she lowers herself, serenely entombed
in the briars, the gorse and sprigs of long-lost heather

letting the moss creep, creep over her mouth and eyes
filling her lungs with cool sweet green, always touching her

So what is it that makes someone who writes paint?

Or someone who paints, make music? Or someone who makes film, write poetry? Or, for that matter, someone who designs buildings also write, compose, paint and take artistic photographs? Pretty obvious really, I suppose. For doesn’t it all come from the same source. Inspiration. That orgasmic, organic drive to create. It’s just, in some people, it works it’s way through to the solid world along many different channels.

And it takes a little navigating through the ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ way of thinking. Which can be true, but not always. Definitely not always. It’s maybe just a case of things taking a lot longer to establish when you’re one of those creatives, like me, who just can’t be tied down to a life of servitude to only one face of the muse. But if you’re trying to establish an income – trying to turn your creative endeavours into cash – it usually pays to stick to one area and carve your niche there. That’s life made a little easier. And, indeed, that sort of challenge can be very exciting. Putting your creativity into your strategic planning. Your brand. etc. etc.

I’ve thought about that. I’ve conversed with my business self many times and that part of me makes perfect, logical sense. (I have a very entrepreneurial spirit, after all). But, I get tired of logic, don’t you? And also the corporate-speak that is creeping into every facet of our lives, even creativity. (I shook my head in disbelief when I recently came across a corporate buzz-word ‘Kaizen’ used in an artistic setting. Homogenization horror!)

For deep down, and I mean really deep down – there is an urgency to create freely, no matter what. No matter if I’m not able to be successful. For that’s the thing. How do you judge your success. How do you measure it? For me, that’s easy. I judge my success by my own standards. I have my own agenda. My own philosophy. I’m happy to do what FEELS right. If that’s creating a short film – great. If that’s painting a series of large panels – great. If that’s writing story into play, or novel, or short story format- then so be it. If that’s exiling myself to a cave to express in reams of poetry… why not? It might not work for some, but for others, this sort of practice can cross germinate. One project or expression can inject a growth spurt into another. Or allow it time to evolve over a long period of time, while you turn your eyes away and rest them on another medium. It can keep you energised and moving. A creative fire, alive and burning rather than a growing heap of dust.

It can also keep you poor. For a potentially long time. Depends if you have that lucky touch of being in the right place at the right time. I’m not counting on luck though. I’ve tried the lottery a few times. Nothing doing. So I’m in for the long haul. I’m making a friend of time. A key component in all this, I have to admit.

So, that’s me! But how about you? Do you create ‘across the board’ or do you focus on one thing? Is there something you’d love to try in another art form other than the one you work in?