Half Term – NaPoWriMo

Half Term

Behind our house
there is a swing over the river
A lath of wood on plaited string
above the turgid green
in which we plunged.

We’d stand together and push
in looping arcs
until the moment came to launch
ourselves in space,
hand in hand, knowing

that soon, we’d be gasping,
bursting through the blackness,
giggling, shiny-eyed,
mud streaked faces spittled.

That day
I surfaced, trod water,
waited for you.
Trod water
until my cries frightened

nesting birds from trees,
brought parents running.
Staring at the empty swing
moving gently
like the tug and pull of the tide.


Pay Day NaPoWriMO

Black eye

Pay Day

In the bed
in the locked room
he calls spare – she calls safe

she trembles as his feet
thump up the stairs
breathes deeply

prays he’ll give up
knows he won’t.

she unlocks the door
goes down and tries
Is that you? I was asleep.

Fucking bitch, he screams,
Lying cow! His fist connects.
Her face cools

on York stone flags.
Granma’s dinner plates
fly around the room.

Later, collecting porcelain pieces,
she knows

he won’t remember. She wakes
to the smell of frying bacon
the sound of his whistling.


NaPoWriMo Tiny Things (Remind Me)

English: Magnifying glass renderered with unre...

Rainbow fish sugar cookie.

Rainbow fish sugar cookie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tiny Things

I remember
when I got a miniscule splinter,
you tweezed it, made it go away.
How you sat me on a rug outside,
made fragile necklaces from daisies,
pierced the stems to make them link,
placed the chains gently round my neck.
When my butter-fingers tore them
I watched you comb the lawn
seeking magic four-leafed clovers
for me to make a secret wish.

And, when I was six,
how you sat at night sewing sequins,
like rainbow fish scales, on a dress,
you made from one of yours.

Now, watching you reach
for the magnifying glass

I still remember





NaPoWriMo Just You.


Conker (Photo credit: Danny boy no-yes)

Just You

I hate it when you lose things,
car keys…wallet…mobile phone.
And the shouting…

As if I ran behind you
hiding them.
But then silence… and the room lights up.
Your smile as you find
what you’re looking for!

And you’re transformed;
become the six-year-old your mother knew.
Scab-kneed in grey school shorts,
pulling mouldy conkers from a pocket.
Found them!



Role Models NaPoWriMo

Morning Dew on Litter

Morning Dew on Litter (Photo credit: elycefeliz)


Role Models




My mother’s kitchen window overlooked

my father’s shed which made it rather hard

for each to treat the other as not there.

She’d slam pans on cupboard tops

he’d reply by banging nails;

conversations lasting hours.


When his lunch was on the table,

she’d open the door to let him know,

then sit out on the step with an ashtray

and twenty menthol cigarettes.

Thursday nights, she painted on her smile,

went out to meet the girls from work.


He’d venture indoors and stare around

like a tourist in a foreign land.

Precisely fifteen minutes before her return

he’d go back to his shed, sit in the dark,

waiting until her light went out.


To pass the time,

he gouged lumps

out of a piece of pine.




Changes NaPoWriMo




The big house holds its breath

between visitors.

Since the funeral

the front door has forgotten

how to open.

Sleep starved bedrooms slumber.

Latticed windows peer shyly

from beneath fringes of weeds

spilling from the gutter.

Sunlight twinkles on brass pieces of your past.

The television quietly entertains itself in one corner.

And all around, boxes in which we are folding your life

moving eighty years , fifteen miles down the road

to somewhere smaller…

more manageable…

with a warden to check on you…

And a red button alarm should you need it.

Much better…Honestly.

The rhythmic tick

of Anneliese’s clock

comforts you

in a world you don’t understand any more.


NaPoWriMo Estrangement

Medicine Drug Pills on Plate

Medicine Drug Pills on Plate (Photo credit: epSos.de)

One of the worst things I found after relationships broke down was the sudden lack of contact with people I’d learned to care for in my life. (Ex’s parents and family etc.)




I imagine you laid, low and pallid
against harshly starched white sheets
in a room full of strangers
tended by perfunctory hands.
Not knowing I care.
I saw the card he sent you,
coldly omitting my name.
I should have spoken out, but
words won’t erase pain
left by bitterness.
Let it be enough, I know I care

though you’re unaware.




NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 8, ‘Modeling Fear’

NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 8, 'Modeling Fear'.

A sudden loss of innocence…NaPoWriMo

I should add that White Lightning is an exceptionally strong, cheap cider infamous for effect rather than taste. Last year, in our small market town, two 14-year-old girls almost died of hypothermia when friends left them after a drinking session on a very cold winter evening.    Fourteen

English: A 16 years old teenager with acne on ...

English: A 16 years old teenager with acne on his cheek – photo taken with flash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blinded by ‘White Lightning’
and cajolery clad in words of love,
she squints and fondly counts the pimples on his back,
as, unnoticed over his naked shoulder,
her childhood, a bright shining bubble,
floats away
high on his climactic sigh.




NaPoWriMo Unrequited

Keep Your Heart

Keep Your Heart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



His reluctant eyes

tried not to watch others,

not to hear their whispered


which filled his withered heart

with longing.


Next to her at night,


he yearned for her


an opening out.


her harsh replies

encrusted him in


and her sharp


turned him inside out;


the heart

he wore on his sleeve.




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