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!



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.




NaWriPoMo Disregard

A camp-site at Lyman Run State Park. Disregard...

A camp-site at Lyman Run State Park. Disregard title (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




A sapling swayed

by stormy bluster.



How you talked

at me.



what I ought

to be.



If you really look

you’ll see


I’m just fitting in.



That’s why

smiling, I pretend.


Twisting to your truth.




NaPoWriMo #10 Mother

Jewelers Tissue Paper

Jewelers Tissue Paper (Photo credit: Premier Packaging)



I lead you,


as I can, into the shop.

We find a wooden chair, by the glass topped counter tempting

with wares in cashmere, linen, silk.

In the shadowed space, young Mr. Neville

rubs ringed hands, and fingers socks.

We take six pairs. ‘I have this,’ he says,

reverently unwrapping silver tissue paper

to reveal a sliver of paisley silk.

Just the thing for a gentleman to breakfast in.’

You stroke it longingly as I pay,

but know it’s lustre will be lost

under cereal, toast crumbs and drips of tea.

Maybe, if he get’s better…’ you say,

and I agree, but know he won’t. Outside,

as dusk sucks the light from day,

I wonder when I became

the one to lean on –

that imperceptible shift.

I watch you


crowds of giggling teenage girls.

Loud, brash, nearly dressed in acid colour:

rhinestone rock motifs: skinny jeaned

or spindle legged in tartan tights:

ladders reaching sky-high denim skirts.

Mobiles clutched to ears, shrieking, What!

Omigod! That’s mad! Wicked! You’re so bad!

They swagger on insensible and in the calm

that spreads behind them like a bridal train

your hand finds mine, you lean on me.

I could explain, tell you, as we make our way,

that they’re just kids as once we were;

you the flapper, me the hippy-chick.

But what’s the point…You and I.

We’ve forgotten how it feels

to still have dreams

and time.


NaWriPoMo To my beautiful daughter (and her’s)


To Nicola


I still wear the touch

of your skinny arm

snaking round my neck;



My cheek is still embossed

with kisses

from lashes


like hummingbird wings.


I can still smell

the bath-time scent of you –

Johnson’s baby shampoo,

Pears soap –

the steamy sweetness

like ripened apples

in a summer orchard.

Now the tiny arms

around my neck,

belong to your children.

We bathe them;

polish them

until they glisten.


Making new memories.



©theeditoffice 2013

NaWriPoMo Hull Royal

I don’t know how long I stand
at the hospital’s tenth floor window,
watching headlamps, like fairy lights,
blur in rain stained windows
Hearing the intermittent sounds

of sirens and soft-soled, respectful, feet.
Your jagged breath.
Stifling thoughts of gently
forcing a pillow, over your mouth.
Reflected in the pane I see

a littered table ..Swabs to unparch
your mouth, unstick your eyes.
A booklet titled ‘Pathway’
detailing the course from living to dead.

I see your bony angles
throw unnatural shadows.
the wet-sand colour of your skin
the heave of your chest,
Your jagged breath.

©theeditoffice 2013

Where I’m writing from…

A Personal View of Creativity.


 What’s your take on creativity? Some people consider themselves ‘arty’, in effect born with it; many believe it can be taught.  Creativity, for me, evolves through divergent thinking; the sparking, at tangents, of new ideas.  I believe that creativity is starting with the germ of an idea, something I’ve seen, read or heard and thought ‘I can use this!’ and to watch the piece come alive as I’m writing it.  Often moving in an entirely unexpected direction, but fleshing its bones as it runs.

Much as I’d like to sit, pen poised waiting for inspiration to strike, I’ve discovered my reality is that I needed to approach writing as a ‘job’.  My days are intensely busy, but luckily, through trial and error, I have concluded that the time I ‘flow’ best is early evening, when I’m relaxed, and my ‘bread and butter hours’ are behind me.  A glass of wine and music are now an essential part of my preparation ritual.  Most importantly, because I’m  tired, I’m slightly detached and not so hung up on feasibility.  (Or do I mean reality?)  I can go with my ‘flow’, often losing myself entirely in my work.  Sometimes, when the work is going well, I am surprised the next day by the inventiveness of what I have written; it is difficult to explain coherently, but I refer to this procedure as ‘ghost writing’.

A slight draw back to working in the evenings, is that sleep can be difficult.  Having found the circumstances in which I write best, my mind is then crammed with ideas.  Like a jam jar full of squirming tadpoles, all clamouring for the attention necessary for their further development.  Unlike nature, I haven’t yet decided on how to ensure only the fittest survive!

During my working day, I have the opportunity to think about characters, investigate story lines, plot and more importantly reflect on what I’ve written on any piece so far.  This means that when I next have the opportunity to write I can look at my work afresh and with a critical eye.

We all meet people all day long and for me it’s the little things that people do and say that can be built on.  The few loving words clinging to the breeze after an elderly couple passes by.  The muted dissent between the lovers sitting uncomfortably close to you, in the pub.  The indecisive decision of a young couple prior to making an expensive purchase.  Is it the cost of the piece or the long term commitment to each other that the purchase may entail that makes them hesitate?  I have spent a lot of time working on trying to see things ‘outside the box’.  Probably every possible thing has already been written, but we can use the same themes and, using a different perspective and words, our work will still be fresh and original.

A few months ago, I overheard a customer remark to her friend, ‘I’d rather leave my husband than leave my house.’

I had just finished reading a biography by Madeline Masson on Christine Granville (George Medal, Croix de Guerre and OBE) The final words uttered by her lover, Dennis Muldowney, after he killed her in a jealous rage and was sentenced to hang, were ‘To kill is the final possession.’

Bearing the customer’s and Muldowney’s remarks in mind, the idea for a story took shape. I was intrigued that objects could mean more to my customer than people and then thought what if the house doesn’t hold you in the same esteem?  I started thinking of houses (to which people already attribute sentiments, for example ‘it’s a really friendly house.’) as having real feelings. What if a house wanted the current occupiers to leave?  Or not to?  I was fascinated by the idea that a house could love its occupant so much that it wouldn’t, at any cost, let her go. I imagined the house feeling that if it couldn’t have her, no other house would, echoing Muldownings last sentiment and loosely based its machinations on the behaviour of several males I’ve met in the past. It was the impetus I needed to start writing!

I have also realised that I need to pare my writing down, what I had previously regarded as necessary use of language now appears to be over indulgent. Possibly, I have been influenced by attempting poetry where I gain huge satisfaction in finding a single word that precisely conveys all I want to say. For me, writing poetry is an exploratory process of personal experience. Yeats wrote of Wilfred Owen that ‘strong feelings are no substitute for poetry’ however, one can argue that poetry only truly comes alive when there is an emotional connection, albeit pared down and controlled. Writing poetry, for me, requires painstaking honesty and the poetry I admire most gives me a ‘snap shot’, but also leaves me with questions. They lead me in and then enable me to look ‘behind’ the words, to ‘feel’ my way. This has taught me that often unnecessary clarification is merely a way of control and if a poem resonates and is technically competent, it works.

One thing I have realised. I need to write. Like everybody else I have a lot of false starts, but my own internal editor is improving and – perhaps sadly -I’ll never stop.

That’s pretty much where I’m writing from.

First Stay in Grandma’s Spare Room

His talisman against the night, an oven baked ‘striker’
lays forgotten on the locker, near his bed,
string snaking around a half-sucked humbug.

A million miles away.

His pudgy knuckles, white, clutch the edge
of acres of silk roses rambling
to meet vertical paper ivy that climbs and twines
until scythed by the ceiling.






He hears the glass shiver, with draughts through the sash,
and flinch from the fingers of skeletal twigs.
Sees trembling lace panels casting net shadows
which he’s afraid, if he blinks, will catch little kids
and keep them unmoving… unbreathing…

And then, the rasp of a match and a sibilant hiss,
the soft pop of the mantle and dark is made light.

Next door his mammy’s pot slides
on iced winter lino.
Shining his conker, he snuggles to sleep.

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