Poetry

Bread Cake

‘Go fetch me a bread cake,’
that’s what you said.
I balked at the thought
of a cake made of bread.

‘Do you mean bread pudding?
Or perchance spotted dick?
Or did you mix your words up?
Is this some kind of trick?’

‘No, I know what I said,
bring a bread cake,’ you uttered,
‘You could use it for burgers
or just eat it buttered.’

And that’s when I realised,
you wanted a cob,
‘It’s the midlands,’ I laughed,
‘don’t speak like a knob.’

Brave

When I cut 
my hair,
and later
shaved it
they called
me brave
to have
braved it.
But one thing
I couldn’t 
understand - 
would I 
have been
brave
were I
a man?

Love Poem

I wish I was a zombie
so I could eat you up.
I wish I was a vampire, 
only blood from you I’d sup.

I wish I were a poltergeist, 
I’d shake only your bed. 
I wish I were demon possessed,
you’d always turn my head.

I wish I were a tulpa
made up of thoughts of you.
I wish I were a grey lady 
with secrets just you knew.

I wish I were a wendigo,
you know I’d wear your skin.
It’s only you I’d wish to probe
were I an alien.

I wish I were a wicked witch
and you’d be my black cat.

My love, it’s just some poetry,
don’t look at me like that!

Eternal Sunshine

Another night
without sleep.
Eternal sunshine,
I could weep. 

Sinister

While the right hand writes the left hand lies limp.
Lazy and languid he watches his brother
and wonders what force brings power
to the other,
who glides like a dancer
with quill dipped in ink,
‘There’s something sinister there,’
he thinks.   

Fear

You said that skulls are frightening - 
their gaping sockets,
too-wide grins.
I told you: 
‘Fear the living, 
Not the dead.’

You said that skulls unnerved you - 
their alien eyes,
too-white hue.
I told you:
‘That’s fine, but remember
it’s all in your head.’

12.38 am

It’s okay 
to heal,
you won’t 
always 
feel 
like facing 
the day, 
or acting
okay.

To feel
pain 
is fine,
doesn’t 
have to
define
who you are,
so don’t 
let it.
In time 
you’ll 
forget it. 

Solutions 
can mend,
can work
in the
end.
Just don’t 
choose one
that ends 
you
for a 
pain
you can 
get through.

An Apology

I feel this one needs a bit of an explanation. The subject of this poem was a source of endless horror and shame to me growing up (when I clearly needed some bigger things to worry about). But it’s funny how you grow to accept and treasure things as you get older. 

Why did I hate you so much
years ago?
Tried to find ways
to not let you grow.
I would disguise you,
and hide you,
and not let them see.
Couldn’t accept you
as a facet of me.
If I say that I’m sorry
do I say it too late?
If I add that
I had then, 
a lot on my plate?
So forgive me I really
never meant any harm.
I accept you,
I love you,
the hair on my arms. 

Unsavoury

If you say I’m unsavoury,
does that make me sweet?
If you said it’s inedible 
I wouldn’t eat,
so excuse me for thinking 
you were being rude
when you called me invaluable. 

When you’re boning the salmon,
are you putting bones back?
If my house is inhabitable,
what does it lack? 
If you depress the button,
do you press it or not?
Am I all alone
in losing the plot?
I may not be a genius
or ingenious,
or both?
But these synonym traps 
make me feel like an oaf. 

Now I’ll change into linen
to sit by the fire,
I’ll be safe - it’s inflammable. 

Army

I’m creating an army of writers,
and we’ll write you all out of your beds.
You’ll cover your ears not to hear us,
but the rhythm will get in your head.
Before you can fight it you’ll join us,
and you’ll add all your words to our songs. 
Then we’ll all be the army of writers,
writing to right the world’s wrongs. 

A Woman

I am a woman
if I want to be.

They 
explained
that ladies
don’t spit,
don’t swear,
or sit 
on men’s knees,
or have short hair.
So I’m not a lady
even if
I wanted to be.

But I am a
woman.
They won’t take that
from me.

Stay Grounded

When I woke from my sleep
I was hungry again, 
craving only the taste
of carpaccio brain.
So I dug myself out
of my hole in the peat
seeking maybe an organ
or some flesh to eat.
When I spied my next meal
walking round in the park
I did sneak my way up 
under cover of dark.
But the man he was ready
and armed with a trowel,
when he bashed at my head 
you’ll believe I did howl.
As I fell to the floor 
his words they resounded:
‘Ah, my flesh eating friend,
you should always stay grounded.’

Puddle

‘Don’t slip on the puddle.’ 
He’s pointing at the sign, 
‘I’ve mopped her up before but
I won’t again this time.’

You Tell Me

You tell me:
women are not funny,
and thin women are no fun.
Fat women are not pretty.
Pretty women, they are dumb.
Those with long hair
are always vain,
with short hair 
surely gay.
And all women lose their value
when they’re wrinkly and grey.
If a woman won’t have children
then don’t have her as your wife.
And when a woman speaks her mind
it will surely cause you strife.

As a woman I am baffled 
and I don’t know what to say,
but when I’m not sure who I am
I’ll be sure to look your way.

Get Ahead

They taught 
me all 
the words 
to say,
the things
to feel,
the way
to play.
They taught 
me how 
the pieces
worked
and how
to get
ahead.

I listened hard
and emulated,
embraced 
the me
that they 
created.
And up 
the ranks
I climbed 
and climbed,
excelling 
for them
every time.

It hurt 
sometimes, 
I scraped
my knees.
I maimed
myself
aiming 
to please.
And then
one day 
I lost 
my grip
and slowly 
tumbled 
down.

They shook 
their heads
and turned
their backs, 
lamenting 
all the things
I lacked. 
And on
the floor
broken,
lonely
I knew 
I had 
to climb
for me.

So I
set out 
again
to climb, 
relying
on myself
this time.
Although
there’s still
so much
to do,
this time
I’ll breathe,
enjoy
the view.

Chaos

‘You are chaos,’ he says, 
and I know what he means.
I’m ecstatic, morose,
little else in between. 

Drought

Do you ever fear
all the words 
have
      run 
           out?
The ideas wither,
cannot weather
the drought.
Barren soul
with no more
rain.
Until clouds 
overhead.
Verdant lands,
rich terrain.

Sarah

Sometimes,
when I run,
I wonder
what I‘m running
from.

I think of you
just walking home,
enjoying music
on your own.
And how he saw,
and liked, and took,
as if you weren’t 
a person too,
and in those moments
stole away
all the life 
and light
in you. 

And in that moment,
as I run,
I know
what I am running
from. 

Thank you

Every now and then
someone reaches out 
to me, through cyberspace,
to provide a word,
sometimes a few, 
in homage to my face.
And when they do
I’m pleased they’ve seen
through my writing,
clever and gritty.
Because in the end
all a woman wants
is a man to call her pretty. 

Find the Time

When I came 
to write again
after years 
of putting
thoughts on hold
I wrote
for days,
becoming weeks,
and weeks
which would
become a year,
which ultimately
brought me here.

So were the words
that would
not stop
all the ones
I’d bottled up? 
Or have I
lost years 
of verse
and rhyme
for which
I never found 
the time? 

This House

This house is faulty,
it does not clean itself.

Don’t tell me I’m mad,
I know what I’ve seen
on the television screen
(constantly encrusted
in dust, though I’ve dusted)
when the ladies who lunch,
and who work, and who shop
have self-cleaning houses.
You don’t see them mop
or pick up a hoover
or wash up the pots.
And their floors 
they all sparkle,
and their kids’ clothes
pristine,
though there’s no time
for wash cycle 
between action scenes.

So my house it is faulty
and I wish to return,
though I scrub and I polish,
though I watch and I yearn
at the end of the day
I still stand in defeat,
while the washing piles up
and the kids need to eat.

As She Lived

When thirty came she would look back
and would not mind the puppy fat,
wishing she could wear it now
to smooth the wrinkle on her brow.

When sixty came then thirty seemed
like women in the magazines.
While glances in the mirror spoke
of complexion ruddy, capillaries broke.

At eighty she would rue the glow
that lit her twenty years ago,
and curse the fates that time somehow
could only let her see that now.

When death did find her, then bereft
she gazed upon the shell it left
and knew then that her chance was missed
to love the woman as she lived.

Vasoconstriction

In soak 
I wrinkle,
water draws
the words
from pores.
I scoop, skim
the surface,
finding verse
to share,
to claim.
Pull the plug,
what’s left
runs
        down
                 the 
                      d
                        r
                        a
                        i
                        n.

Dark Musings

She thought it all a bit unfair,
accused, at times, of morbid mind
and creating characters who were 
subjected all to fates unkind.

So out she set to write some words
that would her reputation save,
of happy endings not yet heard,
of maidens fair, of heroes brave.

And there she sat for longest time,
musing ‘pon her newest task. 
Searching for those words so prime
to show the good within at last.

So then, in time, her task was done.
With final pages left to scribe
her willing broke, her patience too
and nary a flea got out alive.




Poem for People with Very Specific Viewing Preferences

You are the Michael Douglas
to my Catherine Zeta Jones.
The Chloe to my Lucifer,
the Seeley to my Bones.
The Kevin to my grand design,
the Frank to my Charlie.
But do you think it possible
we watch too much TV? 

No Swearing, Please

Lady authors of the world 
don’t swear in your writing. 
Not even if it’s for effect 
or because it feels exciting. 
It might upset your father
and make him act a twat. 
So that’s reason number one,
you don’t want to deal with that. 

And reason number two,
your husband won’t approve.
Your expletives, although warranted, 
won’t put him in the mood.
Now I know you’ll not believe it, 
and some of you will scoff, 
at first he might say it’s okay, but
eventually he’ll fuck off.  

Reason three applies the most
to all those single birds, 
don’t think a ring-less finger
affords freedom with words. 
If ever you are courting,
a bloke might think you’re thick
if on first date you cuss and curse 
before jumping on his dick.

So listen to me, women
though I preach I mean it well.
There’s reasons more now not to swear 
than to keep yourself from hell. 
The men out there don’t want to hear 
or read your sordid muck, 
so if you want to get ahead 
don’t swear, you stupid fuck. 

Poem that is Definitely Only About the Dangers of Trains

Without hi vis vest
thought I just might
hurdle the fence
as my God-given right.

Superpower

It’s not the hardest choice, 
she thought,
selecting visibility.
Not the power the eyes afford 
in allowing one to look and see 
But to stand, 
one day,



out in the crowd



and for others to regard as such. 
A cliche yes, 
but given chance, 
she thought she was not asking much. 

Then when the sun arose
that day, 
and crept in past the window sill,
an empty feeling in her gut                           

       too
  rising
was

while she slept still. 
And when she woke
it hounded her,
and feeling would not be restored.
Left with a   g     a     p    i    n    g         emptiness.   
An ache  
beyond pain, 
a weight
beyond bored. 

So, 
with resolve, 
her purpose clear, 
she rose to face the coming day. 
Dressing,
gathering her things. 
Putting all her doubts away. 
Then     striding      out  
onto the bridge 
(where tourists gathered, homeless slept).                       

                  quick.     And, gazing out to nothing,
            railing,                                      l
          the                                              e                                                                         
         on                                                 a                                               
        up                                                  p
  climbed                                                  t.  
She

So in the papers
on that day
(and in some local magazines),
the girl’s last moments

MADE THE FRONT!
Crowds gathered at the tragic scene.

But when the sun
                went                   
                   down  
that night.
Then next day‘s sun  
through window burned 

All superpowers went away,     
                               invisibility returned.                        

This Woman

This woman is a twat, 
her lipstick ostentatious, 
she hasn’t blended her foundation, 
her gestures are vexatious.
She’s dropping buzzwords
like a boss,
expertly seasoning
her dross,
and every time that soulless smile 
that does not reach her eyes. 
Watching her just hurts my head. 
Others know,  
they have to see. 
I think I’ll turn my camera off
and face her when I brush my teeth.

The Creator

To create is as to birth, they said, but 
I felt I was misled
when the words flowed out of me,  
like water. 
And I did not scream. 
And my breath came in normal cadence. 
And my nails ripped not
my husband’s skin,
which came as some relief to him.  

So I wonder if, once again, 
we do women a disservice.

Essentials

Drinking water, clean.
Medical care, affordable. 
Nutritional meals, regularly.
Artichoke hearts, apparently. 

Grandad

'I lost my grandfather last week' you said, 
voice trembling as you spoke. 
I asked you if you'd checked the fridge
where once I'd found your mislaid keys.
You scowled, made clear you would dismiss 
my comment as distasteful joke.
But then, on quest for midnight snack, 
I found him huddled with the cheese.