little robin red


the little robin perches
in contended peace
atop his bouncy branch.
all the robins know it –
that branch is his.
it’s his home, his castle,
his sanctuary.
there, he is lord
and leader,
king and commander.
this branch, in its frailty
is to the timid robin
what the great mast
of the Cutty Sark
is to the gulls of Greenwich,
and the peaked hat of Nelson
on his marble column
is to the pigeons of Trafalgar.
his tower,
his fortress –
where nought but the weather
can get to him.



she was in possession
of a little more than her male counterparts.
she was different,
she had a little extra –
a little something
that they did not.

she stored it by nature,
by the way of the world
and the liquid of language.
it was sat within her skin
and washed along her breath.

she curved over paper
like a tired snake,
charmed by those who spoke
or wrote of her.

and yet, when her fingers
laid pen to parchment
in discussion of herself,
the ink did not identify her
as woman.

she wrote, simply, ‘i.’

the laundrette

washing machine.jpeg

the washing machines were all being used tonight,
when we lugged our worn-out laundry bags
across the courtyard,
once we’d willed ourselves to move from the bed
and rifle through our dirty washing
to find those items most treasured
and toss back into the ripe abyss
those garments only necessary
when literally nothing else remained
or we found an extra pound on the ground
with which to pay for its cleansing.

but they were all in use.

so instead,
we lay on the sofa and tried to count down
the entrance of the next laundry-doer.
heads, they were here to empty –
tails, they left disappointed,
clutching stinking socks and spattered shirts.
a silly game
but it passed the time.

on a sad evening

though i flounder and fret
at rejected invites
and ignored smiles,
laughter through the wall
that taunts and teases
with its happy lining
out of reach

though my eyes search
like high beams
for those who can climb aboard,
hold my hand
and live for me
when i fail to do so –

when i rest my head,
they cannot watch my dreams
as i do.

though i sit on a tightrope
suspended over an empty room

perhaps the producers
will fill it with books,
if i ask them nicely

the concert

ROCK CONCERT 16" X 20" Acrylic painting by Larry Wall

the electric animal is waking.
you can hear it,
pawing the ground in excited hunger
as it makes itself known.

so too, the babble is brewing.
hours spent crafting and sewing,
drawing and painting
are now fondly stuck
to trembling breasts
and clutched in clammy palms.

its heartbeat pulses louder,
stealing the fleshy nuclei
from those who get too close.
it moulds them
with gripped claws,
then slots them back into gaping chests
to whirr back into life,
eyes bright
and hands clapping.

an army marches.
hand-made banners,
faded glowsticks,
sweat stains and streaky faces
beam in the empty streets,
flushed cheeks smarting
in the night’s chill,
the beast’s buzz shimmering
like a forcefield.
the fiercest of winters
cannot penetrate the coating of joy
that only music can paint.