Tuesday, 20 September 2016


For a moment she felt frozen in time. Her mind flickered briefly to how this must look from the outside - a perfect cinematographic tableau (because even at times like this she feels the need to use words like that, chides the tiny voice in her mind) - before she is pulled firmly into focus.

She met him, the most beautiful man in the world, about two hours ago. She made a snide comment about an award winning presenter slash hard sell man for a lousy product under her breath and he heard. He laughed quietly and from that point had her full attention. The speaker had never been worth listening to, but now he stood no chance.

As soon as the barely polite smattering of applause had greeted the end of the dreary session, he had introduced himself - Simon. Since then they had retreated further and further from the conference, moving by stages into a bar where he drank a JD and coke and she had G and T.

They talked initially about the conference and their various experiences before moving by degrees into more personal subjects correlating to the intimacy of the space they were in. Now, with their second drinks they had retreated away from the bar to a sheltered table in the corner and she found herself after each sip of the G&T licking her lips slowly and then biting the lower one.

Hypnotised by the colour of his eyes, she couldn't look away and the inevitable moment came where she spilled her drink on herself. He moved nearer when he handed her the napkin and she dabbed herself on the cheek and shoulder where she had felt the droplets. Unsure if she had caught it all she turned to him and asked: "Did I miss any?"

He nodded slowly, and gestured on himself to indicate where some droplets had caught in her hair. She quickly dabbed at them and looked back to him. "All done?"

He reached out his hand. "May I?" his words were gentle and low, almost a caress and she leaned involuntarily towards him, handing over the napkin as she did so. He shuffled forwards and, moving slowly, took the napkin before raising it to her face. He hesitated for a moment only before touching the napkin to the side of her neck. His movements were so slow it felt more like a caress and her eyes, watchful on him, dilated as her lips parted slightly.

For a moment she felt frozen in time. In the shadowy corner, with the drinks, smart clothing and bar ambiance, she felt the shades of Casablanca in every moment. Her eyes dropped to his lips and she watched them move, shaping the words of  flattery she imagined Ilsa must have heard in Paris. "You're breathtaking." He reached out his hand, slowly and gently catching the line of her jaw in his long finger. "May I kiss you?"

Wordless, she smiled and met his eyes with her own before nodding fractionally. Attuned to the tiny motion he leaned forward and their lips met.

The softness of his thin lips was in sharp contrast to the five o'clock shadow surrounding them. Her own lips were plump and full and it was natural for him to open his own mouth to meet them. As his lips moved over hers, she felt the abrasive stubble intensifying the sensations of the moment and her lips began to tingle. Very soon she had parted her own lips and shortly after felt the contrasting coolness of his tongue from the ice in his drink.

She reveled in the sensation but they were not horny teenagers and both knew the value of suspense. After a few intense seconds they separated and returned to their drinks, several inches closer and several degrees more intimate.

Friday, 16 September 2016


It sits on my chest
my own tumour
like yours in every detail
except medically

Mine will never show on a scan
Or be cut into by a blade
It won't spread through my body
or be attacked by white blood cells

But it sits there
a lumpy coal
seizing my heart
choking my lungs
blocking my digestion

It makes me weep

It takes away all of my life
As yours steals you
Too greedily
Too cruelly
Too soon
Mine grows

Monday, 12 September 2016


We all start the same.
Raw, uncut.

Over time, we are hacked, carved, cut.
We are shaped by the universe

The first cut will teach us pain
The second, fear
The third is hunger
And so it goes.

Yet we remain

As each facet is hewn
We are given a memory
A gift
The moment the blade fell

You do not like it
When one facet catches the light
And for a moment
Above all else
You are the product of that memory

But the flash is only that
A momentary encore of a memory

When it fades
You are always
And consistently

You are a gem



Some days
I want nothing more than to be left alone

I can't yell or scream
I can't tell you to get the hell away
But I want to
I want to tell you that I need time
I need time where I'm not gearing myself up
I need space where I don't have to worry about my impact on others
I need a life, briefly, where I can be all about me for a time
And I hate myself for it

On my way to reclusive safety
I feel the presence of every stranger I pass
their selves bulging past the limits of their clothing
Clustering around
choking me like the stench of unwashed gym kits

I'm stopped by a friend
I want nothing more
Than to punch them and run
Just to be left alone
I smile, laugh and chat

We part and I fall back
Into myself
Behind my defenses
The meagre shields crumbling before the incessant onslaught as the surging mass of individuals gets bigger and louder and I am smaller and more fragile and I cannot bear this any more.

I am home.
I am safe.
I need not talk for a time.
I need not be.
And in my blessed isolation I am free.

I am not lonely, you fool.
I am an introvert.


Saturday, 10 September 2016

Not Quite Asleep

See, I'm not going to tweet about this one, because that would be too meta. But I want to have a separate record of this morning's poem, because I think it's a good 'un.

The air is cold,
The duvet warm and soft
When I turn it flows with me
An embryonic fluid
Loving me
Keeping me safe
I float
Not quite asleep


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Unable to sleep

Blue glitter
Dancing behind closed eyelids
In a mind not yet ready for sleep

Enveloping darkness
Soft and snug
Too warm for comfort
Where skin on skin is sticking
Each movement requiring arm to unpeel
Or thigh to cool from
Over-extended pressure

The humidity promises rain
And so the stickiness
Is endured
As the body anxiously assures the brain
It's time
Sleep is required
And the fretting circles
Of a wild animal
Laying flat every blade of grass
Before it can rest
Continue unabated

And while this continues
The head yawns
The eyes close
And the sparkling pin pricks of light
Create all the disturbance required
To ensure the grass
Continues to spring upright.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

I wish that you were here

There are cats fighting outside the open window
There is rain foretold in the humidity of the air
The earworm has me in its grip 
And I wish that you were here

The sun is setting sooner each night
Autumn is casting chilly tendrils through the dawn air
My onesie is out of storage
And I wish that we could talk

The TV is full of wondrous series
NaNoWriMo is coming, foreshadowed by writer's block
My to-read stack is growing
And I wish that you knew

There are projects to be done
There are four canvases and three ideas awaiting me
Second hand clothes to repurpose
And I wish that you could see

There is a novel to edit
Another to sell to a publisher, as soon as possible
There is work to be done
And I wish that you could help

It would be too selfish for me to burden you
So I won't
Although it feels like lying and I'm afraid

I wish that you were here
Each day, in everything I do
I wish that you were here