Who you are, I once was.
Where you stand, I once stood.
Blink and the world turns.

Details change, people don’t-
they find fresh ways to hurt,
fresh ways to be kind,
fresh ways to strut and preen,
fresh ways to create and destroy.
Life goes on
while we watch ourselves
recede into the distance.
Things fall apart.

Memories sweeten
as the past is recreated
in our own image.
We retell our story
as we hoped it would be-
editors of our own existence,
bringing meaning,
adding in,
leaving out.

Who you are, I once was.
Where you stand, I once stood.
Blink and the world turns.


A moment.










There is time in a life
when you will be happy.
It can come at any moment
and it will not last forever.
Stuff happens.
People leave.
Things change.
Rain falls.

Know your patch of sunlight
when it comes.
Let it feed your heart.
Stand in it.
Raise your face.
Feel the light.


Peeling back the Years.

I stripped the bark from ash twigs,
just because I could.
Long straight arrows,
pointing to the sky,
with neatly twinned black buds
and high hopes,
mutilated, cut down in their prime
to be made new.

Slowly greenness soaked under my nails
as the coarse grey skin
gave up its secret.
Damp white flesh
dried into a hardness,
that was soft as bedtime,
smooth as ice cream,
pale as a dream.

Sometimes I strung one with twine
and fired the thinnest bamboo cane,
but usually they would lie forgotten
until the next walk
and the next trophy,
longer, straighter, finer.
That was no sadness-
It was the doing that mattered.

The Truth about Unicorns.














It’s not about knitting, grandchildren, coach tours
and wondering how you ever had time to work.
It’s about filling in time.

It’s not about allotments, bungalows, comfy shoes
and a nice glass of sherry at six o’clock.
It’s about fear.

It’s not about memories and nostalgia.
It’s not about the good old days.
It’s about forgetting.

It’s standing on a foreign shore
while strangers take your memories
and rebuild them brick by brick
to their own liking.

It’s watching as the things you cared about
slip away into the past, unnoticed,
until all you have to rely on is yourself.

It is about tottering through firestorms of loss,
guided by burning tornadoes.
Pillars of fire lighting the way
through a blistered landscape,
leading you home.



News of a death.

Sorry to tell you by text but dad passed away in the early hours.

The little boy is safe in his comfy seat,
snuggled into his granddad.
His round, shining face
is catlike and content.
Nothing can hurt him.
He is safe.
Full of life and ideas.
He wants to know.
“Shall I show you my one inch punch?”
Granddad is wounded, loudly.
He watches the river outside the train window..
“Is there more water than land?”
There is.
“Can I open the hotel room door with the special card when we get there?
He can.
“I like doing that.”
His grandma points upwards.
“Can you see that up there?”
He can.
“Can you read it.”
He can and he does!
“Challenge me again.”
Train tickets are a thing of wonder.
“Five minutes to go.”
“5 4 3 2 1.”
“Minutes, not seconds.”
They have a staring contest with added wobbling eyebrows.
He wins.
She laughs.

None of us are safe.