My mother said, ‘Life long friends – found early are the best – those who lived through all the early mess, and love but when you meet friends later on, you find yourself becoming chums with those you meet discussing glue ear or depression and their ‘whoopsy-daisies-dear’ and you hope you’ll meet again, quite soon,Continue reading “Friends”
August – 2021 – A Bank Holiday at last. It’s been a while since my own local town and many others partied, and perhaps some argued all night and woke up, stunned with a gripe, reaching for Alka Selster as many might have done with the tinnitus of yesterday’s music, and the nitty gritty of beingContinue reading “Animal”
We often offer our templesthe richest of harvests’ gifts:a fatted calf, a hamper of cheese,raspberries and Summer’s wines;candles burn and incense cloudscrypts with scented smoke. Your body is also a temple and –the story goes –if you don’t treat it just like one,you’ll suffer a range of life’s blows:depression might be on the menu,and aContinue reading “Temple Plate”
Photo credit and reference: ‘’The Falling Man”, taken September 11, 2001, shows a man falling from the Twin Towers in NYC during the terrorist attacks/Photo Credit: Richard Drew/AP Falling Still All monoliths against the sky memorials to memory – All stunning echoings of those twinned towers – Two decades now, of falling man, of photographic-epitaph, Continue reading “Falling still”
For Edward Hammond – 1900-1918 I think I found your grave, Soon after my mother died I cried over your name, My grief and your mother’s Met in the effects. Once sifted, as behest, The internet filled a void with you, Your mother’s longed for Late born son who Bitter, spinster sisters shunned, Went toContinue reading “100 years ago”
Again. When life hurts the local shop has special offers on display; some things to take away the pain, and cures for the following day. Mysteries, news, and telly’s dramas dispense a range of remedies for tense and carefully staged distress, to the afflicted of their texts; Self-prescribing-advertising, double-doses the elixirs running through its veins,Continue reading “Again”
Eve if you had only been satisfied by being if you’d only resisted desire if you’d only not chosen to know you wouldn’t suffer so – he said – to justify the livid cries of her youngest child ripped from a bed on which doctrine enacts the abject
On Saturday I shopped and cooked, Sunday, bathed and did the washing up. On Monday I’ll have bathed and cooked, washed up and scrawled a shopping list, before the coffee in my cup has time to taint pale porcelain, reaching for the train.
Here, now trees are 15 winters stronger than they once were, when, we scattered ashes here and danced then, I listen to the whispers Breeze suggests give away the secrets that I cleave to, as bequeathed: my private memory of you. ❤️🦣 on 7.8.21
If malaria were covid air born, bred in air-conditioned suites, where transit passengers enjoy a smorgasbord of delicacies and drink in benefits an eden-company provide to those who’re paid to think of ways to double dollars, might the thing that bites and blights the night (its sister dengue fever’s adapted now to light) be vaccination’sContinue reading “Fight for breath”
I was ok with you being ‘out there’ devastating others’ lives, quipping that I had ‘an out’ from dreaded invitations, time to wax my legs, escape the 9-5 – while all of mine were unaffected and alive – but now they die, decline or lose the will to fight, invite the possibility of joy; gone, out,Continue reading “Bequeathed”
People, sallow skinned, eat inside curtained against august skies: talk drifts ever over and again to dread, or admissions of ignorance and grief confess fires and floods suffocate speech, remaindering covid’s breathless aftermath, the antidote prescribed to to those who must survive without a sense of future and little will to thrive, to silent sentence,Continue reading “Sentence”
Writing lends a scribe an eye, an ear, to listen to words; they speak, as others might excavating plots, of previously unread, or seen worlds they occupy, transcribed between the keys imaginations made: writing’s paradox.
I became a poet in later life, despite my youth’s intention – to be overt, clear, direct – to act as if I were quite sure and do all that might be done to realise, become an I active and proactively sure of what I mean, saying that, precisely; (not living a multiplicity; not speaking Continue reading “poetry”
Unmasked ‘I am a Happiness Tsar having panic attacks’ I do not know how to live. We can suddenly mix but I am still stuck in a state of frozen fear. I hardly notice it since it has become part of the muzak that has played alongside a life lived in mediated and graduated formsContinue reading “How to live”
Is it me? It is they saidin all probabilitysince it seems to beyou’re the Me the Onethat’s always thereconsistently It must be youit can’t be anyone elseleast meD’you see? It’s always mein the endD’you see?I meets I eventuallyThen’s eternity
The pubs will mirror the Stadium and throng with songs not sung except in time of long gone war to prop up the divide and form allegiance to a side And if our boys don’t win or even if they do big soft lads dressed in England flags sporting St George tattoos will weep inContinue reading “Married to Sport”
those who are privileged and also empaths are saddled with a duty and responsibility, bound to act bound to a debt to be paid back passed on perhaps at birth that they are burdened by more so than those, bereft of empathy, who benefit yet fail to pay the duty back in tax or altruisticContinue reading “Gratitude’s Adversary”
in life far beyond the menopause once lived towards with dread – anticipating afterwards a slow decline till dead – she finds she’s no longer womanly or feminine but looks and feels and dresses and moves as an eight year old boy instead And former nasty bastards, retiring their cold coal face, assume a femininityContinue reading “age genders dysphoria”
She visited family she’d felt divorced from (- a no fault divorce – ) at 25 – when her father had died – 40 years before – and it was deeply unsettling – to be staying with relatives – after a 40 year absence and feeling as if they were intent on reclaiming her andContinue reading “processing ancestry”
Tender, a word I’d forgotten to use, paints a picture of today that might be found in photographs on my mantelpiece already there and yet also to be, in the latest later. Today’s rush to say ‘look at us – it’s for your auntie, miles and miles away – the camera wants to capture youContinue reading “Tender”
Whatever you and your therapist came to agree, put to rest and resolved, a suicide accompanies the bereaved as if a living-dead they escort through life. Beware the Achilles Heals of those with tough exteriors who’ve learnt how to live, despite un-told burdens bequeathed, which thrive still in the living-yet, bullying vampirically as if otherwiseContinue reading “survivors of”
Dear Lord and Father of mankind and also of me too, before my humble confessions I’ve a mind to take issue with you: about our blocked up sinuses and aching ill formed backs, evolution’s proof your original plan lacked detail you will neither admit or, god forbid, redress – this or confess that your inventionContinue reading “Dear Lord”
blair’s mum, Irene and timothy, ricky on the edge of life, rang me up today: laney popped in on her way, to save her brother again; imelda rang and explained she’d spoken to her Alzheimer’s man who’d defined her likely decay; my daughter wrote, of course, about something I can’t disclose; my son sent meContinue reading “week day”
#Scammers – my password is … My ‘account has been suspense’ #Scammers you’re quite right I looked at it & my rent book very late last night The hook in the narrative Might I somehow just make it? Or might you Persuade me To give you Tools to set you free? Employ me or anContinue reading “my password is”
Archetypes. Fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, sons and lovers and Narcissus: some archetypes are the death of us and never more than those the archetypists chose to lend to the daughters and mothers, who are at once both of those.
I hadn’t written down what I actually said, once my mother, still dead, had caught the crowd’s attention, just before the clanking grind that carried her on to ascension. I stood beside her, gravely struck by a moment that called for a heart to heart, before one and all, with the woman who’d played LadyContinue reading “Eulogy”
after covid: the get together The get together, after so long in our own company, terrifying ourselves with commentaries of what we might never celebrate ensemble, again, once we were actually convened, together, in a room, played out in the event as if to prove that nothing but tragedy might ever be made of fantasyContinue reading “late late”
Spectre Grandfathers, drawn in myth as if by co-incidence or perhaps a sinister synchronicity, become more feminine just as their wives transform into the tyrannical In-laws who blushing sons apologise and cover for; husbands who beat their wives are soft-focus’s infantilised, ascending to a form of spiritualised only the absent access, shaped by all theContinue reading “anagram”
Whatever it is, just do it! I spent three months not doing it. Now I have, my life has changed. I’d spent so long not doing it, I might never have done it again. I tackled the kitchen drain, I joined a course, filed for divorce, orI completed some god awful pdf task for theContinue reading “just do it”
A father, born in 1908, might contemplate the carefully arranged, placed before him every day, on the table a mother cared to display her best attempts to erase the trials of his day, and look at the sight, dismayed; cautious lest any evidence of how bereft he felt, and how he craved a slice ofContinue reading “after life”
on the cusp and this summer, solstice was a wearying confrontation, wading through dusk and failing to meet the dawn; waking to the detritus of being on the edge of softly fading light, leaking dripped vitality through cracks between the seams, where ashen charcoaled branches lie paralleled and flat; iron dry, the creases dream ofContinue reading “on the cusp”
If only More or less twenty years ago, I was in a pub with my brother in law who bore an uncanny resemblance to my husband, his brother. Approaching the bar, as my brother in law was drawing his wallet from a pocket, the barman began, ‘Got your wallet on you for once you ballContinue reading “His English Wife”
Sugar, spice, newts and toads … Possibly if myths proposed newts and toads were the spice of life, their inverse being sugary sweet, and being nice the very worst vice, men might not possess their girls, daddies’ alter-egos might live their lives quite authentically – and feel no need to hitch a ride on theirContinue reading “Eve and Newton tend to agree”
Father was an accountant and I’m not good at maths. He’s not to blame for that. The pest controller’s daughter’s terrified of cats. Her wife’s a liberationist whose parents bred lab rats. The therapists’ child might thank one of them for her hand-made shoes, yet find they stand accountable for giving her the blues. Cobblers’Continue reading “#EveryParentDay”
I’ve been possessive, jealous, once or twice, of people I’ve been kind to when they’ve been kind to someone else I hadn’t liked or found a threat – as if I’d wished that those I loved were jealous too, and unkind types who threatened, fearful I might see what I also might have been, would lockContinue reading “Jealous”
Another Door. Not like that radio you returned to the shop, And swapped, The trousers you exchanged Because you lost the weight You gained When contentment waned. Not finding love again. Not sharing the same name. Not turning the clock back. Not papering over cracks. Not staying up all night. Not blinded by love’s light. Continue reading “Another Door”
Just beyond the edge of joy a breath from equal pain I’ve tasted timeless ease an undivided peace cradled by a turquoise sea a turtle breathes in time with me six times her eyes meet mine we surface for some air she dives I follow to the reef Ramora fish survive feeding on her softerContinue reading “Free Dive”
(Covid is a global humanitarian crisis) The visiting vicar filled our heads, at Primary School on Thursday afternoons, with tales of gloom the testaments had prophesied: floods and viral pestilence he couldn’t begin to describe. He told us it was punishment for being Humankind. #bees #waste #tinyspinningrock Cherry Coombe. May 2021.
Our honeymoon night when at last I wore his ring as he did mine for a time until the accident, a sign he’d said, they cut it off and broke the bond that day he went inside he said, but I remembered signs of rifts another way Half gone – the first child showing, fatContinue reading “Our Honeymoon Night”
Grouchy old bags, speak out about, a ‘locked down if you’re a weeny bit wonky’ – bank holiday again! What for? The much ignored who live alone are on the very barest bones – a holiday from what? (From fearing the grim reaper may kill all those you used to know – or you –Continue reading “Grouch”
C19 Nursery Rhyme What are little boys made of? Snips and snails And puppy-dogs’ tails, That’s what little boys are made of. What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice And everything nice, That’s what little girls are made of. C21 Observation What are the elderly made of? If they were boys they justContinue reading “I slept for 200 years”
Some easy grammar ease. A sentence is a group of words that make sense on their own. A paragraph’s some sentences that also make some sense alone. A subject’s I or this, adressed assumed to be the author-ity; an object’s you or it or that discussed, reviewed; a verb is something we all do orContinue reading “Grammar-ease”
Tomatoes I’d decided on tomato plants: raised beds; heavy loads of bagged-organic-assured-compost; canes; string, and plants at first just seed, cluttering up the windowsills, carried out and in, gently rooted and later coaxed to leave the hearth’s warmth to earth. I’d tend them, water, prune and feed them, later reap a bumper crop, and peerContinue reading “Tomatoes”
love love, a blunt instrument, turned at will to wound (the injury appearing a chance consequence of circumstance – a karmic happenstance – likened to deforestation) cremates the will to give, to thrive, survive, shallows breath, leadens veins and bereaves
do we, post covid – might we have before, need of a manual guiding us through survival to teach us how to interact, chat and that, sort out family’s complications; or was it an ap that disabled that? I asked a relative earlier, on our whatsapp chat. I’m really now no further on. Now whatContinue reading “post covid chat”
within a year, I’d got the lot: Tourette’s & ADHD; anorexia, assumed bulimia, probably; dreadful heart disease; lung cancer and hypertension; terrible anxieties – turning left at intersections, rather than the right, certain that the clutch would seize imagining the telegrams the children would receive; convinced by all the media warnings: health services were onContinue reading “Un-wrest Covid’s unrest”
when the kids left I was bereft and had to write to say – at least in a journal anyway – ‘it was me who made all the mess in truth – yet still, the neighbours bang on about noise I was young – unprepared – & terrified – determined, well, less lest ..’ andContinue reading “not yet”
People ask – ‘why doesn’t she just …?’ They rarely ask ‘he…?’ Or ‘they’ (unless, one of they’s not not beige) I’m not at liberty to explain my rage, just now – as I’m Post menopausal & still a hysterical cow –
I am glad one of the long ago (far too soon) kids who fell to me to care for and watch had a pokemon game they taught me to play. Life today feels like that game – just the same except I’m played, not playing, now, some say.
The thing in the box breathed me lived me moved me loved me said me danced me hurt me made the me that others suffered shaped hurt lived worked cried laughed and gave birth to next
In #China – skies aren’t often blue but – they know what to do and command that all factories stop billowing pollutants before a state event.Today the Queen’s dear prop and stay was put away – I know you’d rather say he’d passed – was laid – but anyway, we know, agree, he’s dead andContinue reading “triggered”
Half Siblings 1940’sglimpsed in a Covid gardenlooking ‘seedy’56’s gobby me asks,-are you going to say?-what?-what the affliction is? They shuffled & one confessed We drank the wine our father left before you were even born Hungover, the other one said
I rush into the kitchen, late, breathless with the idea; ‘I’ll tell you what we’ll do,’ I say just as they used to, to the dusty dead air; winded, blushing and grief-leaden, limbs turn to stone. Radio sounds, quelled, turning the key slowly now, haste bereft of will, the street scene halts steps, a triangularContinue reading “Kitchen Table”
The gardener next door, leaning over a fallen sycamore, across a soft hewn lawn, his arms more livid with sap than the tree he heaved; the man of my dreams, next door, and fifty years or more, I listen for the tone of his voice and the click of his key, as he parks on theContinue reading “The Gardener”
64’s careless, insecure, unsure what the mortgage was for; rude to the boss, aggrieved, bereaved; feels 13, holding the parents’ car keys, freed; and parties, piles the lot on the pyre, aspires to die, why not? A cavalier year which fear garrottes. 64’s a being been.
love is shapeless – can’t be regulated, boxed, contained, framed or organised; it cleaves as lonely grieves, takes hold, limpet like, moved by tides, attached to granite, bound to die – unsatisfied yet clings
ego chat ego-driven self-defence is inverse suicide,a murderous reaction that leaves one dead inside – No offence intended – unless you’re still alive love be not love Love is not a fluffy thing A day without a night Embrace the dark and trust the other side of light.
if you accidentally let someone in – love them by mistake – and they do, and know, and yet it won’t or at least you can’t let it be – unless an abject boundary’s crossed – what – so – if – or if not – how can you euthanise or anaesthetise – an accident
If I were the poet laureate – as ifTough callThe pharmaceuticals cash in – as it’sUsual to lieWhen somebody it’s easy to dislikeDiesGet on the Citaloprin in case you cry Mother, father, monarch, mindEven if you don’t approve and findYou cryThat’s fine.You might be moved and even ifYou do – approve, So? And? Accidents ofContinue reading “Philip’s Laureate”
Easter came and penance paid a memory of Simnel, one an aunt had made, and later after Sunday’s roast, picnic car-boot hail and sun, betting on the last in race This year my neighbours laid a patio – a stone-ground-marble-blasted stage. It only took four days.
At least once a month – or a covid year – a relative confides ‘we always thought you made your own yoghurt/knitted your undies from yak wool/were a yoga type/- messy – you know a once a week bath- vegan/lesbian/anti smoking.a bit weird? I am – was have been – may be still –a bitContinue reading “not”
what’s a map but a line between somewhere else and homethe london tubeumbilicalsustainsa rush hour’s every day of beinghome now home’s online and when the internet is down a rift and dread as if a one of us is – disconnect I count the cabin- windowed hours – as I once traced the motorway andContinue reading “map”
A law – An earthly human given living, being home, must know how flies attract to detritus, multiply and spreadthe abominations shed while doingas the please of moment’s whim dictatesshedding the abject, dumped amongst the struggling youthful will – you quashed – in seeking liberty, expression of another narcissistic ‘me’ – I weep – aContinue reading “Detritus”
Every window, garden,ornamented, lit,all night;the safe obsessed insist that dusk emit a smote,pupils prick-pin tightfight, deny dilation’s moons’ deep pools, retreat in fright.
Life lived through the digital bits the clicks connect, evokes insolvable regrets and underlines the what it was we lost and crave because
FAT I was watching ‘Flog It!’ the other day. I’ve got a bit of a thing for Paul Martin. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a number of otherwise reasonably discerning women and pan-gendered people of my generation have developed a bit of a thing for Paul Martin. We have after all now spentContinue reading “Fat”
‘Recollections may vary’ and change when time changes the lens as an individual considers their own life story. When looking back I’m staggered by the way the story I tell myself about how I have lived and what has made my ‘me’ changes every year as I do. Retrospect’s wisdom has a fatal sticky end.Continue reading “Say it with care”
A rough recording – thoughts following The Oprah Show. March 2021. Click and listen – unscripted – off the cuff – rough thoughts.
How much money will the papers make: raking through the detritus leaked between commercial breaks; cranking up the interest in, how much the latest two-page spread, paid 2 people to invest, in living where the press can’t get, access to their lives? 9 March 2021 When Harry met Meghan on the telly …
Ferdinand Saussure explained the way that binaries are imposed through language. Identity is made up from the ‘othered’ things we’re not. (For example – I am not a man therefore I must be a woman.) The early twenty first century addressed the verbal lacks that pose themselves to those who live between opposition’s tracks. WeContinue reading “Not just All Women”
Cuckoo There is comfort in sounds: the sensation of next door’s washing, spinning; loud and bitter arguments filtering through heating vents; warning beeps on rubbish trucks backing into culdesacs, wintering summer’s tenements and tin-bin clanking detritus singing communities’ symphonies; whispers, pianissimo, drifting winds’ secrets shed in rustling papered autumn leaves, and birds re-chorusing territories, makeContinue reading “Cuckoo”
Mind sees lines, draws words for ‘sea’, ‘sky’ and, divining a horizon, paragraphs life, proof reads rhetoric, justifies prose with an image and is at war with being.
The Cat’s away. A short play. June 2016: The saints and all the deities are busy on earth, conducting a review of the impact of a decade of human activity. While St Peter and God are in the UK and Jesus is in the Far East, reviewing life on earth, Mary, God’s mum and herContinue reading “The Cat’s Away”
As the words came, fast and loud, sea-sprayed mist of spit and bile, breaking in waves on the shore of my chest, the rage leaked a plumb-lined stream of salty sweat running in a river down the fissures in the neck.
For Ron Freeborn. In 1969,we were bored.The teacher said,‘let’s go outside’.We filed in line until we stood beneath an Ash. At last he spoke again. ‘Trees reach, as if erupting from the inner core of earth,drawn to stars. Do you see?Now draw the shapes you see, un-know the form.The wood is not the tree.’
Little Chef. God and St Peter had been in The Little Chef on the Oxford bypass for quite some time, in the hope that their journey might be a little less frustrating once the Friday afternoon traffic had abated. Besides, they’d both developed a bit of a taste for coffee; it was one of theContinue reading “Little Chef”
Dawn They’d come pre-dawn, as if stars, lights first, late hum turning to roar and fading to drum, as if the midpoint of the bedstead led them, each a safe twenty minutes behind the one ahead. Day changed cleft, and planes’ harmonies deferred to the escalating scales of wind-bourn commutes, eaves’ birds & the click ofContinue reading “Dawn”
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit – a way of putting down – a bullying – My father, who was not a showy man or confident, knew this. He’d never pay a complement except when made without a dig at circumstance or chance. He’d never say ‘a man like you must surely know’ andContinue reading “Sarcasm”
Grief spreads more rapidly than any virally spread disease; each death a pebble causing rippled waves in tides that move eternally, and turn, invert the course of time and creep up on us by surprise.Covid’s legacy.
That book I readwhen I was 8Made me thinkthere was a gateA door behind the coatsToday I woke uprather lateSlid the mirrored plastic widelooked beyond the Primark tat(Discount lives & have no pride)Realised there’s no escapeFrom the future’s open jawsgaping back thro Wardrobe doors.
Later – when we are used to eyebrows smiling, recoiling, moving with suspicion amongst masked shoppers groping for shelved comforts; later – when we’re out again we’ll repent weeks spent craving an outing.
Albufeira. Here, where my parents’ hearts still live Present eternal in lights dancing seas I navigate cobbles as they did then, Careful and grey as they seemed to me when They were alive and I younger than them. My heart, once theirs, both hurts and scorns Others who come from the place we were born,Continue reading “Albufeira”
Blown East to WestLike the coyote, baying at the moon,All night, Wind clawed at curtains,Whipping them against framed cracks,Shredding the counter paneClaiming the petrified preythat lay beneathSweated sheets.
When the cat left When the cat left I didn’t think he’d found my: underwear disappointed; conversation disjointed; meals not good enough or considered he might take another love. I thought he was trapped in a shed, not in bed with another, better dressed and more chatty than I. If can’t trust a woman notContinue reading “When the cat left”
The Thames in 63A goal made of the lockHand in hand, my dad and ICrept on clouded glassUp stream – the villagers’Cacophony a memoryEvening and praying reedsWillows’ shadowed canopyCovering my dad and me The Thames in 63
#Covid’s latest gain: #SirCaptainTom now ours Everybody’s grandfather Everybody’s past, through whom, in Everybody’s Covid year Everybody found, Life a little easier as Tom walked around Round Love’s round and round Hopeful, optimistic, marking love on ground. Cherry Coombe
Covid Muses – do you miss the stuff that used to be enacted round the kitchen table – chats – coffee – life? Just someone else’s mess in the house or mud/armpits/dramas/joys/face/dress sense/addictions/obsessions/affairs/errors/successes/awards/contractual wins/love stuff/hair do/difference/similarity/arguments/making one think/ I miss the odd now and then – the odd drop in with a surprise – aContinue reading “in lieu of”
I’ve got a silly name that works well in pornAnd a friend I’ve known since just after being bornChanged hersAs I didWhen we were kids,Her Philippa had been kidded up to FiddyShe said, at work she had to be a Philippa if to be taken seriouslyBut when the Alzheimer’s began she saidshe had regretsFiddy didContinue reading “Names Again”
Shall we walk alone? Be in touch? We’ve got phones. If doing so We might Be free Of viral Threats To liberty Locking up Your you My me. Let’s try. Let’s see. Covid’s got Your you My me. Let’s walk alone Let’s talk and see.
Network My first is my most loyal friend; she is a locked in carer suffering as her mother smiles and can no longer swallow: my next, recently bereaved; my longest known is coming to terms with the prognosis just delivered – she has Alzheimer’s and 2-5 years to live; my youngest friend, an incurable cancer;Continue reading “Tough Call”
The year is starting in a fury – and all norms are disrupted externally as well as internally. Today I learned what I knew but had tried to resist, that my childhood and life-long friend has rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s and I am feeling very sad, yet not as sad as she in her lucid moments.Continue reading “On the Rec.”
Is it cruel whenlife does what it doesAs if to youIt’s only what its genomes doKilling friends you thought that youmight just predeceaseInfecting the most virtuousignoring all the worst of usWho thriveto spiteAll Bibles’ threatsof poxAnd your school’s best genius,the one born streets ahead of usLife swipescuts throughA child who surviveda LifeSplitin two.
Many disabilities and discomforts are invisible and further screened from view by Covid and generic calls for this to close, that to be off bounds and lives to be saved: a catch22. I stress however: until vaccinated: safe – space – hands – face and be safe while in touch virtually. If I were healthContinue reading “Should …”
War on drugs Will you violate my boundariesInvadeRemoveMy means of comfortFrom me? The methods I’ve adoptedTo anaesthetiseAgainstAtrocity? Will you take –Break inInvadeMy libertyAnd rob meOf comfortsI have comeTo need?
Popularised and simplifiedancient meditationsRushing after peaceSold in self help manuals(Shelved Ikea chic)Skip, evade,the gapeThat wakes sleepAnd must be facedTo laterOffer ease.
Christmas Lights hurt:they penetrate the private, safely catalogued narratives of lives;spotlight, with a ruthless intensitycarefully archivedmoments of regret and grief that all,just,survive.
To be – or not, when all of life has driven one to do to be a ‘one’ not ‘me’ not ‘be’ not ‘watch clouds move’ or ‘breath’ not ask, ‘but when there’s nothing left’? To be or not to be bereft.
A play I stage alone. Act One’s the glossy cover page – a confidence the stalls suspect. Act Two’s a fortnight stretched to months – a self defeating commentary as the plot unfolds. Act Three’s a history, retold, and problems with authority, projected from the stage, mirrored in the critics’ faces, witnessing, enraged. Act Four’sContinue reading “Go and play”
My father died, he hadn’t planned to, after an afternoon tidying the raspberry canes, with me. I’d asked. He’d said, that, When you’re dead, he thought, You leave what you were in offspring as these raspberries do; I’m glad he can’t hear today’s news. (In response to news that, post Brexit, Britain is farming farmingContinue reading “Shame”
It comes hidden in an argument, insists on being right, as if you are a medium for rage; of course it then recoils in shame and turns the anger in; you both agree the better part of you has lost the fight. It gains. Resistance whispers guilt and plagues the night in dreams which findyouContinue reading “Expert Witness”
Vacuous vaccine vigilantes if you’ve ever & only you will know taken a pill in a queue sought out something to enable you to reflect Think now what drives you to say you suspect a vaccine which could save your job your Gran copious industrious types distress Risk a prick Dick!
Round Robin What I’ve not done:run, dusted,learnt a language,zoom-Zumba-Ed,baked banana bread,sorted out my socks;washed my hair,waxed or Naired,written a trilogy;labelled all the photographs my grandfather left me;rewritten my will,gone through all the detritusthat I know I should;travelled, meditated,decorated rooms;rearranged the saucepans,made a Christmas pud …
Bullies are driven by jealousy, bitter and fearful your you might be, better and led by integrity; bullies are driven by bile and design covert means to undermine, un-seat, unsettle your you, lest your you see through them hiding in plain view.
Since the #SocialDilemma,We’ve all said, haven’t we?We watched the documentary,We know, we’re all agreed,We see, we understand dependency,We feel we must abscond and yet,despite the other things:the alcohol, the fags, the weed we’ve learnt to live without,as long as Fitbit tells us thatwe’re still moving about,We can’t resist the tweets’endorphins released:and feel, foolishly, but theContinue reading “#Social Dilemma”
Albufeira. Here, where my parents’ hearts still livePresent eternal in lights dancing seasI navigate cobbles as they did then,Careful and grey as they seemed to me whenThey were alive and I younger than them.My heart, once theirs, both hurts and scornsOthers who come from the place we were born,Fat pink Brits and their fat pinkContinue reading “Albufeira”
Covid Gestalt Here, where the room lives:its walls lined with memoriesand books;chairs changed by occupancies:arms worn;legs chapped;backs bent to the comfort of those moved on,gone to live in other rooms,gloom speaks to upholstery.Misery talks back. Here, where the room lives,a freeze framed archived symmetrynow lookssadly over what has been,and lost,and lacked.Silently, cacophony calls back.Voiceless, unsoundContinue reading “Covid Gestalt”
I’d rather Hoover dustproduced by daily chaosand the family,than, monthly,vacuum greying detritusshed by grief,while yesterday is livedin sharp relief,shredding memory.
Grief falls in seasonal drifts: hours rewind; mourning dawns as dusk hurries towards noon, blown in a flurry of last summer’s leaves across the threshold.
When David Attenboroughs are extinct & only videos remain of habitats a tv showed in plight in black & white We who were weaned on degreening the planet will weep & wish once they’re dead We’d attended more to words they said than painting over cracks instead @AttenboroughSir
Noise, which drifts:Others’ lives, lived like mine,by each other’s side;Music, late at night, provokesenvy & a sense of loss;In the afternoonmelancholia’s huefloods a living roomonce filled by tidal driftsof kidsreturned to sail away,tuned to memory.
What’s the difference between ennui and dread? Am I depressed or simply suffering from a change in circumstance which mediates against spontaneous reunions with friends? Am I shallow and fearful of myself since I have spent six months with no one else, or have I simply come to find I crave a sense of beingContinue reading “Ennui”
Spirals’ spirals spin and wind coils of revolutions spun, back before all was begun, to spin, begin again, revolve: spirals without start or end.
Extinct. I thought I’d choose a validated drug to see me through the floods that will soon draw attention from distractions formed by Brexiteers and those whose abject living fears are manufactured by themselves: Heads of countries, industries, feed our homes’ economies, and produce the death that David Attenborough’s explained, over and over and overContinue reading “Extinct (WIP)”
I got stuck, sometime on Tuesday,and haven’t left the house – The internet, a magnet, has turnedmy hands to poles, pulled to makeconnections, algorithmically controlled – As if, sometime on Tuesday,I’d become exposedto a deadly virus which has taken hold; Despite attempts, since Tuesday, towill the magnet’s poles’ inversion,block, at source, viral infection, Still, itContinue reading “Tuesday”
08 Head saidNext year our figures must improveI asked himHow?He quippedMore A stars on the listI askedAre next year’s cohort better taught than last?He laughedI saidI rest my caseLet’s see who comesbefore predicting grades 08 to 2020’s exams’-gateProves annual-and-mean-averagingMistakesAccidental birth for givenFate.
5 7 5 Snowflakes, all unique,fall in silence unobservedtransient, reborn Avalanches formfrom the fallen unobservedresurrected life People shape uniqueindividualitytemporarily Bitter disputes formfrom the fallen’s unobservedlegacy to earth
In perpetuity. What’s class in another’s town,head or place of birth?What’s worth?What’s status, power and agency elsewhere?Whose context governs how now’s seen?Who might you beor what can’t youfind the means to say or do?What is it that conditions you? What changes when you move?What limits and enables truthswhich otherwiseare fictions, too? Why, in pain,are anger,Continue reading “In Perpetuity”
Inevitably someone said excuse me Professor and I did my best to stress I’m not and she might call me Cherry while she on TEAMS still tried Prof the power-point slide is not (I said, I’m not) She said the graph you hoped to show but a young man in a boat Uni-float!
It’s not by chance that invitations now extend to lunch; on rare occasions Wednesday bucks the trend and I eat supper with my friends as we all watch our wrists, conscious of the morning’s plans for the virtual lives we live. I completely understand how this came about. A critic might cite reasons lent toContinue reading “Washed Up”
Sucking up to Pacifism. I am a nervous type,a batterable wife,annoying,curt, insensitive and bright;loud, an arrogant, opinionated swine;kind compassionate and wise;encouraged from an earlier ageto argue and to fight for rightsto have a chance to swaytomorrow’s world today. Now it’s here I find my viewsredundant anyway. I and others of the linewomen who insisted theyhadContinue reading “Sucking up to pacifism”
I hated the reunion (Didn’t like the Talk) I’m afraid of anywhere it’s too far to walk My neighbourhood’s at war choosing sides & picking fights I’ve been through before I don’t like any club I’m in I’ve never liked the gym I’d like to live in solitude & get back on the Gin (CreditContinue reading “Outside/In”
I think I lost touch with my tribewhen I was thirty fiveOr fiveOr twenty twoAnd now my friends are, the best,In graves,Despite the draw of ‘laid to rest’They’re deadYet still the worst and bestof the behestsOf lovers, and betrotheds, now goneLive onInside my head. https://www.facebook.com/PremdaLowson/photos/a.1638197309754649/1638197223087991/?type=3
Losing It. I’ve run out of interest in novels, and the worthy showsThe National Theatre makes available, to chatterers at home alone. I’m weary of the telephone, and Zoom, Skype, the zone which stands in for real life.I’m a member of every possible causenow I’ve less personal strife. I miss the whiff of others’ pits,Continue reading “Losing It”
If you don’t get, hate or find anathemus the call for other voices to be given credence, please, retire & occupy the space reserved at the edge of the cemetery contemplate the plot – All you will bequeath inherited in narratives you left remains, unsaid. #BlackLivesMatter
Act ‘as if’ At first I shouted back,‘being white’s as much ‘a matter’ as is being black’,fought my corner,knew my rights;‘Emmeline Pankhurst gave her life – fighting for my liberty – she was white and set me free – don’t you threaten MY liberty – I’ll call in the authorities.Shutting me up is just theContinue reading “Act as if”
Gaslighting That pie – you burntWhy – you cunt?Try next time, ok? I’m fine – you cunt.Why? You’re burnt.Try next time, ok? I told you, once.You’re burnt, you cunt.Try next time, ok? I stabbed him, once. You what? You cunt.You’re tried, this time, ok?
Men’s Health Week Is it my place as the Other,(woman, mother)To agitate, debate the fateof men? Male suicide takes more men’s lives, before the age of 45, than any other cause; should I advocate for them? Is Health the woman’s call? Must We empower Them,Enable Them to feel?This Us and Them’s the causeOf misery andContinue reading “#Men’s Health Week”
Us. Don’t tell me what we’ll do, or what we must –who are ‘We’ and who’s your ‘Us’?I recognise the urgent needto redress inequalitiesand examine history’sstories which afforded mevoice and libertyas a member of the ‘we’those who’ve always had a voicein the closed communitybeing one of ‘us’. Self appointed, virtuous,Leaders say it’s up to ‘Us’ToContinue reading “Us”
If this isn’t the moment to review all considered normal,quite reasonableto youwhen is?When the last rites reader stands before your speechless selfdespite allthat you’ve said?Why restart ‘normal life’& regret itwhen you’re dead?The past’s in a headBecome instead
The Mindfulness Ap It’s a system.It’s an Ap.It’s a market.It’s a pill.It’s an iceberg’s tip,A nod,In a life without a God,A source of revenueAnother thing to do.It promises a lift,A short cut,And a route,Shows you how to useAn Ap to free your you.Cut price irony:How to do‘Just be’,
A mediation … three phased isolation alone Except Love. Phased Lockdown. It doesn’t matter if the list of lockdown must-haves is still unticked; the Zumba-Zoom’s un-clicked, the ceiling not yet painted; Mandarin not yet mastered. Days might have passed in shock, surfing the net and chasing the facts, weeks spent unravelling life as it usedContinue reading “Except Love”
NEXT NOW The Century had begun in chaos. It had started with the smoking ban and all those old people cluttering the place up, once they’d ditched B&H in favour of green tea and yoga. Then Covid, of course, and the Amazon take-over, the installation of tracking fit-bit tags and finally the compulsory installationContinue reading “NEXT NOW”
Post Truth* *Post Truth: what is accepted as ‘truth’ – a synthetic acceptance of ‘a story’ as ‘the story’ It’s a theme this week. A friend had written to his MP to say that he was hearing one thing and experiencing another. Amongst other things, he asked why Care Homes were not provided with theContinue reading “Post Truth:two legs good”
Dedicated to River – for running (errands) and delivering existential advice. What follows is about as thrilling as watching paint dry. Something I have developed a love for, deferred since I have yet to develop a love for decorating. That is, unless you have spent your life trying to work out how Transactional Analysis describesContinue reading “A Transaction with Trevor”
A short story 30.03.2010 The day my mother died She’s gone Mum. No she hasn’t. Has she? He stood up. She’s gone, Mum. My son held me as a parent holds a child. The dawn chorus moved from pastel to full volume primary hue, the curtains wide open just like the window, as she’d alwaysContinue reading “An ordinary death”
2.5.2020 (Day 44 Living Alone – Social Distancing) The Void is all the rage When I first decided to stay at home, on March 17th 2020, I wrote a complicated timetable of daily activities. The day was organised to enable me to thrive: physically, mentally and emotionally but most important of all, to ensure IContinue reading “The Void is all the rage”
Brooker’s Mirror’s on the street.Fear shapes: choreography;Distancing and self-policing,Shielded by a mask;Limited communicationMonitored, on-line;Being tracked by ApsDesigned to traceRoutes the virus takes,Evidenced by snap-chat-vid-shots,Of the advisedHour-long jogs,Subjects take andSubmit, give upFor the better good.Brooker’s Mirror’s on the street.
Cornflakes Box He and I would make a stage from the empty cornflakes boxes his family donated to our pantomime; a family full of hungry sons and space – a place to stay, where time and paper flew from shelves into our games and future selves. We’d craft characters and scenes, tables full of paintedContinue reading “Cornflakes Box”
I’m grateful for the sun, today,My son and daughter, everydayMy granddaughter moreThan even I can say.I’m glad they thrive,we’ve all survived,As yet.I’m in debt to those who left,Bequeathed,An attitude of mind:Accountants who had column listsOf uncounted giftsSocialists who understood that taxWas a way of giving backConservatives who knewI could do more than I doLiberals whoContinue reading “Perspective: for Ron Freeborn.”
Weatherly Creatures I have to be careful with semantics;my mind plays dreadful tricks:when I read an hour’s exercise a daywas well advised,I made it mandatory, to: walk and imitate Joe Wicks. Cooking, follow Jack Monroe. Home school & work from 8, Not to forget to meditate.But now I’ve found my way.Every other day’s ok.
When I went for a walk the neighbourhood had taken on the hue of post apocalyptic films made in 1962 – the day after the bomb, predicted in the imaginations of the circumstance: cars stopped dead and silent streets. people-less and in arrest. I’d an eerie sense of a fugitive’s life, weaving between the wheelieContinue reading “Walking Covid”
We are unused to contemplation and instead are conditioned to distraction: seeing the film of the day, flitting from screen to screen and not knowing, quite, how to locate or name feeling. Now the television trains us to jump with Joe, cook with Jack, craft with Kirstie and tidy every corner of our lives, exceptContinue reading “Get to know yourself.”
She wasn’t bad at being alone. She’d studied it, practised, perfected the art of shopping for retreat and she could spend days doing just about nothing at all. People talked. They said she hadn’t always been that way although she had spent most of her life on the run. They told stories of profligate parties,Continue reading “Being Alone”
HonestlyI’m strickenRiven throughWith GriefI find I weepSuddenlyInspite of meEmbarrassinglyBreaking throughThe normal thingsI always doA word or gestureTurn of headGlance or glassA random phraseMusic on a radioSomething lostFrom long agoRiven throughAn oakDeep ringedLoss and LoveAre all I’ve singed.