These Pancake Days

Had never known the pancake days

Her contribution to that sweetest feast

The land she worked

Had never seen a coffee house

Nor taste inhaled

Fast food a crust too quick consumed

While toil prevailed


Had never heard of internet

Her contribution down across the years

A lonesome sound

Had never seen a telephone

Imagined wireless

Her conversations few and far between

In language under stress


Had never wanted more than home

Her contribution all that any woman wants

Or man could need

Had never thought that there could be

Another way

Nor wished it so

Until that day


Had never once believed that she might find

Her contribution nullified by greed’s desire

And dark intent

Had simply held to land and work

To family and friends

Believed that that would always be

Until her end


Had never plotted, planned or killed

Her contribution life-affirming

Always so

Had shunned all retribution

Though bereft

Held fast to memories in death

While history slept


Had never thought that there would come a time

Her contribution could arise again

And she might live

That one would come from other days

With plan in tow

Would know what she had not

Right wrongs of long ago


Had never thought she might be pivotal

Her contribution wending down through time

A story lives

Had never known, how could she then

That space remembers and relays

Fills in the blanks and notices

Appreciates her ways


Had never known of pancake days

Her contribution to that sweetest feast

Eviction’s hand

Had never once confessed allegiance to a distant throne

Misfortune’s twist

A feudal lord, a flock of sheep

The tethered wrist


Had never once inhaled the bean nor tasted sweet by artifice

Her contribution to that cause

Too distant past in other age

Had never once known circumstance

That changed her ways as that day did

While haunted she her highland home

To simmer there till duty bid


Had never known such vengeance in her heart

Her contribution now a bloodlet thing

A howling cry

Had thrown her past into the present

Outwith all time unto this place

The peat is prepped, the griddle hot

These pancake days



’twas due decided 

though no vote was cast 

’twas agreed 

concord emphatic 

rules bent and broken 

’twas signed in silence 

pact decreed 


’twas undisputed 

whilst no lots were drawn 

’twas that hour 

’twas polled on hindsight 

with none attending 

consensus called for 

to empow’r 


’twas given, taken 

rued opposition 

to result 

’twas never, always 

’twas ever after  

’twas only option 

by default 


Count Down



take my six hours, we’ll call it a day

I’d like to leap a different way

a quarter to keep for myself

a fraction of time that is mine

all just mine

borrowed time there on the shelf

I’d rise at first stroke

spend my two bits till I’m broke

a revolution, in minutes, all mine

no time to do aught but eat and clear up

is this how I’d spend that brief time

breakfast at twelve, elevenses at one

lunchtime I’d have about two

afternoon tea at the a.m. of three

and dinner at four, that would do

I’d supper at five, that would be a surprise

and at six I’d depart for the night

one hour to rest then up on my feet

to begin a new day, sleepless fright

but oh, what a waste, to be eating in haste

and spend all night washing up

I could do better if I saved time till later

some minutes to give it more thought


how about this for alternative bliss

save all my quarters for years

a decade or three, a whole week for free

to choose when I want with no fears

folk would be working, couldn’t accuse me of shirking

’cause I had my time in the bag

could swanny around with my feet off the ground

flying without the jet lag

I’d meet other folk who had theirs and we’d joke

about using up time of our own

frugally friends meeting now and again

who could buy several days without loan

right about now I’d have two weeks to spare

time saved for the chance to be anywhere

Leap Fortnight I’d call it and smile

I’ll be gone for a while, checking leap watch’s dial

standing time on its head way out there


‘Do you know what you’re going to do with it yet?’

I smile and check my leap watch again.

‘Two weeks! Wow! I spent mine on one.’

‘What did you do with yours?’

‘Lazed around, mainly. Got to the point I didn’t know which day it was let alone what time.’

‘Kinda the way I want mine to be. But I don’t want to waste it either.’

‘Have you made any plans at all?’

‘One or two…’

And I said nothing else. How to explain the different me that I would be with two weeks I’d saved for fifty-two years.

‘I’ve booked a flight…’

‘Ooh, where? Can you say?’

‘Somewhere where time stands still…well, slows down….’

‘But that can only be….’

‘Shh! No one else knows yet.’

‘I’ll miss you.’

‘No, you won’t. I’ll still be back in two of your weeks, with seconds to spare.’

Code Crackers

pristine cuffs caressed wrists’ tendon motions

while fingertips rejoiced in plans afoot  

whorls beat out their selfish contemplation  

agreeing all objections would be moot

tanned of hands, sun-kissed hairs outstanding

anticipation rising flexed his pores

today would be the day to crush all opposition

imminent announcement to the fore

endorsement first from others, silk-tied brothers

consanguinity defined in common threads

some hours more to prove, if points need proving

coded status quo they would embed

a wieldy operation worth its planning

his webbed deceit, survival for his kind

sublimate the conscious, fake retrieval

adorn the visors, mystify the blind

padding paused, an outstretched hand, one button

just one finger to the tide, reverse the trend, then wait

a king of sorts, authority unchallenged

identity unknown, disguised, he sits in state

master of the universe by doxa

decencies decreed by points of view

habitus dependent, reinforcing

indemnity, by power, to be and do

little knows he, dark within new brainstorms

blinkered by his surety and bluff

maelstrom in the minds of fissured fusion

it’s time, he says, and millions cry, in unity, enough

His To Protect

the cost to him of holding the key close…..matched the threat he felt…..for her…at letting it go…..fine though it was…..for them… speak of leaving this place…..he could find no room… his imaginings… vacate his present reality… does one…..he thought… the protection he had bestowed on her…..there was no case to answer…..if he maintained mute madness…..he had considered all the options….and hit on the only possibility he could live with…..for however long he may have left…..locked within cloistered range….. of her equally guilty silence


Written for at The Sunday Whirl

Oh, Richard, how could you?

These were written for Mindlovemisery’sWordle #231 and are also my contribution to Seniorsalon #5.

From the words below, select at least ten and write.


Their connection wasn’t quite unique; so many others had come and gone before her. She understood he had others. But he had told her things she had never heard before; made promises that had reassured her anxieties. Their union would be lasting and safe.

That had been a huge part of the appeal. Night after night, for years, he had kept his word and been there when she needed him. And, she knew, she had been good for him. Both had been faithful to the arrangement and, for the most part, things had gone as smoothly as butter on a hot pancake. And now this.

Try as she might, she could not believe his final words. The chill of impending loneliness had begun as soon as he had uttered them and now a death sentence loomed. Why was he leaving?

She had thought they would be together forever, joined as only two who needed each other could be. Hadn’t she given him everything he’d ever asked of her, with barely a complaint? Hadn’t he taken it all, as if his right? She had been almost an innocent when they had first met but, unlike him, had not claimed to be virgin. What sort of provider was he that he could sever what they had together, so easily and move on to his next conquest?

Now she had all the bother of finding a new deal. Going out of the media business indeed, Mr Branson. You cad!

Two for the price of one. Can’t resist the rhyme. 🙂

Oh, Richard, you cad, you bounder, you had

next to last shilling from me

you used me, abused me

okay, I used you too but what was a poor girl to do

You laid down your cable, so willing, so able

you wrapped me in connection‘s delight

you served me so well that I couldn’t tell 

you were a virgin, aye right

Night after night and all through the years 

you joined me from dusk to first light

butter in arms, I succumbed to your charms

you nearly had me in flight

Now what a chill, you do me so ill

sentencing heart and lifeline

burst my balloon by going too soon

but don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be fine

I’ve heard from some others, your financial brothers,

offering deals by the score

I’ll move right on by, won’t cry, well, I’ll try

we’ll be an item no more

I gave you my all and we had a ball

but how sure are your plans, do you feel

Your next challenge, to space, where I won’t see your face

Goodbye, sir, it’s been virtual, unreal

DISCLAIMER: Sir Richard Branson is, as far as I’m aware, very much still on planet earth, where, no doubt, he is aspiring to reach the stars. And I’m still with him. Eighteen years of my life I’ve given him. Not to mention a small fortune. Moving on is such a pain.

Well Met

met her on the mountains

wind nettled in her hair

red brushed through by finger’d draughts

her presence barely there

a wisp of lass, no more than ten

her breath a breeze in flight

cat-eyed maiden stole alone

cut swathes in misted night

passed through me in search of home

thought between we two

hurry back and mind your step

and sleep the whole night through

but stay an eye for feral beasts

keep one true for wild

a third you’ll need for pleasant folk

a fourth to save each child

fifth may penetrate the dark

and sixth shall make it clear

rest, be thankful but remain

alert, of list’ning ear,

met her on the mountains

outfoxed chill around

heard her hist’ry in my heart

her words in silent sound

met her once but ne’er forgot

each puzzled piece she told

maid of ten, or so I thought,

a child too soon grown old

wisdom of the ages

in the figure of a lass

red-haired, nettled, draughted, dead

met her in the Pass

Legends In Lost Valley

Petrified in valley of the lost

like legends stood

Mutations of the mountains harboured

nothing that was good

Spat forth for a vengeance

from the bowels of the earth

Practised patience outwith time

awaiting secret birth

To ponder into places where no man

knew their name

To mix and match and mortify

heartless just the same

As when erupted from the fire

secreted way down deep

Sadists raised, sadistic birthed

humanity to reap

See them, hear them, guess their names

spot them in your lives

Could be neighbour, brother, child

could be someone’s wife

Loiter in the valley still

changing as they must

See all evil, do all evil

undermine all just

Petrified though once they were

characters of stone

Hills will call them back in time

to answer and atone

How We Gathered

How may we gather in the valleys then,

‘neath sisters three whipped wild and crowned with snow,

How find the wilderness we lost again,

Telepathy in footsteps led below.

How, when silenced, stardust stare to heavens,

Search still sequestered truth in long gone light,

Be the canyon, rift within the riven,

Attuned receptacles of shifting night.

How, attention turned, midst highlands wakened,

Accordance cast in near and distant shores,

Elemental fabric drift, so quickened,

Beat syncopate to breathing mountain core.

Dispersed anew, that dream, the turn is dawn, 

How gathered, diaspora we, reformed.

Fools’ Rule

In a cavern underwater, round the bends, beneath whirlpool,

Wizened crone of ancients dwells, stores wisdom lost from fools,

Sits upon a creature, lassoed from some years back,

Prehistoric plinth once fought, though it no courage lacked.

No one ventures near her unless they be but fool,

Anyone who’s heard of her keeps to golden rule,

Stay away from trouble, if wisdom’s what you lack,

Find this trouble, won’t find own way back.

Dark in corners hiding of the cave she dwells, where rules,

Empty shells of victims never realising they were fools,

Intent upon the knowing of the knowledge that they lacked,

Shells she saves of those who never found route back.

Terrible her vengeance, she cannot suffer fools,

That’s her one and only golden rule,

She’ll have you in for coffee and pat you on the back,

But don’t, whatever, tell her knowing’s what you lack.

She’ll rise up from her plinth, that creature from way back,

She’ll whisper to her slave all that you lack,

Eyes of red will turn to avenge her simple rule,

Empty vesseled shell where once was fool.

Tossed into a crevice, her cavern does not lack,

Room enough for many at the back,

Look out for the signpost sporting solemn rule

Turn again, be off, you errant fool.

Cackles she at signpost, written some time back,

Direction truthfully is what it lacks,

She’s the only one allowed to break her rule,

From conches sups she consciousness of poor misdirected fools.