Distracted, Abstracted

skin of papered onion 

peeled in pen and ink

as doodles crossing virginal

help me mull and think

with layers of lined abstraction

in markings freely made

thoughts and things I’m dreaming of

when words remain unsaid

while radio goes rambling

through the contours of my mind

in each portion printed pattern

discoveries I find

glassed in red libation

smoked in embers’ flames

onion’d contemplations

melt with those I’ve named

mid musings in a mindset

that meet where two lines merge

diverging while perceptions

collide and then converge

as news holds deep disturbance

tangents here to there

while my pen reacts to everything

in words I cannot share


The Precious Touch

The texture, more important than appearance

The feeling, more appealing than the look

The facets of quality, as measured

Like the content of a treasured, well-read book

The touch, far more impressive than the visual

Though first drawn by sight alone, ’tis not enough

The smoothest, gliding surface when encountered

Convinces more than coarsened, crude and rough

The elements, attractive in display case

Cannot be chosen till character is felt

In life, as in the study of the gem stones

Intrinsic value known once precious held

Fighting Shadows

Do veins take on new colours, shades and shadows

Absorbing spectrum’s range as multi-hued

Muted, harsh, spectacular or mellow

Bleeding into consciousness till true

When courses plasmic liquid in exchanges

Breaths of capillation, calm, serene

Does dreary darkness vie with light in stages

Concur as cancer, out of sight, unseen

Inseparable companion, undercover

Ominous and partial to disguise

Unaware the host, a mother, brother

Living, breathing silence with each sigh

When veins resist the rainbow, embrace shadow

Pray light into the gloaming till it flows


If you pray, please pray for my eldest brother who, for the second time, has had a diagnosis of cancer. He will be undergoing surgery within the next week.  He has the strongest of spirits and has fought his way to life through major health trials over the years. My heart aches for him that he has to fight once again. Thank you.x


Where servile siblings gather, there you’ll find them

Trading lives for plaudits promised soon

Sacrifices welcomed and encouraged

Naked greed stripped bare by fulsome moon

When night it falls beneath a clouded mantle

Where secrets in the pot are mixed with bile

Souls hawked upon the futures’ febrile markets

Linger there and watch them for a while

They dance upon the graves of friends and strangers

Buried and forgotten easily

Names only in a ledger, stones eroded

Watch closely now, believe all that you see

Remark upon the eyes, how dark and hollow

Empty vessels mustered to be filled

Adherents to philosophy of selfish

Disciples drugged and daggered to the hilt

Swaying to a music marched macabre

Ecstatic to the beat of blood and gore

Listen while they chant to inner hatred

Death to all, their rousing ribald score

Stay softly, do not move, you are a target

Keep camouflaged, be hidden till they’re through

Upon the heath, beneath a sky turned blood red

Offering oblations to dark brew

Beware the servile siblings and their legions

Biblical bombast of putrid smell

Feeding evil, justifying actions

Of power stoked in fires of human hell

Deliver with dispersal of the siblings

Upset the crock where poison has been stewed

Serve antidotes of love by rise of morning

Negate the darkness, let light be renewed

Ceud Mìle Fàilte – To My Part Of Our World

I think I’m really clever

so coordinated

when I can remove

the remnants

of today’s make-up

with my right hand while

unhooking earrings with my left

after having


crockery and cutlery

in preparation

for twenty

having cleaned for the days

I didn’t

while working





one job

before embarking

on the next


I think I’m so organised



with my list

for food



the je ne sais quoi

of visitors


I think I’m on the ball


I’m not


I’m not on anything

but the same wheel

that we’re all on

you know the one

when we impress ourselves with our

own abilities to cope

under pressure

to be

to do

to act

to keep on

keeping on


I think I’m doing so well

and I am


I definitely am


I know this

by comparison

to when I’m not

and, oh, there have been times

when ‘not’ has been

the ‘it’


but now

right now

I’m doing well

as well as anyone can do



so much to do


I think I’m so clever


with my right hand

today’s make-up


at the same time

my, oh, my!

such dexterity

disentangling dangling earrings from lobes


knowing I have organised

am organised

will be

the hostess with the


more than enough

to make them welcome


next week

I’ll abseil

and kayak

just for fun


these are the


the manage-and-do

and fill-the-days

with what is not the


these are the good

but also

busy days


as all days


I think I’m so clever

so coordinated

so resourceful

that I can do all this

and be



while monitoring




what is going on

in the realm of those

whose lives


and manage

a different agenda




ceud mìle fàilte

are not the operative words

I know

I’m doing well

and the earrings and makeup removed


in a satisfied acknowledgement


the fridge

and dishes


speak my truth


I’m clever

in some ways

in more ways

like so many

the everyday ways

we do

we are

the embrace

that love

to welcome


and loving


how clever

and resourceful

and full of life

are we

in spite of all





these are the days

of life


and being

the welcome

to our part of the world

Remember, To Carry The Flame

We marched for you back then

You don’t remember

Crusaders for a kingdom

How we strived

Destitute, determined

Carried with us

Hope, appeal, intention

To survive


We stood for you back then

You don’t remember

Faced down the tanks

Deployed in George’s Square

Heard the Riot Act

Dismissed, resisted

Gathered for a living

Far more fair


We starved for you back then

You don’t remember

Force-fed prison time

For worthy aims

All but now forgotten

As the years pass

No recollections

Still done in your names


We died for you back then

You don’t remember

Someone from your family

Now deceased

Their legacy, the freedoms

Fought and died for

Bequeathed to you

So future would know peace


We lived for you back then

You don’t remember

Parents of a past

Lost in years’ layers

Gone, their cause forgotten

Present children

Remember now

And ask if you still care


We worked for you back then

You don’t remember

Unborn you were

But we had you in sight

Fighting for the future

Of all children

And conditions we could live by

Workers’ rights


We fought for you those years

You don’t remember

Distance lends enchantment

Or dismay

Forgotten, now, we are

We were foot soldiers

Who thought that we had

Surely won the day


We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Battled for a birthright

Better ways

Took a stand

We fought for bread and butter

For a piece of

All created

By our hands


We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

In daily labour

Justice all we sought

Manned the streets, the trenches 

Raised our voices

We fought for you back then

As parents ought


We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Torches dropped

As mem’ries fade away

Hopes were high among us


Would benefit in living

Brighter days


We fought for you back then

You must remember

Gains we made

Eroding by the week

Fight for us

As once we fought your corner

Supporting those

Who work for what you seek


We fought for you back then

Oh, please remember

The battle scars we wore

To pave the way

Conditions that we railed against


Vote anyone

But not for Maggie‘s May

Breaking The Curse

learned to live with fortune

in the realm of poverty

where poverty is relative and claused

reflecting on the ravens’

hard-hearted princes in their towers

counting crowns of peasants without pause

riches something finer

than gold coins or stocks and shares

weighted in the pans of wealth and worth

rebalancing the measures

by means of minutes, days and hours

tipping scales of justice where they’re cursed

Pavement Possibilities

It started just like many other nights

The moon was silver

Stars, merged with errant clouds

Could barely gleam

A lonely owl made much

Of covered darkness

Deserted perch in search

Of prey he’d seen

Still air was clear and calm

Vague scent of roses

Drifted on a whim

Of teasing play

Lungs filled with wonder, sights

All senses tingled

The ending

Of a perfectly good day

Suspected nothing more

My thoughts untroubled

Meanderings so vague

As to forget

Except for something niggling

As I wandered

How fleeting peace and beauty are

And yet

They’re everything that’s striven for

In a lifetime

The beauty felt in love

That knows no end

The comfort of compassion

Peace among us

The value of good neighbours

And best friends

Nothing more than musings

On a pavement

With home nearby

Some yards to reach the gate

When, out of nowhere

Moon and stars blinked, helpless

And shuddered

Ending peace and changing fate

In an instant, all I knew

All I remembered

Of peace and love and beauty

All that’s good

Lay shattered, in the ruins of craven madness

A blitzkrieg, from a neighbour

Chocolate covered

Relaxed, while orphans, widows, now all stood

I turned again

In absence of a reason

Hope blinded at the sights

That I surveyed

How, among the chaos

Was I standing

And what should be the message

I relayed

Hate filled my breast

The need for vengeance

Tragedy demanded

Some new cost

Escalated madness

Justified as

Revenge and payment

For all that I’d lost

I’d find a way to make them pay

For malice

For ignorance

For stealing what was fine

With nothing left to lose

I’d have my vengeance

In the terror that was given

I’d have mine


It started just like many other nights

The moon was silver

Clouds departed

Stars were visible

All peace and beauty

Love nearby, still cherished

The idea of a bomb

Quite risible

I met my neighbour then

While out in moonlight

A person hardly known

Her ways, mere guess

We ventured to establish understanding

In the glory of the peace

That starlight blessed

We chatted for a while

Found common kinship

In the children that we loved 

Sworn to protect

Two mothers

Finding harmony

On a pavement

No spectre of an ending to suspect

We turned, upon a whistle

In the distance

Far removed from where we stood

But still

Alarm lay caught

In throats of conversation

While men rule the world

It maybe always will

We stand upon the pavement

Facing judgement


Our Gabbatha

Innocent or guilty

Makes no difference

When condemnation comes

To where we are