The Dragon-Keeper



Protect him, please, he keeps a dragon,

A fire-breathing beast that sears his soul,

A scaly scavenger that wears his flesh down,

Haunts and follows everywhere he goes,

Ruptures like a lava-filled volcano,

Scorching every inch of him exposed,

Erupts whenever he is least expecting,

He hides it well, but everybody knows.

They fear him like they fear the freak inside him,

Misunderstand the monster, miscreant,

Flee whenever breath is scented sulphur,

Offer tokens, castigate, repent.

They run away and seek a place of shelter,

Peeping from their hideouts till he’s passed,

No one questions, no one knows his ego, altered,

The depths of his deluded torment, no one asks.

Protect him, please, he needs a mission,

Something to slay the dragon that he keeps,

A maiden, manifest as self-perception,

Upon a white horse, so the dragon sleeps.


F This (may cause offense to delicate sensibilities or anyone younger than em, 12 maybe?)

Can’t we all be f#*°®¥°*¢ friends

As birds that f#*°¢ together

F*°«~*’s such a better choice

If we all had f¢¥* f#*°®¥°#


I used to couldn’t swear, it’s true,

Erupted just instead,

Blessed myself and wondered why

Couldn’t even curse in head,

Then thought a bit about some words

And joy of all behold,

Realised perception’s worth,

I practised, grew quite bold.

Didn’t say them when they caused

Any deep offense,

Didn’t say them to my dad,

You’re joking, not that dense.

But found that words like feck and fuck

And shit and sod and damn

Kept volcanic in its place,

Accursed sort of dam.

Use them sometimes as a laugh,

Some jokes just need that jest,

Other times I use them, well,

Hubby knows those best.

Found a fuck to give right here,

Well many, just be warned,

Fucks aplenty, no asterisks,

But, with humour, lessons learned.

Haven’t counted but I know

There are fucks galore

But funny fucks and useful fucks,

I’m keeping some in store.

Only one that I can’t see

Is one I wrote at first ^^^^

Flying fucks from feathered friends

With not a single curse.

Symbols might suggest there’s more

Than merely letters missed

We fill the blanks in anyway

So no censorship for this.

Pep Talk

I believe that most people who write feel they have a purpose in doing so. Whatever that purpose may be we can, at times, be doubtful of our ability to communicate. We may doubt the words we choose, our technical capabilities, the methods we use, the subjects of which we speak. Worse, we may doubt whether any of it makes any difference to a single soul other than ourselves.

To love writing, to want to communicate something, anything, and to doubt whether it has any meaning or to find ourselves in a place when the words just won’t come is an awful place to be for any writer. Over the last few weeks, or perhaps longer, I’ve experienced some of these doubts and it has come to my attention that a number of other bloggers, of whom I’m very fond, have been experiencing some or all of the above.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in amazing connections, ones that sometimes blow me away by their synchronicity. Not for the first time here I find myself renewed by reading the thoughts and feelings of others and the honesty with which they share them. I also god bless email and friends across the ether. Some of the allusions in the following poem are born of reading others’ posts, comments and emails. And listening to an enlightening Ted Talk. One that makes the excellent point that I, courtesy of that beautiful synchronicity, will adhere to – I can do better. In all areas of life. I just have to try.

it’s too early to be calling me

or too late, I’m comfy

and you know that I can’t rise

your bugle pierces

no respite, it hollers

get up lassie, seek the prize


I bleary eye my boots on

and I splash my face

and question silently

who’re we kidding, what’s the point

battle’s over

all a waste of energy


but I’m trained for long haul

war and peace

and justice just the same

and tired is no excuse, you’re in the army

you’re a soldier

not a number but a name


and it matters that you uniform

and polish spit

and stand up ever straight

you can’t lie abed

and give up ghosts

they’re at the gate


there’s a battle to be fought

and in conscience

can’t object

for to not to try, surrender all

to give the field to hate

how keep respect


so get up soldier, silence voices

don the boots and arm yourself

and fight another day

ennui, attitude

and poor perception

out the way


these ruminations

round and round they go

we rue, beget

pivot points, dissatisfied with somethings

round and round, encircling, draining and despairing

in a helix of regret


get the little boots on

you are awesome

and you know you are

believe it soldier

you’ve a purpose, we’ve a purpose

we still orbit that same star


Alarmed…but only slightly…

You know the way sometimes your kids embarrass you?

Or vice versa?

Or how sometimes you embarrass yourself?

Or they do?

And you sympathise with them. Although inside you’re laughing.

Only if it was really funny, right enough, and they’re not too heartbroken.

I broke those rules last night. So did my husband.

We’re bad people. Poor parents. Parents without appropriate levels of sympathy. Apparently.

My 22 year-old daughter has been getting on my wick since she moved back home. Twice. She’s untidy.

No, let me rephrase that. She’s a manky midden. And I’m sick of screaming in frustration every time I put my head round her door.

I don’t mind a bit of mess. You can’t have seven weans and not have a bit of mess.

But she’s more than messy. She grosses me out. Correction. Her room grosses me out.

And it’s not just me who says so. We, as a family, are unanimous in this. Everyone has their own room and is capable of keeping it reasonably tidy so it can be cleaned. Except Mary-Kate. Shovelling shite comes to mind.

And I ignore it. I do. At least, I try to. Everyone says that’s what you should do. I’ve experienced this before. But her levels of clattiness take on proportions that have to be seen to be believed.

I’d post a picture. But I can’t.

Because I spent all yesterday tidying, cleaning, moving furniture around to optimise space. It’s a thing I do. Quite a lot. Missed my vocation really. I could have been a room planner if such a thing exists.

I was up to my eyes in dirty washing, clean washing that hadn’t been put away and cat toys because she’s the cat-girl.

And I thought cats liked clean environments.

Apparently they don’t give a shit.

So, in between chasing cat and dog out of the room while I fumigated and picked up, there was a lot of French. Actually, there were lots of languages. I hadn’t realised how many languages I could swear in. It comes in handy in front of little ears. Fortunately, none of my kids speak, Greek, Gaelic, French, German or gibberish. Neither do I mostly. But I can get by in sweary words.

So, when I hobbled up to bed after making dinner to do a little reading – not blogs, a book, my bad –  and left my husband to empty the last wash of the day I was in a strange place.

Pissed off but satisfied. Ever been there?

About elevenish or so I heard the dulcet tones of said daughter falling through the door. I admit I was looking forward to giving her some verbals when I heard snippets that had my ear cocked in curiosity.

‘Oh, dad, I’m mortified! How could they? Why would they think that? Paramedics……slapping……’

This was too much. But I held on.

She stoated up the stairs as I knew she would. Thrust open my bedroom door where I’m all, ‘Wassup?’

This is where I held my parenting skills and a straight face.

The gist of it is.

Having stayed up until 5a.m. the night before when she sat up with pals in their flat watching ‘Orange Is The New Black’, having gone to work after about four hours of sleep, having had a few quaffs on her staff night out straight after work, she was, she assured me, shattered.

Being the sensible girl she is, she left the party early, got on a bus, set her phone alarm for fifteen minutes later, positioned her bag at the window of the bus and settled down for some quick shut eye while listening through her earphones to ‘some soothing music’.

Some time later…

…she was awakened by someone trying to put her on her back while she lashed out at them in self-defence.

Fear not!

It was a paramedic.

Quickly established, apparently, when she asked, ‘WTF!’

A couple of teenagers had decided that Mary-Kate was ‘out of it’, ‘probably on something’, ‘probably heroin’, ‘she’s mumbling’ ( is that a symptom?) and had reported this to the bus driver who, give him his due, had taken prompt action and called the emergency services.

The bus had been at a standstill for fifteen irate travellers’ minutes all reasonably fuming at being kept from their journey.

Upon questioning, and after gathering some semblance of lucidity after being wakened, Mary-Kate was able to establish that she had indeed ‘only been bloody sleeping’.

‘Was it normal,’ they wanted to know, ‘that you can’t be wakened easily?’

‘Duhh, ask my mum.’

Mary-Kate never knew, neither did I, that if you refuse help from the emergency services you have to speak to them on the phone and reassure them. Must be a liabilty thing. So she did.

‘I’m FINE! I was sleeping. I slept through my alarm. Jeez!’

As Mary-Kate did not call the emergency services herself on a false alarm she is not being billed for it.

But it’s good to know that random teenagers on a bus care enough to report their concerns. Although slightly worrying that they were out at all at that hour and  know so little of life that mumbling in your sleep constitutes heroin addiction.

Good to know too that had Mary-Kate been in need of intervention there was help so readily at hand.

Not so happy with one paragon of citizenship who was heard to bemoan the junkie culture, citing Mary-Kate as an example and telling her ‘to get awa’ hame tae yer mammy’ as Mary finally disembarked, mortified at her experience.

Me? Her daddy?

We were there for her. As we always are for all our kids.

But afterwards. In bed. We laughed.

Tainted slightly at the idea that services had been used unneccessarily, that some folk don’t know a sound sleep from a coma, that there are many who are unsympathetic to another’s plight – whatever form it takes – and that my darling, dirty daughter didn’t fully appreciate my efforts until I folded her into bed and she could sleep the sleep of the knackered worker/partier/wrongly-accused where she sprawled out, without a single item of clothing atop the duvet, saying, ‘Aw, mummmm’. And slept.


She’s slightly less mortified. A little miffed. Full of aggrieved – and perhaps justified – annoyance that ‘ye can’t even catch a bit a’ kip oan the bus noo withoot a full-scale investigation.’

This has never happened to me or her dad. The paramedics I mean. In our day, you just ended up at the bus station. And had the long walk home.

I slept like a log last night. Kids all in. Eventually. Crap room tidied. Laughed like a concerned parent whose worst imaginings have been relieved.

And I’m now on room patrol.

Her jaiket’s oan a shaky nail.

And you wonder why I have to keep this 54 year old body in shape. My youngest’s only eight.


Clay Mask

Another take on my theme of masks.


clay dried, kilned, hardened,

rigid, unmoving, caught


statue unbroken,

but wait,

what’s this,

a crack.

tremor lines,



crouched statue separating from the man,

shards fall,



where spirit hidden,

essence unconcealed,

stood tall.

Carrying Perceptions And Other Stuff

The Daily Post invites see yourself through a different set of eyes.

I know I won’t be the only person who has ever been described in conflicting terms by different people depending on the circumstances of acquaintance. It amuses me that there can be such wide discrepancy in appraisal born of just those circumstances. I know I have done it of others.

When I read the Daily Post’s invitation it got me to thinking about some recent remarks and some older ones that people have made of me and how they have viewed me. There is a bit of my own appraisal in this too.

I would encourage anyone to think along the lines described in the link above. It raised a smile with me and challenged how to express their thoughts in my own words. Albeit only a few of the perceptions and appraisals freely given.

What does she carry in that bag

As hands describe the air or a fish,

Dangled earrings keeping time with her hair.

Is there someone inside the weight of that bag,

Rummaging through for everything anyone might need,

Though always at the bottom,

Necessitating constant search,

Blind hands feel, find best.

Why do her hands move when her lips are open

Yet slow with silence,

Uncommunicative, if hurt

Or laid back.

Only to rummage again,

Feeling, finding pens, paper.

Always pens, paper,


And hands.


And that bag.



Pluck And Fuck

There’s a weed grows wild in my garden,

I kill it but it still survives,

No poison or potion imagined

Can quell it, it lives though frequently dies.

It buries beneath to find nurture,

It spreads out, could take over the land,

But I prune it with shears every morning

Or else it would get out of hand.

It’s a bugger that haunted my growing,

Taunted whenever it could,

I bought all the pellets, I cropped it,

I did what I was told that I should

To stifle its errant persuasion

For no one can live while it feeds,

It sucks all the flavour from living,

It thrives as can only a weed.

I looked again, freshly, one morning,

I hated its sight in my eyes,

Recognised world and its worries

And my nature combined fuelled its lies.

I wept at the weed, strong despite me,

Forgave it its nature and face

But begged for the chance to grow flowers

In most of the wide-open space.

I became gardener to flowers,

To roses and riots of blooms,

I decreed weed was unwelcome,

I accept it but it gives me some room

To be all the me that I can be

For inside of the weed there’s a charm,

Understanding its nature, accepted,

I refused to be controlled or be harmed

By the power of depression that fixes

Into crevices, people and place,

I chose to be happy, I still do,

In spite of the weeds that I face.

Its not all a garden of roses,

It’s not all a wasteland of weeds,

I plant what I can, where I can,

How I can, and hope is the best of my seeds.

Now I see gardens where both grow,

Possession is nine-tenths the law,

I pluck them, I fuck all the stranglers,

Rose-tinted with a hopeful hacksaw.


I recognise that there are many types of depression and that not all can be addressed by a shift in perception. For me, it worked. It was either that or live on anti-depressants. The world depressed me and is still capable of doing so. I choose not to let it as best as I can. With hope and fight. And every tool at my disposal – sharpened.


Voyeured Charm

I love connections – might have mentioned that before. 😉 In my blog reading this morning – long overdue – I wrote of a dream on waking, read of a dream then, inspired by Simon’s lovely poem, wrote this.

forgotten times, alternate rhymes,

dreams within the dreams,

suspended reality, sweet illusion,

nothing as it seems.

escapists’ art, all words impart,

dreams returned to dust,

daytime serves frugality

to dreamers, as it must.

but, come the day, the sleep it holds,

serving all our need,

our nightly visions, voyeured charm,

providence will feed.

Lid Flickers

I close my eyes easily…

A drift of my lids to all dreams…

No slumber, mere silent communion, where

Nothing appears as it seems…

Where ease is no burden, no offering

To idleness, no easy aspire,

No guarantee of all happiness

But freedom to seek out desire…

No moments of misery for any,

For one, not even a few,

Not licence but liberty needed

To seek, to fulfil what is due…

From purpose for lonely existence,

Entrenching the cause of a soul,

Harnessed to physics and chemistry,

Released on completion of goal…

I close my eyes easily…


All of life but a dream,


One moment’s causation,

Light flickered…gone…never seen…