All my reasons

He left wearing his game face
past adobe archways
mid-century balconies
threatening to pour down
on his sore head
passing a row of casement windows
shaking off yesterday
and all my reasons

I insulated my boudoir
my heriot paid in full
a coat of arms on every wall
with something to prove
but my vassalage is for life
all the dried flowers littering
the base of hoary shrines
are no proof that my heart
is on his sleeve

He replied to my missive with sadness, papers
clearly wet first, then dried
still unsure how to tell him
that I am enclave’d here
where melancholy is indigenous
but I stay, I stay and no predator
will yank me thus, so long as
this undeserved forest
shelters me



forgive me
isn’t pretty
crying with ruby-
throated sparrows
when he did not
see me
he’s a
you’re-out man

all my words
any accolades
mere dust
when I see his
eyes go blank
knowing he
does not hear me
(desperately braiding
a tether to reach)

I was not her
I don’t have
delicate hands
(they have fought,
held up babies
and made love
like a warrior)
my hands are not small

through another window
someone moans
my mind still wedged
in fascination
(her voice
to a hum)
as fairies come

Mr Knowles and Maria Lanyard

I read this twice, and hope you will visit Laurie’s blog and read it twice as well, and comment


DSC01324Mr Knowles and Maria Lanyard


Mr Knowles, Head of Policy and Division,

Can’t understand, why people refuse

To follow the format, in a document, to the end.

He watches Maria Lanyard leave the room.

He wishes every employee saw the real.

He doesn’t see Maria Lanyard, just the flesh.

Maria, if you looked carefully,

As she approaches the lift, is more than

One Maria, prismatic Marias ghost the room.

Eating her toasted sandwich in the park,

She wonders whether tired seagulls

Sleep on the wing, or cradle, nearby waves.

Maria is aware her name, Lanyard,

French for noose, a nautical origin,

Sailors used to tie knives and whistles

Round the neck. Maria can’t control

Her mind, the way a document suggests,

She sees more meaning in a typo; resists.


From her bench among the seagulls, Maria

Sees a young man dressed in jeans;

He waits at the traffic…

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The Seaweed Lorry

Must read.
Please visit Paul’s blog for more, and to comment.

From Bath to Cork with baby Grace

The seaweed lorry

How long have I driven a seaweed lorry to Roundstone
past fuchsia and montbretia?
How long has the wife practised acupuncture,
the daughter dried dulse?
You’d wonder as you pitchfork the algae,
watch strips slip off, litter the lane.

They can take their time,
wait their turn to pass,
I have many more journeys in me,
many more days leading hearse and caravan.
They can all take their turn,
why should they pass?

I’ve driven this way too long now to be forced off it,
seen their urgent béasa,
refused to be edged off my bóthar.
There were houses full
– not enough rooms for the children –
before there weren’t children for the rooms.

I’ve seen them all off,
I’ve still gone back for more seaweed.


Image by Jonathan Wilkins

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flowers die in the vase but she is quite alive
despite reports that she won’t pull through
the stronger they push her towards the dust
the greater her resolve to live well
pizza every night even on Saturdays
when they shake the earth for fifteen minutes
then slide a tray of pepperoni pizza and
ice cold Budweiser over the stain