Monday 30 June 2014

A better place to be

Irish Immigrant-crop

From despair, a longing for a better place to be.

He stares hopefully, counting his future in his past pennies.

They left in thousands, just as now.

In bigger boats, most found new lives,

the Coffin Ships took the rest. Like on the Med

where today  another 100 souls were put to bed

suffocated in the hold

transported like the slaves of old

as fat cats lick the cream from their passage

to a better place to be.



a better place to be

Coffin Ships

Mediterranean deaths

Monday 23 June 2014

Very short stories

Ernest Hemingway supposedly wrote a very short story for a bet. It was: ‘For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.’

So the challenge was to write similar shorties of 5-10 words– warning, this can become addictive.

Tell me which one you like the best and why. 


Emptied bottle. Emptied stomach. Failure.

Earthquake. Tsunami. Idyll shattered.

Doorbell rings, Dog paws. Hands chatter.

Whisky finished. Head aches.

Empty purse. Empty cupboards. Empty stomach.

Lamb slaughtered. Door painted. Exile granted.

Engagement ring still in its box.

Divorce papers and pen lie still on the table.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

At last week’s Creative Writing Class we were challenged to first feel an object without seeing it with our eyes and to think about what it might be and what our touch was saying to us.

On its reveal, it was a sculptured clay head of a young man, fairly roughly strewn together, no smooth surfaces, with very prominent eyes, a slightly open mouth making him somewhat gawked and gormless. The face was not in any way that of a classic beauty and did not possess anything that could be described as fine or statuesque features.

Our tutor challenged us to write exactly 100 words. I have to say it took me some time to get started and as usual I have little or no idea where this came from.


Bulbous boils of pus scar his face

swollen, red and painful

ravaged by seeping spots and welts

discarded by family

shunned by society

the leper creeps along.

The shadow of the man he was

skirts the crowd

to get a better view

to hear the Word.


The Other glides with consummate ease

amongst the following masses

Serenity shines with his every step

a wave of peace calms the rabble

who , in awe, stretch out their hands

to be blessed.

His remain covered, hidden

but are unexpectedly touched.

In shock, the crowd pulls back

Love everlasting, life eternal,

Pain relieved

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Then and Now

Inspired by the Billie Holliday classic, Strange Fruit, and for the two young Indian women recently raped and murdered.

"Strange Fruit" By Bille Halliday


Southern trees bear a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Black bodies swingin' in the Southern breeze

Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees


Pastoral scene of the gallant South

The bulgin' eyes and the twisted mouth

Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh

Then the sudden smell of burnin' flesh


Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck

For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck

For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop

Here is a strange and bitter crop


Then and Now


Bright golden sarees

a Holi melange of colour

the epitomy of elegance

even amidst the sand and cement of building works.


The Henna’d hands of painted brides

tinge the pure white turbans of immaculate grooms

in joyous hues of blushing unions.


The smell like roasted pig jars the morning air

the rope, tarred and strong, anchors

two strangely shaped aubergines in the forest trees

Blackened charcoal fired with a remnant of red silk.




Monday 9 June 2014

Handle Me Gently

Handle gently

but do not crush my heart, my friend

broken and abandoned

its sharp barbs confine a tender core

from which a bounteous ocean tumults.


Hold close

but do not smother my soul, my friend

shrunken and cowering

its nervousness protects love’s delicate garden

from which serenity’s stems can grow anew.


Caress and nurture

then let me go, my friend

to rise renewed, revitalised and refreshed

above the turmoil of life’s eternal rollercoaster.

Thursday 5 June 2014

Transition lenses


A sliver of shining Abalone

Pearl of the South Seas

returning memories.


Light upon the antediluvian lustre

reflects a changed reality now

in all its iridescent glory.


Beyond the thin opalescent veil

viewing forward

future fun.


A gift of light

A gift of life

A gift of time immemorial.