Little sister

Radiant now

glowing from afar

same flame hair

tipped by sunlight

a veneer of gold

I always seemed

to slide beneath,

unleash the terror.

You were my

first baby

tasked at seven

to shield you from

our childhood


Our mother

held you high

for fifteen years

you were jewelled

dancing on a stage

you’ve never left

& when the fall

came, brittle, sharp,

shocking: whereas mine

I handled in utero

branded an abortion.

Did green love

creep in?

I’d like to think


relieved you bore

the heady spotlight.

Time has wrought


no return to

closed memory:

slammed door

set us free

to breathe


You’re radiant now

safe in the arms

of Spanish heat

theatre in your blood

& now the poets’ touch

escapes your

dancing fingers.

Collective lock in

[This poem carries a health warning]

Scratchings from

the ‘party wall’

demented rats

they haunt

odd hours:

& the ‘boom’

of demolition ball

shatters early morning.

Two doors away

they build;

hard hats

yellow hi viz


sex lives


my morning


I’m writing

in the dark

blind in both


out of control

cars, rev,

down roads

never travelled.

‘Us writers, a

solitary lot’

they brand us

as we blister:

peel apart forgo

free speech

worry how


our words are.

Dark scratching

party wall

rats’ bicker.

‘Our house

is not our home:’

nations rise

& crumble

lines in the sand

etched by strangers:

here immobile

in our beds

we die by

‘age number.’

Blind in

both eyes

my mouth is


I’m writing

in my sleep

screaming for


Storm blues

Nights are long

this side of Covid where

dreams are forgotten in the grind

of getting through.

Outside the storm

lashes beach, & roof tiles

shift threaten to lift

while our minds

remember times

where fly away

summer sun beckoned

a break, this month last year.

We wear masks

our smiles are

kidnapped: only

eyes show intention

talk less at

supermarket check out

conducting business


I’ve made it through two

recessions, Brexit

and now this!

At least the bombs

aren’t falling

though riots threaten

& treason

lurks in every tweet.

Tick tock

tonight the clock

turns its face


we wake an hour

younger, time

lost at the click

of a switch

& I listen

to the wind howl

hope the roof holds

wait for a solution

as we all do.