#81 – Winning

#80- Magpie Tales

For Mag 309:

In the set of her shoulders
and the glint in her eye-
is the quiet reassurance
of certitude; and of knowing.

That as certain as after day comes night,
And with the wind comes chill,
She wins…

In the end.

Dear Future Me

#65-atonement letter

For Mag 308:

Dear Future Me,
I wanted to tell you
that whatever happens tonight-
on the corner of L and Ninth;
you will survive.

That this too, this sense
Of worry wrapping itself
like a wreath around your windpipe
will pass, whether lost
in the exhilaration of assent;
or obliterated in the loud clang
of a cataclysmic bang.

That this sense of free fall,
of uncertainty gnawing at your insides
will give way to the clarity of certitude;
that the restful stillness of truth
will triumph over the ambivalence
of baseless hope.

That one day you will return,
To this space, this place
of quiet contemplation –
To begin again,
for better, or for worse.

#24 – Dancing With (In) The Rain

#24 - woodman francesca

She whirls to the rhythm of the rain.
Her dance, light-footed –
A pirouette  – in step with the beat
The light, gentle splatter of rain –
Drops stopped in full flight
By the chipped stones makes.
As the night light catches
The fringe of her costume
She is no longer there.
What we have is the after glow
Of stolen re-memory –
Of Peace and of repose
And the calming lightness
Of the patter of the Rain.

For Mag 303

A Pilgrim’s Prayer


For Mag 269

Here beneath
The glow of your halo,
Mother of God,
With clasped hands
And humble spirit
I bow in supplication,
Bringing a prayer
For redemption, for
Absolution from this
Weight, this burden
Of deferred hope.

The crash of thunder,
Flash of lightning,
Fire and smoke,
Echoed across seven hills
Is etched in my memory
A callus chafed raw
By this journey,
This unceasing battle
Of Self and Spirit
Of good ambushed by doubt

Mother of God
If you hear, or are near
Pray for this sinner
Now and at the hour
Of escape.



For Mag 268:

The dinginess within
cannot hide the beauty
that lurks here, hidden
beneath the patina
of age and wanton neglect.

Haste hinders the
unveiling of poise,
of grace carved out of
ugly rock, of error
transmogrified* by
intense, pregnant intent,
into a towering edifice
of strained sinews and abs
chiseled to perfection.

This is no drowning
Narcissus sinking
into a  murky river
of swirling self indulgence;
this is David, bare and broken
saved by the master’s hand.

The image in the mirror is of Michaelangelo’s David, seemingly condemned to exist as a flawed marble damaged by hasty workmanship until Michaelangelo turned its very imperfections into the basis of a masterpiece.

NaPoWriMo Day 10 – Stalemate

Sargent, John Singer, A Dinner Table at Night, 1884
John Sargent, A Dinner Table at Night (1884) 


At first you ask to talk, but
Burning deep within is the burden of words, a
Cacophony of voices in your head,
Driving despair like a stake into wetted
Earth, a haze that settles in and just won’t shift. You

Find a time and place to have the talk, you
Go with the flow, tell it like it is, whilst
He squirms beneath the weight of
Innocence lost, guilt like a pall of smoke drifting in. He
Jokes about not meaning IT, but there is a
Knowing that transcends the clarification of intent, that
Looms larger than any image words alone can paint;

Meaning that you don’t believe for even a second that
Nothing he has done was not intentional
Or that there is any penance that may grant him forgiveness.
Polite silence. A litany of burning, unasked
Questions; how did you get HERE, is there a path to a
Return, resolution, a coming back to the way things once were?

Silence at least means
That more words to regret are not being said
Unwillingly you realise that this is a stalemate, no
Victor, no vanquished, only victims
Wrestling with the detritus of pain and
X-shaped scars.
You realise with unstinting certainty that this is it, the end;
Zero-ed out.

For the Day 10 Prompt at NaPWriMo – an abecedarian poem. Definitely one I’d like to revisit given how difficult it seemed for me. Thanks to The Fray’s How To Save A Life for rescuing me. 🙂

NaPoWriMo Day 3- For Forgiveness

Manchester by R.A.D. Stainforth - disappear here

Forgive me if I disappear here, if like a dying
Shooting star my flight expires in a flash of light, yielding
To the encircling murk, this shroud that slowly stultifies.

Forgive me if my quivering lips neglect to tell my tale
Of broken shattered things and distant pains that still remain
And this unyielding weight; of things quotidian and unseen.

Why can’t skies have clouds and stars* and enthralling moon light too?
Why must a pilgrim find his way, on slippery pavements too?

For the NaPoWriMo Day 3 Prompt – Fourteeners and Mag263 at the Magpie Tales from where the image comes. 

*Line stolen from La Reine’s response to the Day 2 prompt. 

#148 – Homeward

For prompt 148 at the Magpie Tales, a repost.


Andy Magee - homeward


Though tears like a river course down like rain,
And your heart by cupid’s fiery barbs is rent.
Although your cracked voice breaks out in wails,
And hell with all its fury and fiends seem sent.
Be still, Stay strong, you’ll make it home.

Though fear like a cloak your mind enshrouds,
And rabid voices, your reasoning besiege.
Though Night descends, your dreams to hound,
And heart beats resonate to a symphony of rage.
Be still, Stay strong, you’ll make it home.

Tears will fall down, but they only last so long,
Fiery barbs in time, will lie as cold as ash.
Cracked voices soon will yield to flowing tongues,
And hell with all its fury will soon seem all too brash.
Your fears? They’ll fade away like the chimes of bells once rung,
The voices in your head will soon seem not so harsh.
The light will come, and night’s darkness leave unsung

With heart beats racing to a different dialogue,
You’ll finally see, you really made it home.


For Prompt #145 at the Magpie Tales, and PawPaw, who left too soon.




His broken memory
no longer can relate
to her gentle touch-
Or the quiet reassurance
of her gnarled fingers
atop his wrinkled skin.
Or the long faded recollection
of the taste of smoked bush meat
chased down his thirsty throat
by frothy cups
of sweet palm wine.

He no longer can
remember the smell-
of moth balls – hanging
like a pall, around her clothes
a wispy cloud driven out
from before the eastward Sun
as it streaks across the sky.

But the dirty red chair
constant like the sun remains-
a signpost to a past
he can no longer reach
A place where once
Upon a Life there was a love
And a bond so strong
Though he barely remembers
He still can’t quite forget