If a cake is bland,
pretty icing
won’t improve it,
said the H.E. teacher.
Make it rich and spicy!
Add unexpected flavours,
surprising textures
to tantalise the palate!
Icing should enhance!
Her speech
made our eyes glaze over.
and I couldn’t help wondering
what flavour those fifteen minutes
of fresh air would be
if they were icing.


Made it


I had no power to be your twin,
to make a bright new sun stream in
or let the longed for end begin.

I could not get inside your skin
to bear the pain, with just a grin,
of life so worn and paper thin.

You had the power to draw me near
and whisper, knowing I would hear
your disappointment and your fear.

I had no power to wriggle free.
Is this how love is meant to be,
always a twig, never a tree?

If you could see what I’ve become,
would you smile or raise your thumb?
Shame you’ll never know I made it, Mum.

B – 1


Barra weeps today.
A young life is lost,
a happy life.

Her journey south
was planned in detail,
months before.
When was her extinction

Will this senseless striking out
of innocence
never end?

We will not be cowed
by the barbarous acts
of cowards.
The world weeps
with Barra.

Today Allah weeps with the world,
for this was not His bidding.


In memory of the victims of last night’s Manchester suicide bombing attack.

They came to see you,
to swim in the lake
of your voice.
A mild May evening,
exams over, time out.
The voice of the blast
was no mistake.
This was death and destruction by choice.

Currency exchange

She sat
quite still,
amongst used bus tickets,
fading supermarket receipts.
a money-off coupon would wrap itself
around her, whisper
We all expire
some time

She has grown dull
and he whose warm hands once held her,
cherished her
is tossing a shiny new coin.
Now and then he’ll fish her out,
contemplate her value
as a paperweight,
a trolley token.
One treasured moment
under his blue eyed scrutiny,
cut short
by the click of the purse:
she plunges back down
into oblivion.

A matter of life and death

This week’s 52 word challenge was tough: I had to start with the prompt “It stared at me”. Here is what I came up with, lighthearted fun…

It stared at me
and I stared back.
I had to end it,
before it got inside me,
stole my breath.
I waited till it closed its eyes, then
with one swift move
of my pencil,
I added a full stop.
As the poem breathed its last,
I wrote my name below it.

Poor Michael!

IMG_5922Was rereading some poems by Michael Rosen yesterday and felt like sketching him, I don’t know why and almost wish I hadn’t! I managed to make the poor man look ten years older and I just can’t get his distinctive eyes right. I know I’ll go back to it but whether I’ll achieve improvement I don’t know…

Haibun Monday

Well, this is definitely a first for me: I have never written a haibun before. It consists of a short piece of prose – in this case, a description of how I make steak pie! –  followed by a haiku linked to the theme of the prose. I must admit, I do find this an odd thing to write about and and odder way to write it. Yes, I am definitely out of my comfort zone here, which is why I loved the challenge.

I always keep some steak aside for the dog when I make my steak and ale pie. He watches expectantly as I soak the porcini mushrooms and prepare the special pan that will release the rich flavours of the beef, vegetables and frothy brown ale. The puff pastry won’t be added until the next day, after the prepared filling has cooled completely. That way, the pastry will be crisp and light as a freshly lit match.

Winterly warming
the rich velvety steak pie
waits to be eaten


Imagine a world without music … only devils and rocks would survive


At night when the sky stops breathing
and the birds are still
I feel you
ripple through me
plant seeds of Ah!
in every corner
and slowly slowly
you expand me
envelope and lull me
until the tight screws slacken
and one by one
they fall away
leaving a voice
free to sing