When I was about sixteen years old, my Dad took my sisters and I on a Sunday trip around B&Q (a hardware store in England) and we chatted about theme parks. I followed in his footsteps in that I was a little thrill-seeker just like him. We said we wanted to visit Alton Towers, a theme park about three hours away from my home (which to me, quite untraveled, was a fair distance). We said we would go the next year.
To me he would live forever, he was the strongest person in the world. To him, the back brace to hold his spine in place squeezed a little too tightly for future rollercoaster adventures, but he was as enthusiastic as me all the same. If we could have one more day together, we'd splash out on those pricey queue-skipping tickets and ride Nemesis and Oblivion, and drift along the Congo River Rapids. Then we'd have pizza and donuts, and get keyrings made of our terrible ride photos.
The Wee Folk
The wee folk, the fairies, the little people. Many names are given to these most wondrous of wisps, these pixie-dust imps and wood-dwelling nymphs, riding high atop dragonfly’s backs, dipping in a stream causing ripples; their favourite tipple a sip from a honeydew cup. Iridescent wings flutter-so-lightly, brightly tipped, leaving trails incandescent with love. Foxglove is like Buddleia to a butterfly; they’ll flutter by a buttercup and land on your forget-me-nots. Hobgoblins, trolls, dwarves and gnomes; brownies and banshees and dryads of trees. Beware the fairy ring, for stepping in, the toadstool will fool you, and steal you away to the kingdom of fae. These elves and sprites could escape your sight, but know that our tales of fairies are not myth, they exist, nature spirits by day and dancing by night.
Bloom of Youth, Gone to Seed
In spring I am the babe
Nestled in a flowerbed
A sprout of creation released into the world.
In summer I am the maiden
Adorned with white dress and floral crown
Ripening fruit in the noonday sun.
In autumn I am the mother
A belly swollen, carrying the seed
Giving birth to next season's blooms.
In winter I am the crone
Withering stalk, head heavy with knowledge
Hunched and waiting for winter's end.
Now I am but worm food
Decomposing in the earth
My soul dispersed again.
Falling leaves and pumpkin spice
a carpeted floor of reds, oranges, a secret of green.
Did you see which way the rabbit went?
The flowers are dying now
the ones piled up
to remember the dead.
She was found in the forest
her body strewn out
Squirrels are gathering
birds are abandoning
but the forest stays.
Its presence is fairytale and terror.
Enchanting for a walk to get lost in your dreams
of fairies and unseen things.
Tragic for the hiding places
and ivy covered faces
consumed by the dangers of
I left that grey castle
like every other day
and every day thereafter.
Midday to escape the coffee-making talks
the weekend-breaking squawks
the fluorescent tubes buzzing above my head.
And the screen which never slept.
I walked head down, past lunchtime drivers
and car park diners.
I walked away to the forest.
Four hours of nerves
escaped on my breath, recycled by the trees
into fresh ideas.
The crunch of the leaves
the smell of the dirt
and nothing the colour of grey.
I lay with the dead flowers, the ones to remember her by.
I was jealous of her decaying beauty.
She had escaped this world of
worn down fingers
and tightly closed windows.
Her secret resting place
her ivy covered face
embraced by the wonders of
Love & Decay
Until my eyes dry up
And my hair’s wearing thin
My teeth have decayed
And my heart falls silent
I’ll love you.
Until there’s a roach
That lives in my skull
My blood runs dry
And my bones turn to dust
I’ll love you.
The first sight of you
Brought death ever closer.
But until then.
I’ll love you.
In the dark we see
All the things
In the darkest corners
Of our dim-lit minds.
We see the fears
We feel the hairs
On the back
Of our neck
Stand on end.
Not in our head
But a hair’s breadth
From our eyelids.
Lost in the Woods
I think I may have lost my way
I’m in the woods, come out to play
The little people all they say
Is I'll be dinner for the fae.
The way is dark so follow me
I know a doorway in that tree
The woodland creatures all they say
Is I’ll be dinner for the fae.
Voyage of the Dissonance Beast
I know not how to put my thoughts to paper,
as in the interim of my mind and mouth
the thoughts are caught in an unintelligible net,
whereby the essence is the catch -
held back and hauled up
by the chains of reasoning.
And the only thing to slip through therewith
is the bone dust of the meaning -
a fossilised clue but not
the entire creature.
The creature has long been dead,
for it was borne to a higher realm
and travelled some distance
to reach the lighthouse calling
of my head.
By which time it was hunchbacked
having fought its way through
to rest weary on my brain
and brush faintly against my heart.
I look at the paper in wonder:
Surely the creature carried a message
Or perhaps am I so capricious in nature
that the poor creature stands no chance
of begetting the world
its ethereal scripture.
What remains are not thoughts, nor feelings,
but a mere glimpse that once, aeons ago,
our words were untainted miracles.
I am left encumbered with a heavy heart,
an overstuffed brain,
all the feelings and thoughts
too grandiose, too inspiring
to slip through the filter of that odious beast
By my cursive misdemeanour
and that beast on my tail,
the true thought dies at my pen tip.
In The Walls
Ascending the grand, creaky staircase, my fingers left trails in the thick layer of dust on the handrail. The blood-red message had been graffitied across the ancient portrait for three days now:
I'm in the walls.
Plasterboard was shredded to pieces; every resident on search duty, but no trace of the spectral painter. My husband, master of the house, had laid all manner of traps in an attempt to catch the fiend - to no end.
Phantom breezes; eerie wailing; spontaneous fireplace eruptions. Even the beloved pet hound hanging from the bannister. I was particularly proud of that last one.