The song of the sea mist

Where are you going, my little ones? The day is new, and there is far yet to sail. Let me hide the horizon, transforming its vastness into a cosy room, and the swaying of the boat into a rocking-chair to lull you into gentle reveries. Distance is invisible, the gaping gulf between the now and the next curtained out of sight.

What has brought you from your beds, my dears? Let me swirl around you, my vaporous fingers untying the knots of memories and fear, and smoothing them out with calm and peace.

The waters are deep, my darlings, but let me cover them with my veil, obscuring their reflexions. Then you will not see yourselves and be reminded of your torment. I shall hover over the uneasy waves to prevent them from showing you their dark, brooding troubles, and so their currents may not reveal their cold, vicious secrets.

How will your journey end, my angels? Let me wrap you ever tighter in my tendrils and whisper misty words in your ears. Come with me, further into the soft down of the haze, and together we will play in the white swirling vagueness where air meets water and dreams swim free.

(Written in response to a prompt on


The Sunflower

The seed was fed with water and love

in the sweet damp of the soil.

Its growth admired, enjoyed and measured:

a centimetre, a metre, so tall.


Then it overtook my son –

the other seed I’ve been growing.

Two long-legged, life-rich plants,

their power not yet knowing.


One-leg aloft in transient majesty,

towering with fragile strength.

Two-legs still gathering innocent energy,

striving to reach their full length.


Then: jump and bounce and run and kick.

Crack and bend and fall.

The slender stem is snapped and felled

by a sibling’s wayward ball.


One-leg stooped, crippled and lame,

all-gentle splendour now gone.

Two-legs, seeing, but sorry too late,

learns of what cannot be undone.


(Written during Future Learn’s ‘How to make a poem’ course)

Searching for the smooth

Excitement in party dresses

Drudgery in tea towels

School shirts a weekly ritual.


Hunt down the crumples

Search for the smooth

Fingers burn with excess haste.


Add on some pressure

Make the steam hiss

Apply some determination.


Gliding with ease

Forcing out the stubborn

Bad creases out, good ones in.


Neatness is happiness

Order makes sense

Life is under control.


(Written during Future Learn’s ‘How to make a poem’ course)

Infernal flame

Take this tiny, humble flame –

may it warm you in your pain.

Its hottest fire will cleanse your soul,

purge your sin and make you whole.

With fire there is always smoke,

wrapping you in its soothing cloak.

Breathe it in and feel its presence,

curling round your inner essence.

Like a life-giving sun the fire glows:

the smoke weaves and watches and knows.

Heat is shrouded in smoky obscurity,

hearts are blind in their search for purity.

Souls are welcomed by the fires of hell:

the lost and aimless who stumbled and fell.

So take my tiny, infernal flame,

and as you do, remember my name.

I am Lucifer, bringer of light.

Come with me into the night.


(Written in response to a prompt at

The party is over

The party is over,

the morning bright and cool.

Her eyes are clouded with longing,

but I am nobody’s fool.


She danced all night,

and laughed and smiled,

intoxicated by the moment,

like a love-struck child.


He held her hand

and spoke pretty words.

The meaning beneath them

went unheard.


I dozed in a corner,

her four-legged friend.

My love was forever,

though his would soon end.


His gaze met another’s,

but to this she was blind.

Charmed and beguiled,

she simply didn’t mind.


He paid me no attention

when I saw his stray caress,

while she was busy twirling

in her snow-white dress.


The stars were watching, too,

as he whispered in an ear,

away from the happy dancer,

where she couldn’t hear.


Then the night sky brightened

and the sun began to glow.

Before reality could come to light,

it was time to go.


The party is over,

the morning bright and cool.

Her eyes are clouded with longing,

but I am nobody’s fool.


(Written in response to a prompt at

I have a little light



I have a little light.

You have none.

I will show the way:

or else be gone.

Beyond this point

it is dark and damp.

If you want to see,

you will need my lamp.

Life has many passageways,

all of them obscure.

Step through the entrance,

feel the coldness of the floor.

But with a shining lantern,

and shoes upon your feet,

you can better find the path

to make yourself complete.


(Written in response to a writing prompt at:

Facing fear


She ran and ran, heart drumming a prestissimo beat, mouth and nose working together to feed her body with oxygen, legs stinging and chest burning. If she could run far enough and fast enough it might not be able to find her. But, no matter how hard she pushed herself, she just didn’t have the energy to shake it off, and it persisting in its untiring pursuit, looming in the near distance, threatening, urging, and making her spine shiver.

Eventually, the path ended and she could run no more. Before her stretched an endless expanse of sea. The brine called to her, its waves beckoning, the dancing sunlight on its surface luring and enticing. Its song was soothing, and she drank in its refreshing, salty air. Here was the end of the world and the beginning of eternity. Just another few steps forward and she could be rid of the world behind her with its shadows and fears, its claws ready to drag her back into the dark place she had wanted to leave. A little further and she could be released from the nauseating, crippling torment, to float on these sparkling waters of promise.

Obedient to the frail voice of her mind, she turned round one last time, to bid a less than fond farewell to the land. Head tilted upwards in defiance, she glimpsed the unfolding scene in the sky. The heavy, grey storm clouds parted briefly, allowing sunbeams to reach through, letting down its rays so that God’s angels could come sliding onto the earth. Her ears unworthy of hearing the divine message, she felt its whisper in her heart. It encouraged and cared, suggesting that she might come back to where she really belonged, where, in her deepest depths of understanding, she knew she was loved and wanted and needed.

Overcome with yearning and a sense of what was right, she began to move back in the direction she had come. The treacherous sea with its false promises now forgotten, she walked, her pace timid at first, but gaining confidence and positivity with every step. Now she must return and look her fears in the eye. Through failure comes success, and the weak become strong. She had work to do…

(Written in response to a Creative Writing Ink prompt at