Sunday, 30 May 2010

#Fridayflash - Unbeaten

She had been leaning on the fence for a while when she finally felt him approach her. Alissa sighed with relief…she’d been waiting for him, and somehow, he always knew that.

Despite her terrible mood, she found she rolled her neck and tipped her head back, welcoming the sensation of his breath in her hair. She smiled as the warm, humid breeze, stirred her dark curls. How on earth did he do that? She surely had nothing to smile about now… Well…nothing but him.

He stepped a little closer, chest pressed against her back now, and made no sound when he laid his cheek to her temple. Alissa felt him breathe against her, his chest swell and fall, and it was almost as though he breathed his strength right through her. Standing got suddenly easier as she reached to bury her fingers in the hair behind his ear. He was warm and safe and solid, and it didn’t take words to tell her why he had come. He was offering understanding… He knew exactly how this felt.

He pressed his chin into her shoulder then, comforting her, and returned her sigh as Alissa squeezed her eyes shut, wiping her tears. The bruise around her left eye, stung, from the flowing salt…but there was nothing left to cry for. Whatsoever she had lost, she still had him… And he knew her like no one else could; he listened to her very thoughts, trusted her with his life…and she trusted him with hers. It was so much more than she could ever say for Steven.

Alissa turned to face him then, and cupped his velvet nose in her hands.

“I want a divorce, Othello.” She told the great, black horse. “That’s the last time that man lays hands on you or I.”

Thursday, 20 May 2010


It’s 3am,
on a concrete island,
and you’re holding my hand
like the devil’s claw
as the lights swirl on a heated
floor of tarmac,
than coal
and you’re saying now
how you
can’t bear to let me go.

“So please,
I tell you,
follow me home,
we’ll pretend we’ve never
how very wrong
this is.”

Then you close your eyes and tell me,
mind my business,
you have so much
loss to think about,
and love to worry for,
that you
can do without my
many flaws and failings at your door.

And then,
without games,
or warnings or more,
the wind slowly mixes
with the grimy earth
in the morning’s breaking dew,
and it joins
with my wandering soul,
as I cough up the taste of you,
on my tongue,
and make my way home
through the barbed wire,
denying any left
over morsels of desire that linger

And suddenly, saying ‘goodbye’ in the road,
on a traffic island,
seems as fitting as it gets.

Not quite a #fridayflash, but a story, nonetheless... :)

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Leeds Savage Club E-Book - Now Available for Free Download!

As many of you will already know, I am the current Press Officer for the Leeds Savage Club, a society for writers and artists in the District of Leeds and the surrounding area of beautiful West Yorkshire, in the north of England, UK.

Yesterday, the Leeds Savage Club launched their very first e-book...and not only is it FREE to download, and bursting with no less than 55 pages of stories and poems by our very talented writers (including uber-modest moi!), but there are also 59 images of brilliant artwork by our amazing sketchers.

Below is a portrait of myself (and Lydia, the horse I ride!) by Steve James, a founding member of the Leeds Savage Club and a long-term member of the sketchers' group - it's just a taster of the level of aptitude and ability you can expect to find in our publication... and of course, it's just to tease you...just to lure you in...'cause if you want to see (and read!) more,'re just going to have to download A Very Savage Affair, here, aren't you?

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Farmer’s Boy

Inspired by tales of my dad's early childhood with his sister, on a Lincolnshire farm worked by their father and uncle. As a boy, my dad believed he would probably inherit the farm, but dreamed of broader horizons & someday living in the 'big house' instead!

You drove me insane,
you know?
Like twisted poles
on a carousel,
at a neighbouring county fair. And every time
I requested horizons
you were upright,
and standing there, in the road,
like a scarecrow,
with his arms
wavering in the breeze – you were ragged,
and always ready to leave, just as soon
as you had come.

And I remember the horses
in the fields were dun, and red
as apples in the setting suns
of nether-worlds we’d never see.
And we skipped across the golden barley
like flat stones
on surface water,
ever a contented son and daughter, of trees,
and of the cross-beams
that stretched along the barn.

And there was nothing like summer
sun farmed,
for best butter and cakes in the pantry,
and a dozen heifer-calves
raised by an aunty in the crew-yard
out the back; an uncle who slept on potato sacks,
on the steps of the tractor shed;
and a tilly-lamp lighting
our way to bed to dream of more wonderful days,
when we’d look to the big,
house on the hill,
for the will to grow
up and be,
lord and lady of all we surveyed.

My father's sister, Vivienne Maxine Taylor, was killed in a farming accident, aged 9. This poem is dedicated to her memory.

Needless to say, the farm was sold. My father never did inherit...nor does he live in the 'big house'!

What It Was

I have the taste of you
inside of me
and we keep talking
like we ever shall be able
to say
it is just the same
today, as it has always been,

But the truth is…
I want
to pull
it out;
that taste on my tongue
that seems only so wrong
as the instance it was
almost right. And so
I give you now
just one
more night of bitter lemons,
for it is surely only
the bells
of St. Helen’s church
that chime
their death knoll
for us;

and so we whisper loudly across the bay:
“Only let it be
what it was.”

Saturday, 1 May 2010


you’re all smoke
and mirrors,
are you?
Well there’s something
I don’t
believe –
come over here and sit, I’ll show you
you’re not so complicated
as you like
to think.

You want the same things
that the rest of us do,
it’s just that foolish,
you, would rather be brave;
would rather be
misery’s slave, would rather no one
ever says what is really
on your mind and written
right across your face
in those
letters –

Forget grace and dignity!
What about faith
and liberty and all
the natural calls of your fevered heart?
I see
that part of you that wants
to hide,
and I listen like a seashell to
the voice you have inside your armour plate -
I want you to hear now
that it’s okay
to laugh, to feel, and to lie about
the truth
and to need
- like air -
the very same things
as I do.


Come out from behind
that smoke of yours
and I’m standing before a mirror
of me
and it’s been such a long time
since I have seen
that I wonder all about the shelves I somehow
find I sit beneath,
choking, oh so quietly,
upon the dust that gathers,
as a sheep’s-fleece would,
around my feet.

I feel I’ve been walking
ever so long…
and yet,
I recall,
you searched for me once.
it was around the time I stopped
for lunch, on a blanket
made of dirt,
laid cold
upon aching earth,
in the glory of a setting sun.

And the dirt was running
through my hair that day
but it was the filth in my mouth that made
you stay and stand
and claw
at all the pretty words being spoken
about hunters’ eyes like yours.

“Throw open the windows, then”
I said,
“…and the doors,
…and we’ll let the smoke out,

for there is no question
you are my mirror
without a doubt.”