At the Beach.  Sunny. 


Milk-bottle white, lobster red
Scantily clad, covered up
Legionnaire hats
Naked tots, entire family clad in bodysuits
And the one family, always one, in heavy shoes, trousers and jumpers
Just in case or taken by surprise?
Sun cream: in blobs, by stripes
There’s no love like a mother with a wet wipe
Two-year-old making a meandering beeline for nothing in particular
The moated castles, the holes, the buried
(Preference of teenagers)
Dogs straining on leads
‘No dogs on the beach’
Scooters everywhere
Child with stabilisers, more zag than zip
Ice cream: in cones, in tubs, on sticks
Why on earth would you give a child that colour ice cream?
Chips, salted and vinegared
The boisterous overcrowding outside the pub
Piled into picnic tables
Armed with plastic cups
Always a raucous one, loud in every way, too much everything
Public toilets, unique smell
Soap’s run out but at least there’s paper
Queues here, there, for everything
Flip flops, bare feet, trails of sand
The sand-encrusted children, writhing sculptures
The saltwater hair
The contortionists attempting a change of costume in public
Dabbling in the scant rock pools
Lifeboat, yacht, canoe, paddle board
No space to throw a ball
Chairs or rugs or sit on the wall
Gulls wheeling overhead
‘Don’t feed the birds’
Wind breaks, pop-up tents
Cricket below the tide line where the sand is firm
The family with everything
Bar the kitchen sink
A puff of wind, mouthful of sand
The mallets come back out
The readers, the snoozers
Teenage love declared by frames per minute
The moaning minnies
The always have something to say
Tempers fraying: heat, hunger, tired
“Don’t throw sand at your brother”
“Don’t even think about putting that on Instagram”
“Because I said so”
Barbecue fume, cigarette reek
Accents from every part
And a few other languages for good measure
Bags from every supermarket
Hardly any cameras
Phone, phone, phone
Phone, tablet, phone
Small child with sandcastle:
“Can I borrow your phone to take a photo Dad?”
The families going home; scruffy, jumbled heaps of belongings
Dragging a reluctant or a howler
Trailing what will later be claimed as all the sand on the beach
(Especially after the third hoovering)
“You’re going in the bath when we get home”
Sand, sea, sunshine, seagull poop

Love Letter to a Home that Never was


The warm sun on my skin, the stillness of an evening
When the light’s just right, from my balcony
Your rustling grasses, your papery leaves
The thick dense bark, the shiny bark-free

Following the line of often invisible watercourses, the stands of trees
Ochre stoned ground, cascading hills
The twist of a mountain road, the asphalt of a modern highway
Groves across the hills, farms in the valleys

The never-ending whine of the two-wheeled
An impromptu concert of horns
Distant cars on the highway in the warm darkness
The bray of a steadfast donkey

The sun-baked goods of your fields
The bleach and echo of your fish market
The rhythms of your days, the rhythms of your voices
A twang of wire echoing over wood

The colours of your walls, the cool whiteness of your buildings
The rise and fall of tiled roofs, ornately barred windows
Shaded courtyards, splash of flowers, yet more metalwork
The mustiness of an unloved place

Your bumps in the road of history, the poverty
The tangled, narrow streets of your older districts
The ever-taller tower blocks, the houses sprawling out into the once countryside
The boom, the bust

I still love you, in the flashes of memories and in the achings of the night
I still love you, be you dream or fantasy or mere illusion
I will love you, forever and wherever

(written September 2015)

A Tear


A Colour Image of a Sunny Day on a Beach with a Black and White Person - A Visual Metaphor for Depression

I am sad because I long for those fleeting good times and I wish that I might get them back, so that I could make them better, stronger, happier – anything just to show how much I cherish them.  I wish I could bottle them up and just live that life.

But the most precious things are not easily replaced.

And every time the world tears, I am reminded, abruptly and painfully, of that fact, that there goes another chance of replicating a good time.

It’s like my photograph has been set on fire and all I had was that photograph.  A flimsy, trivial and oh-so-easy-to-damage photograph of something long ago.

My hope is in the past.  A world, a life, a moment that cannot be repeated.

I wish for the impossible because I regret so much, because I fear so much, because I have lost so much.

The world tears.  And I weep.  For all that was lost and for all that could have been.  The world tears.  And I weep.  For I am lost and I do not know what will be.  I weep.

Difficult Decisions and Brain Fog


It’s a decision that I face every day, maybe even twice a day. Or, at least, I should be facing it but because of the brain fog I often can’t remember if I have remembered to or not. (Life’s got very like that).

You rip open the packet, out it comes and off you go to use it.  Just like that.  In everyday, ‘normal’ life.  You don’t think anything more of it.

It was Husband who needed one first. He grabbed the first one out of the pack, he clearly wasn’t worried about what colour it was, and started using it.

Of course, when I needed one, I ended up with the other colour.

And this where my baffled brain (cell, singular, most likely) gets bamboozled every day, or whenever it is that I remember to brush my teeth (because, sadly, I don’t remember when I do), because my Husband has the pink toothbrush. I have the blue. He doesn’t have a problem with it. I don’t have a problem with it. I mean, after all, this is just a toothbrush that we’re talking about, something that we spend a mere six minutes average with daily, and I’m fully aware that the pink/blue thing is an entirely modern concept (perhaps ironically). However, however … Mongrel Beast is confused.

(Mongrel Beast likes helpful prompts and reminders about daily living, appreciates stereotypes to simplify proceedings).

It doesn’t help either that Husband is deeply mistrustful of my ability to use the appropriate toothbrush. If he catches my hand quavering over the tooth glass then I’m in for an interrogation. It doesn’t reassure him that I can never remember when I last brushed my teeth much less vouch for which apparatus I may have used at the time. And then, naturally, under the heightened pressure and emotion, Mongrel Beast will usually fail to supply the answer to which toothbrush is indeed the correct one. (Although, Mongrel Beast does at least grasp that guessing is not likely to end successfully so just haws like an asthmatic fish).

(Even our dearest are apt to forget, at times, that which is the monsters such as Mongrel Beast that eat away at our cognition and that which is our true Selves).

Nor does it help that the toothbrushes are only differentiated by a slight band of their respective colours. To the addled brain cell, they are both white toothbrushes. You have to look closely. And then, of course, remember. (I’m not doing well with the remembering thing at the moment, did you know?)

I have taken to placing my toothbrush upside down in order to make (or, at least, in hope of, making) it clearer to myself. I don’t think it dries as well though.

And, then, of course, sometimes I forget to…

(Life’s got very like that).

Pain Relief


– What is that noise?  Oh, it’s such a strange noise.

– That noise is silence.

– Silence?  I do not know it.

Disordered Eating


Always clear your plate
Here , have some more
Always say thank you
Don’t you know the trouble I went to?

Eat up, eat up
Otherwise you won’t grow big and strong
There’s children in Africa starving
Or there was once a war, you know
Are you spoilt or ungrateful?

Never waste food
It’s so expensive
Never say no, thank you
What do you mean you don’t like it?

If you’re sad or lonely
Food is medicine for the soul
Or even when you’re ill
Then food will be your cure

Make as big a dish as possible
Well, won’t everyone want seconds?
Ladle it out by the bucket
Well, aren’t you hungry?

Serve up a huge ole slab
Blow everyone away
Is it talent or just impressions?
Never mind, there’s supposedly love in every bite

Love is food-shaped
It is smothering, choked upon
Aren’t we fortunate?
Here have some more

Food brings us together
The backdrop to all the fights
The solution to all the problems
Food solves everything



Will you?
Will you really?
My heart leaps with hope
Don’t I say
Too late
My heart feels not thinks