Archive for October, 2014

October 31, 2014


Nobody’s out on a night so black,

Nobody’s footsteps creep down the track,

Nobody crawls through the gale’s grisly groans,

Nobody tramps through the wind’s icy moans,

Nobody crosses the desolate moor,

Nobody comes to an old rotting door,

Nobody knock, knock, knocks, ‘Let me in!’

Nobody’s heard through the storm’s howling din,

Nobody desperately rattles the panes,

Nobody hears the clanking of chains,

Nobody pushes the window, ‘squeak’

Nobody goes up the stairs, ‘creak creak’

Nobody pushes the attic door wide,

Nobody’s grabbed and wrenched inside,

Nobody stares, and nobody screams,

And nobody’s body now swings from the beams.

Nobody’s death makes a breath of chill air.

And nobody’s there. And nobody’s there.

And nobody, still, is there.







October 30, 2014

Welcome To Your (not at all spooky) Tour

Good evening, and welcome to Horrorstone Hall!

Scary? What, here? Oh no, no! Not at all!

It’s all very peaceful. What BOO! did you say?

Ghosts? In this castle? Of course not! No way!

And now, to begin. Yes, the ceiling’s quite low,

So just mind your head. Right that’s SHRIEK, off we go!

This fine suit of armour is CLANK CLUNK CLINK old.

You shiver? But why? It’s not ICY BREATH cold.

The portrait? Oh yes, that’s Sir MWAHAHA Crowe.

He died in his sleep many MUUUUURDER ago.

Now these stairs are SCREECH steep, so hold on to the rail.

That’s it! LOOK BEHIND YOU. Oh no, you’ve gone pale!

I think what you need is a warm cuppa BLOOD

This way to the café! But what was that thud?

My goodness! My gracious! You’ve all dropped down dead!

How perfectly strange! Was it something I said?

Such a terrible pity! Alas! Dearie me!

But still, tourists’ brains will be scrumptious for tea.







October 27, 2014


[This poem was written a month or so ago, when I heard the news that my cousin had terminal cancer and only had weeks to live. It is not ‘about’ her, as such, but it is about the pain and powerlessness of loss. I make no claims to its literary merit, but that’s not really the point. RIP, dear Josie]


Your moorings slipped.

And so, in the dark, you rose

And dipped on the outgoing tide.

Fast and wide, fast and wide,

In the gull-grey light the river raced.

We saw you there, and yes, we chased

Till the wind was our breath and the tears in our eyes

Were the rain and the salt and the seabirds’ cries,

By that shingle-shore of water’s side.

But fast and wide, fast and wide,

In shroud-white haze the river rushed

Past dockyards, factories, funeral-hushed,

And we watched, behind, as you climbed and fell

On the edge of the wind and the salt-sea swell.

Till there it was. The sea’s embrace.

And running up, we turned to face

This vast expanse.

And we were the howl and the sky-rending roar

As the last breath of wind swept you out from the shore

To the sudden still of the silent sea,

And there, in the welcoming waves, you were free.

You left. A small calm point of light,

Then on, and on, and out of sight.




October 24, 2014


Go on, taste a word.

Linger on each tingling syllable,

Lick the velvet of vowels,

Twist your tongue round the gristle

And crunch of consonants.

Let your mouth ooze with the juice

Of sounds, let it

Bite each beat.

Relish resonant rhythm, and sip

The silences

That cleanse the mouth of meaning.

Go on, taste a word.

October 21, 2014

Rude Cat

Rude cat

Comes in

Smelling like

Rubbish bin.

Rude cat

Goes to dish

Head down

Eats fish.

Rude cat

Licks fur

Washes bum

(Doesn’t purr).

Rude cat

With a wink

Jumps on table

Spills drink.

Rude cat

Gives a pout

Lifts tail

Goes out.

October 17, 2014

Terrible Toes

Something’s been nibbling a hole in my sock.

What could it be? Don’t you know?

There’s only one thing could do damage like that!

It must be a Terrible Toe.

Terrible Toes have rows of teeth

That gnash from morning till night.

Like pincers they pull at the tightly-knit wool

Then they take a ginormous big bite.

Terrible Toes go rip! snip! snap!

And they gobble and gorge for a while.

Then they let out a burp and lie down for a nap

With a really most satisfied smile.

Terrible Toes hide out in the dark

And the smelly damp air in your shoe.

I know that I’ve got Terrible Toes,

So look at your socks. Have you?




October 13, 2014

Rain Rhyme

Come on, Rain! You got to stop!

I got to get to the hardware shop!

And what do you think that I need to buy?

You guessed it right – a plug for the sky!

And when I’ve put that plug right in,

I’ll buy for myself a brand new grin.

The rain’s been such a pain today

That it washed my smile quite clean away.


October 10, 2014

Mum’s Drum

Our Mum played the drum

(tiddle um, tiddle um)

It drove us quite mad


So we told her to stop

(tiddle um, tiddle um)

Or we’d do something bad


But still she went on

(tiddle um, tiddle um)

This horrible clamour


So WE played the drum

(tiddle um, tiddle um)

Using a hammer





October 6, 2014

Auntie Violet’s Violin

Nothing makes a viler din

Than Auntie Violet’s violin.

If you got a thousand cats

And thwacked them all with baseball bats

(I shouldn’t need to tell you twice

That bashing cats is NEVER nice)

And then you amplified their howls,

Their mews, their yelps, their hissy-growls,

Until that most disgusting sound

Was heard for many miles around,

And then you kept it up all day

And all the night, you’d stop and say

That nasty noise, so rudely blared,

Was quite mellifluous compared

To Auntie Violet’s vile attempt

To play that loathsome instrument.

So that is why I got a bin

And put my Auntie Violet in.



October 2, 2014

Reminiscences of a Fish

I remember what?

I remember who?

I remember the cool

Of the coraly blue.

I remember where?

I remember why?

I remember the kiss

As the waves met the sky.

I remember which?

I remember how?

I remember this bowl,

And here, and now.