Word Of The Year

Staycation – the word of 2020 –
Is here again, and life’s still empty.

A holiday at home? Exciting?
Two weeks in prison – more inviting.

Last year’s buzzword here again,
Bring along your ball and chain.

For that’s now this year’s buzzword too;
So much to dream, so little to do.

Shall I fly or book a cruise?
No longer is it mine to choose.

Stay at home or nearby?
Get me to the airport and let me fly.

A Covid passport will be needed,
All other options now conceded.

My Vaccination Dream

My vaccine hub had called,
Asked me to take the jab.
At first I hummed and stalled,
Then rang and booked a cab.

It was very cold outside,
I’d never known it colder.
My bones had ossified,
And my nerves began to smoulder.

I coughed and gave a sneeze,
I couldn’t bear the cold.
The air was fit to freeze
The taxi’s exhaust manifold.

Of the needle I am scared,
But when I saw the size,
“I’ll take it”, I declared,
As I squeezed shut both my eyes.

“You’ll just feel a little prick”,
The nurse she said to me,
And I suddenly felt sick,
All I wished to do was flee.

Now in my upper limb,
Since I went behind that screen,
I am full up to the brim
With tetrafluoroethylene.

In fact I had the Pfizer
The other – my waking dream;
It didn’t really happen
So now I’m back on theme.

A Devilish Dream

unrecognizable woman with horrible makeup pointing at camera from darkness

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Devilish Dream

Yes, I danced with the devil in my dream,
And I dallied with my demons as I slept;
Or was it you, my tender love,
Was it thoughts of you and me,
That salted all my tears as I wept?

For the bitterness, the gall which I have felt,
Brought me memories of life before I cried,
Turned my sourness to sorrow,
Lulled my aches until tomorrow, 
Lent me strength to face the future mollified.

Now, since I awoke, I’ve known an emptiness,
A sense of having missed that magic time,
When love was oh so sweet,
Our happiness was complete,
And that good night was always quite sublime.



The Sting of the Serpent

photo of a snake

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The Sting of the Serpent

Oh the thrill
it is with me still
As the dream persists
for good or ill

But to recapture its flavour
each time it occurs
is never to savour
the tang
that taste
of the original

The first touch
was always the best
for then
before the sting
had been sucked
before the loss
of its life blood
now decayed
the essence that made
the sharpness that gave
the serpent’s bite
the bitter tang
of its toxic fang

So little remains
to colour that
repeating dream
its haunting theme
that stays
to haunt
my dimming days
to drown my
darkening nights


Unsummoned Thoughts


Unsummoned Thoughts


What causes my thought’s directions
From where do ideas come

Insouciance and nonchalance
Two words I rarely use
Both jumped at me this morning
Sprang unheralded
Into my mind
As if from a nowhere
Hypnogogic state
Ambushed my thoughts
Set me thinking
Where did they spring from
How does my hurting waking brain produce them
dredge them up from some subliminal dream
From my subconscious being
Is it the sound they make
Their sibilance
Their warmth
They don’t frustrate
Not threatening
They’re gentle
Just a glimpse of stillness
Of satisfying peace
Crying out to be used
To be spoken
For me to use
To be indulged

But that is the nature
Of dreaming
Solace to a shrunken


photo of paper on top of wooden surface

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Murder In The Cathedral – Two-Word Tale #14

The Cathedral

‘The Cathedral’ (detail): WHB – Pen & Wash

Murder In The Cathedral

With awe
And gripped
With fright
How can
I last
For one
More night

My awe
My fear
Hold me
In thrall
A lasting
Curtain call

I sleep
I dream
I know
My place
‘Tis full
Of pain
God’s grace

For all
My sins
I can’t
I’m lost
I’m gone
I am
Mere bone

And dread
Are my
Worn as
On my


To you
Who now
Will hear
My story
I pray
You will
My fate



History generally lays the blame for the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, on his former close friend, King Henry II, who, in 1174, did penance at Becket’s tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. 



Two Word Tale #9 – Be Bold

action adults backlit dawn

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Be Bold

Be bold
Don’t moan
Be brave
We’re alone
You’re scared
I’m not
Just try …
…  A shot!

Missed me
Winged you
Play dead
Me too

He’s gone
We hope
Your dream
My trope



To Sleep … To Dream


To Sleep … To Dream


Sleep drifts across my consciousness
as I enter that make-believe world
where reality sees through a muslin mask
draped damask silk obscures truth
and a samite screen falls across my past

The difference between then and now fades
as a haze envelopes my senses
featureless clouds descend
and my dream-world begins

Reality now hijacked by myth and legend
a new world
a concoction distilled from my history
as unlike my waking world
as noonday is from midnight
as I am from my shadow


Life’s parade ground

Death’s practice ground



Reverie #4 … Still Waters




No. Not Muddy Waters,
Nor even Crystal Waters.
It was Still Waters.
Yes, that’s what we called him.

He called himself Walter.
Walter Waters from Watford
And places South of the Gap.
My one-time boss
Head man
Big chief of the Trendy Tribe
Leader of the Pliant Pack.

I could never fathom him.
Not him
Nor his fawning hangers-on.
Still waters run deep they say.
I’d say that still waters are stagnant,
Not much running there
Algae-filled, dark green and smelly
– Rancid in fact,
And deliriously avoidable.

Yes, that’s him without doubt.
Going nowhere – fast or any other speed.
Him to a ‘t’ ;
a Capital ‘T’.
I’d say that fits his bill.

Yet he thinks he’s life and soul of the party.
God’s Gift to the Agency.

Some party!
Some life?!
Worth a dream,
But never a second meeting.