Back stage romance

I know they think

Less of me because

I am not seen with you

A single woman

A single human

A strange thing

A heavy thing

A pack animal


A flat plain

An empty pan

A loose string.

And so alone we go

And it goes on and on

Like Herbie Hancock

Playing to himself,

Cooking music on his stove

Avoiding all the expected notes.

Portrait of a well-seasoned man

Small light core on long legs with
Eyelashes ever ready to curl closely round you,
Lifting, but never
Arrogant, always present,
Stirring truth into spice, he disarms

His laundry lines up cleanly
To his  pit pat  on the door-mat.
His jaw, neat and still, in
Grace, unless moved, grows pepper-
Corns which he combs together into his deep warmth.

He gave me a year in twelve weeks

A month in a week
A day in an hour,
Our sums did not add up
But I did not care  

And he did not count
Until now, then he
Totalled me and my
Figure fell short.

Tango Lesson

Don’t move, wait for
The vacancy between you
To fill with motion that
Churns space into understanding
That moves you to become
Two arcs moving as one,
Separate, yet fused.

Full Moon

You are a world in a

Man, you are my heart in

My hand and my stomach

In a cup that can never

Be drained, you warm up

My soul with your pulse,

Your nostrils and your breaths,

Every hair that moves

On your face is lucky to be

Born near a warmth so

Keen it could run rings around

Me after circling the moon.

Love’s phases in uneven metre


He throws his hands

Up like as if

Painting a self portrait

For her to judge.

She blows him bubbles

From lips that have hugged

Many forks full of

Cheesy spaghetti

Flattered with pepper.


The talk is of

Chatter the chat

Is of less but

The eyes watch

It all wise in

Quiet waiting

For later to

Be laid bare.


The legs relax with

The wine the young knees

Find a nice place

To play while the feet

Discover the other

Side and pretend each

Touch is accidental.


Above the table

The first valve

Of chilli splits,

Veins feel heat

Burst bubbles

Paint curdled –

Two gives up and

Fizzes as one-


They leave,

She forgets

To pay the


But he pulls

Out his fingers

And they depart

Bound in hand.




Apart, the light

Was glorious.

Beach-ball-bats glistened.

Together, it was


The bench was their

Stage and all the rest




 She was there in the night

She was with him in the day

Through thought’s dry vapour

She shone bright dew while

Wet in the rain she waited

At the traffic lights

Filling time with him.



He was the deep and

Gentle rise and fall,

What’s that he said? That

Thudding like the ebb in

 Warm deep water,

Refuge for the frenzied waves.


She was a tree-like place

Of rest and love, the

Deep shade to shelter in

 and heal  blisters with

 her leaf-balm touch.

But it twisted into something

Rough and cut in squares,

Something he had seen in

Other people’s wives and

She had felt as her roots rotted

In the dark, something neither he

Or she could see but both

Knew was there, the fruit had soured

In the heat .



Part 5

Later, recovering,

She thanked him for holding her and

Kissing her hair’s grease,

Finding the eyes she’d dropped ,

Washing them Clean

With Salt love,

The best kind:




Part 6

 She found herself

Asking him

How his day



He liked how she

Bathed his stories

 In warm water

Before bedtime.


She liked his way

Of being the

Full stop to end

A long day.


Together their

Effort made a kind

Of prose, as yet

Without a plot.

Grounding myself with a ‘To do’ list

TO do today

To do today

To bring me

Down, tie me

Tight, back to

My rod, my

Inner sense,

My knowledge of

Myself, my

presence in the


Untied I was,

Today, a floating

Balloon, no

Direction, just

Wind gusts of


That wouldn’t

Have blown

Me off were

I tied up, safe.

But loose was

I, without

That knot of

Thought that

Used to be

Mine – That I

Gave to him

To untie or

Not. I think

He untied it,

I couldn’t see,

I’m a balloon,

But anyway,

I blame him.

Argentine Tango

Stand alone and let someone else

Be somewhere else

For now

Time will bring them near when

Life is clear of



Now is untidy

But I’ve made a start and


Strike off the path

With a misspent

Day of gorging and


Now, I know

The mess is still there

But the drunken

Guests have left.

Their dirty glasses

And cigarette ends

Tell the story of

What’s passed, but

They will be cleared

Away as surely

As that sofa’s stained

And what remains

Are memories, soft,

And hard,

And wood to be

Cut , to relight

A hearth

Long forgotten, ‘neath

Footrest, newspapers

And a tower of DVDs.