first, we dig
a hole – not too big!
just the right size
for this potato with sprouting eyes
pop it in
let the new life begin
up go the shoots
and down go the roots
tend it with care
don’t forget that it’s there!


the bairn

the bairn birls
in the air
hersel’ doon the stair
heid first
wee chist fit tae burst.
she’s a wriggly worm on the rug,
confusing the hell oot the dug.
then, all of a sudden she stands,
claps her manky wee hands,
turns on the telly,
then runs fir her wellies.
oot the front door
in the jammies she wore
last night.
she’s as high as a kite,
skiddling in the dirt,
wiping hands on her shirt.
“I’m a wee beastie!” she cries
and yer heart fair flies.


suddenly, I see your face
and that’s a dangerous place
to be
for me.

it’s been years
since the tears
dripped from my chin.

I let you in,
and in doing that
I went into combat
with my mind
against the protection it had designed.

it took years to build
the wall, but I drilled
for you.

my heart, opening like a flower,
gave you the power,
trusting you to care
that you’d always be there.

but that’s not how it went
and I don’t resent
you, and I don’t love you,
but seeing you,
still hurts my chest
you were my best
except at the end.


I’m scared,
and I know that you care,
but at the end of the day,
no matter what you do or say
it’s me who fights
through the nights
spends days
waiting for it all to go away.

it won’t leave me alone
I feel it in my bones
hands on my neck
and I’m a wreck.

always on guard
by the horror of it all
and it would be easy to fall
for the lies my brain tells
to dwell
on the past
on the vast
difference between real life
and mine.


lost in a memory, you cower,
sometimes for hours
on end
and it seems never-end
-ing. riding the waves
of flashbacks that pave
the way to that part of your mind
that they’re trying to find
but you’re hoping to lose.

it’s old news
trying desperately to make
itself ‘current’, and though you fake
your way through life
it cuts like a knife
would, and did, in the past,
so the pretence cannot last.

the smile slips from your face
as you go back to that place
that time
that crime
and relive the silence,
the violence.

it’s so easy to give up
your cup
overflowing now
it’s hard to see how
things will get
better, and yet
you’re still here
fighting that need to disappear.


human beings appear to have gotten
an obsession with not being forgotten.
there is a need
for remembrance of your deeds,
of your name,
for fame.

I just don’t get
the need to be known by those you’ve never met.
an unremarkable life
spent as ‘just’ a wife,
mother, daughter, friend
of days spent tend
-ing your flowers
sometimes for hours
enjoying the simple things
and the joy they bring
of minimising pain,
would seem a better aim.

when we reach for the stars
too often, the marks we leave are scars.
so perhaps treading lightly
is better than grasping on so tightly.
better to bow out with grace
and disappear without trace.


it starts as a small bubble
the trouble
is that it grows
everything in its wake
then suddenly, you’re awake
at 4am, eyes wide
with nowhere to hide.

my thoughts are a train
and the facade I maintain
is slipping fast
as the world slides past.

I am a passenger caught
in one spot
waiting for the destination
the final station
on the line.

people tell me I’m fine
and I agree
because I’d like to be.

but I’m not
it’s just that experience has taught
that nothing can be done.
I am undone,
and the tracks will end
it’s just a matter of when.


an aerial ballet dancer.
never stopping,
never still.
leaping, darting
here to there,
there to here.

it does not simply fly
as the name may suggest,
but shimmers from one place,
glimmers to the next,

wings beat almost imperceptibly
as, lighter than air,
this wee, iridescent beastie
moves through life
heedlessly delighting onlookers.

it thinks nothing of
humble beginnings,
of those longs days spent waiting
for this short moment of light,
because today
the sun is shining,
the sky’s the limit,
and life is good.


first walking.
then talking.
things pass by in movie-style-slow-motion.
-less, I stand,
try to reach out my hand
arms limply hanging.

still standing,
I have stopped, dead
on the spot – my head
mind pacing
forwards and back, centre stage
an animal in a cage.
until that too, slows
and the thinking goes
one thought at a time
no longer mine.

the last thing I think
before I go on the blink:
what could the matter be?
it seems I’ve run out of batteries.

me, as a box

I am empty, but full up.
not a cup,
my contents boxed in
held by thin
sides, battered by time.

a sign
of all that’s gone on
of how I’ve been strong
because, though I may look
flimsy as I sit in this nook,
I was fashioned from star
dust, watched from afar.

the whole universe resides
within my nine sides.
though I am small
I contain it all.

lift the lid, take a peek
can’t you see it? your eyes must be weak!
it’s there in the dark,
making its mark.

but now…maybe I’m wrong.
it’s been such a long
time since the beginning
and my substance is thinning.

oh! a small hole let it out
so it’s flying about.
I have burst at the seams
I’m not sure what that means…