5 mins.


feels too tight,

need to get out.



feels too soft,

need mountain rock.



feels too heavy,

need the stratosphere.



feels too big,

need to think small.


a stillness

a moment of great incomprehension

a speck of dust

a blip in time

a universal awareness of mortality



beats too fast,

need less adrenaline.



shakes in spasms,

perhaps need some therapy.



water in torrents,

need to stop weeping.



choking me,

need to count …





Keep it in.

Contain it.

Stop being so melodramatic.


Its just life,

seven billion and counting.

Its just synapses,

one hundred trillion of them.

Its just hormones

and the mystery of earth.


a prayer

a wish

a sigh

a sign…

a life

a moment

a breadth.



The worn out teddy bear

that used to be very dear.

A cheap, sparkly ring

much happiness did it bring.

The cards saved over the years

careful not to make a tear,

there are no words, no way to measure,

the lost joy in a little child’s treasure.


(Written circa 2003)

Dylan, Edna and Death

Confronted by a sudden death, these two came to mind. And specific parts of their writing spoke to present emotion. Below I share their words.

” I shall die, but that is all I shall do for Death “

(Conscientious Objector by Edna St. Vincent Mallay)

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Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

(Do not go gentle into that good night, by Dylan Thomas)


Alpha Beta



I was three years old when I found my best friend.


Her lines and crosses and curves combined to make sound.

It was wild!

With each year that passed Alpha-beta became better.

She gave me more than I could have ever hoped.

Words: thought, spoken, written …

She demonstrated the love of the feel of a blank page,

which competed for my affections

with the divine smell of a freshly cut book,

all pointing back to that one true friendship with AB.


Like all great friendships, although we immediately clicked,

we were both a little mistrustful of our good fortune.

Well maybe I was, because AB was the belle of the ball …

Everybody vying for her attention …

trying to impress her with their dos, cans and sacrifice …

combinations, at once brave and stupid …

in their desperate reach for wit …

insosophysicalmentimentilysations, spell it.


However, like Elizabeth Taylor’s divorce lawyer,

on retainer,

she kept her cool at our antics.

Because she knew it was just the lure of the new

That sparked all the affection.

But for me, it was true friendship.

And the onus was on me to prove my feelings true,

with no shortcuts, just the slow passage of time

and the courage to always be kind to the lady

who first showed me kindness.


Alphabet showed me the way out of my head

and gave me the key to darker places.

But added a map of lighter places,

drawn with the blueprint of the homes of wondrous fairy tales.

She gave me a free pass to non-existent planes,

That made my personal thought – jumble

seem like the most exquisite of algorithms,

a veritable masterpiece in logical thinking.

Alphabet was so crazy, giving meaning to herself,

she gave meaning to me.


Our friendship through the decades has moved from impressionism,

through surrealism and professionalism.

She always gave me more than she took,

But now she forces me to stare myself down

And confront concrete realism

Of those grey, dark and twisted shadows

that she helped me escape so many years ago

and though fear sweats my brow and terror chills my heart,

I can walk through the murk

and stifle the scream when tendrils of despair lap at my ankles

because on the other side

Alphabet waits







He had red hair, red skin and redder eyes.

Like something out of a tale told to frighten naughty children … conjured from feverish imaginations as they stare into the flickering fire.

It was on the kind of day that the old women dreaded.

Hotter than hell.

That sort of heat that was unapologetic in its cruelty.

Heat that overpowers the senses, the type that goes beyond feeling.

An assualt that you can hear, smell and taste on the cracked parchment that used to be your tongue.

Many could not stand the onslaught.

Silently, their breaths were stolen in that orange afternoon when the world stood still.

Yes I remember.

It was the kind of heat the defied men into inanimation.

Sitting still for hours.

Only shifting surreptitiously when the shade threatened to abandon them.

The red man came… walking through the haze … a shadow … a snake… a twisted skeleton … then a man.


There is a question I have always asked myself when I read books about the apocalypse… what will happen in Africa whilst the Americans are busy trying to save the world?

Do we have stories about the end?

What do those stories say?

Do they talk about fires…or floods or aliens?

Where is our place in a future that is doomed?

Are we the first casualty or the final refuge?