Au Revoir

One final visit to the town that has been my home.

Or perhaps one day there will be another?

Not for the foreseeable future:

When will I see that stretch of coast again,

Hear the many seagulls call across the breeze?

I will miss the open spaces, the narrow streets too.

I seem to fall in love with every place in which I live

And leave part of me behind when I go away,

But the urge to pack up and move does not leave.

Goodbye for now, to this green and sprawling town,

To the salted air and busy roads.

If I see you again, we will both have changed.



Grandma likes to re-purpose.

She once gave me a calendar from 1987,

Featuring photos of tractors,

In case it would come in handy.

It did not.

She has several mismatched teapots,

Yet she only likes coffee

And her garage is full of half-upholstered chairs.

Plump money plants and bright orchids,

Lining her windowsills,

Jostle with dusty cacti which make me sneeze,

So we must sit outside together , escaping the clutter,

Waiting for spring to arrive.

Rain drips from her gutters and the garden ferns

As she presses a rusty tin into my hands that once held fudge,

Because I’ll never know when I might need it.

I keep it as a reminder of these damp days.


Secret Shrine

Through the streets I wandered,

Meandering as I went,

And as I walked I pondered,

What lay just round the bend.


Heat was blazing down on me,

From the August sun,

Let loose on holiday, I was free

My plans for the day all done.


What I then saw before my eyes

I did not expect to find:

A glowing shrine, quite large in size,

Light and darkness intertwined.


Under an arched ceiling, candles abounded:

Plaques of thanks covered the wall,

Cobblestones beneath my feet were rounded,

From centuries of footfall.


Sometimes, without the guidebook

You come across that special place,

Which makes you stop and take a look,

And wonder in its grace.









Little Miss Late

She’s very busy, she has no time,

Perhaps her time is more important than mine.

Rushing about, to and fro-

She doesn’t even know where to go!

Running in circles round everything

Not even sure where to begin-

Or so she keeps telling me.

One of us has to be patient, you see,

To sit around waiting, every day;

Wondering what excuses she will say.

I ran through the drizzle to catch the bus

But she splits her life between all of us,

So we feel quite ignored and forgotten,

Lesser, not as valid, slightly rotten.

I’m waiting at the café now, alone,

While I suspect she’s still at home.

A Book at the Beach

At the beach, my favourite place,

The wind blowing my hair into my face,

A stranger approaches to chit chat;

To be polite about this and that.


Amongst the grassy dunes, sandwich in hand,

My toes drying out in the gritty sand,

The ice cream van goes tinkling past,

So I go to buy a Fab at last.


Near the end of the pier I’ve opened my book,

But now I’ve got to take another look

At the surfers, learning to surf down below

Falling and splashing everywhere they go.


I lie down to sunbathe under blue skies,

Yet clouds roll in over seagulls’ cries,

As the rain starts to fall and won’t leave me alone

I decide it’s best if I just go back home.


Here on the sofa with tea at my side,

I don’t have to worry about high or low tide;

I’m determined to see, by hook or by crook,

Whatever will happen next in my book!









Feeling sentimental over boxes;

Boxes of knick-knacks,

Clothes, cards, old gifts.

I cannot let go of these things;

Each one reminds me of the past.

The skirt I wore to my first day of college,

Folded over a stack of tickets;

Cinema tickets, train tickets, exhibition tickets,

Faded ink and forgotten films and journeys.

Forgotten until I go through these boxes.

I have kept every letter ever written to me;

Handwritten, with scribbles and doodles and stickers.

However I cannot keep every book I have read,

As I have filled the attic already-

My bookcase is overflowing too.

“Just use an E-reader”, you say,

Then I will not remember the first time

The book was opened,

Neither will I enjoy the smell of its pages.

Now I try to find the balance

For my home:

Between clinical, impersonal, empty,

And a hoarder’s paradise:

A museum of my own life,

Stuffed to bursting with things I never use,

Because they are not for using;

Yet they are mine and I hold them dear.


Fade Away

How long do I have to wait

Before everything stops reminding me of you?

Your face is framed clearly in my mind,

Although I was never good with faces.

I find them hard to picture and they blur,

Distorted and foggy.

Your face will not leave me now.

No detail will leave me;

The figures on your shelves

Or the coffee in your cupboards

Are imprinted in my head

Like your fingers on my back

Moving softly down my spine;

I remember but I wish I could forget.

When can I turn the radio on again

Or walk to work the way I used to go

Without regretting it?

It has been a long time now;

You get farther away,

But you won’t disappear.