It’s bad for me 
I know it’s bad for me 
It’s tearing me up inside 
I can sense the damage 
I’ve been reprogrammed 
Rewired to desire 
Something that’s no good for me 
That won’t make me happy 
If I were stronger 
I’d give it up today 
Dispense with the excuses 
Confront my weakness 
I would and I could 
But I don’t and I won’t 
Because addiction is still 
Something to cling to 


Barbed wire fences 
and lines drawn in sand 
are equally invisible to me 
until I am gouged by spikes 
or stumble and fall 
Is a door closed 
by mistake, a snub or challenge? 
Unless I twist the handle 
kick, knock, pick the lock 
How can I know for sure? 
Where should I build my own defences? 
With what materials do I construct 
protection? or isolation? 
And from whom? 
Here is a mystery 

Feeding the geese

I proffer nutritious seeds 
“Honk!” they scoff “What is this – health food? 
We want white bread and deep fried chips!” 
Explanations are met with angry hisses and dismissive flappings 
They don’t care what’s good for them 
They know what they like. 
A small child yells with delight 
More hissing and flapping from the flock 
They don’t know our language 
To them, a loud noise is a threat or a challenge 
Now the child is afraid as well 
We regard each other as dangerous pests 

Mr Gander defends the nest 
On which Mrs Goose is brooding 
Soon there will be a crèche of yellow tufts 
Squeaking and cheeping at the wonders of this new world 
Mum and Dad need a break from the park 
A nice quiet field would be heaven 

If you’re not from round here 
You might be a problem; the flock defends its own 
Against intruders and predators – strangers are a danger 
There might not be enough bread to go round, you see 
Or nesting sites, or clean water 
Canada vs Greylag, Pinkfoot vs Brent 

If I had a long neck 
Strong wings, an orange beak 
Webbed feet and loud honk 
I might be a goose 
We’re not so different 


until coalescence 
around and within 
the form of another 
become my exoskeleton 
I watch you closely 
listen carefully 
map your horizons 
adapt to your landscape 
unfold myself across and around you 
breaking new ground 
into familiar territory 
I am coquette 
healer, jester 
best friend, pupil, slave 
whomever you are seeking 
can be constructed, I will build 
and pour myself 
into the vessel 
I am then a mirror 
to hold up to your desires 
reflection of your hopes and mine 
given form behind the glass 
I am what I need you to want me to be 
somewhere within 
and beyond you 
is my true self 
she stirs to awakening 
from dreams of metamorphosis 

Hackneyed and clichéd

At the end of the day, it’s an old story 
Caught between a rock and a hard place 
It’s fair to say that great minds think alike 
And fools seldom differ; we knew what we were getting into 
And to be honest, it was always going to end in tears 
With all due respect, it’s not rocket science 
We bit off more than we could chew 
And made a mountain out of a molehill 
So I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it after all 
Especially when your plate’s already full 
Now that the bridges have been burned 
I ask you, does the grass still look greener on the other side? 
Going forward, you should be thankful for what you’ve got 
And I’ll learn to think outside the box 
Maybe we can get past this, in the course of time 

Lady Macbeth

Out, damned spot, out I say 
This is not guilt staining my hands 
Nor the blood of an honest man 
But the recall of a perfidious touch 
Held tight, close enough to feel a pulse 
Between us and within us 
I clench my fists and claw my palms 
I should have died hereafter 
You washed your hands of me 
Erased the damning fingerprints 
And donned a protective gauntlet
Enclosed in righteous chainmail 
You grasp your fill of redemption 
While my fingers close on empty air 
What’s done cannot be undone 
Nor that which was said be forgotten 
The milk of human kindness has run dry 
Leaving behind only bitter-tasting gall 
Though I scour you from mind and sight 
A trace persists beneath my skin 
Will these hands never be clean?