Tiny buds that so quickly ignite and the flashing yellow daffodils under a neighbour’s dried hydraenga.  These signs speak of spring. There is much talk at this time of year, as there is at every time of year. It seems everybody got a word or two to say and those who don’t have ventriloquists who do the talking for them. I don’t know if I prefer his monocle on or off his face, both options look initially viable until the square chin and peeling paint can go no longer unnoticed.

I was never handsome. That had never, (thankfully for me) been my ambition.  Ambition of any kind was not expected of dummies, though they were exceedingly good at distracting the eye from that which should have been watched closely; the creeping up of spring and its gloriously inevitable pounce.


The curious child’s face when the weasel pops couldn’t detract me from the strange scent of hyacinth pulsing in the yellow stained kitchen. An acquired smell, akin to rodent mating spray with a high note of ammonia.

All his working life, think outside of the box, he said, all that blue sky thinking, he said and he said it all without once moving his lips. Jaw ache. Keeping him amused. Guess he’s lonely. Needs somebody to talk to, as he folds over my legs and closes the lid.

The larfs aren’t the same anymore, he’s out-said his repertoire and I hear him wanking, then crying, then speaking in my voice, practising religiously. I Glaswegian Kiss the lid with my wooden forehead. Let me think outside of this box. If I had a head it would ache, like the jaw, like his heart, for anyone to believe he has what it takes.

Revolutions of the same song, slurred and skid marked on the toilet bowl of life. It wasn’t even a real hyacinth. It was a car air freshener he had hung on the handle of the window. There were no favours to be had, only head pain from the sound of his own voice. He was so used to speaking through somebody else’s lips, so used to tasting through somebody else’s tongue, he had no senses since Guenivire left.

He had taken his eyes of her balls and the rough talk and the small talk had somehow become one in the same. Guenivire had had enough and even though I was in my box, I heard her joyfully slamming doors as she skipped out of his life forever.

His narcissistic ego initially had him convinced Genny would come back, but she didn’t, he even kept me out of my box longer, waiting at the stage door. She was much more in demand, her lady boy features and coral lipstick. At first he laughed it off sardonically. Then he started chain smoking again and spitting; most of all I hated the spitting.

Life is unkind, particularly in spring, as the heart withers and the soul retreats in direct opposition to the natural order of the season. The pigeons bonking on the nearby rooves reminded him of Genny and their awkward copulations. I can hear his sighs of regret like a flat lining hospital monitor, as I pretend to sleep, colluding with this box, where his voice hides, knowing full well through this lid and that monocle, without her we shall never see a blue sky.

A Letter to the Children of Syria

You are ours too and we belong to each other and to the earth and to all the stars in the universe. Sadly, not all of us here know that, some people think we are strangers even though it is so easy to make friends with children just like you.

War becomes a kinaesthetic experience. I feel the bombs dropping in and around my body.

Does this insult you? I speak metaphorically when it is actually you who gets the literal experience. Your tiny body is where the bombs explode.

I try to express my empathy with you and I want you to know if I were there I would cover your body with mine as a shield.

I have nightmares about nuclear bombs and surviving. I am unlucky enough to live through the agony and suffering of nuclear fall out. In the dream I am covered in a toxic ash, like from an Icelandic volcano eruption.

Somehow we are all responsible for the decision in parliament today. The lucky ones (in my dream), were vapourised at ground zero, but not me, I got covered in the post apocalyptic guilt, where the cliché ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’, ‘simply does not cut it’ and I am so sorry, really sorry for endangering your life with the metal of the British Empire and an old historical document signed by the United Nation before you were even born. It was signed before we could even conceptualise the kind of terrorism that exists today with Daesh.

You can not understand why your street and house and possibly school must be dessimated. I am not even sure if you will ever recover from the military action. I can only ask that you forgive us our trespasses. As indeed we should forgive too, only forgiveness is not profitable. Forgiveness is for fools.

I want you to know I abhor any decision founded by profit that hurts you. I apologise for the men in power who immorally profit from war. I am sorry that we didn’t ask for a peace agreement first and I am so sorry that we didn’t sanction the countries selling arms to the extremists with whom you have a civil war.

We mean well. We aim to create a safer world. Sadly I believe we are misguided. If you grow up with hatred in your heart then we are to blame too and history has even more reason to repeat itself, again and again.

Tonight I apologise to the people of Syria, to your mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, because I believe the air strikes will not make them safe and perhaps the only consolation, is that it will not make any of us safe and this pitiful offer, is all the solace I have to offer you right now.

A miserable attempt a Solidarity, becuse I will wake up from my nightmares, whereas you are living in one right now.

Writing this here is all the power I have to say that I truly hope peace will prevail and I am truly sorry for the violence we are subjecting you to. Your young life is very precious and I am sorry that my government has not found another way.

Please forgive us.


In autumn do the leaves belong to the tree or the wind? The branches tousle and sway and the leaves cling and woosh and say one more day; hang on one more day.

A small pale golden maple leaf, half crumpled swishes through the open window and lands on the white porcelain sink. At least it should be white, but today is spotted with indigo streams where the paint magically splooshes and splashes, as uncertain as the autumn onto other surfaces.

White would have been cleaner, white doesn’t leave stains on white or if it does it is camouflage.

I hide, like the white on the white on the white, the porcelain, the tiles, the gloss and yet I feel like indigo.

A smear and a stain. I sploosh and flow and sploosh and flow and I colour you with stains that show, reveal, against my will. The trail of where I was of who I have been of all the magnificent madness I have seen.

Indigo. It’s called indigo, like the eternal cloudless night that imprints upon you an indelible mark. Indelible ink, whooshing through existence like a liquid shooting star in the paint pot spraying magic madness all over the room.

Indigo in the room.

The Human Stain

Some stains are harder to remove. It is very annoying on a newly bought item of clothing. Usually a new  blouse, relatively expensive in pale Italian blue linen. A current favourite part of a limited go to wardrobe. 

The coffee is drank without drama. The coleslaw in the sandwich is a near miss and hits the floor. That feet back head forward reflex stain saving manoeuvre saves the afternoon.

I feel accomplished. No stains and it is already 1.45pm. I feel emboldened, confident. I am secure in my stain avoiding strategies.  I am so in control. Ain’t no stains on me. 

Lately, human interactions have been having the stain effect too. That Italian blue linen blouse equivalent of a good mood. That, ‘at last spring,’ new hope of a ruse. That, ‘future is brighter now,’ illusion. Alright, maybe this time it is not even an illusion, a white lie? Yes. A white lie. The Santa Claus is real kind of white lie on Christmas Eve. Then wham, a so called friend says the most hurtful thing;

“I don’t want to waste my time with you.”

And there’s an audible ink stain the size of Australia on my blue Italian linen good mood.

I am leaving out the context of the rest of the words exchanged, simply because it was this specific sentence that stained my mood. Stained my feelings of friendship that I had for him and stained my attitude towards him forever.

The human stain.

The chicken tikka masala sauce stain. That ruins friendships.  Ruins clothes. It never comes out and is set in industrial strength take away oil. Oil stains can not be removed and sadly, attempts to do so usually cause more damage to the garment. Further staining. Further chemicals, which themselves stain or irreversibly change the fabric. Wear and tear of rubbing and scrubbing to remove the oil and the red masala sauce.

I think of Brexit, an irreversible staining, by a currently misguided electorate, who seem not to understand the complex and delicate mechanisms whereupon the very destiny of human lives are decided. 

Brexit is so much worse than Tikka Masala staining, but that I feel, is outside of the remit of this blog.

I too in recent times have said words that can not be recanted. I too have stained friends’ opinions of me with words they did not want to hear. In no way do I exclude myself from the inevitability of human staining.

Words can be black ink on pale blue linen too. Words go both ways. Words linger. 

I love my pale blue Italian linen blouse and I also love my pale blue Italian linen good mood.

It has been a very long time since I have been able to match an outfit with my mood with such pastel positivity.

So you, with your human stains, keep ’em machine washable and I shall endeavour to afford you the same courtesy. 

If you insist on doing the staining remember it will change the garment forever and ruin the outfit and at the moment, pale blue Italian linen is my favourite. 

Mind Junk

All day everyday. Mind junk. The relevance of which I no longer even wish to fathom. Thought in, thought out and I ought maybe buy a statue. A Buddha, sitting in an uncomfortable position and I’ll delegate my mind junk to it, to its concrete brain and closed contoured eyes and see if its expression contorts as the meaning of my thoughts pass like urine through a conduit.

I sigh! A tired and lonely rebellious sigh. A sigh of resignation, I didn’t tempt him to adultery and still, I miss him, those thoughts of early morning murmurings as I press my body into his and we stir together before even the dawn of humankind.

And it’s only junk. Mind junk, passing through a mind in stone, over an expressionless face. No laughter line. No joke. No enlightened countenance from the waste products of its mind.

This too. This too. This too shall pass. The concrete shall be weathered and the junk will crumble, like an ancient Atlantean colloseum and then that too, as is mind junk, shall wear out in the irrelevance of time. And the hollow contour of you and I, will only shine in the light of an exploded sun.

My thoughts of you are mind junk. I clasp the Buddha’s stone head and say, I hope you have more success than I, in tempting temptation.

Winter Sunrise

November day with overhung clouds, dismal grey on a diet of windswept trees, scant and scarce as winter begins. The icy lilaic pink sky peeks through sunrise, a kiss of the day ahead and at the bus stop, the branches sigh. Oh! What tales to tell.

A delayed bus is a delayed life. Broken down ambitions. Stalled and choked on the piston called life. A full circle race track and I am back, the tarmac eats its own tail.

The driver speeds full throttle or the equivalent, of an electric low emission bus. The chariot. Carrying those to the daily ritual and those who still chase the dream. The golden sun peeks through a slit between two clouds. The eye of Rah.

Foretold, I had my own pursuit of the philosophers stone, almost cracked my enigma code. Training to arrive at some destination, muddle through more like. Running through the threshold again, the uninvited guest. I neither jog, nor sprint, more of an involuntary propulsion. There is a strong case for stasis of the homeopathic kind. A steady study of what is, the bus timetable predicate, ordinary life astrology, head out of the stars and into a website, book, tablet of virtual stone.

The mason’s chisel upon 21st century materials. At the very least I am familiar here, in some scriptures the least is the most. This is what I know. This chapel of my familiar.

Winter, you are my sunrise, opaque and frozen. Cold as an exsanguinated heart. Even so, I keep you warm. The memory, the the idea, the ideal, because there are many years between us now, but still you haunt my thoughts, like unexpected faces in Halloween photographs.

I did very well not to drown whilst dunking for apples in that big river. I did very well to make it home, after asking for all those pennies. I didn’t give up, but my turnip face gave way to extraneous circumstances and a strange passive inability to assert my will.

Winter, you are my sunrise. I can make claim to this miracle upon miracle. All of what I know, I saw in your closed eyes, like a Stanley Kubrich scene. The blind vision of Halloween lanterns.

I shall find healing clay and press it on my wide open affliction and incant a prayer so you appear and say something like,

“Put the kettle on.”

And I will say something like,

“Of course, anything for the winter sunrise.”