Family Values

Sun Daddy believed that the world was small When the world knocked at his door Sun Daddy put his head under the pillow and shouted go away. Every few weeks the world knocked and Sun Daddy shouted, and so it went on for years. Sometimes when Sun Daddy was at work Moon Mother invited the […]

The Trap

I set the ALICE-TRAP at the top of the stairs hoping to trip her up and wait behind the top banister: squeezed between the wooden rails and the paraffin heater – which is off of course – we only use it in winter. Alice is a long time coming so I count spiders and then […]

The Messengers

The sun was trying to get into the house blue at the windows blue at the open door cool flagstones on bare feet as I worked up a sweat on the bread dough the open mouth of the oven as I slipped the loaves inside the cat asleep on the Aga lid the kind of […]


Trying to make a gardenout of bird branches, nettles, dry grasses,a wooden shed with slatted sides,falling down and into itself. Trying to alive a gardenout of weeds and light through leaves,to grow a garden, to mound a gardenout of sycamore keys and thistle-prickle. Trying to Christmas a garden, to Easter a gardento flap a wing […]

Working From Home

They’re working on that spy plane again; first the scrapy sounds of sanding – on and on it goes, all morning, and now they’re rolling something that sounds like a skateboard along the dining room wall. The sporty one arrives home and starts to unload the camera equipment from the boot of his Fiat Punto […]


There is no proof that I exist beyond the mess I’ve made of the house and garden, and a few texts on my mobile phone. I will leave this world lightly – barely a fingerprint will remain. Even children move on – as if all those day in, day outs were only a blink – […]

In the first hospital

your body turned into a cushion, it was the drugs you said and the daily puddings, as if sponge and custard could fix those bothersome brains. The man in the next bed was crying for his mother and there was a woman who kept knocking her head on the wall, come in, she said, come […]

Ten Excuses for Not Phoning

(after Warsan Shire) 1) Because the gaps are bigger than the words either side. 2) Because the surface is so slippery. 3) Because you once said the adverts were more interesting than the programmes. 4) Because I can never be sure you will answer. 5) Because there is always somebody at your door. 6) Because […]

Selves (non existent)

Self as water boatman Self on top deck of open top bus, smiling Self in purple hot pants and Bay City Rollers socks Self with hockey stick in full school colours Self on bottom rung of ladder, carrying shears Self very thin in stripy bikini, arms round two other girls Self in waders, fishing Self […]