Sunday, 24 June 2018


There, outside, starlings squawk
squeaking squabbling
fighting over suet balls – posturing,
Wings flutter,    then flapping beating,
feet outstretched, threatening threatening.
Battles quickly won, winners’
peck-peck-peck at (suet) prizes,
losers peckng scattered titbits - 
‘til the next war, (in moments moments,)
then they’ll squawk and fight again

Here, inside, we squabble
over little things, the minutiae, the meaningless,
as if our sorry lives depended on it. 
Posturing, chins jutted out,
teeth bared; lips curled & snarled,
we lace into one another,
venom in our screeching voices.

You win this time, even if by default –
I’ll no longer, can’t be bothered
to play this losing game, this silly blaming game,
where (somehow) you believe
I’m the driver in your sorry stupid life.

You preen like some vain cock,
cock-a-hoop over shallow victory,
smile smirking across your stupid face. 
Whilst I, defeated by the pain the chore of it,
seethe so strongly deep inside, &
mutter silent words in venom breaths.

Outside, now, all starlings gone,
two wood-pigeons coo and woo,
he follows her across the lawn,
tries to mount and with a flap of wings
she flies away, he follows her,
pursues his love…

I wish I could fly away but I’m still here
squawking screeching deep inside,
seething, spitting silent venom
whilst putting out new suet balls. 

Anna o]

Inspired by watching the birds in my garden, the human bit is pure fiction.  

Shared with the good folk at Poets United, hosted by Mary, cheers Mary!

Video courtesy of YouTube

Wednesday, 20 June 2018


She spills some on her palm, runs her finger through the little moving mound (a pretty shade of pastel blue) of her mother’s little helpers (“that don’t fucking help this fucking mother one miserable iota”).

She’s anxious still, all screwed up, the little pills don’t help at all, amongst other things she’s now  all screwed up about the stinging side effects, feels drunk without a drink.

If someone could get inside my head, they’d know, (she thinks) know how miserable, how screwed up I am, but no-one gives a damn about silly little me.

It’s true, her husband is tired of her/tired of it, she drags him down into her melancholy, he dreads every single day. The kids are sick of her, sick of being a mother to their mother, and wish she’d go away, be hospitalised, be normalised so they could be kids again.

She eyes the pills again, the pills she’s spilled upon her palm, gets anxious about the harm she’ll cause (if she takes every sodding one) of those she’ll leave behind.  She loves them still, her lovely hubs and kids, but knows they’d be better rid of her.

She finds herself suddenly strong. Even though a longing in her heart for all she loves, she cups her palm, swallows all (and other meds), doused down with her favoured alcohol.

She is confident she will sleep tonight – perhaps (she hopes) forever – and no doubt she will.  And those left behind will spill their tears, but (perhaps) will quietly be relieved…

Anna :o[

Inspired and written for Paul at dVerse, who asks us to write of medicine.

Working (as I did) with those problemed with mental ill-health, I know of the devastating affect this can have on the entire family, know that family members will/might become estranged from those experiencing mental ill-health, will ‘suffer’ almost as much as they.  It is a difficult problem. 

I have only ‘suffered’ with clinical depression once in my life, due to external factors that I could not change.  Once the situation was resolved (by others) it took some time to recover, be me again. 

Prior to this, in my late thirties, I began to experience severe PMS, something I did not believe existed until it (literally) dropped on me and the uncontrollable anger that came with this, because of it, was unstoppable.    When it ‘dropped’ I recognised it, explained to my family my friends and my patients that I was ‘like this’ because of it… and felt it right to inform, so they would know that my anger was remote from them, not their fault.

But I knew, they knew (by explanation), that it was transient –not their fault.  Some don’t have this luxury…

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels  

Saturday, 2 June 2018


All I do is long for you.

Candle flickers,
gramophone spins old 45,

see you dancing in the shadows…

old sweater hugged
smells of you,
fills me up…

tobacco-kissed DNA,
remains of you among the ashes. 
I see you 
on the lips of long-emptied glasses,
cold breath whispering 
I was here.

Anna :o]

An oldie reworked and abridged for Hedge's 55.

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United - cheers for hosting Mary.

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels

Tuesday, 29 May 2018


I was not there
when on his quick road to hell
he detonated the bomb,
death strapped to his chest
like a medal for martyrs.

I was not there
when you offered prayers at the mosque,
did not hear the explosion,
did not sink into blackness,
did not wake to the horror,
did not see as you tried
to piece your children’s bodies together,
did not see you searching for limbs,
little body parts scattered
as if confetti of war. 

I was not there;
your screams passed without hearing,
your pain without feeling,
I just didn’t know.

I was not there but have read of you,
now know of your story,
know your grief is enormous,
know you sink into sadness,
know you can’t afford surgery,
know that poverty steals you,
know you still pick glass from the soles of your feet.

I was not there but have read of you,
I am moved by your story. 
I think of you, feel for you,
picture the horror in my mind.

The terrible truth is that although moved,
soon I will  unconsciously filter you out.
My thoughts will become full of a new outrage,
a new disaster    or petty things,
little petty things that don’t matter at all.

This is the scheme of things;
this is how we operate – to stay sane,
to not be constantly afraid… to have hope…
to deal with the next day and whatever it brings.

I wish you had this choice. 


Written for Susan’s Midweek Motif at Poets United where she asks us to write about Truth, thanks for the inspiration Susan.

Also shared with the good folk at Real Toads, hosted by Rommy – cheers Rommy, and also the good folk at dVerse - cheers for hosting Grace.

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, 20 May 2018


Old sot he is, drunk of drunks,
professional proper up of bars,
jars, jugs of, pints of ale, chased
down with a tot or two or three
or maybe half-full glass of warming whisky.

He smiles that inebriated smile he smiles,
guile he has, animated, bothers others,
other patrons with his drunken idle chatter,
slurring each and every word. 
They’ve heard it all before,
his inane views on world affairs,
how his wife bleeds him of each and every penny,
so skint is he, so stony-broke,
hasn’t any coins to rub together,
pours out his empty grasping heart.

They know his game and play it,
just to get rid of him,
buy him another pint, tell him “Now fuck off!” 
He laughs out loud, slaps their backs. 
“Cheers mates!”  he grins as he swills down
another dose of that lovely golden nectar.

He is not done yet,
watches eagle-eyed as others leave,
checks their glasses, downs the dregs,
smiling smugly as if he has won some clever game. 

Bar emptying, he gathers up the glasses
hoping for a freebie for his effort,
but now so unsteady, he falls,
smashes glasses as he hits the floor.  
The barman (now pockets full enough)
finally chucks him out.

He staggers out, smug and happy, singing loudly, heading home.

At home his family wait,
shivering in their frightened bodies,
quivering in their troubled minds,
fear showing in their blackened eyes…

they never win his mindless drunken games.

He always wins.

Anna :o]

Brenda (cheers Brenda) at The Sunday Whirl has us writing using the following words: Bar, check, animated, wait, loud, laugh, drunk, queen, eagles, family, win & hearts.  (I must admit to being naughty as I didn’t use ‘queen’ - as I would have had to force it in.)

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United, hosted by Mary – cheers Mary!

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018



I have bled out,
arid I am.

I yearn for you,
quench my thirst,
quench my thirst.  

Let me drink of your body,
drink ‘til I’m full,
fill me up; fill me up,
rush headlong,
rush blood–red,
sear through my veins.

Fill me up,
fill me up -
you are my water,
I am your cup.
I’m so empty,
empty, I’m empty
just waiting
for you.

Anna :o]

Sumana at Poets United has us writing of Water and perhaps I have gone off on a tangent…  Cheers for the inspiration Sumana!

Image:  Courtesy of Pexals.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Whaddya Think?

There's life in the old dog yet!

I can’t barter my heart for it is not mine to give;
it is his, the love of my life who I stalk with a passion,
my love unrequited as no doubt you’ve guessed.

But I have needs I have wants and I’ve concluded you’ll do
to fill in the gaps gaping wide open, yawning and aching,
and this space deep inside me – I’ve reserved it for you.

I’ll trade you my body for my name on the deeds
on a home for the keeping, palatial not paltry,
and I’ll fulfil all obligations, take my place in your bed 

I’ll be your eye candy your trophy to triumph
over those doddery old fools who slither ever so slowly
in your false little circles, doddery old fools you want to impress.

Dressed to the nines, I’ll be bosom revealing and not concealing
my thighs; will wear skirts that barely cover the clean curve of my arse. 
Think, the doddery old fools, how green-eyed they’ll be with me linked to your arm! 

We can do a prenuptial – I don’t mind that at all for all I want is the house. 
Nevertheless, I will be a spouse to be proud of; will fulfil all your needs,
gratify all of your urges and indeed those of my own.

I shall still stalk him it’s true perhaps as a neat little hobby
for as young as I am I have to consider my future,
for one day you’ll be gone and a side of the bed will be empty…

but til that time comes I’ll be loyal to you until death doth us part,
I’ll be faithful and true, kindly and giving, attentive and pleasing,
I’ll be all that you want, but I can’t give you my heart. 

So whaddya think?  Have we a deal?

Anna :o]

At Poets United, Susan’s midweek motif is that of barter/trade and above is my offering.  Of course it is pure fiction, or is it… maybe I have a murky past…  :o]

Cheers for the inspiration Susan!

Image:  Courtesy of  Pexels

Monday, 30 April 2018


Walking has always been a problem for me, what with gait and balance issues.  That said, it didn’t bother me much as a child, or at least I can’t remember it doing so.  Now an old biddy, joints ache, knees give way and I fall now and again – but I get up and just carry on.  I know that in part, this is my fault for since retiring I have become sedentary and ‘use it or lose it’ kicks in and walking is tiring, not quite painful – but I ache and tire like crazy.  Only this weekend I have realised that only I can address this and I have begun to walk around the house for five minutes every two hours, but this eventually will become every hour and I will benefit from this.  I will become fitter.

But you my love, I remember walking with you.  I remember you walking me to the bus stop when we first met. I remember you walking me home after our first date and how you shook my hand at my front door and I thought I’d never see you again – but I did.  I remember how thrilled we were when our sons took their first steps and I remember walking (secretly) behind them when they wanted to walk to school alone.   I now walk (reluctantly) into your care home to visit you, for I find it hard to bear that most of the time you don’t know who I am.

Oh those little steps,
salad days then summer till
autumn befalls us…

Anna :o]

For dVerse where Bj√∂rn  asks us to write about walking.

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Tomascastelazo

Thursday, 19 April 2018


Back then I wrote lists on the back of my hands,
notes to my long-to-belong little self,
lists of things to remember,
things that don’t really matter,
well to me, but not to everyone else.

I peered at my lists through wide-open eyes
then erased with a finger & spit,
for whatever I did I was not the right shape to fit
in this clique exclusively fashioned by you.

Thinking of it, why did I want to belong
when I don’t want to change who I am,
I won’t play your games to beg to belong 
to your close-knit vain little clique,
- if you don’t like that, well I don’t give a damn.

Butter each other up; scratch each others backs
whilst you almost ignore me as I won’t play your damn childish games. 
I don’t give a damn if you don’t like who I am,
and quite frankly the way that you act defines how little you are
and I don’t view myself as the same.

Anna :o]

Shared with the good folk at dVerse, hosted by Grace, cheers Grace.

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Bert Kaufmann

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Blubell Wood

Blubell Wood, Abbeystead

I remember when…back bent against the wind; he trudged through woods ‘cross farmers’ fields, through hail and storm ‘cross rushing streams, till wet and worn and caked in mud he all but fell upon his knees, all this to bring his heart to me.

Grateful I held his heart against my chest and tired he, took him to rest in waiting bed and warmed him in my warm embrace, lay kisses on his wondrous face, and joyous thus we made love and cuddled till the morn, glorying in the light of day.

And in that summer we were wed and tilled the land and fed the earth, gave birth to fields of kale and wheat, and our sweet child who grew strong and kind, and as time ticked by became the gentlest man, so good and kind was he, and how full of pride of he were we.

But ‘cross the years the time had spread, till (my love) so thin was he, in he no pastures new no seed to grow, he wilted in the sultry summer glow, till breaths slowly ceased and dead was he and so lost was I and so alone.

Skeletal now and bent my back, I trudge through farmers’ fields and silent woods, eye the barren trees bereft of green, know this the path on which my love had been upon his journey long ago, as he trudged through mud, ‘cross rushing streams, till so tired all but fell upon his knees, all this to bring his heart to me.

I search for him through days and nights, till one morn upon the dawning light I see him there amongst the trees, and smiling he, he takes my hand as breathing slows and eyes grow dim, and released from life and happy now, I give my heart my soul my love to him.

Anna :o]

Sarah at dVerse asks us to write an ekphrastic poem inspired by the fine work of artist Fay Collins.  I chose the above artwork found at Fay’s website which can be found here:  I chose this for as soon as I saw it, it spoke volumes to me.

Cheers for the inspiration Sarah and Fay!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Eyes Wide Open


I lack vision its true,
live for the thrill of today,
tomorrow will sort out itself,
always has and almost certainly
always probably will…                Still

I do see the me in the mirror
and quite beautiful I am,
framed in myopia,
my eyeballs unusually long
but my eyes quite alluring,
do you see how they ask you to come? 

Come, please lie beside me…
I have so much to give…
I’m a bicycle ride…
a journey in living…
maybe mount me and
we’ll see how it goes…

Life is a sweet smoking gun,
but is passion a crime?

You may think me immodest,
that I should hide behind veils,
but I am who I am,
willing and giving,
almost selfless in sharing,
proliferating myself for the good of mankind.

And you, you think you better than me,
use that tail twixt your legs like a god-given right,
wanting and needing, all women a possible conquest,
even those with a nerve to dare utter No.
How are you better than me?

I am the spider,
you a fly in my web,
tangled in fine threads,
thrashing in passion,
In flagrante delicto
caught by design.

Anna :o]

For MLM's photo challenge and also Sumana’s prompt of Vision at Poets United.

Also shared with the good folk at Real Toads

Cheers to all for the inspiration and opportunity!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

I, Esurient

We are the scourge of ourselves,
sucking our world dry,
greedy for 'now',
for immediate pleasure,
the satisfaction of having,
of want without need.

Conquerors we once were,
the fear of alien nations,
we plundered their planets,
gorged on sweet bread of their flesh. 
But now we, devils of our own making,
forever forsaking our future,
feeding on the now of our wants,
we have finally conquered ourselves.

We have raped our own planet
and almost barren our world,
our suns raging in anger
melts our scales into slough
that drips off our backs.
Light fades in our vision,
shy neath a nictitate blink,
its membrane near failing to moisten
and almost blind we become. 

Fear growls in our hearts as our claws claw 
for strength from each fought after breath,
and we know we must act now,
for if not we are doomed as a planet
and doomed as ourselves.

I, Esurient, a scientist,
tasked with others of my ilk my design
to come up with an answer, and driven we are 
to save our world and our kind.
There is great need of research,
to conquer this disease that destroys us
and what better than snatching miserable lab rats
from that pit that names itself Earth.

(They are not far behind us, those humans,
seeming intent on destruction of self,
feeding on the wealth of today
and discounting the dearth of tomorrows...
the horrors to come.)

We come in the night stripping their planet of power,
switching off all lights, for what better than darkness
to feed on their fears and fill them sour with dread. 
We hungry (for life) suck them up to our ships,
in their millions their billions; we take all those
pathetic in living and the dried bones of their dead.

Testing DNA ribbons proves of nothing to aid us 
as a cure of diseases that ail us bewail us,
but we find humans nutritious and at least 
(for a while) we will feed well and thrive.  
And the planet though now hostile
to our alien life form can be altered to suit us,
give a temporary respite and keep us alive…

then we must begin again…to seek out new worlds,
to savage and plunder, seek out an answer… find
planets like us, intent of destruction,
that will feed us and home us,
will keep us alive,
well at least for a while…

Anna :o]

Inspired by Brenda’s Wordle 346,  the words being:  Stranger, drive, bread, light, on, switch, growl, devil, shy, off, stripe & snatches – although I couldn’t find a place for stranger and stripe.

Also inspired by MLM's prompt of “Alien Abduction” where she asks us to write from the viewpoint of the alien.

And shared with the good folk at Poets United too! 

Image courtesy of: Pixel's

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Its Beginnings...

Its beginnings … well
she hoarded she did,
threw nothing away,
everything had its value,
nothing was wasted,
might be needed tomorrow…

In the kitchen it started,
but not as you might think
on dirty old worktops
littered with used plates
humming malodourous,
grease congealing the remnants
of yesterdays’ dinners cooked eons before,
nor the myriad of cups of all shapes
and all sizes solid with mould,
milk soured & congealed & firm at their base.

Nor in the sink stagnant its water,
globules of grease floating idly atop,
no it started in there,
that place in the corner,
that place in the corner
behind that grubby old door,
the door to the larder, the larder
where she flung her old foodstuffs
or anything unwanted anything definitely dead;
oozing sprouted potatoes liquefying in plastic,
chewed bones from the roast & her mouldy old bread,
anything rotten or rotting, her meds never swallowed,
Tigger the old cat, dirty broken old dentures
and stuff from the downstairs commode
(you’d rather not know).

And the sun and the heat and the air did its thing…
isn’t life beautiful?

Came the time when her worried son visited
for it was time for that talk of where she should live.
That talk of the need of a care home for her needs
far outstretching the care he could give.

Tommy came too
(her delightful young grandson)
and he baulked as she hugged him, hugged him
ever so close to her bony old chest,
and (he) wanted to vomit as her dentures
clacked as she kissed him, and squirmed
as saliva wetted his tiny horrified lips.
(And oh how he quivered, he quivered,
poor little terrified mite,)

Go now said his father
and he willingly did so,
wandered the hall to the kitchen
and opened that door. 
That door to the larder
where new life was pulsating,
and inquisitive he, he sat on the floor.

In its glutinous puddle a potato thing
eyed him with its mean green solitary eye,
its orifice bursting with her dirty old dentures,
and terrified he, he knew he should run,
but so wanted so needed to touch it
and touch it he did. 

It bit off his finger and ran up his arm,
'granny' kissed him wearing the most terrible smile,
and terrified he peed at the moment his heart stopped
(poor little mite (paying the price of an inquisitive soul!)). 
And potato thing, bloated with blood & hungry for humans,
grinned and opened its mouth and swallowed him whole.

Anna :o]

Susan’s prompt at Poets United is that of the word Beginnings and above is my offering.  Cheers for the inspiration Susan!

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Down's & Eugenics

If I was a rose and you had choice,
would you pick me, pluck me down from the tree?  
Would you hold me soft in the palm of your hand,
hold my blush to the rose of your cheek?

My mouth is a rosebud waiting for kisses;
my heart is in blossom pulsating for you.
Please will you choose me; please love me
don’t lose me, for my heart beats only for thee.   

Anna :o[ 

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day, but I must admit I would not have known had I not received a (subscribed to) email from MercatorNet. 

It is not the first email I have received re Down’s, and one email (I really can’t remember its source) alerted me to John's Crazy Socks and I became a customer.  John’s Crazy Socks is a million-dollar company run by a young man with Down’s and his father.  We all, all of us, have the potential to succeed (in life), if only others believe in us, believe that we all have value.  And we all do, although this is not the mindset of some, who believe (or are directed to believe) that those with Down’s are valueless, will have no quality of life and be unhappy.  And if a parent of such a child, so will we.

It is a sad fact that most diagnosed with Down’s (in utero) are aborted.  Iceland claims that it has almost eradicated Down’s – but this purely by termination – and the rest of the western world is not far behind.  What does this make us?

Please know that although I am pro-life, I am also not anti-abortion.  This might appear a contradiction, but it is not. If a prenatal diagnosis of incompatibly with life is made, then I agree with termination.  If a baby is born and the same diagnosis is made, and is only kept alive with intensive invasive interventions and has no quality of life, indeed suffering pain, and there is no hope of a ‘cure’ then I believe life support should end, although I do understand if a parent of such a child, I might probably fight this.

But Down’s is not comparable with the above, life has value. And we should think of what path we are taking, a path to where eugenics, the driving out of those deemed imperfect becomes acceptable, becomes the norm.

If my mum had been pregnant with me in today’s world, she could have had me aborted, no question – although I am certain she wouldn’t – but the majority of my life has been ‘normal’.  I went to school, got a job, got married and had two wonderful children and now two wonderful grandchildren.  I have value and am valued.  If I had been aborted, five new lives would not exist.

To close, another heart-lifting most beautiful video found on the Beeb whilst researching.

Shared with the good folk at dVerse.
Please visit the links.

Friday, 16 March 2018


Sometimes, when the day yawns 
and the horizon swallows up the sun,
I think of you. 

Night always had you in its grip;
as vicelike as your hands round the bottle,
as vicelike as your hands round my throat,

I warned you about sleeping,
that I would get my revenge.   

Murder was surprisingly easy.

Anna :o]

For Hedge's 55.

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons   
Author:  Chad fitz

Friday, 9 March 2018

Getting it Wrong

I hug people; I’m like that, tactile. 
I don’t hug everybody,
just those (I sense) send out welcoming signals,
those who want me to take them,      now.

Sometimes I do get it wrong though
and they shrink back,
wriggle themselves free from embrace,
look at me fearful.  

Not everyone trusts a man with a scythe.

Anna :o]

Image: Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author:  skhakirov

Sunday, 4 March 2018

I'm Coming!

Heinrich Kuhn (1897)

Soft, defused, that light behind your eyes,
don’t kid yourself, forget the lies,
twilights a coming, day will turn to night.

Go on,  
stick your labels here and there,
remind your self of what’s and where,
write your diary, scribble notes,
write your self your memory joggers.

Hah, won’t work forever,
things’ll keep on fading,
everything a shade of grey. 
Take your time – I don’t mind waiting,
you know I’ll get you anyway.

Anna  :o]

Inspired by Kerry’s ekphrastic prompt at Real Toads, cheers Kerry