Locked Lips Tell No Lies – Extract 8

And indeed the sky was black when I reached the cemetery gates and remembered the day Artemis had torn her dress and then had torn her way purposefully into the wide, wide world that I had always described to her, and yet had never thought to see for myself. 


I cranked the cemetery gates open, unsure of my way. When I said I had never thought to see the world for myself, I included the cemetery, significant and small portion, of places Artemis and I had never gone together; except, I hadn’t envisioned that I’d be here to see Artemis, or that she’d be waiting for me here. I’d always been rooted in the same place, content to be: not wanting to go out into the unfamiliar where lack of knowledge had meant loss of power. It hadn’t crossed my mind that learning could be used to my advantage, or that I could experience things beyond my life at home. Instead, I had resolutely turned my head and tried to follow the light as the hours poured by; thinking night was a necessity for appreciation of the first rays of day. And in the cemetery, the true meaning of irony had revealed its stark form, not needing shadow to lean against the headstones or crouch between the trees. I started glancing around for a name I could recognise with a feeling of dread. 


Locked Lips Tell No Lies – Extract 7

But then I grew restless and impulsive, the quasi-stillness fleeting. I couldn’t be in the same place for too long, not now I’d thought of what I had planned for today. The staying power evaporated: the need to move rose in me, water-marked my arms and legs, my insight for making the right decision drowned. Engorged, distorted courses of thinking carved their way into action.  I flitted up, pooled my papers and pen into a neat reservoir of explanation and walked calmly across the room. I caught a glimpse of yellow at the window, and I looked down at the bright fields of sunflowers which carried a sense of urgency in the intensity of their colour. It was late autumn and the flowers were over six feet tall, still thriving though the weather would soon become cold. To me, it seemed like a sign that strength would be mine until I had done what needed to be done.

Meanwhile, I admit, I was momentarily mesmerised by the enormity of what I was about to do, and I almost felt happy for the first time in eight months. I basked in the warmth of the emotion, then drew away from the window, by promising myself that I’d soon be out on the road by the fields, and I think that’s what made me walk a little faster, think that bit quicker.

Washed to my Shore


Oh thou art Poseidon’s blessing fair,

Borne by the waves and washed to my shore,

Abundant in crimson coral and opulent pearls,

You have a beauty which curtails

The calling of sirens, setting me into straits

Unknown and familiar, swirling past cragged coasts

Of queendom gained, kingdom lost.


You have an island, applauded, enthralled

Sentinelled by trees armed with sharp amber bark;

Leaves are golden and rivers silver –

The moon in the sky just an opal sliver,

Smiling mouth shimmering aquiver

As she looks down upon

The passionate trade.


Let me wade in waters new,

Iridescent shifting indigo violet green white blue –

The crown and the compass distorted, fully formed;

Mine for the taking, yours to hold in a storm.

Sceptre-handed and robed, I kneel at your fore

To send a blessing to ancient gods

And receive enough immortality to reassure.


Conversion, baptism, christened thus, neo named;

Call me your beloved, set me out to swim in chains –

Yet hold me close, watch me dive for discoveries untold,

As lip to lip myself to you has been sold.



At my previous house, many unexplained things happened. Figures were seen in rooms, the temperature would drop, my dog would refuse to enter the house, and the lights and the TV turned themselves on and off at whim. One day I decided to take some photographs and when I enhanced one of the photos (adjusted the contrast) something strange showed up in the kitchen. I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to decide what you see.

Burnt Sepia, clean square

Of a day when something more


 Its outlines across the wall

Clear, dark

In enhanced tones

We saw in the snapshot

A child three feet tall

And felt the thrill

Of its outward gaze

Which enthralled

Our minds,

Posed the ‘how’s’?

And the ‘why’s?’

On the edge of natural law

Our thoughts were full of dread

And awe

If what was framed

Was really there

Existed unseen before

Bridge into Space


When the gates were opened,

We drove into the flood,

Through roads tar-black,

Sticky with the river’s blood

Until we could see the bridge;

Clear-standing, clear-cut

Pathway to an alien land

Across the pitched water,

South misunderstood

A far away country,

Seeming duplicate

Tied with a red and white


Not too different

From the galaxy beyond

All-seeing sky

Bright and awake

In the car, the dark

And smoke seeps,

Creeping condensed;

We can only be here,

Watching, watching,

All time ours alive,

No haste to make