The anatomy of flashbacks


I zip myself in my tent for one
and open my wounds one after the other,
turning pages in the library of me,
the anatomy of flashbacks is mapped in my skull.

Some memories are too hard to access,
so raw they’ve been archived in the inpenetrable fuzz of insulation called self-preservation. Read More

Cold in the earth (after Emily Brontë)

The bare walls of her body ooze breath of cold
trapping the bones in
soft cocoon of damp flesh where the
air reeks of sodden earth —
She moans with mute numbness and
counts to fifteen
heavy with blubber she is wild
yet dead like all the Decembers
and all their frosts from
ages past until now, those
icicle mornings that turn grass blades brown
and cover the hills
with a ghostly hue and have
long since melted
the spring

A Golden Shovel poem based on two lines from Emily Brontë’s poem Remembrance:

Cold in the earth — and fifteen wild Decembers
From those brown hills have melted into spring:


braidMy golden braid
Sweeps against my rump
This built-in rope
A symbol of mother
Though it sprouts from my crown
It weighs heavily
She would never let me cut the ties
Could I hang myself with it?

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair

Three braided strands: me, him, other
Me, father, mother
Three strands distinct
Yet interwoven
Fastened together
As if in marriage
Interminable bonds
If I untie the braid
Will I cease to exist?

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair Read More

Your Eyes

You came in the back
And stood in the doorway
Rounded frame cloaked in pink
Late-middle aged
Well heeled nobly postured
Curls lustrous bronze grey
Movie-star set yet
Tousled with insouciance
Run through by nervous fingers
Though I know not why
Your eyes like ponds
Muddy hazel green and wet
I hadn’t seen you in forever
So I ran and I slid
On socks over wood
To be at your side
To hug you with gusto
And kiss both your cheeks
Each plump rounded apple
While gripping your arms
As if I could stop you
From leaving again
Your hands olive-tan
Softly creased by time
Reached out for mine
And stroked them with love
My rough fingers polished
By your aged chamois leather Read More


Pneumatic drill through concrete
Dirt laid bare and dug
Artefacts uncovered
Shards of buried memories
How deep will they go?

Peeling back onion skin
I catch its flesh with blade
Strip layer back from layer
Each stratum reveals the next
Will I ever reach the core? Read More