the fold


and when he returns to the fold, you have lost him
just when you are energized and ready to go again, you realise that none of this is on your terms
it’s on his
that any understanding that you may have shared, was fleeting
he was never yours to lose
and you wonder for the thousandth time that night, how you could have willingly devoted yourself to this neverending seesaw of ambiguity

he comes to you, broken
he comes to you with tears threatening to break through their stoic threshold
he looks at you, ashen-faced and defensive, wincing like a wounded animal that needs your love but is too afraid to do anything other than wrap its protective instincts around itself
you sigh, you begin the dance, and you extend – reaching higher and further than certainly you had ever intended to

gradually, he lets you in – knowing the end of his sabbatical is nigh
promising to let go faster next time
promising to let you in
promising that all he needs is right here in this space
renewed – you find reserves that you never knew you had

and then he is gone

it’s okay – you think
this time – there were victories
this time – he understood
until he returns to the fold
and you cannot shake your thoughts
and yet, you must

so you drink deeply
and begin again





my labour of love is
simply that
i labour
for love
and as for want
i learned to
live without
i say that I want to be free
that I want you to disappear
but every single night that
i climb into bed with
your ghost
i prove myself a liar and
hypocrite and an
addict to a
of my own




rain on a tin roof
red wine staining my lips
fingers on forbidden keys
the agony and ecstasy of birthing
lost songs in the underworld
extinguished wicks. drifting smoke.
orgasmic vibrational harmony from the 
voices of true believers
unbearable compliments
thrusting you against your seat as you are 
off the ground
bad gin in plastic cups
writing feverishly about weightlessness
over some distant land
fresh black ink on white artist pads
jeff buckley
fuck. bon jovi.
warm november breezes on my birthday 
and the feeling that
is possible in spring
movie nights where we forget about the world and 
quote every line that is woven into the 
tapestry of this unconventional family
my daughter’s laugh when everything is right with the world
cat-pyjama hugs
her serious, steel grey eyes
cup of tea truces
my husband’s arms
his endless forgiveness





my pain lies in a tomb where I buried it after you left
i locked it with keys from my pocket,
programmed combinations that only I knew
sealed it in ways impenetrable to all but me
in my weakest moments and darkest nights,
i have crept, silent-footed to its door, and curled up by its side
it harbours no judgement, but extends its dark wings
its malformed hands
grabs me
pulls me closer
pulls me in
i beg for the familiar
for its razored claws to puncture my skin –
re-opening old wounds until I bleed
shuddering, i offer my track-marked body and
beg for it to make me feel again
as I lie there – the life draining out of me,
numb with the dull sense of awareness
whispering to no-one in particular
it sings me to sleep
dark, ragged breaths whispering a lullaby
that only i can hear
as i dream of dark flight, of your hands on me,
of clawing and scratching and screaming and bloodletting,
of promises and madness and music that plays
over and over
and over and over
and over
until i wake days later, hoarse and gasping and
begging for someone to change the codes,
take these keys away from me
i am done…
this time was the last –
i swear
i am not an addict
i don’t need it.this.you.
i can stop any time 




How simple it is for a tree to discard its leaves once the cold shrouds its heart.

There would be a brief exchange, I imagine. The leaf, realising that its days are numbered, turns every colour of the sunset in its last scrap of sustained energy, fighting to hold onto the life it knew, wondering,

Was it me?
Was it me?
Was it me?

Was I not enough? Or too much?

Did it cling, beg, break down? Did it protest its way through the seven stages of grieving, clinging and weeping and praying to the wind for stability, begging to exist outside of time, protesting every change before it finally accepted that trees.like.that don’t change?

Did it wake one morning with a new kind of clarity – acceptance re-framing every thought and every decision it ever made as it slowly becomes conscious that every last breath was numbered?

Did it then simply snap its fragile stem, and float to the ground, quietly and without ceremony, as it drifted in circles to oblivion, rebirth, god knows what?

Or, did it celebrate every fiery hue, every crinkle and misshapen edge, every imperfection that still warmed the hearts of passersby, sagely serving as a reminder that our time here is fleeting and that our colours are our legacy and that

it was enough for some and too much for others and it was