Past Forward – dVerse


I cannot do this
I cannot do this
I cannot do this
That’s what I want to say.
I am full of making the best of it,
overflowing with doing the right thing,
drowning in putting on a presentable face.
I can feel my lungs bursting
as I inhale the Vesuvius, the Niagra of emotions
roiling underneath this envelope of skin.
I wish I could vomit them up
I would enjoy the acid green bile
as it sluiced between my teeth.
I am no more blemished than any other woman of my age,
I am not comparing the events of my recent life
with the tales of others and presenting my trump card
or – God forbid! – the Joker,
(This is no laughing matter, after all).
I just want you to know that
for once in my life,
there is no schedule, no timetable
(and in any case, since when does public transport
EVER run to time?).
The list of destinations,
the horizontal flow of 24-hour clock times from left to right
is pinned vertically to the bus-stop wall –
such a mistake you see
to expect such things as
shock, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression & ACCEPTANCE
to follow some rigid plan,
and I am such a fool to be surprised when they slide down the shiny paper, a jumble of letters
and numbers, soggy with tears and snot.
I’m not crazy.
I haven’t lost my mind.
But there is a limit to carrying on,
to bearing the burden of being the replica,
to losing your own identity
in favour of the one who left without even a backward glance.
So now, one year down the line from that early morning call
I choose to re-model me in my own image,
I choose to seek what makes me different
rather than what brands me as ‘the same as’.
Mostly, I have done what is expected,
mostly, that has been a burden self-imposed
to honour someone I knew better after death.
That’s OK, hands up, I accept I made that choice – kind of.
But know this.
I cannot do that
I cannot do that
I cannot do that


This week, on dVerse Poetics, Marina Sofia has asked us to write about shattering and rebuilding. What shatters our world, how do we rebuild it? Drink, faith, drugs, self-belief?


The timing couldn’t be more… perfect/imperfect.

Tomorrow it will be a year since my Dad had a devastating stroke, from which he never recovered. He died 12 days later. So this is kind of a tough time.

But I have decided to take part because poetry, writing in general, has been a catharsis, and so it continues. I think we all feel that, don’t we?

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems on this theme – there will be lots of deep digging, I know it. Join in – we don’t bite!



CC41 – dVerse


Image source – Graphic Journey

In my mind, the world is flat,
laid out like a tattered Persian rug,
a little singed here and there by embers
jumping from the coals of another well-laid fire.
Our cheeks are rosy, fingers chillblained,
and Puss is semi-supine, small chest rising and falling,
sleepy-breaths long and deep,
sliver-shut eyes adoring the flames, glinting.
She too is reluctant to leave this warm envelope
bounded by the hand-me-down sofa and
twice re-used and re-loved armchairs.
There is the world beyond –
Utility-stamped sideboard hugging the cold back wall,
its teacup-ringed top bedecked with old photos,
the small chest that contains St Paul’s fingernails
(joke-blasphemy courtesy of grandad
who served his God well,
if sometimes with a nod and a wink),
and Mum’s sewing basket, overflowing as it will ever be.
The Anaglypta wallpaper, its lumps and bumps
beating a steady rhythm under my fingers
is Apple White in my mind
and I press yet another piece of pattern to the wall,
This is my safe harbour.


This week, on dVerse Poetics, Abhra has asked us to write about where in the world we would be, if we could choose. Hmmm… this has caught me off-guard, because at this moment, I am feeling very much of a home-body. I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and there are places I would like to visit, but not at the moment, and not enough to write about them.

Perhaps it is to do with how my life has panned out of late, perhaps it is to do with knowing how quickly someone can be lost to you with no second chance, but nostalgia is pervading my waking moments right now. So really, I would love to be with my family again, as a child. We didn’t have a lot when I was growing up, but we had lots of love. Really, isn’t that all you need? I’m time-travelling this week. It’s still travel, right?

I do like to educate where I can. CC41, my poem’s title is named after the Utility brand that was stamped on furniture and clothing during World War Two until 1952, here in the UK. CC stood for ‘Controlled Commodity, and illustrated that the merchandise met the government’s austerity regulations. It was designed to cope with the shortage of raw materials and ration consumption. We were still using the Utility furniture in our house when I was growing up – it was strong stuff, and I really liked the design!

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems on the travel theme. Join in – we don’t bite!



Grounded – dVerse


nailers, brewers and
butchers; artists, hoofers and
railway platemakers

Titanic, double-
booked, third class overflowing
what a stroke of luck!



This week, on dVerse Poetics, Grace has asked us to delve into our family history – what makes us, where have we come from, who are our ancestors? As I get older, as life changes, I feel more of an urge to answer these questions. Recently I spent a lovely long weekend with my family up in Worcestershire, investigating old photos and luxuriating in tales of what happened way back when. This knowledge is to be treasured, no?

I have decided to be short and sweet this week. Two haiku-form stanzas and two photos – one of me as a little girl, and one of my scribbles during a quick coffee break. You’ll see the second stanza didn’t really sit well with me… hence it got the chop. Ancestors in both my mum’s family and in my step-dad’s family almost made it on to the Titanic… strange, but true!