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Island Song


I pulled him from the sea, sole survivor, battered with the scars of a hundred wars. We made a mutual recovery, he tormented by loss, I by other, earlier, betrayals.


Tomorrow, he leaves. I will not stand in his way, although I could. I could take his memories of that other land, of the woman waiting at home, but I will not. In darker moments, I wonder why. Old and full of sin as I am, if he would stay, I would have him do so for me, not because of sorcery.


On the morning tide, he sails for Ithaca.

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Mistaken Identity


I knew it wasn’t Granny. I’m not entirely stupid.


I set the basket down, and my back to the door.

‘Come closer, child,’ said the figure in the bed. I stayed put.

‘What big eyes you have,’ I said, stalling.

‘All the better to see you with, dear.’

‘What a hairy face you have!’

‘Now that’s just rude, dear – it happens when you get older!’

I half-saw something under the bed, bent my knees to see better.


An axe.


When the wolf came through the window and killed him, I cheered.

Not all wolves have fur on the outside.




edited for accuracy

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******************Good Dog (or Chicken for Dinner)***********************



The woman is at the stove, frying chicken, enveloped in a cloud of hot greasy smoke.

A pot of boiling potatoes increases the sauna effect.


Daughter enters. "What's for dinner?" Wearily the woman replies, "Chicken." Daughter leaves.


Son enters. "What's for dinner?" "Chicken!" she shrieks. Son leaves.


She plates the chicken on the Daisy platter.


Husband enters with dog. "What's dinner?"

She hits him on the head with the skillet. He goes down like the proverbial sack of potatoes.


Dog looks down at him, then up at her. He pads to the other room , lies down.


Woman calls, "Dinner's ready!".

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Wash this Way


It’s warm today, should dry this L.L.Bean shirt I’m pounding on these rocks, here at the ford.


You can hear them for miles, bitching about barristas – should be hiking up Capitol Hill.


They’re clattering closer. “Should we ask directions?” “What would that hag know?” “HEY OLD WOMAN!!!! HOW FAR’S THAT DAMNED LAKE?!!?” He grunts, “Probably dropped her hearing aid in the drink.”


I scratch my head, “Near seven miles - unless you take the short cut, then it’s a hop, skip, and jump.” And I point the way.


I’ll hear the choppers just fine, come dusk.


Another shirt should float downstream.

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Sit down and stop sniveling.


Simon Cowell said what?

Good voice - should be, with that larynx - but not the right “image” ….What an arsehole – I’ve been in the business of making stars far longer that he has, bloody upstart! Don’t cry for fuck’s sake, you know what it does to your looks. What about the rest of it? Any comment on the material?


That’s promising. If Sharon likes you, and Louis likes you, you’re more than halfway there.

As to looks – nothing I can’t fix. Trust your Uncle Victor.


Let’s see….how about this nose? It’s fresh this morning…..

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It’s you, isn’t it? I’d know you anywhen.


How many times have you’ve killed me?


How many times have I done it first?


It would be so easy here. You haven’t spotted me in this aging fat woman shambling along the trail. You in your young body with that same old gorgeous, graceful arrogance.


It would be so easy just to give you a nudge off the edge, onto the rocks and into the rapids.


No witness, nothing to connect us but karma.


I’m so tempted.




Let some other luckless bitch do it.


I’m sure you've got one waiting.

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Original Sin


Sleep bad in hot dark.


Dream hunters not return in time.


Hard to sit up.


Shake bad all over.


Dream NOT return.


Sun rise too soon.


So hot. Dry. Only bones where water hole.


Must all search. Far, far away and farther.


For grasses, for nuts, for berries.


Bring back for all.


Go slow, so big and heavy.


But cunning. Will find.


Here are they, red, juicy, sweet.


Not enough.


Not for all.


For me!


And baby.


Baby will grow inside.


And live.


Others will die.


But not me.


And not baby.


I go back.


Hands, basket empty.


Belly full.

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Protest Song


The wind be risin'.


I glance in the mirror, run the comb through me hair. Looking good, girl. Wonderin’, shall I go out tonight?


Somewhere ‘bove the clouds, I hear a plane. Bloody tourists.


Had I me way, I get rid o’ the lot of them. Droppin’ rubbish, spreadin’ germs and diseases - doan’t get me started on about carbon footprints. Somethin’ should be damn well done ‘bout it.


That somethin’ be me.


I think they doan’t get it, sometime. They come out here, some doan’t come back. Easy to understan’, man.


South o’ Bermuda, this mermaid be singin’.

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For Jude (1)

Just My Type


Sunday evening in a faux emerald city – drizzling tedium. Watching idiots watching idiots throwing recently dead fish around.


But, over there - on the fringes of the tourist huddle - he is looking so fine. Despite the terminally tacky brand new Eddie Bauer outfit, probably bought for the cruise.


Whatever happened to evening dress, in the evenings, anyway? Not that the Market lends itself to anything that could be termed “attire”. Except when the carriage horses clop by.


He can’t be even half the age I look, in this light. Pity he’ll miss his boat.


But he’s just – too delicious.

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Such a fuss! I just wanted a memento of my trip to Canada. At some point one just doesn't need another salt & pepper shaker set or mug with "Canadians Make Better Lovers" on it. Even if it's true.


The moose was happy in the Winnebago. I could tell.


The maple syrup did me in. Bullwinkle knocked it over and it was oozing out the camper door when we pulled up to the border.


The border guards were totally unreasonable.


On the up side , I met a lovely lumberjack named Hilda in lock-up. We still keep in touch.

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Family Christmas


I wonder how he is going to like his present.

I guess i will put it at the bottom of the pile under the tree ... let him find the tie and socks and the calendar first, the boring stuff.

I guess this is our last Christmas together – now that i have found his emails to her, and her replies, and after the visit i paid her yesterday ... he is not going to like that.


Well, maybe he likes his present, then, at least. My farewell present.


He always wrote he loved her tiny little ears in particular.

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For Jude (2)


False Advertising


I believe I’ve learned my lesson.


Nevermore will I darken the door of a damned “fusion” restaurant for my Yuletide dinner.


I swear I’m developing an allergy to pretentious yuppies. Eavesdropping on their damned cellphone conversations can be damned misleading.


After overhearing a long-winded litany of which single malt was the best, I was really in the mood for a bit of Talisker, or Lagavulin.


NOT the second hand well crap the damned bitch had actually ordered.


Plus she had the nerve to snivel, “But – you’re a dumpy old lady!” in the most aggrieved fashion.


Damn Anne Rice, as well.

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I missed you tonight, my dear.

I miss you every day.


I missed you the day you learned to walk, the day your mother took you for your inoculations, the day you fell out of the tree in the garden. The first time you went to school alone.


When you learned to swim.

When you decided to take the taxi to the party, instead of driving.

When you turned back on the mountainside, instead of pushing on to the top.

When you switched the toaster off before extracting that stuck piece of bread.


But don’t worry...

Ultimately, I miss no-one.

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Fussy Eater.


I have to tell you straight – virginity doesn’t matter.

Nor do I care whether they’re young or old…


No, all that palaver is to do with how much power and control the politicians want to have – it’s nothing to do with me at all, whatever they may say in their stories.

Damn it, I’d make do with an old sheep or a dried-up milk-cow, if it was scared enough.


It’s adrenaline – the taste of fear- that I need. It’s the way we’re made – we need it to bring on the breeding season.


Dragons aren’t the monsters here.

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Public Hazard.


I loved that tree, you know. I bought the bloody house because of it.

I thought it had a preservation order on it.


But no. That fucking arsehole from the council came round, with his bloody clipboard. Dangerous, he said. Hazardous, he said, Got to go, he said.


I tried, believe me. Everything I could. Petitions, protests, civil disobedience.

I was determined it would stay. They were emphatic it should go.

Guess who won?



Men with chainsaws, fuss and palaver, big crash.

End of ash tree.


So what do I do with all these Norse gods in my kitchen??

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