“Tomorrow morning, that footstool goes!”
And I’m left to listen to my own voice’s echo,
As it bounced back off half-painted walls
And round corners without the skirting-

Next weekend’s promise still etched in pencil.
But faded past the point of a stranger’s notice,
And even your mother has stopped commenting,
On the second landing’s crooked light fixing.

I must have asked you a hundred times before,
To throw out that footstool in the hallway.
Bought at some junk shop, three streets away,
And just awkward enough, so that I stub my toe,
Every single time I walk through the dam door!

The same door you painted pink to annoy John,
Next door’s tenant with a grey tweed suit,
And a hate for anything even mildly creative!
God he hated you! With a passion unmatched.

At least he did-

Last week he said how he’d admired you.
He said that you artwork was unparalleled!
You would have snorted in his face,
And asked him “what else you would expect?
You were a genius with a paintbrush after all!”
I just nodded and smiled.
You always said I was too polite to others.

That footstool you put in the hallway…
I try, but I can never throw it out.
Unlike the ashes, those I-

Your mother has them. Above her mantle piece.
She wanted a way to keep you close,
One that would match her interior design.
And I wanted that horrible urn out of the house.

You exist more in a footstool than an urn.
Though your mother wouldn’t agree on my thought.
She never did appreciate your…
I think she referred to it as ‘taste’-
Though some of those conversations are lost.

Like I said, she’s stopped about the light fitting,
I’m hoping she’ll leave the skirting alone soon.
Apparently I’m foolish to leave things in this state.
“No one wants a house half finished.”
She seems to forget that I still live here,
And there are memories I refuse to erase.

My Lady

Bianca Lyons, full length, standing, facing le...

Bianca Lyons, full length, standing, facing left; leaning against pillar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A diamond noose stole the breath from her chest,
Where ribs caved beneath creaking whalebone corsets
And her hands lay useless against the curve of her waist.
An hourglass standing with each grain assigned,
A time and a place, a husband, no thought for her mind.
To be instructed and moulded into icy precision
Because in her heart the royal blue ran in vain
And her prison was forged before birth by name.

Fairy tales make pretty the twists of her life
As she’s wound into tapestries, the good, obedient wife.

Let those who weave take for granted stillness in her lips
And forget to check the eyes which dip from sight,
For those who’s power falls too far for her to reach
Means she must hide hide her only freedoms in deceit.
She’ll whisper beneath men’s ears and lace their tongues
With words that from their own have not be strung,
For what do women in titles’ prisons have?
But the babes from further shackles brought,
And hopes that scheming years shall dull the locks
To free the blood of those whose irons are yet to be wrought.

A Best Friend’s Mess

“Here.” I said, throwing the dustpan and brush in my friend’s general direction. She caught them with a stunned expression, holding them away from her as if they had somehow turned into a poisonous snake that was threatening to bite her.

“What am I supposed to do with these?” she asked, looking at me with that face. Clearly she thought I’d lost it again. I say again, I don’t mean to sound like I ‘lose it’ often! I’m just a little eccentric, not insane, just eccentric. However, my personality is a completely different explanation for a completely different story and not one I will ever take the time to go into. So back to the dustpan and brush.

“What am I supposed to do with these?” she asked, looking at me with that face.

“You use there to sweep up mess.” I told her, drawing out my words and painting on a smile. Sulkily she mouthed the words back at me while bobbing her head from side to side.

“I know their purpose.” she scowled. “What I meant is, what do you expect me to do with them right now!”

I shrugged.

“You’re the one with the mess, not me.” I said. Diving for the cupboard under her stairs I rummaged around until I found the broom. It still had the flipping tag attached to it!

“Well this has had a lot of use.” I mumbled, ripping off the tag and turning back to my friend.

“So where do you want to start?” I asked, looking at her as she stood there in the doorway to her sitting room, dustpan and brush hanging loosely in her hands. Last night’s makeup still stained her cheeks and I could see her hand itching to touch the spot on her chest where the necklace used to rest.

“Why are you here?” she asked, narrowing her eyes at me. “I was horrible to you.”

“Yes you were.” I agreed, adding a firm nod to the sentiment for emphasis. “You were horrible last week, but now its this week and we have mess to clean up.”

“I don’t understand! You should hate me!” she said, her eyes threatening to flood again.

“Hey!” I warned, pointing at her with the handle of the broom. “No more of that you hear, at least not over me!”

Scrubbing the back of her hand across her face she managed to only spread out her mascara a little further and clock herself with the brush.

“Now.” I said, putting my best game face on. “Which mess shall we start with? The one in the sitting room or what he’s left of that heart?”

Hunting for Creativity

Today I wanted to be creative.

I wanted the words to flow

Four am wake ups from rogue ideas

And conceded scribbles to bribe back sleep.


I needed the clatter of keyboards

Rattling my mind for the last drops

Waiting for the final thunk of gold

The smudges of ink that pulled a chapter whole.


Instead I got the crumpled paper

Of half hearted attempts to write.

Jottings, notes and contradicting plots

Which spin webs of confusion in my mind.


Works that once seemed good

Fractured beneath my own acid gaze.


I’m supposed to be a writer

Why can I not pin you down?

Where’s my sledge hammer for this block?

How do you bury my words so far beneath ground?

Not Anymore

The rumpled covers of your bed are sprawled out behind me. I half expect them to still retain some warmth some essence of you. They remain stone cold beneath my touch though, like marble carved into an illusion of comfort.
It’s the last thing to pack. Everything else has already been piled into plain cardboard boxes; their lids sealed closed with tack, brown tape.
Inside rest old toys, which though broken, you still could never bring yourself to throw away. C.Ds which you collected, slotted around the vinyl albums that you found at car boot sale in Leeds. You spent weeks locked up in your room, listening to those old things, just being wonderful bazaar you.
Another box is crammed with scraps of paper. Portraits you drew of people I never met, places I never saw, yet somehow in each one you included me.
You said it was because I was your little sister, the person who you would always love the most and could never be replaced. Therefore my essence was always with you.
Your room was once a collage of your life, the walls almost pulsing with the vibrancy of who you were. Now they just stand stark and white.
I didn’t want to give up on you. I tried to convince them that there was still a chance, I tried to convince you! But everyone just shook their heads and looked at me with pity. Especially you.
You held me as I cried, whispering that everything was all right and that I would be fine. My own fear outweighed yours and you left calmly.
Everything isn’t alright thought. I’m not fine. Because your bed doesn’t retain your warmth, and your room no longer echoes you. Not anymore. None of this holds you anymore.