Wednesday, 16 February 2011


peek round corners

More eyes than face

They nest on crocheted blankets
More old people’s home


But how old are you anyway?
You could be 16 or 60 – your face lies,
Like your body.

Sparrows in ill-fitting clothes
Hang from wires,
Not feeding

But being fed.

To name this place Phoenix
seems cruel

All I see are ashes.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011


The day they elected
A new leader for the free world
was the day you died.
I never did get to read the news that day.

I hadn’t spoken to him in a month
Then there he was,
Lighting up my phone at 7am.
No good can come
of calls that come that early.

He told me you couldn’t walk.
I said, ‘do you want me to come?’
Even though I was scared.
I was scared to see you.
That I wouldn’t be strong enough.

And he cried in reply.
He hadn’t cried on the day
I packed my things and left.
So I went to him.

When I got to his house
Obama’s speech played on my old TV
And you were lying on the bed,

But I knew as well as he did
cats who can’t walk don’t live
I’ve never seen a cat in a wheelchair
Have you?

You hung on three days in the end
Fought the parasite in your head
But it won

On the last day,
You lay on your side
Like a goldfish flopped out from a bowl
You lay

They’d shaved patches from you
You were defeated, but loved
You had power still
In belonging to us

I was so happy we were with you
when you went.

You were the last link between he and I
The reason we still talked
he went back alone to his flat
I went back alone to mine.


Thursday, 3 February 2011

These atoms will change shape

Tomorrow, or in ten years
or in fifty
I will seep back into the earth
As if I am sinking into a mattress.
The ground will be a cushion
for my bones.

My skin will fall away
Like a silk dressing gown
Dropping to the floor.

I will be skinny again
Skinnier than I’ve ever been
And it won’t take long,
This new diet:
It won’t take long at all.

It will be the ultimate detox
The most invigorating facial.
I will be a new woman.

And a thousand different kinds
of insect
will feast on me, and
carry me with them
They will cover me like canvas

I will be a part of them

I will feed the grass.