pause (for manchester)

This is a pause.


A break.


A chance to

 wait for the silent train

  in the hushed city,

    where the sky feels

        grey and the people look


They’re ready to pull

through, but not yet.


 not yet.


This is a pause.


For the stranger

  at the bus stop. For the man

       at the coffee shop.

For the woman who lived there all her life,

and who now is lost.

Her map fell to ash,

 slipped through her fingers

     as the world collapsed.

One less key to turn in her lock.


This is a pause.


For houses no longer

  homes.  For families no longer


With gritted teeth and tear stained cheeks,

  we’re taught to bear arms and soldier on.

But I’d rather be a shoulder to cry on

 for those who have lost one.




The city is not asleep but

   let it snore.

No greater nightmare to prepare for.

Silence on a steady sea,

 recovering from a

          strong and stable war.




Tighter knots and

     forget me knots.

Let the bee’s rest for one day more.




Watch those 22

    moonlight orbs,  sail away

         to a brighter shore.




For those who can’t anymore.




Feel the silence as it pours.




Hear the city beat for them all.




May their stars never fall.

Sunday morning

The walls were white,

Yellow light.

Big square windows parcelled in fours.

Their feet,

wrapped in sheets.

Her hair was dusting your shoulders

as you sleep.

Lips closed and eyes singing;

she looked to his.

Twists in her torso,

soft lines down an iridescent spine.

Her breath teasing the nape of your neck.

A record was spinning.

Coffee brewed and staying warm.

Fogging up the window,

it sat on the sill,

with something stronger than caffeine

dissipating like glitter through melted oil.

In powdered mugs of blue and yellow.

She reached behind to draw a face in the steam,

sad against the sky.

No birds.

No clouds.

Just bright dividing lines

that shone through the blinds.

Licking the ends of your hair

with a tongue of tender light,

tattooing guides on your thighs.

Parallel shadows.

Vacant minds.

Skin laden with sleep,

warmed by the creeping dawn,

you lay with heads side by side.

Her palm on his chest;

she felt it rise and fall

in sedated intervals .

A purpled red print on bare flesh,

sticky as tar,

the mark of cain.

The sirens got louder.

The gun is on the floor.

Sunday Morning.

The window face cried

And cries for ever more.


I sit in a flurry of white sheets.

Two palms,

       two arms,

to shelter

one huddle of knees.


A perfect sanctuary of wild flowers,



and lose dreams.


I’ve been painted like this,

(on  a canvas much bigger than myself)

by an amiable old man,

with rusted paint on his yellow cap

and a brush in his mouth.


He told me to sit still


He told me nothing else.


His masterpiece is soon to be presented,

right here,

before me.

Hung on a velvet curtain,

A colossal display of opulence;

Or rather just purple and gold.


So I can sit here for centuries,

seeming as pretty as I’ve ever been.


Whilst behind the screen,

of goldfinch birds and gentle daisies,

my hands crumble to blue.

Smoke beyond water.

My body screaming into steam.

Bones holding bones,

protected from the view.




It’s dark out here.


Vines twist,

grab a hold of my toes.

Damp earth,

crumpled water,

There’s nowhere else to go.


How pretty I could feel,

if this path swallowed me whole.

How it would choke and splutter,

with a stone as heavy as I

  lodged in its throat.


It’s dark out here.


Mulched petals,

chiseled stones.

I feel at home.


It’s dark out here.

I’m fitting into place.


Spirits whistle through the trees,

singing songs of days deceased.

  raising the bones of memories like steam.

They dance with mirrors in ghostly dreams

and evaporate in beads

  of sweet saliva,

     that only rain in white,

       and rains

          and rains until the dark is bright.


It is dark out here

in this world.


We brush our skeletal homes through thistles,

brambles of thorns and forests of bristles,

   to look down and find our lovers hair

      Softened and soaked with blackened red,

        and our own fingers cut to shreds.


Crumbles of dirt falling from our eyes,

spirals of grated skin.

Suck on it.

There’s nothing left.


The taste on our tongue.

Brown crumbs on pink gums.


Feel the seeds in our stomach begin to grow.

Petals in our lungs as toxic as tobacco.


It is dark out here.


I never feel out of place.


where all colour is erased.

Tabula rasa,

  I’m ready to start again


I kept myself away from you.

Flowers grow from the beds of my nails,

    it’s a secret that I can’t show.

I couldn’t risk one bead of pollen falling from my eyes into yours.

I fear that it would disappear,

    everything I had worked for,

     dissolved within seconds.

Milling through your bloodstream

    like a drop of ink in the ocean,

    I fear the unknown.

Any other skin would be okay,

    a complexion more dull could know me well.

My fallen petals could settle and rest there,

    laze atop of the waves and fall asleep there.

But I am left without a chest to rest on.

So I’ve tattooed flowers onto my skin.

I tried my best to make it feel like hers

    so I wouldn’t have a reason to let you in.

I buried her in soil but the colours still show through,

    she is the flower that never got picked.

The one I painted from afar,

    the one who has existed in my head

    without me knowing who you are.

I kept myself away from you.

Flowers grow from the beds of my nails,

    it’s a secret that I cannot show.

But, I pull them out one by one,

    roots by the thorns

    and keep them in a vase.

So that when I come knocking again,

    I’ll let myself in.

And drape ivy through the halls

    where we both have walked.

The Architect

Stars gaze at the maze of her mind,

walls rich with foliage

sprouting tulips beneath the sky line.

Inviting signs welcoming the heavens to dive

and discover the beauty that hides inside.

The leafy gates with sunflower locks

unhinge at a smile or a tear of loss.

Stand before them with a pencil or a pen,

and they shall let you see their secrets.

Her silhouette rides before the setting sun.

A black cart stamped on a sky of

purpled pink watercolours

with orange strikes divine.

The tracks settle and rest,

Preparing for the water well decline.

She holds on tight,

with giggling fingers and eyes bright.

She falls deeper and deeper,

to land in the lavender chasm of her insides.

She leaps from the cart,

diving into pools of  silver mist and turquoise depths.

She reclines on perfumed rocks,

counting seashells embossed

on vanilla sands,

safe where the waterfall crashes and crumbles to glitter.

Pouring diaphanous gold over her naked skin,

Illuminating the bones of her home.

The spirits drench her hair in nepenthe spells

Singing songs to her of fables unheard, of tales unkept.

She breathes in clouds.

And watches them float slowly up, up,

to dance before the amber sun.

Lighting the world with threads

tangled in the tree’s.

She’s climbing one now.

Scraping her arms, bruising her knees.

She controls the weather,

Holding the tides, the skies, the creatures who wander

the land in her delicate hands.

She closes her eyes and tastes the bark beneath her skin.

Sweet like sugar, soft like sheets.

She is an architect,

This is her masterpiece.


Pebbles and stones are the forgotten homes

I balter upon like white foam waves.

I am wasted to remember the days I spent there.

Lost in a lacuna,

I would wish to be above myself.

The waters of the tides,

asleep behind tired eyes.

I used to know them better than my own.

The current’s pulse in a bloodstream,

a feeble earthquake.

I had an imagination.

Eclipsed by an empty doorframe,

I watched myself crumble whilst the wood stayed in place.

Now, no more than a tickle,

a whisper in the ear of something unsettled.

Skyscrapers, apartment blocks,

rooted in soil

Letting roses grow, with thorns

to save them from the world above,

below me.

I see the roof of your house.

The first star in the sky that I lie upon,

your smudged stamp on the universe

will bleed and fade away.

I forgot your name.