Tuesday, 11 December 2007


I'm becoming something different
Underneath your hand
Changing form and function in ways I can't understand
Improving, evolving
With each thing I learn
Never quite knowing which way I will turn.
It doesn't feel safe,
But it sure is exciting
My life a blank book that I'm day-by-day writing;
And you are the reason
The real inspiration
I thank you, soul-deep, for this new transformation.

Monday, 10 December 2007


I confess there's been times
my life has been
So damn stressful, even my weekends
Just aren't restful,
no peace of mind
and none to find
it's left behind.
But best of all, the rest of all my memories fade to grey
Hard to say how or why or when they faded
Left me jaded
Afraid it's gonna stay this way.
I find it's kind of deadening,
my heart a leaden thing

I lift my head and sing
Of better things
with angel's wings
that lift me high
to all that I
try to be -
Alive and free
In ivory clouds I fly.

I'll look back, gaze
on the black days
that attack in ways so crushing
Remember the hush of the rushing night
and see I was right
To wait for light to come in sight,

I'm saved by His might.
Come home
It's been too long.
Come home,
It's so easy to miss you
When you were the colour in every day
Now that's faded to grey

Friday, 7 December 2007

To be honest

When left to my own devices
When I'm in the house all alone
I can be myself, do whatever I want,
Ignore social convention
And do the dishes topless.

When nobody's looking my way,
I grin.
Because I know what I'm thinking.
It doesn't even have to be interesting,
But it's a secret, my secret,
And it gives me great satisfaction.

Don't worry. As soon as this poem ends,
I'll close the window into my head
And be respectable
And normal
And thank you for your patience
While I sneak out a little honesty.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Astral darks

I longed to believe that there's good in everyone.
But every chance I gave you
Every time I forgave, forgot
You did it again
Worse every time
Bitterness, anger and lies.
You never spoke a pure and true word
It was poison, it was dark
Alien to me

I'm far from jaded.
It takes more than you to break me.

I still wait to hear that you've changed
Don't know if you ever will
But it's there
An open door
And if you walk through it,
I'll be standing there

Thursday, 8 November 2007


The world all wants the world to know their name
And everyone's just got themselves to blame
For all those forgotten faces
In those hazy distant places, like next door,
No-one knows their neighbours any more.

But sometimes fairy-lights litter the town,
The flyers go up and the walls all fall down
We dance to the rhythm,
All grudges forgiven, for the night
The festival feels so right.

That carnival culture that sweeps the streets
Gets everyone out, out and up on their feet
Each stranger is a friend,
Nobody wants it to end, but it must
Even the best things come to dust.

And maybe you'll get a curious glance
From a face you remember from some drunken dance
Unknown without the mask,
You're afraid to ask, and what for?
No-one knows their neighbours any more.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

This uni work is making me feel a lot like Sisyphus. Every time I feel like I'm getting somewhere, that rock just rolls right the way back down again... blargh.

Interesting thing of the day: bicycle sex is against the law, apparently. Strange world we live in.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007


Walls too close and the roof's too low, so
I'd walk too slow to any old somewhere.
But the sky's too greyfull of clouds to go
And it's too late anyhow to even run there.
Too much to do and too little time, I'm
Gonna get started somewhen later,
First I'll finish this whatever and then
I'll find another way to be a true self-traitor.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Holy ground

Again I find myself on holy ground,
Disruptive sound fades to quiet, I'm found
Alive and still I stay, my heart pounds,
And I try
First to pray, to say what I
Mean and why,
Then I cry,
Lift my hands and make demands,
Beg for plans, I sigh,
Scream at the sky or sit on the pew
Feeling a love soft and true,
Nearing You.
Sat on the grass, or under stained glass,
Or watching a river pass a drop at a time
and I'm
On holy ground one more time.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Love the sun in winter

The sun just hasn't been the same,
He hides his golden face in shame
Behind a veil of clouds and tears,
He's been gone for so many years
He starts to wonder if he died,
But I know better. Yes, I cried,
The day the golden glowlight faded.
How I wish I could have stayed it.

The crown of every summer day
Is hidden, yes, NOT gone away.
I'll dance again in his warm glows
Forget the days I almost froze
Forget the rain that chills my skin
Forget how dark the days have been.
And once again that smiling eye
Will saturate the cloudless sky.

Thursday, 30 August 2007


I want nothing more tonight
Than to leave the mess behind
And crawl into your arms
And rest there awhile.
Nothing but your company
The safety of you.
Steal me from this mess and madness,
Pull me from the wreckage,
And take me somewhere silent and green
Where we can stay together.
Tonight I want nothing more
Than to flee the world with you
But that's not how life works
And I just have to get on with it.

Natural Beauty

It makes my heart
I don't know why
To see orange clouds in a purple sky
Or the other way round
I don't remember
But that's how it looks in late September when the sun
Over the hill
I catch my breath and my heart stands still
To see the world
That you've adored
Whisper Love
To the risen Lord.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007


I say I won't worry, but please don't believe that
You know I'll care, maybe more than I should.
I know you, and now I'm reluctant to leave that
When I've seen a glimmer of something so good.

I'm saying I'll be here, I'm ready to catch you
I hope more than you do I'm telling the truth.
It's so hard to keep up, I'm trying to match you
But I can't fight drama with wisdom and youth.

Given half a chance I'll keep you
Safe and okay
Until you're ready to join in the dance
Given half a chance.

You're sitting there sad, silent as before now,
Looking in serious need of a smile.
Whatever you say shocks me to the core now
I'll stay and I'll help you and talk for a while.

I haven't decided to go on without you,
It's just that I'm realising you might need time.
I want to find out so much more about you
To see more of your heart, and to show you mine.

So do what you think best my dear
I'll be here
I know you've got to make up your own mind,
And take your time.


I say I won't worry, but please don't believe that
You know I'll care, maybe more than I should.
I know you, and now I'm reluctant to leave that
When I've seen a glimmer of something so good.

I'm saying I'll be here, I'm ready to catch you
I hope more than you do I'm telling the truth.
It's so hard to keep up, I'm trying to match you
But I can't fight drama with wisdom and youth.

Given half a chance I'll keep you
Safe and okay
Until you're ready to join in the dance
Given half a chance.

You're sitting there sad, silent as before now,
Looking in serious need of a smile.
Whatever you say shocks me to the core now
I'll stay and I'll help you and talk for a while.

I haven't decided to go on without you,
It's just that I'm realising you might need time.
I want to find out so much more about you
To see more of your heart, and to show you mine.

So do what you think best my dear
I'll be here
I know you've got to make up your own mind,
And take your time.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

"the flight of perseverance"

in this hail of gunfire
I'm trying to spread my wings
to rise above
no matter how many knives are shattered in my spine
perseverance is my guide
the chains of enemies and hatred
will give way to my triumphs
I will take my place in the skies
I will cover my fists in blood to be there
your hateful embrace
grounds me no longer
i will fly (above)
i will fly (beyond)
what everyone expected
my wrongs will be seen as right
my regrets will fade
my fists will solidify my existence
now crumble as I outshine your hellish reality
now is my time
now is your end
now my story begins
as your ashes blow away
my only regret
is that you couldn't be with me
in triumph.

"the epic tale of perseverance and disaster (bleeding the glass dry to crawl over)"

standing strong
so painful so tiring
every path i walk
strewn with the embers of lies and shards of anger
stripped of integrity
barely escaping your walls
covered in wrath
with each cleansing wound
I come closer to it all
the truth
overwhelming and disastrous
creates so many barriers ahead
offering no safety, only answers
leading me on
pushing me over each burning ember
calling me through every painful step
offering the illusion of finality
but with every barrier broken
no matter how painful and mind shattering
i will beg for more
every wound will plead for it
from you
from my past
from every action taken or ignored
it will wash away
the bullshit covering communication
from every scream
from every word
I beg for truth
in all of its glorious bitter reality
like the addict to the needle
my veins feen for your mouth to utter everything you mean
no matter how sharp the glass I travel
even on hands and knees
I'll take it all in stride
every burn
every wound
every tear
every drop of blood
every knife pulled from my back
every time I nod to shrug you off
every moment I know you lie
every wince inducing flashback
shall burn bright inside me
regardless of how far in the ground they put me
no matter what bones shatter
beyond sanity
beyond reason
beyond control
beyond common sense
lies pride
my backbone
my desire
no matter how far i am dragged to my grave......
.....i will stand up again welcoming every painful step
and if i fall
i will crawl forevermore.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Red Tape

Sign here, date here,
And here please write an obscure number that you were given for your 14th birthday
And told to keep safe.
Here, please provide us with a form of identification you do not have.
Or failing that,
Two forms of identification you do not have.

Enclose a passport photo of yourself
Not more than 3 days old
In which you must be wearing any one of the pre-approved colours listed in appendix 3b.
Photos not reminiscent of the living dead may be returned.
Or may not,
We like to keep you guessing.

Section 10 must be countersigned by somebody you:
Do not live with
Are not related to
Have never worked with
Do not know.
You must have known them for at least forever.
(If nobody meets these criteria, your parents will be accepted,
If they can both independently guess what number I'm thinking right now.)

This form will be returned to you within a working week
But we won't tell you why.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Risking Opening

Deep breath...

Hold tight...

Here we go, eye contact, friendly jokes, nothing special turns to
Hugs, holding hands, no pressure, not official,
Falling fast, run downhill, no idea where we're going
Will we land safe or broken, there's just no way of knowing.

Don't rush...


Here we go, talking lots, late at night, getting on, turns to
Thoughts, dreams of him, but I'm not letting on,
Then I know, later on, that he feels just the same
Going well, open up, it's a very risky game.



Here we go, test the water, telling stories, sharing jokes, turns to
Free with the truth, sending him what I wrote,
We both know there's a chance it might not last forever
But it looks pretty good when we can pray together.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Brother - a microstory

Carrie's diary, 12th Feb

In my dreams, I always have a brother. His name's Liam, and I dream about him a lot.

It's strange to wake up and only have two sisters. Every time I walk past the computer room and don't see his battered trainers hanging over the door, exactly where I know they should be, it pulls at me a little bit. Like this isn't how things were supposed to be. I can't talk to my parents about it, it would be a bit weird... they'd think I'm crazy.

Liam's diary, 12th Feb

Carrie's new meds not working.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Love Song

I'm writing letters that I'll never send.
I pick the phone up and put it down again.
Don't have the courage to say what I mean,
But here I can tell you, here I can say
You're my world
The reason I wake with a smile
You make every day worthwhile.
You're my love,
My saving grace,
But I could never tell you
I could never say it to your face.

I'm making wishes on every bright star
Sending out prayers that never go far
Can't seem to get through, to know what I feel,
But here I can think it, here I know
You're my song
My first and last thought of the day
You blow all my tears away
You're my hope,
My ray of light,
I really need to tell you
I think I'm gonna tell you tonight...

Sunday, 1 July 2007


My mind is full of nothing
And it's filling to the seams.
The blank eclipses memories
And hopes, ideas and dreams.
I sit here staring emptily
And long for some reprieve,
But this unwelcome squatter
In my head just will not leave.

It's a blankness that's spread to my body
A blankness corrupting my soul
It's clear in my eyes that as each feeling dies
It's left me less polo than hole.

I'm lucky charms with no marshmallows,
The sky without the stars,
I long for freedom from my mind,
Please remove these bars.

I'm empty like a city with no-one on the streets,
So I'll write awful poems and compare myself to sweets.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

I see girls

Yes, this really is pretty much all I can draw.

Saturday, 16 June 2007


My words are more hollow than the thoughts that follow
With texture and colour and sound,
They simply dissolve into problems to solve
And ideas that keep hanging around.

I wish I could deal with something more real,
But I don't think it's in me to tell
Of the problems we meet, all patterned and neat,
And gift-wrapped for someone to sell.

Why does the clutter cause me to stutter,
To think and to fumble and fall?
Why does the chaos threaten to sway us
Why do I bother at all...

I finally see I should just let it be,
Thoughts are too hard to tie down.
Love, fear, and pain are too hard to explain,
But if I don't try I might drown.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007


I've looked outside at 3am, and in the street I've seen
The boys and girls with makeup smudged they call the Inbetween.
Between the dusk and dawn they rise, between the light and shade,
And when the sunlight comes, the line will slowly start to fade.

I've looked into the eyes of one and asked him what they mean
When I hear them call themselves "Neglected Inbetween".
Between being accepted and cast out into the night,
They walk away from darkness but they fear the burning light.

One told me when I asked him why his whole life, he has been
Difficult to understand, and always Inbetween.
Between his friends and family, between the bright and dim,
The only place he could belong was with those just like him.

He walked on by, rejoining the never-ending line
Between the night and sunrise, every face set just like mine.
And every tree and road and sky took on a twilight sheen
That night I left my life behind and joined the Inbetween.


Qualities I want to have: depth and warmth and dignity
Independence, peace and love, a pure and true integrity
A giving kind and caring heart, generous and good,
And honesty. I'd love to be this person if I could.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007


Well hello, it's nice to meet you
For the first and millionth time.
(Should I hug him straight away? Hard to say.)

How are you? How do you do?
Isn't the weather divine?
(Should I shake his hand? Hell, I know him too well.)

Erm, yes, so what now?
Now that we're here, I mean.
(I'm subtly trying to see if he's looking at me...)

You really are - wow,
As good as you could have been...
(It drives me round the bend that this stranger is my friend.)

- this half was added by a friend of mine, it's in keeping with the style and structure so I thought I'd shove that up here too ;) -

Good morning, was the trip alright?
You're looking rather well
(Does she want a hug straight away, or should I wait)

I'm doing great thanks, I've been up all night!
The weather's simply swell
(Will a kiss on the hand seem strange, or too keen?)

What's say we find a diner
Maybe grab a bite to eat?
(I hope she doesn't care or notice how I stare)

I knew you were excellent, but you're finer
Than I thought anyone could be
(My God, I feel a flush... I hope she can't see me blush)

Saturday, 5 May 2007


Champ the three-legged granny-napping dog
Hangs round the nursing home.
He steals the lady pensioners
Like most dogs steal a bone.
He buries them in his back yard,
Their heads above the ground,
And there they'll stay until the day
Those grandmothers get found.

Champ the three-legged baby-saving dog
Will run headfirst through flames;
Mortal peril, falling walls,
He treats them just like games.
And when he's saved those babies,
He isn't even burned.
But they withhold his prize of gold
Till those grannies get returned.

Champ the three-legged solent-swimming dog
Can brave the fiercest storm
To make it to the Isle of Wight
(The place where he was born).
He could battle sharks and ferries
And he wouldn't even tire,
He travels the seas when not stealing grannies
Or saving babies from the fire.

Champ the three-legged superhero dog
Leaps kennels in one bound.
He flies faster than a speeding bullet,
He beats the speed of sound.
He has super x-ray MeatVision,
He wins in every fight,
He breaks down doors with his bare paws.
But his weakness is Marmite.
(It's like his Kryptonite.)

Champ the three-legged wonder dog
Is going to the vet's,
Where many dogs before him
Have become neutered pets.
I think he's lost his powers,
Although he looks quite fine,
They held him down and went to town
And now Champ's a normal canine.
My totally normal, un-super, powerless,
Granny-napping, baby-saving, solent-swimming friend.
The End.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Counting the seconds

Counting the seconds
Quickens my breath,
Longing for freedom,
For life after death.
Losing the moment
In keeping the dream,
Counting the seconds
I silence the scream.
I gaze at the heavens
From which I fell...
Screw it, this poem's
As emo as hell.


Chaos has spoken:
"The system is broken.
Corrupt and hollow
Is the law that you follow,
Yet words like evil imply
A judge you deny.
Oh, the loopholes I find
In the maze of your mind!"

He's happy, that much is easy to see,
He rubs butterfly wings together with glee,
And laughs in delight at the storm it creates,
The Chaos and Panic (the two are old mates).

"You think that you're good when you're really seditious!
You call others 'hypocrites' (that's just delicious)!
It is all such fun!
I love it. Well done.
The system is broken."
Chaos has spoken.

Starving African Kids

It's criminal, you know, the way we live,
With our ipods and mobiles and stuff.
More food and more clothes, how can we forgive
Wanting more when we've got quite enough!

When you're in bed tonight and you close your eyelids,
I want you to see Starving African Kids.
Starving African Kids! Think of them every day,
They'd be glad for the meals that you've thrown away!
So donate stuff to Oxfam, that's what I did,
To save the life of some African kid.
They're skinny, and naked, and covered with flies,
Can't you see the pain in their puppy-dog eyes?
You're used to hearing appeals and alerts,
But I want you to give, and to give till it hurts!

If I don't walk the talk then I'm not being fair,
But I've done it all. This is how much I care:

I sold my computer, my car and my phone,
Donated my clothes and remortgaged my home,
Cut back on food to see how the live.
There's nothing I had that I did not give!

I'm hungry, I'm homeless, I wish I was dead,
But not one starving African have I seen fed...

I left her there

How can I have dreamed it,
That great, sparkling sea
As if littered with diamonds
Created in ... me?

You say I imagined
That primeval wood
Creeping with horrors,
I don't see how I could...

The sight and the scent of that
Forest still lingers,
My face brushed by branches
Like dead men's fingers,
And the full moon sang
As they so often do,
And you're trying to tell me
That none of it's true?

Somewhere to explore,
Somewhere we can fly,
We went there together,
My sister and I.

I felt that cold ocean,
It tickled my skin,
It soaked her and numbed her
When she waded in.

I heard the wind howling,
So don't you dare
Say I was just dreaming -
I left her there.

Lest we forget

Shut up, shuttup, I'm trying to make a point!
Just wish I could remember what it is.
Erm -
Anyway, I care very deeply about -
About whatever it is, and
I will NOT tolerate complacency!
We must FIGHT for -
Uh -
This Thing, and ensure that it doesn't slip through the cracks.
The fate of the world could well depend
On - on -
Escapes me right at this -
But what was I -
Err -
Yes -


I'm over him

I don't think about him at all any more.
Why, just the other day,
I told my friend how I don't think of him -
But she just laughed and turned away.

I don't think about him at all any more,
I barely remember his name,
Or the colour of his eyes or the warmth of his smile
Or the way we always thought the same.

I don't think about him at all any more.
I wonder, does he think of me?
Or has he forgotten me, like I have him,
Erased me from his memory?

I don't think about him at all any more,
I'm busy with more crucial things,
Like money, and TV, and that gorgeous song
That his friend's younger brother's friend sings.

I hardly think of him at all any more,
I'm over him; totally fine!
No, I don't think about him at all any more.
Well, except for most of the time.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007


I can't sleep tonight;
I haven't tried.
There's a pain in my head
And now the time on my laptop ticks to two,
And I should be asleep,
But I'm busy reading poetry
Which spills over into this.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007


I've never had this chance before,
Never wanted to know you more,
I'd take back all my errors if I could.
The only thing I know for certain
Is that things will soon stop hurting.
I can't wait until we're feeling good.

Ever since we spoke last night,
I've longed so much to make things right,
Losing you's the only thing I fear.
I know the stuff I said upsets you,
But no part of me regrets you,
No-one else has ever come this near.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Avatar and background

Done for forum members.

Sunday, 1 April 2007


What my tag would look like if I had the guts to be a graffiti artist.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Actually, no, it would look more like this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Haha photoshop is so much fun.

Friday, 23 March 2007


Now at last, I feel it clear,
I'm still loved and God's still here.
I know it, I know it's true.
And at last I can sing again,
With no concern of how or when,
I know it, I know it's true.
No matter what I say or do,
He is my only solace then
And this old soul is made brand new.
And finally I leave my fear,
Release to him my every tear;
And all good things, of God and men
Reflect his glory, shout "Amen".
He promised he would bear me through;
I know it now. I know it's true.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Gilded Cage

I heard her shout for sureness in the dark and swirling doubt,
For freedom from amusement, but we wouldn't let her out.
Vesuvius erupted with an upwards-rushing cloud
The slowly flowing panic of a girl who's not allowed.
Don't let her touch the telephone,
Don't let her call the cops
Just feed her on the internet and play top of the pops.

I heard her call for clarity, and silence in the noise,
We taught her about make-up, though, and how to get the boys.
She didn't understand it, but she learned to play along,
She looked upon enlightenment, and saw it takes too long.
Don't tell her of achievement, or of sweet ambition's fire.
She'll manage on emotion, undevotional desire.

I heard her cry for meaning in her mad and shallow shell.
She began to ask for things that we don't know how to sell.
She pained the puppetmasters with her pleas for an idea,
For freedom of thought and the feeling of fear.
Searching for significance, she pushed on every wall,
But not until her sweeter song did they begin to fall.

She sang of pure and pretty things, of things she didn't know,
Of bigger bolder brighter things than we had thought to show.
With wet and wondering eyes, she sang of all her pains,
And when the walls were ruined, she stepped over the remains.
It broke my heart to see her destroy her home.
Not a day goes by I don't regret leaving my own.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Can't forget

There's a lot of wasted words that I've thrown away on you
A lot of empty promises I couldn't carry through
A lot of tears and anguish, but they haven't changed a thing,
And endless useless months have passed that haven't dulled the sting.

And why can't I forget
And why can't I move on?
Why's it not over yet?
Is there still more to come?

I'd bet a lot of money that you haven't thought of me
Half as often or as fondly as I've kept your memory.
I wrote so many letters that I never tried to send,
And even now I wonder if you call yourself my friend.

What am I to you now?
What was I to start with?
What are you to me now?
More crap to fill my heart with.

I know you never knew me, 'coz I hid myself from you.
But I was shy and younger then, so what else could I do?
There's no doubt in my mind that I have changed a lot since then.
We'd have to get to know each other from the start again.

Is it worth it to you?
Should I just let it die?
And what else could I do
When we never said goodbye?

Tuesday, 6 March 2007


"I challenge you," cried the count, "to a duel.
Of fencing or boxing or something more cruel.
I'll make you suffer, yes I'll make you pay,
For stealing my lady-love's heart clean away."

"Stealing her heart clean away?" roared the King,
"She barely used it with you, my old thing.
I'll meet your challenge. A swordfight at dawn!
We'll duel here, but please don't get blood on the lawn."

The count and the King both grinned from ear to ear.
The duel was a custom, they fought every year
In memory of their good lady most fair,
Who'd kissed them both in one night for a dare.

She'd kissed the count by the warm candlelight,
Then the king by the moon, then went home with a knight.
No doubt she was wealthy, and noble, and hot,
She may be a doll but a lady she's not!

But the king and the count still meet every Spring
To duel on the lawn of the love-stricken King.
No-one gets hurt, and it's all good clean fun,
Then they toss a pound coin to decide who has won.

They usually battle in chain-mail and shorts.
But would it affect their good friendship (of sorts)
If they knew the lady they both so adored
Was not just no lady, but also a Lord.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Where is he in the dark places?

I've never been there
Can't begin to understand,
To sympathise or help.
There's nothing I can say or do,
You know the feeling.
Sometimes we see no rhyme or rhythm.
Maybe it's hidden, maybe it's just
Sometimes it feels like the Hows and the Whys
Have burned out and faded to ash.

I cried.
I know that doesn't help.
It would be stupid to care, I suppose,
I should joke and move on,
Try not to let the pain touch too close to home.
Can worrying help you grow an inch taller?
Live a day longer?

I prayed.
I know that doesn't help,
Or if it does, it helps silently, invisibly,
Creeping along the carpet and onto your bed and into your heart -
Doing invisible things, perhaps.

I can't carry your pain,
Would I if I could?
I don't know, you said yourself -
You can't die to heal another.
You can't, I can't. (He can, you know he can)

I don't understand
It's not fair
Not fair

Friday, 16 February 2007


The men act all romantic 'coz they think it makes me soft,
But I can be a badass without clothes like Lara Croft.
I'm not here for your enjoyment,
I don't want to play that game.
You say I'm something special,
Tell me this, then, what's my name?

You're a sad little man.
Just sad.
I say it 'coz I can.

So you're acting all tough now, you think I'll be impressed.
You'll flex your bulging biceps, and then, what? I'll get undressed?!
Don't you wish it was that easy,
Don't I wish that you were queer.
I just want a conversation and to -
Honey, sunshine. My eyes are up here. Eye contact.

You're a sad little man.
How sad.
Am I ruining your plan?

Don't bother buying a drink, ok? It's been done to the point of fatigue.
See ya, gnome, I'm going home, 'coz let's face it, I'm out of your league.

Inspirational Posters

Stick comic

Bethany Magazine Cover

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Artivism 3

Artivism 2

Artivism 1


Boring Book

Old cartoons

Old pictures


Complete with breakdown, just in case you care.

Rhyme pattern : Beat emphasis : Stressed beats : Total beats:

A:2:4:8: I saw you stumble, saw you fall;
A:2:4:8: But what hurt me the most of all
B:2:5:10: Was knowing you remembered what you'd lost.
C:2:5:8: And all the pain and grief you show,
C:2:4:8: I swear I'm feeling every blow.
B:2:5:10: I'll help you up again, forget the cost.

D:2:4:8: No sign of change, a year went by.
D:2:4:8: My tears for you would drain me dry,
E:2:5:10: I'd stay up hours to try and pray you through.
F:2:4:8: My hope would hurt too much to lose,
F:2:4:8: But give up? I just couldn't choose.
E:2:5:10: I wished that there was something I could do.

G:2:4:8: But something changed, I don't know how,
G:2:4:8: And you're back on the right track now!
H:2:5:10: He's healing all the damage day by day.
C:2:4:8: And though there's still some way to go,
C:2:4:8: God bless you, boy, by now I know
H:2:5:10: You're stronger and more constant in His way.

Other People

- Heard from the roof in the evening -

I hear these other people
And other people's wives
In other people's houses
Living other people's lives.

Their dogs are barking,
Their lights are on,
Their clocks will keep ticking when I am gone.

I listen, and I hear
That hanging in the trees
Another person's wind chime
Is chiming in the breeze.


I trusted God to make the right call,
But this isn't what I expected at all...
The marks of my sin just can't be ignored
When the shadowman stands there with fire in his sword.
Light gleams off his darkness and burns through my soul,
Dissecting, inspecting

Yet leaving me whole.
A cross round my neck that was not there before
Had appeared, and that's all that the shadowman saw.
I think of my saviour and call on his name,
And the cross shines brighter than the sword's flame.

Now I see clear in the light of my Lord,
No shade of the shadowman or of his sword
A man softly speaks when he catches my eye:
"If he won't condemn you, then neither will I."


Not suitable for children, probably. I mean, I don't know, it really is about a vampire. But it might not be. Um.

I've seen you before,
And I think more and more
That you're different in some way exciting.
Your class and your style
Get to me in a while,
Your deep, warm voice so inviting.

It's a walk in the park,
It's a smile after dark,
It's just the right look in your eye.
The right time, the right place,
The moonlight on your face,
Maybe it's the right time to try.

I make the first move,
But you seem keen to prove
That you want to be in control.
I don't know why,
But it's no good to try
To summon the will that you stole.

You're so gorgeous it scares me,
So intense it tears me,
Should I run and never look back?
There's something not right here.
It shouldn't be night here,
Your kiss feels like an attack.

Passion consumes me,
My love for you dooms me,
You're flawless, but never nice.
I don't try to hide
When I see that inside
You're nothing but poison and ice.

This feels so wrong,
Your arms are too strong,
I can't break away from your hold.
You love me, you take me,
You kiss me and break me,
And now all I feel is the cold.

Do Not Remember Me

Do not remember me when I must leave,
When I've walked the steps of my last living day.
It would break my heart to witness you grieve,
I would want to wipe each of your tears clean away.
So now that the sun of my lifetime has set,
And I wander barefoot in that heavenly glade,
I pray all the swifter for you to forget,
Your pain to soon pass, and your memories fade.
If I've left no legacy to you,
To remember me by now I'm dearly departed,
Have no regret that my years were too few;
For now I've gone home, and I'm just getting started.

Shifting Ground

What happened to the girl I used to be?
I painted the world in black and white.
With an unshakeable policy -
That wrong is wrong and right is right.

But my certainty has faded now,
Lost in the abyss somehow.
Unsure, unsound, I live each day,
In half-beliefs and shades of grey.

I've been compromised by a world of standards
Different from my own, and changing every day.
Is it any wonder that it's all been reduced
To opinions, acceptance, and shades of grey.

Ok, you say, it may be true.
You'll listen and respect my view,
But you won't change your mind at the end of the day,
'Coz you're happy with uncertainty and subtle shades of grey.


Essence of sunbeam, oil of love, half a chestnut, one old glove.
Boil until the moon goes red, then add a flea (be sure it's dead).
Wear a silly pointy hat, cackle madly, add a bat.
(By which, I mean the cricket things, not some high-pitched rat with wings.)
By now, if you've done what I said, the stuff should froth and turn bright red.
And so you'll have the perfect brew...
Love and glove and bat flea stew.

Manic Lullabye: Part 2

I woke up from my fearsome dream,
And yelled, in an almighty scream,
“Where is my kipper? Oh my word,
The fish has turned into a bird!”
Leaving its cage, the kipper flew
Straight down Manic Avenue,
And flew into a rusty bike
(Or a park bench, if you like).
This bike - or bench, I don’t mind which -
Threw my kipper in the ditch.

The kipper-fish, whose name was Bob,
Turned into a gooey blob.
I swallowed it (for I had run
After my kipper when it done
That thing, you know, that thing it did),
And then the park bench ran and hid.
(Or wheeled, if, as I suppose,
The bicycle your favour shows.)
Fed up of this crazy tale,
I visited inside a whale.

And Jonah there, inside the belly
Of the whale, (both damp and smelly,
The whale, that is, and Jonah too,
He couldn’t leave to - well, you know.)
So anyway, our Jonah lad
Was pleased to see me, oh, so glad.
The whale too, the happy boy,
Puked up on the beach through joy.
(An experience, I’ll make it plain,
I never hope to have again.)

At this point, I bade him farewell,
For I had heard the dinner bell.
And, in the canteen of the school,
I landed in the swimming pool.
The diving teachers, doing flips,
Were soaking all the students’ chips.
Bored of this noisy, tiresome place,
I jumped and landed on my face
Among the mermaids, on the sand,
In a crazy water-land.

The mermaids, though, were dull and slow,
So I told them I had to go.
So I swam up to get some air -
Just to find it wasn’t there!
Just water, from the ocean floor,
Continuing for evermore!
At this point I began to fret.
Five minutes without breathing yet.
At this point, oh, for goodness’ sake,
I felt myself begin to wake.

My mother said, “Oh darling, please
Lay off of all the late-night cheese!”

The Goblin King

(Warning: a bit creepy. Not suitable for kids, probably.)

Underneath the forest,
In ancient, broken halls,
On a throne of gold and bone
The Goblin King now calls:

“Goblins, goblins, take your knives.
Kill their children, rape their wives.
Burn their houses, steal their bread;
Leave them changeling-childs instead.”

Hamlets, towns and cities
Have felt the bitter sting
Of armies of black goblins
Gathered round to sing:

“Goblins, goblins, take your knives.
Kill their children, rape their wives.
Burn their crops and cattle too,
Since there’s nothing else to do.”

The king left his cavern home
Deep under the ground
To reign upon the surface-land
When he heard this sound:

“Goblins, goblins, take your knives.
Kill their children, rape their wives.
Own the world and all they love,
Come to rule the land above.”


I went back to where it started,
And all that I found there
Was a fragment of a promise that was floating on the air.

My heart back then was open,
I had my future planned,
But all I have is silence now, and daisies in my hand.

The sun won't shine as brightly now,
For clouds are all around.
Staring down in silence, as the rain falls on the ground.

I don't really mind the waiting,
Though it's hard to be alone.
But I still believe with all my soul that one day you'll come home.

All I have as proof that I have waited on the sand
Is a fragment of a promise and a daisy in my hand.


You say you've changed, I think I see
You're not the boy you used to be.
I love you now, as I loved you then,
But you'll never be that child again.
Sometimes, still, I see you there
With shining eyes and tousled hair
But you've grown up, and you've moved on,
A part of you forever gone.

Why I call you my brother you still don't know,
But I've known you, and loved you, and watched you grow.
I know you better than before;
There's no way I could love you more.
But - please don't take this as a slur -
I'll always miss the boy you were.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007


Every moment when I'm with him
And I'm trying not to touch him
But I'm waiting for the second when he might just look my way,
When I'd jump and run a mile
For a half-glimpse of his smile
When his eyes become my universe and mine just fade to grey,
When I'm getting slightly bolder
So I lean upon his shoulder
And he takes me in his arms (and so I'm not exactly spurned),
And there's something in me screaming
'Coz I know I'm only dreaming
And you ask me what the problem is? Just this: it's unreturned.


"It's dangerous out there", he whispered in my ear
"Full of threat and fear,
You're better off in here."

"I'll keep you safe forever", and he locked up the door.
"Eternity", he swore,
"Ten thousand years and more."

"Feel free", he said, as he threw away the key
"Feel but don't be,
You don't want to be free."

I whispered gentle thanks, and tightly gripped the bars.
I sang up at the stars,
And ignored the passing cars.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Pussycat Ladies

Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was a person of moral fortitude and character like me?
Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was intelligent and engaging lady like me?

Don'tcha? Don'tcha...

Monday, 12 February 2007

A Mistake

He reminded me of you, it took me by surprise.
Now I'm thinking of you and trying to remember
Remember the colour of your eyes.

I know I lost touch with you, I guess that was my choice,
But I can't shake the feeling that I need to remember
Remember the soft tone of your voice.

So long ago, so far away, I saw you spotlit noon-bright day.
So fast it passed, so hard to say why you left me where I lay.
Your cymbal eyes so bright and clear, your stronger hand was ever near,
And yet I feel a freezing fear to think of how you left me here.
With all my might I fell on you, I held my breath and fell right through.
I didn't know what else to do but wish your every promise true.

But every memory rekindles sharp-fresh pain,
Now I know why I tried so hard to forget you,
Forget you and be cleansed by summer rain.

I can't quite get the courage to say that last goodbye.
Of course, I know the smart thing is simply to leave my
Leave my feelings for you where they lie.

My Hallelujah

You walked this path for many years
Through laughter, anger, peace and tears
You remember all the storms and how they blew you
You walk with me, and take my hand
And tell me that you understand
And in reply I sigh a Hallelujah


I've had my doubts, I've asked for proof
But all you offered was the truth
You don't like to make it easy, do you
But every time I hear your voice
I feel my heart and mind rejoice
My soul becomes ablaze with Hallelujah


I try to climb the silver stair
Begging you to meet me there
I need to know that I mean something to you
I lay beneath the starry skies
And lift my desperate, searching eyes
Reaching out to you with Hallelujah


And years from now, I'll hear this song
And realise how I had it wrong
Remember how the moonlight shone right through you
A ghost of love, a silent scream
A broken vow, an empty dream
I'll hear the echoes of my hallelujah


Or maybe then I'll know your grace
Maybe I'll have seen your face
And realise that I always really knew you
I'll know your name, I'll feel your love
When finally I'm home above
And singing with the angels, "Hallelujah!"



Knock the ground from under me,
Why don't you? Won't you please
Say you think I'm nothing
And force me to my knees.

So ready to accuse me,
So quick to place the blame
Just to try and cover that
You're guilty of the same.

But I'm done putting up with that,
You don't know, never will,
How I fought the good fight,
And how I'm fighting still.

Every insult that you throw
Drives you further underground,
Every word condemns you to the
Black merry-go-round

I promise you won't like it when
For all eternity,
You're sick and sad and spinning
And unable to blame me.


You're bored and you're busy
Alone in the crowd.
Locked in a box
With the music on loud.
You're sad but you're smiling,
Cigarette in your hand.
So let's get you out,
Come run on the sand!
We could swim, we could fly,
Or just lie in the sun.
We could sing, we could dance,
We could play and have fun.
We could laugh till it hurts us,
Throw our fears away.
Love every moment,
And live for today.
I'd do anything
To set you free,
To see you happy
And smiling at me.
But you have decided
You won't be allowed.
So you're locked in your box
With the music on loud.


Please, don't talk about tomorrow.
You know it'll only scare me.
Let's talk about yesterday instead, and the bits we've already had of today.

The sky was a miserable grey.
I was slightly tired all day.
I didn't enjoy yesterday,
And I've had the same problems today.
(And also a mild headache that just won't go away.)

But don't ask me about tomorrow,
I haven't made any plans
Except for the ones I don't think I can do after all.

I've got so many things left to do,
Some of them quite overdue.
But then, they were yesterday too.

I ask

A hundred things and more besides
I ask of him and he provides.
He removes the bitter sting
Of life and yet this one thing
I'm pleading for with all my heart -
That you and I won't stay apart -
I fear the Lord just cannot do,
For the decision lies with you.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Opposite sides

Could it be that this time
I've really got it wrong again
Could it be you never
Really understood
Was all this a dream,
Some white-washed mistake
Do you think we'll recover
Well I don't see how we could

So here we are again,
Looking in each other's eyes
Loving each other
From opposite sides.
Here we are again,
Still looking around
And finding no trace of
Common ground,
No common ground.

Could it be that dreams and doubts
Can both come true at once
Could it be that we were
Aimed here from the start
I should have listened to me
When I said this would happen
A thoroughbred disaster
For my poor pathetic heart


It's time to say goodbye,
I go left
You go right
I run towards to the sunrise
You walk into the night.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007


The bell struck noon
And the tower shook,
The sound unfolded like an opening book.
I took a breath
And though my heart still beat,
The whole world glittered, in that empty street
Where old crisp packets
And dead leaves flutter
As they twinkle and dance in the wet grey gutter.
And my eyes were alive
With a hope and a song
And a truth that could never, should never be wrong.
But then the chimes ended
And the earth still turned,
All that is real and normal returned.
But still, it's awoken
The light they despise;
The holy of holies behind my brown eyes.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Alone: ending 2

It seemed to her that in the whole wide world, there was nobody living or breathing but herself, and that even her one life was one too many.

The next morning, Naomi woke up shivering. James had presumably left for work already. She got up, and went downstairs to do something useful with herself.

It was as she stood at the kitchen sink, washing the dishes from last night's home-cooked meal, that she started to get a vague feeling that she had forgotten something. A dream last night... but she couldn't remember what... She had been married to James for two years now. She thought about the night he proposed, at Dielle's, and how happy she had been, but )if she was brutally honest) the romance had long since died. James' job meant that he worked very long hours, and wasn't around much; usually leaving Naomi at home by herself all day.

As she dried the plates, she thought about how much she missed work. In fact it seemed like she hadn't really seen anyone since she quit, and that was months ago...

Ah well. If the dream's that important, she reasoned, it would come back to her. She put away the glasses, and went to get the vacuum cleaner and wait for James' return.

Sunday, 28 January 2007


Naomi stared at her reflection, excited at her thoughts and plans for the night. They had a reservation at Dielle's, the most expensive restaurant she had ever seen, and she had her suspicions why. James had seemed determined enough that it be perfect. Anticipation bubbled up in her stomach and she adjusted her silver necklace and put her earrings in. James had bought them for her some months ago, telling her that the diamonds were really pretty, and so was she. Naomi smiled at the memory; he didn't have a way with words, but the thought was there.

She had tried on three dresses already, always glancing nervously at the clock. He was supposed to have arrived by now. Seven o'clock came and went, minute by minute, as she put on makeup and made more final adjustments to her hair than were really necessary, more out of a need to be doing something until he arrived.
At exactly - she checked the clock again - twelve minutes past, she called him on his mobile. He didn't pick up. She looked out of the window at the deserted, rain-drenched streets and left a message.

"Hi baby, I'm sure you're just running late, but I wanted to check. You said we had a table booked at Dielle's, remember? Oh, you can't have forgotten. Well - look - um - call me back, or, yeah." Taking some gum, she started chewing, and called his home line. The machine kicked in. "Baby, pick up. C'mon, where are you? It's... quarter past now; they won't hold the table forever... James, please, call me?"

She sat on her bed, and chewed her gum ferociously, as only an ex-smoker can. The road by her house was usually quiet, but tonight it was dead silent. All Naomi heard was the clock ticking. By half past, her anxiety had reached a point where she was craving a cigarette more than she had since she quit, months ago. Muttering threats and curses to her very late beloved, she called his work. No answer. She called his parents, no answer. Panic began to set in; her phone clearly wasn't working. What if he'd tried to contact her? She called her home line from her mobile, and vice versa, until she was satisfied that both were operating as they should.

It is possible, she supposed, that he had gone on ahead and expected her to get there herself. In which case, he must think she'd stood him up! Hurriedly, she pulled on her shoes and pulled her coat on.

Heading out the door into the inky blackness, it struck her just how quiet everything was. Even on the rainiest days, there'd usually be some old man walking his dog, or a horde of drunk twenty-somethings calling across the road to one another. But tonight, nothing. Silence, apart from her own breath and the sound of her heels on the pavement. It unnerved her.

Dielle's was about half an hour away from her house, giving her plenty of time for thought. By the time she arrived, she had run through every worst-case scenario she could think of; from visions of James in a hospital bed, to zombie attacks that she had somehow missed. The blue-black evening was punctuated by the occasional hazy orange glow from the streetlights until she arrived in the centre of town. Dielle's was a bright glow in the darkness, promising warmth and comfort. She pushed open the unlocked door, and stared around her at what she saw.

Dielle's was the most in-demand restaurant in town. James had sworn to her that he'd booked the table in advance, because otherwise they had no hope. And yet before her, all Naomi saw was empty tables and empty chairs. There wasn't even a waiter or a cook. Wandering further into the exclusive, luxurious establishment, she called out:

"Anyone there? Is there anybody - anybody here? Hello!" A tremor of uncertainty had crept into her voice, a note of panic evident through her false confidence. "Don't worry, Nay," she said to herself, "there's nothing to worry about. They were clearly closed tonight, and James just forgot to tell me. That's all." She looked briefly again around the deserted room, and pushed her way back into the cold, muttering "Shouldn't have left it unlocked really, anybody could come in here..." But the street outside seemed as starkly lacking in 'anybodys' as everywhere else.

Hanging around in the doorway, she went to call Claire, but hesitated. What if she didn't answer? What if nobody answered? Naomi decided she'd rather not know, and put her phone away again.

By the time she arrived home, her makeup had run from rain or tears. She hadn't seen so much as a stray dog on the way home. "Fine. Tonight's been one huge disappointment", she said, still trying hard not to think about what was happening. She focused instead on the smaller picture, on how James had let her down, and how he better have a good reason. Settling into bed in her nightshirt, she flicked the television on, half expecting every station to display a test card or something. But no, there was the chat show, set up to look warm and inviting to all - but completely abandoned. There was the nature programme, cameras panning across endless plains devoid of any animal life. There was the music channel, showing only instruments laying silent on the stage.

Being her usual methodical self, Naomi tried to watch a video. The set was empty. She played a CD; only the backing track could be heard. Tears ran down her face as she pulled out a photo of James from her wallet - showing only the bench he had been sitting on at the time. She felt a jolt as she realised that this meant she would never see Ben again, and a pang of guilt as she became aware of that thought.

It was half past ten, and Naomi hadn't seen anyone since she'd left work at half four. Curled up and sobbing in her bed, she eventually fell asleep, exhausted from the worrying and crying and the deep, soulful sense of loneliness that pulled on her heart. It seemed to her that in the whole wide world, there was nobody living or breathing but herself, and that even her one life was one too many.

The next morning, she was awoken by warm breath on the back of her neck. "Morning, beloved." The soft, warm voice of her James was unmistakable, and at first her thoughts were too fuzzy to know why she was so shocked and pleased to hear him. "Or should I call you fiancée now?" Speechless, Naomi looked at her hand, and stared in wonder at the diamond ring there. "Last night" - he kissed her neck - "was amazing. And the food was great. They don't exaggerate about Dielle's, do they princess."


Which is all fair enough, as fiction, but that's not all it is. It happens to me every night. As soon as I leave work, the world empties of all company, and I return to my bedroom to spend the next however-many hours alone, waiting for the noise and the presence of someone with skin on. But, for your company, as far as it goes, I thank you.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Rage (warning: bad language)

Damn it,
Damn it.
Off my planet,
Or face me if you dare.
Fuck it
Fuck it
Kick the bucket,
You see if I care!
Screw you,
Screw you,
Never knew you.
Never wanted to.
You prick!
You prick!
You're so DAMN THICK!
I'm quite pissed off with you.

Magic Mirror

Once upon a golden age,
In some quite perfect place,
A flawless girl with honey curls
Beheld her smiling face.

The mirror there, upon the wall,
Great magic it possessed.
It said, as fact, with no great tact,
“My dear, you’re badly dressed.

The ringlets, girl! The chequered frock!
The cheeks so sweet and pink!
You are a lass with little class,
What must the people think?”

She gazed upon her tartan gown,
And she began to cry,
“You and me both!” unkindly quoth
The mirror with a sigh.

The golden girl, she turned her back,
And slammed the old oak door.
The mirror heft, it now was left
In pieces on the floor.

The moral, kids, is simply this,
So hear it loud and clear;
To get on well, austerely tell
Folks what they want to hear.

Manic Lullabye: Part 1

How doth the lonely pudding stand,
Within my green and sweaty hand?
Alooba-looba, pudding said.
My big repugnant palm fell dead.
The pudding then, it flew away,
And blew a kiss, which made my day.
Over my shoulder, if you care,
Invigilators hovered there.
They fled my fearsome tremblous voice,
I kicked my heels and didst rejoice.

I danced in circles. As I span,
I saw a breathless-looking man
Running very fast indeed
To keep up with my spiral speed.
He smiled and he took my hand,
And told me he was in a band.
And though the lights were pretty dim,
I saw hundreds run with him!
In a band of people, they
Circled me then ran away.

Shortly after this man left,
I wept as I felt bereft.
As my tears did flood the room,
I heard an almighty BOOM!
Followed by a sonic patter.
Never was there such a clatter!
A centipede with wooden limb,
I never saw one big as him.
As he trampled down the halls,
Gigantically he shook the walls.

And I quoth, “That’s the last time I
Fall asleep to Manic Lullabye.”

Wednesday, 17 January 2007


He leaves his life behind these locks,
Secrets safe in a simple box.

The deafening tick and the tock of the clock,
The sickening click of the key in the lock,
He promised he loved me but I want the proof,
And lifting the lid, I look for the truth.

Secrets come flying from where they were hidden,
And I understand why the box was forbidden.

The deafening tick and the tock of the clock,
The sickening click of a key in the lock,
The deadening draw of the opening door,
The pad, pad of his feet on the floor.

He sees me kneel with the key in my hand.
He smiles, and whispers "Now you understand."

I look in his eyes, all broken and blue,
I whisper and smile "Yes boy. I do."

Monday, 15 January 2007

New Girl

- New Girl -

I don't like your girlfriend, I don't think it's fair.
She's new on the scene but I've always been there.
Our friendship has lasted 'coz we worked it through;
She argues, she bitches, how *did* she get you?!

What's-her-name, new girl, the one that you chose,
Spreading her trouble wherever she goes.
You're just a fool with a cheap plastic jewel,
Mistaking a thorn for a rose.

I don't like your girlfriend; she doesn't like me.
She's making you choose between us, can't you see?
Don't get me wrong, I would love to be friends,
But I've seen this before and that's not how it ends.

What's-her-name, new girl; you're starting to care
Like she has stars in her eyes and her hair.
Which she doesn't, you know, and it's starting to show;
Your lovely romance has a tear.

I don't like your girlfriend and neither do you.
You kind of still love her; I get it, I do,
But you're staying in when you would have gone out,
No wonder you're wondering, starting to doubt.

What's-her-name, new girl, she's not heaven sent.
I said she was evil - that's not what I meant.
You know that it's true, that she's not good for you,
Now it's time that she packed up and went!

You've now left your girlfriend, or she has left you.
All that's for certain is, now that you're through,
I'm getting to see you around so much more,
As empty and lonely as you were before.

What's-her-name, new girl, your angel on ice.
She's not very pretty. She isn't that nice.
But you say she's the one, and cry now she's gone,
So... if you want my advice...

I don't like your girlfriend, but it seems to be
Now that I know her, she's growing on me.
I have to admit that I didn't expect that,
But now that you're married I guess I'll respect that.

Lucid dreams

It's been a long day, once again. As I settle back into my bed, I think about all the things that have to be done tomorrow. Louise and I are house-hunting, again. We'll be discussing plans for the wedding, again. And I'm leaving my job for pastures new, so it's a very interesting time to be me. These thoughts fill my mind, each one coming round as soon as I dismiss it, like a merry-go-round. I close my eyes, and eventually drift into the darkness of sleep.

I dream. The walls of my room fade away to reveal a great grey plane, stretching into the distance in every direction. The first thing I notice is that, despite the sheer black sky, everything is as brightly lit as a summer day. The sky itself seems too low, oppressive; resting inches above me as I wander the endless plane. I don't know how long I walk for, but when I turn around, there's a girl. I swear she wasn't there a second ago.

"Hi", she says, and shakes my hand. Her skin is cold, almost glassy. Only then do I notice the strange way the eerie, sourceless light seems to shine through her simple black clothes. Hm. Jeans and a blouse. She only looks about eighteen.

"Hi", I reply uncertainly. "Who are you?"

"My name's Sarah. And you, of course, are the great Daniel Holland." She states it as fact, not a question. "I'm a great fan of your work."

I wonder what work she could possibly mean.

"I've come to warn you. You're going to make a decision you'll regret, one that will affect your whole future... sorry! I know this comes across as 'destiny of mankind' stuff. But it's important."

"Is this a premonition?" I venture, unsure who she is or what it is exactly that she's a fan of.

"Right. I'll start from the beginning. We understand a lot more about dreams these days."

"These days?"

"Yes. Look. Have you ever wondered how people dream of the future and call it psychicness?"

"Actually, I'm not sure how many people call it -"

"Shush. And some people dream of history and call it past lives?" I nod; she has a point.

"Well, dreams aren't limited to one place or time. Premonitions, reincarnation dreams - they're all cases of two minds being in the same place. To make things easier for the scientist in you, imagine it as two minds that share a frequency."

I put my hands up, cutting her off in mid-flow. "Hang on. This sounds like bad sci-fi to me, and I should know! Two minds sharing a frequency? What? What does that mean, what would it do?"

"So essentially you're saying 'please, continue', then?" She stands there, hands on her hips, surrounded by vast grey emptiness. I nod, sheepishly. "When two minds are in the same place, thoughts and memories can be transferred from one mind to another. Although rarely as directly as this. Only since we worked out how the sleeping mind -"

I interrupt again. "Hang on, go back. You said I'd make a decision I'd regret. And you're here to stop that? Change the future - past - and improve the timeline? Surely you know the damage that could do?" Ignoring her fed-up expression, I say "And anyway, how can I be sure that the stuff you're saying is true? It sounds like nonsense."

"Well if it is, it's your nonsense. We're in your mind. And I'm not asking you to change your mind about the decision. You'll make it, you'll regret it, that's how it's got to go." I take a breath to argue this point, but she continues: "And as for whether this 'stuff' is true, here's proof that our minds are on the same wavelength. My hair reminds you of an ex-girlfriend, whom you ended it with because she kept calling you 'puppy'."

I look at her blonde-brown ponytail, and raise an eyebrow. "Oh my gosh, a figment of my imagination knows what I'm thinking!" I say, resorting to sarcasm. "Truly, this is a miracle -"

"Fine! Fine, you can have your proof! Tomorrow - well, today by now - you'll meet the person who'll convince you to make the decision you'll regret." She looks irritated, as if I wrestled this information from her against her will.

After that, the oppressive black sky and the endless plane begin to fade, along with the girl. Then, there is nothing but the usual dream nonsense, probably involving public nudity. I wake up with vague recollections of going to a zoo and watching my mum do a pop concert; but the dream on the grey plane is as lucid and as inexplicable as the moment it happened.

I wake with an eerie sense that something isn't quite right, but I can't put my finger on why. I'm sure you know the feeling, as if you've dreamed something unsettling but you can't remember what. There's something hovering just on the edge of my memory; something that worries me. I roll onto my side, contemplating getting up. I stare at my grey carpet, frowning. Why is today important?

... Ah well, if it's that important, it'll come back to me, I reason, and I push myself out of bed.

Madness: chapter 1

She glanced casually around the pub. No matter how far civilisation advances, she thought, pubs will always stay the same. The same old surroundings, with the same old atmosphere. After what she had correctly judged as a good disdainful pause, she returned her attention to the stranger. The Salesman cleared his throat, and tried again.
“I don’ think you unnerstan’ wot I’m off’ring you. We’re talking ’bout.... what are we talkin’... oh yeah. A release,” he declared dramatically, flinging his arms wide and knocking his empty glass to the floor. “A release from the madness!”
Skye eyed him critically. “You don’t look very released to me.”
“Tha’s coz I’m drunk, isn’it? Tit.” He passed out on the bar, his face resting in a puddle of warm beer.
Skye gathered up her belongings, and left. There had been dozens of these so-called Salesmen buzzing around, trying to convince everyone that Mental Readjustment Medication, MRM, was the best way to go.
MRM, your window of opportunity. Your doorway to the future. Your drainpipe of hope for tomorrow, and so forth. It had been getting worse recently, the Authorities were getting more and more insistent. It hadn’t been so bad at the beginning.
“These shots will need to be administered monthly, to prevent a breakdown in the neural networks between the dream and logic centres of the brain.” In other words, we’re going to pump you full of instant obedience training until you don’t know what’s what.
That had been 3 years ago, when only a few had seen the inherent danger in MRM shots. Skye had been one of the masses who fell for this clearly transparent attempt to subdue the people of Great Britain. Every month, without fail, she would walk around the corner to the nearest MRM clinic. Every month, she would take the vaccination without complaint, and every month, she would return to the familiar mental numbness to which she had become accustomed.
This had gone on for almost two years, just before the Mental Oppression Resistance had made their first Sweep. Right from the beginning, some had seen through the MRM facade, and they Liberated several hundred people in a single week! Skye had been one of the very first Liberated.
Skye had attended a Sweep once, and it had been the best moment of her life. The MOR squad had fanned through the clinic, forcing all the nurses and salesmen out of the nearest exit! Then the MRM vaccine was destroyed, and the people were given a choice.
Skye remembered taking her choice, the amazing surge of adrenalin as she realised that she was free to make her own decision. The MOR squad had lined them up, and gave them their choice.
“Look, we’re not going to pressure you into this. That isn’t how we do things. You have a simple choice, but you can’t make it until you are in possession of all the facts...”
Well, now Skye had all the facts, and she had thrown off the shackles of the MRM shots. Now, she knew what she was doing and why she was doing it. Now she was free.

Sunday, 14 January 2007


“Come down here right now!” She ignored her father’s calls. Every time they asked her father to ‘deal with her’, he would come to the school and shout at her; and every time, she would ignore him and keep climbing. She didn’t want to come down. She was safe up there, leaving everyone and everything at ground level as she ran across the roof… at least, that was how she thought it should be. The reality was very different. Every time she thought she had succeeded in freeing herself from the worries of the world, somebody - usually her father - would come and shout at her. It wasn’t as if she was doing anything that terrible; she knew she wouldn’t fall. She had been climbing things for as long as she could remember.

I remember a seven year old girl, running from a boy with a dog. He chased her through the park until she climbed up a large tree with spreading branches. He waited at the foot of the tree for an hour, taunting the girl and shouting at her, until he realised that she was long gone. She had climbed across to one of the other trees intertwined with it. She kept climbing through the treetops, long after she could have come down safely, knowing that nobody could get her while she kept away from the ground.

“I’m not kidding, young lady, you get down here right now!” Sighing, she jumped from the art block, to the bench, to the ground. “That’s better. You know I don’t like you climbing things, it’s dangerous! You could hurt yourself so badly. Now come on, we’re going home.” He took her hand and led her to the car, which she entered silently. He shook his head. He worried about her so much, and she kept risking her neck. She only had to be unlucky once…

I remember a nine year old girl, helping her father put the Christmas lights on the roof of their house. He threw her a string of fairy lights, which she caught and wound around the chimney with a smile on her face. “Good girl!” He laughed, clutching the end of the lights as she threw them back. The girl smiled again as she dropped from the edge of the slates into her father’s arms.

“What was it this time? Homework you haven’t done? Kids picking on you? Mean teachers?” The girl frowned at her father.
“Well whatever it was, you have to learn to deal with it! You can’t keep avoiding your problems, darling, you’ve got to face it head-on.”
“I know.”
He slumped back in his chair; it was no use. She was going to keep climbing whatever he said. She’d been doing it her whole life, and it hadn’t bothered him at first.

I remember talking to a man. I said, “I wish you wouldn’t encourage her. One of these days she’s going to break her neck up there, and you know she’s starting to climb at school as well. It’s not safe!”
He replied, “You worry too much about her. I trust her completely; she knows what she’s doing and it won’t help for us to stop her. Besides, you have to get used to the idea if you’re going to come rock-climbing with us!”
I remember looking doubtful. “You’ll have a wonderful time”, he assured me. “We’ll both be looking out for you, and I would love for us all to have a shared interest. We never seem to do anything as a family any more.”

After she had gone to her room, he took out the last photo album of them all together, at the beginning of the holiday. She looked so much happier then, he thought. So did he. He took out the photo of his wife, taken hours before she fell.

I remember being strapped in to the harness. I remember him reassuring me. I remember the girl looking excited. We climbed for three hours up a vertical cliff with plenty of handholds. I remember pulling myself up by one, and I remember it crumbling. That’s all I remember.

She entered the house through her window. Her father had never realised that she could get anywhere she wanted from her room without going downstairs, and she did so every night. This night, she had gone back to the park. She had climbed the huge, sprawling tree in the middle of the park and sat in its branches thinking of her mother. Now that she was back, she went to check on her father. He wasn’t in bed, even though it was past 2am. He was downstairs, asleep in his chair, holding the last picture of her mother in his hands. The girl went slowly up to her room.

She didn’t climb again.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Pretty peoples

There are sites that let you make pretty people all over the place... so I made them and put them somewhere nice. I'm lovely like that.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Object description

There is no life in it. Even the creatures of the forest recognise it for what it truly is. It stands alone in a clearing; crooked, hunched. As dead as the dry soil that surrounds it, the twisted black branches strain, grow, reach desperately for the midnight darkness above. The roots writhe and crawl through the earth, dragging the gnarled aching trunk onward for eternity. For countless ages, this monstrosity has crept towards the fires of civilisation; inexorably approaching and destroying everything and everyone in its path. The ground dies and fades to grey around it as it casts flickering shadows on its surroundings; black flames. Its determined form, silhouetted against the night stars, is a stain on the natural beauty around it. It is an error. How could nature produce such corruption? Red sap bleeds from between its cracked boughs, seeping into the earth. Nothing will grow here again.
Imagine, supposing you could bear to approach it, pressing your palm against the blistered black bark. The world rushes away and only it remains, violating your mind; it uses you as a conduit for its malevolent soul. You would feel a diseased conscience, inherent in this distortion of nature, beyond screams and beyond fear. Just an endless void of despair and desolation. How long before you pull you hand away, appalled and terrified by the pure, unyielding horror before you? How long before you couldn’t pull your hand away at all?
It remembers the sacrifices. Trees have long memories; it still recalls with twisted joy the pain suffered on its cruel branches. The marks of rough nails still scar the surface, reminders of a ritual long since passed. Though the pagans and the peasants are nothing but history, the power willingly given in sacrifice still sustains it, forever waiting expectantly for the next innocent to be nailed, hands and feet, to its freezing, scalding bark. One hundred, one thousand years; it makes no difference to an entity without end. There is an inescapable certainty about it; an awful, confident patience. It will be worshipped, revered again; and the sacrifices will come.
It doesn’t move now. Not now, not while you’re watching it. But don’t turn your back. Even when no wind blows, the warped, twisting limbs sway gently, the twigs rattling like a twitching horde of insects.
Sometimes, it looks as though it’s melting. The sunshine, what little can penetrate the thick forest canopy, glistens on the sticky, sap-drenched bark. Even in daylight, this is a thing of terror. Its utter blackness is a void in the scenery, a dark shape that emanates darkness itself.
Growing in death, bleeding, advancing; this, surely, is evil.

Monday, 1 January 2007

Noir Heartbreak

Quite proud of this one. Read it twice :)

It was something of a professional rainstorm; one that clearly intended to do the job properly or not at all. There was a flash of lightning, a clearing of the throat, and the symphony began.

I was walking through the city, my coat wrapped tightly around me, but it made little difference against the rain. The falling water flowed through pipes, off roofs, down gutters; washing the streets clean, or so it seemed to me. The city is a different beast at night. Paths I walk every day become unfamiliar. The warm orange glow of the streetlights barely penetrates the inky blue darkness. There was something about the weather that brought out the introspective side of me as I stumbled home that night, looking forward to the relative warmth and comfort of my bed. I thought about Claire, wondering where she would be right now, if she was safe and dry with her fiancé.

A car drove past, throwing up a spray of ditchwater that soaked my jeans, making them even more uncomfortable than before - if that was possible. I cursed under my breath. I hate that.

My mobile rang. I thrust my hands deeper into my soaked pockets, only to have it slip out from my sodden gloves and fall into the river of rainwater. “Shit”, I muttered, pushing the now dead mobile back into the coat pocket. Whoever it was could wait.

I got home to find that whoever it was hadn’t waited, that they’d left a message on my answering machine. I collapsed into my old green armchair as I heard her voice, so familiar to me still. “Alex, where are you? You said you’d come round tonight! I cooked for you and everything. This is the second time, I’m starting to think you’re avoiding us. Mark was very upset…”

“I’ll bet he was.” I was surprised by the note of bitterness in my voice. I turned the sound off and hit delete. The thought of Claire with that slimy maggot was bad enough without having to see them together, pretending to enjoy themselves. I knew they didn’t feel comfortable with me, so why they kept asking me round was a mystery… except, of course, that Claire is a good girl and still wanted to be friends. Well of course she did. But I just didn’t feel up to it, and they should respect that. Besides, she deserved better than him…

I pulled myself out of the chair and staggered upstairs, almost tripping over Kasper on the way. “Sorry dog”, I said as I ruffled his ears. I jumped up the stairs, the prospect of a warm shower enough to make my shrug off my damp clothes before I reached the top.

I climbed into bed that night, the rain still hissing against my window, trying not to think. About anything. But I haven’t yet learned how to turn my thoughts off, and as I remembered the great times I’d had with Claire, I decided it was worth it. I’d ask them around for dinner, I’d cook something nice, wear a pretty dress, and be civil to the bastard that broke my heart, and my best friend who betrayed me. I fell asleep with a smile on my face. Tomorrow would be a brighter day. Besides, I had a sneaking suspicion she was going to ask me to be a bridesmaid…

Something Lost

I wrote this a couple of years ago for a creative writing lesson. So while it isn't as I would write it now, the sentiments are the same, and it's still quite personally significant.

- Something Lost -

I lay my head on my pillow, relaxing into a sleep deeper than any ocean, falling back into the Dream again. And there I am. Just like last night, and every night before that, only this time is different. This time I’ll find it. I know I will.
I walk uncertainly into the dense, tangled forest. Thorns grasp me back, and pull at my clothes and hair, but they can’t stop me. It is dark, and I am the only person there, I am the only person ever there. As I struggle through the hostile woods, I am gripped by the inescapable fact that I will never make it. Just like every time, I would fail. I shake myself, and try to feel confident. I tell myself, I can do this. I can. I don’t feel the cold or the damp air, because I am driven by the knowledge that this time will be different. This time I will find it.
The forest ends abruptly, and I force my way out of the greedy briars, trying to restrain me there, onto a great precipice. I am in the valley. I slip, tentatively inching my way down the almost-sheer cliff face. There are no plants or roots to anchor myself; this valley is dead. It has always been dead.
The vague, indifferent darkness makes it difficult to see, but somehow I struggle up the loose scree and grasp the ledge. Ordinarily, I would given up by now, but this is different. This time I will find it.
I only made it this far once before. I’ve made it through the forest of doubt, I’ve triumphed over the valley of the shadow of death, and I feel it.
There it is, can’t you feel it? Right over the horizon... here, is what I’ve been looking for.
A river. The river. The only way I’ll ever get it back is to reach the river. Walking towards the clear, cool water, I see myself over and over again. I see myself failing, giving up and going back, or just dying out there, with nobody to help me. I was alone, I was afraid, I was ready to give up... when I saw it. There, in the water, that’s what I’ve been looking for! It has been lost from deep inside my heart my whole life, and there it is. I run towards it, hot, and out of breath. I plunge my hand into the icy cold water... I’ve never got this close before!
There, on a bed of perfectly rounded pebbles in the crystal-clear stream, is the locket. A simple, heart-shaped locket... is it gold or silver? I can’t tell in this light... and I pull it out of the water. I am just about to put it back where it belongs when I feel the sliding, fading sensation again. I clench my teeth and mutter under my breath:
No, not now... please not now, I’ve tried so hard, I did what you asked of me...
And I am awake. Alive again to live another twenty-four hours of despair, of emptiness. I know that any second now, I will forget. Just before every trace of memory disappears from my exhausted mind, I feel the words:
So close...


My darling, you look lovely!
You're the only one above me.
In terms of sheer beauty,
I do feel I've done my duty.

I've turned you from a grungy slob
Into a Playboy bunny.
Sweetie dear, I've done my job,
Now give me all your money!