When do you play?


When do you play? Fly, high, completely away?

When do you soar? When do you roar

Like a lion in your den

Scaring people, then running away

Laughing and laughing until you cry

Tears of joy and tears of pain

Don’t drift back down that road again

Play, and play and play some more

Obliterate the ought to, shout at the shoulds,

Run over hills, wander through woods

Return to childhood but retain the strength

That life has inflicted through torn muscle length

And the breaking and rebreaking of hopes and dreams

The cries of fear, the stifled screams

Take that steel, create your sword

Play with life and play with words

Because you don’t want to hear, that very last day

That thought in your head, When did you play?





Hot Breath


Outside, sharp air, jagged edges, crispy on skin. 

A sigh escapes, milky and opaque

Wonder never ceases

Breath is forced, clouds appear

Smiles delight in awe

Inside, soft, marshmallow warmth.

Sighs sneak surreptitiously

Invisible to eye

Only felt, serious and small.

Return to the cold

Return to play, 

breath out dragon clouds 

And delight this day





Invasion Of The Black Sludge


I wasn’t going to write anything this morning. As consciousness seeped in, as my eyes wondered whether to remain clam tight and ignore my stirring body, I felt the black sludge enveloping my brain. I know it can’t always be rainbows, pixie dust and unicorns in there all the time, but why do we get the thick, choking black sludge seeping in, slowly and inexorably covering everything in its path? Its progression all the more devastating when life has been so bright before its return.

As with anything and everything my mind won’t just sit back and accept, it has to question and question like a nagging toddler. What is happening in my life? What have I done to trigger this, what have my thoughts been, what foods have I eaten? What exercise have I or have I not done? Always I want a reason, an explanation, and, of course, a solution. 

Most of all I wonder why this black sludge is so prevalent throughout our species. It seems to exist in every corner of every mind, an alien being spawned centuries ago, lying dormant until the time is right, until enough keys are in place ready to unlock its cell door and release it to gradually, slowly and sludgely  take over the world.

Do, we accept it as part of the human condition? Do we just keep black and carry on, as I was raised to do? Do we medicate it away? Is it ok to fight it with chemicals rather than constant tiring sneaky tactics of diversion and subversion? I don’t know. And I think that’s my weakness, that is when the black sludge knows it can seep in and take over. The soft under belly is exposed. When my mind is distracted by not knowing, when it is busy trying to work out how it can zap someone else’s black sludge, when it is confused, with no easy solution, desperately wanting and needing to do something, anything to help, when the body is busy fighting its own viral battle and starts feeling weak, that fucking sneaky beaky black sludge always senses, always spots the advantage.

Maybe this is Armageddon? Maybe the world truly won’t end with a bang, but with a black, sludgey, choked whimper of given up hope?

Ok, that’s enough, I’m not sinking down. That fucking stinky dark foul sticky slime is NOT going to take over. It is NOT going to dominate me, or anyone else I love. I will not lie back and allow it to gradually fossilise this body, this brain. I have fought it before, and I will fight it again. I have my own sneaky ninja methods, my own trip wires and traps. I DO have knowledge, and experience. I have fought it before, and I have won, am constantly winning, and now I need to teach my child, my children, my loved ones, I need to help them devise their own ninja tricks, help them create their own armour, to realise it is an ongoing war, not a lightning battle.

We can always cue the A Team music, we always have tools to hand, a workshop of supplies, and, if we are lucky, a team of like minded idiots around us willing to make whatever is needed. 

So… Cue music, let’s get to work…






Ah, that first sip of coffee…

hot nectar gently seeping past parched lips,

swirling into the night dry mouth,

over the desert tongue

to be swallowed gratefully and greedily,

received ecstatically into the body with eyes shut in delight

as the warmth and wetness work their wonders

alleviating and dispersing the build up

of night’s stiff deposits of aches and pains,

watering the dry and stimulating the tired,

encouraging a new blossoming

to fill this new day.






Fill the beast’s belly with fuel, strike the match and watch the hunger satiate itself, greedily licking, consuming, starting to roar, demanding more sustenance. Kneeling, I obey, slowly and carefully feeding the flames, starting the process, the ritual carried out by every generation that has lived, ritual stretching back to the raw, basic elemental yearnings of ancestral ghosts. The metal beast grumpily cooperates, as I coax it with more treats, it shivers and sends the flames higher to do their job, warming its water filled jacket, stimulating the lifeless liquid to action. It’s time, the ritual has started. My body is cold, tired from just living. The air has a crunchiness that rubs at my skin. I feed the flames and hear the reassuring grumble of the boiler filling up, percolating hot into cold, working hard to fulfil its role in the service.

I wait, patience has become a necessity when choosing the ancient ways. Yes we could install the shiny and the new…just flick a switch and see instant results as we turn on the taps..but where is the connection, the raw feelings, the ritual?

It is time. I move to the inner sanctuary, to complete the next stage. Taps are turned, the magic is released with a long held exhalation of steam. The air is cool, rapidly creating a misty cloak, lingering and caressing as the warmth gradually starts to spread.

The ritual continues as bottles are assembled, thoughtfully selected to dispense their healing balm, to treat the aches, dispel the worries. Golden, viscous and sensuously scented, the oil drops into the warm depths, dispersing its medicine, its soothing, scented essence. Fingers trace the oil through the warmth, and confirm the anticipated question. Yes, it is time.

Gown drops from shoulders, chilly toes tentatively test, slowly dive deeper and invite the body to follow. A sigh escapes from gently upturned lips, warmth encloses the bones, silken and scented, the caressing liquid wraps velvet over curves, smoothing and soothing. 

The ritual is complete.