What do you do
when you are five years old
and your mother
shuts you away
because she can’t bear to look at you?
In your short life
she has given
no love or cuddles,
only bewildering rage and anger
no matter how hard you try to be good
it is never good enough.
Your body is small,
next to you she is very big
and when her face is in your face
shouting at you
and her hands are on your shoulders
shaking you
you fear you might die.
She shouts
I’ll shake the living daylights out of you.
Maybe one day she did
and you are no longer a real person,
only a shadow in the dark.
How do you know
if you are still alive?



a tragic loss of life
said the headlines
I cry for the people
who set out
one rainy November morning
only to have their life
suddenly and unexpectedly
I was just a child when
it happened to me
but no one cried for me
no one mourned my loss
no one even noticed
the death of me
they forced my uncooperative limbs
into sleeves and socks
and pushed and dragged me
through a childhood
a small
and murdered
pale and cold
I haunted classrooms
and birthday parties
and at night
he used my lifeless body
over and over
but he couldn’t hurt me any more
I was gone

Frozen in the headlights

The day darkened
as the storm drew near,
the gloom seeped into the room
where two small children played
The door began to open
and immediately
the man outside the window
put his fingers to his lips
in a hush gesture
and captured a little girl
Like a terrified animal
frozen in the glare of headlights
she stared

my heart hammered and I couldn’t move
or tear my eyes away from the window
as my mother put the light on
and left again, closing the door behind her
She didn’t notice my fear,
and I was too afraid to tell.

The child was lit up now,
exposed in the brightness
of the bulb like a
captive fish in a tank
caught and silenced.

Dear Uncle

Before you die
I want you to know
that I remember what you did to me
all of it.
The little child you
used up and threw away
soiled and damaged
of no further interest,
and the unhappy teen
that you ridiculed
I understand now that you did that
to try to discredit me
you were afraid of me
afraid that I would tell
afraid that my wildness
meant that you had lost control
you moved your family
far away
you ran
and now I know
I am the one
with all the power
I could take your precious reputation
as the golden boy, everybody’s favourite
and crunch it to dust
under my feet.
I could turn you into an outsider
cast out by your own family
they would turn from you
in disgust
When you die
I will visit your grave
and leave an epitaph
of my own there
and you can spend
all the ages of time
rotting beneath it.

The Cross


Long ago this cross was my lifeline

I clung to it with my eyes

until it became an imprint

on my soul

and a dark stain on my heart

I spent my life

searching for it

as if to find it again

would be a key

to the past

that may unlock me

and set me free

I look at it now

and my breath catches

and my heart flutters

like a dying bird

and I still cannot fly away

I am as trapped as I was

as a child

tracing every detail in my mind

to blot out

the insanity

of men.



You don’t call me any more
and grief washes over me anew,
another death among the many.
I watch you disappearing
one memory at a time
my heart breaking with each loss.
You no longer remember my childhood,
that battleground where your tongue
cut me into small pieces
until I was nothing but anger
just like you.
If you have forgotten our warring
do you still remember
making peace,
apologies and forgiveness,
the newly planted seeds of love between us,
can they still grow?
The silent creeping disease
has stolen your anger
and replaced it with
a childlike vulnerability,
you cry real tears now.
The one thing that endures and remains
is that you love me now.
I have finally let you into my heart,
please don’t let me lose that again,
we have had so little time
to be mother and daughter.

The broken fairy

Every baby is born with the potential to fly.

The world of faerie is very close by.

Children as they grow begin to doubt

their world fills with earthly facts to find out.


But this little girl was growing her wings

at night in her dreams she danced faerie rings

at school she always had her head in a book

reading magical stories, the teacher’s head shook


Although all the adults around her despaired

and muttered that she would grow up impaired

the faerie child just smiled and flew

she was doing what she wanted to do.


But faerie children living an earthly life

are often singled out for conflict and strife

Grown men have need to own and possess

that which is different, they found her address


And in the dead of night they came to her door

they took her free spirit and still wanted more

so they ripped her gossamer wings from her back

and stuffed them all crumpled into a sack


The faerie lay broken, the magic was gone

she didn’t want to carry on

better to die than live in such pain

never to fly in freedom again


The broken faerie grew up in sadness

inside her head her secret madness

All her dreams had been taken, there was nothing left

but a consuming anger for the long ago theft


Long years went by in isolation

She felt only longing and frustration

The world called her crazy and locked her away

they fed her on pills, she had to obey.


A therapist gave her a camera one day

when words had failed to help her convey

the height of her longing, the depths of despair

and how she didn’t belong anywhere


She looked into bushes and up into trees

at buds and berries and fluttering leaves

and there was the faerie world she had once known

all the beautiful places as a child she had flown.


She has a place in the world now, her pictures are sought

and she glows with pleasure each time they are bought

and on the inside she embraces a child

who was once part faerie, so free and so wild.