In the sanctuary of dreams

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Woken in a dream, still dreaming.


The storyteller stands in the hidden doorway,

slowly turning he leads and descends,

to where canals on fire flow slick with oil.


Metal muzzles twist, 

grotesque against a dead dog sky.

Muddied barrels frayed by blast,

opened in full bloom.


Disembodied heads, still veiled, 

their black holed mouths un-screaming.


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Friday Street

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A hamlet carved by nature

hidden in gullied glory,

red banked earth walls climb high, 

veined with living root.


Protective Oaks shade secret places,

down here the land reigns, unchanged.

Hidden gardens overgrow

life cycles listen to seasons.


Half a mile above,

travellers taking champagne breakfasts

three minutes out of Heathrow,

imagine the broken land th...

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Speak to me like you speak,
in tongues, or in plain old English
dusted with a view of sparkly seas
or oceans, as you say, my owl.
My crow, my dove, my dolphin
plunging among the waves that roughen,
among the sands that graze and toughen
your skin and hair but soul untouched. 
Tell me of the call you heard
from a distance, from the depths 
of blue or green or blackened water,
the rover, ...

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escapeoceanromantic distance lovesea

Sunrise in Roquebrune

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In Roquebrune’s majestic light

inland away from sea

we took our rest from flight

and fell closer

you and me


With mornings silent waking

our union came as one

our hearts no longer aching

the knot of want un-done 


And in that golden sunrise

we buried searchings pain

to view the world through new eyes

never glancing back again


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There is one place of total privacy
To which you can escape and hide away
Your imagination.  Avoiding piracy
Your fears, for a while;  you can alay

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He Inhales

He inhales,

Yet again he finds himself feeling six feet under,

covered by life bearing soil

The life in which he ponders how he missed.

He inhales,

This time,

His sorrow and self loathing are lifted away

Into the clouds

This is where they remain

For a time that seems ever too short.

He inhales,

Hoping to never return

To his sad reality.

He can't escape.



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The Story of my Daydreams

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They came back
But the fantasy was gone

They were alive only at night
Frightened of daylight
Moon captured them as the stars

If you saw the stars tonight
Then know
They were my dreams once
Now all I have is ashes
Not from smoked cigarettes or burned houses
But from my bones
What became broken
While my heart was trying to escape.

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Always the same....

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Everyday for her is always the same.
All the struggles, all the pain,
all the hurtful words, and all the pressure
to be someone, and to be something.

And each day she wakes
to feel the hurt again, as it never changes.
And each day she breathes to longer her stay
no matter how much she wants to leave.
And each day she eats to feel whole and to not feel empty
like the way she feels about he...

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emptyescapehappyhurtlostnever changesame old stuff

Quietly, I

quietly, quietly sat a lie
arms outstretched
palms staked to the fierce eye
observing within
as, first, flesh mottles
closer still to see without
while blister
vermilion doubts
one apiece of each
seized mortal engine
dripped of framed wax
placed in a filleted whole
gas pored
for a hungry earth
this is all I wish today
let each word die in a dusty throat
a melt th...

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Cliché (reposted)

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calligraphy by: Kel C Ann Johnston

"It is forgetfulness that makes life possible.” Romare Bearden 


We escape dogma


Textbook realities

Founding father visions




And plantations that hold stories

Made from brutal his-stories like


Forgetting captivity


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avant-garde playersDrapetomaniacescapehabit breakersimproviXing freedomKel-c-Ann




I’ve been on an eight mile hike with my mate, getting out of town.                                                               

Up roads, to the Waterworks to give a witch my Amelia Earhart spell.                                                                                    

Venturing through farmer’s fields, over dry stone walls and under barbed wire fences.      ...

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ESCAPE. Result


May's ESCAPE competition received 27 entries. Remarkably, 15 of these received votes. It was astonishing to me how varied people's preferences are. It's an encouragement to all of us – there is almost certainly someone out there who likes our poetry, even if others don't. We're all different.


Taking both first and second choices into account, four poems had the equal highest num...

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Escape. Last chance to vote.

There is just over one more day to vote for Escape poems - the details are at

The response has been surprisingly slow, particularly from those who've entered. Some people have hinted that reading 26 poems is a bit much. In that sense the competition may be a victim of its own success.

Be that as it may, voting closes...

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Escape. Time to Vote

Thank you everyone for your entries in the ESCAPE competition which ran during May. They encompass an extraordinary breadth of experience, from pleasure and beauty to sadness and suffering. To read them has been a privilege, albeit sometimes a painful one. The way we turn life into words never ceases to amaze me.


This is an invitation to vote in the competition. The poems are as liste...

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Houdini Song

Spitting it out in the hope of releasing
unlocking the cage stifling my growth
burning it all selfishly brightly
and the feeling is back again
pounding my head again
to just let go

Spewing it out with the aim of escaping
fleeing this habitual and too perfect a world
shedding the handcuffs worn in contentment
and the aching is back again
haunting my thoughts again
to just get out

Dreaming it up in the hope ...

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Every morning
while you sleep in my arms,
I try to avoid
looking at the dawn
been struck from the skies
like candles blown out
one by one.

Every morning
I try to avoid
looking at the dawn
while you sleep in my arms,
and the breeze
dances across the other side
of your spluttered curtains.

But every morning
I lie hidden beneath your hair
on the edge of ou...

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An Advice

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Don’t escape from the truth!

Escape the lies!

A truth can be bitter,

A lie can be sweet.

Do you think sweet lies are better?

It depends.

I sometimes accept the one who pretends.

But…I always appreciate the one

Who intends to be sincere.

That one for me is so dear.

Escape a betrayal!

That one can be even a royal.

Escape the dirt!

For me i...

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I Will Escape From You

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I will escape from the one I dislike.

My psych doesn’t need a strike.

I will better take a bike

And will go for a ride

Somewhere out of your site

To see the world wide noontide.

I don’t want to confide the one who lied.

Meeting with you was a misguide.

I will not allow you to deride my pride.

I will decide myself how to reside.

And I will not backsl...

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Where To Escape?

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You are running ahead

 Instead of thinking where.

Your heart is beating at a crazy speed,

 It has it’s own flair.

You are swallowing salty drops of tears,

You do not hear the jeers,

You do not feel the rain

But only the unfair pain.

Hurts tear your soul apart.

Who cares about your broken heart?

You want to scream, even to roar,

You can’t stand t...

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I’m floating on the turquoise sea,

I’m holidaying in Greece.

I’m clambering onto a speedboat

And heading off to Nice.

I’m shown round an ocean liner,

And settling by the pool.

Someone at the bar plays guitar.

I can sing in tune!  How cool!


Okay, so this must be a dream,

But I shall not wake up.

I’ll drink Tia Maria and Baileys

In a Pooh Bear cup...

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Stronghold lost

Windows that never wore glass
let the cold in more than ever.
Outside, the dried-up moat
offers no protection,
vulnerable, we suffer.
Cracked between the bricks
and crumbling fast,
these castle walls are falling.
Exposed, we shrivel,
shrink back against the cold, hard floor,
self-afflicted and pitiful,
resigned to ruin and shame.
Surrounded by walls that stand no more.


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consider my confusion

I cannot conceive the caption ‘escape’

as a coldly critical concept

I am quite incapable of articulating


the conundrum of  ‘escaping’

which must concur conclusively

with a ‘from what’ and a ‘to what’ question

correct me if I quibble

can I qualify curious contentment

at my conscious core

or am I in a vacuum


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She is a sweet doll, three tiers high,

a nipped in, ivory dumbbell.

Her nails, bitten down, flash in the crook

of his arm.


She looks duped, evangelical;

her face catching the icing underfoot

a little.  

There is communion.


She steps forward, pressing her hand into mine,

our fingerprints, lost in glass -

uniforms, shapes of dust,


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I will escape from the built-up city

To the countryside,

Where all around are so pretty

And the fields are green and wide.

I will escape from the traffics and smog

To the nature’s lyrics and a croaking frog.

I will escape from concrete and power lines

To the breathtaking lights and signs,

To the place where field bells  ring

And free birds  merrily sing...

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Once I followed a prophet

Step by step

He walked a little ahead.

Until I passed through a doorway

That was framed only for me,

no longer did I follow a prophet

he walked a little ahead

and I let him go.

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Through a mist of whirlpools, she surfaced.

No understanding would come.

In such unfamiliar surroundings,

From equipment nearby, a slight hum.

No recollection of occurrences,

Why she was in a hospital bed,

Who the man was that called her “hun”,

Just a jumble of nothing in her head.


Told that she had been in a coma,

An accident, some kind of a scrape,


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lucky escape

it’s that time of the month again

 - no, not that one,

the one where I wake up sweating

convinced that I’m turning into

an ugly fat middle-aged balding bastard


then I wake up for real

and it’s all true


still, coulda been worse

I could’ve been turning into a poet.

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Take my hand and together let's fly free.

Yield to the pull of the far off mountains

and to the salty smell of the cold sea.

Man made walls can't contain you and me,

this fake enclosure of faint fragile lines;

if I exhale the bricks will quiver and concede,

as you too can choose to freely surrender

and accept a filigree of pale shells as a gift,

give your consent...

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Deep rooted

Craven, i kneel at your feet,
crystal eyes implore you,
pathetic and needy.
Frigid disdain matches my gaze,
self disgust turns my eye to the ground
as you sneer with approval at my shame.
Satisfied with my agony and excited by control,
you play,

Puppet-master wins again.

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Escape Artist

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squeeeeeeezing my way
down this slimy tube no
doubt about it it needs
no lube happening so
fast voices I hear two
of them I’ve heard
before the rest I
do not know I
figured that
the way to
be was
just go






and what a change I feel
so cold it is and dryer than

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Amnesia haze

wander into mary's garden,
stroll amongst the weeds,
catch a rug to old morroco,
high above the trees
sink into the deepest ocean
lie among the wrecks,
let the stone-fish teach you how
to let your self forget.
drift along a tendril green
into a river jade,
wash away the fears you have and
past mistakes you made
sledge down slopes of ignorance
and land into the bliss

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Come now,
Our love is in the past,
so let me slip off to an Opera in Venice
without finding your face in the crowd.
Or walk down Saint Adams St. in the rain
and not smell your lilac perfume.
No mirror is safe for my hollow eyes.
they just serve to remind me that
tears from the heart stain pale cheeks
as surely as red wine stained your dress
at our wedding.

Let this be th...

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We’re all caught in a rat run

there is no escape

just the hint and the promise

enough to keep us turning the wheel

and turning the wheel

looking for the way out

for the key to the door

chasing the big white rabbit

down the big black hole

Oh somebody make me big

Oh somebody make me small

or cry me a river and drown us all


We’re all caught in ...

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Escape. Prize Competition

First blogged this 26th April, but it should probably sit in this month's blogs as well as a reminder.

Many of us enjoyed the competitions which ran for a few months towards the end of last year. There may be some interest in trying again, so here goes. 




The theme is ESCAPE. The poem, or poems, have to have something, however tenuous, t...

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This morning Samantha is building a bonfire

Down on the waste ground in rubbish and weeds

Ferrying armloads of boxes and bin-bags

Burning a life that she no longer needs.

Out of the cardboard seep velvets and spangles,

Hairpieces, handcuffs, impractical shoes,

Skimpy silk underwear, ropes and brass bangles -

The tools of a trade that she’ll no longer use.

Crimson red ...

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