Masks of grief

Masks of grief


Inside the chapel they stare back at me, blankly

eerily in alien unison

unrecognisable, camouflaged

thirty faceless faces incognito


Some are shrouded in blue, antiseptic in appearance

others are black in a practical, washable material

occasionally there’s a soft bandana or a patterned attempt at prettiness

painted on the masks of grief


We ha...

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White Silence

When George Floyd was murdered and cried ‘I can’t breathe’

it wasn’t your fault


you didn’t kneel on his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds

you are a good person, you were horrified

you empathised with his community, deeply


but if you don’t speak out

if you don’t enunciate

if you don’t find your voice

no matter your inability to articulate the right words


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Escape 1970

Escape 1970


Inside the straight jacket 

she is constrained

last days before death

a lonely loss of freedom when needed most


I imagine her emotions, 

tied up, held down, 


panic spilling into every corner of her sterile camisole


inside the straight jacket 

there are moments of clarity

hidden strength

a fight for recognition in a damaged brai...

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Human Touch

The first human language is touch



second nature

touch comes before sight

before speech

skin on skin 

begins each individual journey


In life, in death,

in times of great despair touch is there

we reach out, we grasp hold


soothed by human contact

we respond to those in need

hand on hand

heeding their pain


But w...

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Casualty of our time (Coronavirus 2020)


One by one they fell

like brave soldiers in combat zone

for months I’d cherished their growth, their beauty

regularly strengthening each one with care 


Their colour was luminous, 

deep magenta, vibrant and striking , 

manicured in uniform,  a glossy dance of alignment

sparkling symmetry completed a professional finish

top coat polished, the perfect set



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Aftermath (Covid 19)

Aftermath – (Covid 19)

The telephone conversation ends with his tears

an elderly Jack or Jim, 

sobbing to a stranger 


while we chat, I probe gently

for factual detail about the love of his life

names, spellings, dates, years

stale statistics representing a lifetime of existence


my question, ‘tell me about her?’ 

prompts an outpouring of lost emotion

opening ...

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