Donations are essential to keep Write Out Loud going    

The Ocean Inside The Shell

The salty sea spray sprinkles my skin,

like summer showers

That begin 

Then end 


I stand in front of a crust forming at the edge of the beach


Splintered, softened wood 



Shiny when wet

Their colours

Like common jewels

Topaz, ruby, emerald, turquoise, coral pink, terracotta

All there for the picking

All at my feet

This Novemb...

Read and leave comments (4)

beachchildhoodfamilyholidaysmemoriesmum and dadshell

Disturbing The Dead


We'd buy the hot pies
Vanilla slices 
Sealed in paper bags with a twist of the wrist
By the young girl in the pie shop/cafe
And then 
We’d sit 
And eat 
In this churchyard 
On benches inscribed with rusting bronze plaques
One called Walts bench has the following on it
Tony waller 230963 14042015
Together forever, in brackets
A similar age to myself 


Read and leave comments (12)

The Close

Grey bin days

Ash spilling


From beneath


Loose-fitting metal lids

Carried back- breakingly

To the monstrous wagon

Limping it’s way

Around the close

Like a club-footed relic


Behind the chipped

Leaded glass of number thirteen

A terrible gargoylian face

Pressed up close

Stares out

Mrs Ashall has seen a football fly over her neat ...

Read and leave comments (8)

Childhood memoriesfamilyfeelingsgrowing uphomeparentssecuritysister

The Dresser

From the front at least

A beautiful victorian dresser

From behind

The ugly truth

Assembled from wooden orange crates

The company name stamped

Telling of a former

More humble existence


Two little drawers

One at each side

Gunmetal latch handles

Age worn

From opening and closing

Hold family secrets

Make up

Lipstick stumps


Snaps from Blackpool ...

Read and leave comments (9)

AcceptanceChildhood memoriesDadFamilyMumSafety

Remembering James

He used to make this  beautiful battenberg cake

Each colour clearly separated

The dense yellows and pinks staining the sponge

Beguiling to the eye as the knife sliced through

Almondy marzipan and syrupy borders


We sat in the car after the church group

He told me how he’d been a chef before

And how his ex used to beat him up

A nervous man always watching his step


Read and leave comments (9)

The Sea Dog



 He shouts at the top of his lungs

 I scurry


Through soggy sand

Tripping over sea-softened

Splitting wooden posts

In my eagerness to see what’s happened

“What is it Dad?”

“What’s happened?!”

I stop.

Puffing and panting


Against the sun

I see him

Sat on the sand

Looking flabbergasted

Pointing away 

Towards the ...

Read and leave comments (8)


Caravan holiday

Away from the city

The town

It's 'nice' districts

And 'not so nice'

Is where I find you

And Dad

Even though you've been gone

For over a decade.


You'd rummage round the big market

in Fleetwood

Drink tea, coffee

Toasted teacakes

From a local cafe

Staffed by friendly ladies

With time on their hands

Got up to look like maids 

In an old Victorian cou...

Read and leave comments (6)



He nods to one side

Gives in to a few minutes

Maybe half an hour’s worth of tiredness.

In his bungalow

Time is stood still

Mid afternoon melts in through the curtains

Through the half open window.

Outside impatient young mums

Scold their primary school children for wanting to go on the swings

When they just want to get back home

And plant them in front of the tv


Read and leave comments (6)

agefamilylonelyold man

Her star

She's a star!

Ooh,int she a star?!

it gets said

over and over again

about someone who's


or said

something worthy of the accolade.


...but she really was (in my eyes)


rarely very angry

always willing to share her time

i'd climb onto her lap

held safe by her arm

and i'd visit woods, and cottages 

where my imaginary grandma lived

her home the...

Read and leave comments (5)




Stacked up

Sentinel like

A wall of defeat

On every side



Microscopic me

Dictated to by giants


The mouse on the wheel

No destination

A thirty year chasm is inside me

Ever famished

Its mouth is wide open

Wanting my surrender

Waiting for dominance


A tiny crack has shown up

In the dam that holds back my future


Read and leave comments (2)

mouse life running aimlessly hope fresh hope

By the light of the local Spar

Eyes snapped shut in the street-facing bedroom

lit up by the light of the Spar

that floods it's white plastic windows

illuminating each passing car



In her curled up hands a faded old photo


but the hands,once so gentle,that hold this mementoe,

are as cold,are as granite, as stone


In came Sister with a meagre tea tray

barging in,past...

Read and leave comments (7)

care homedeathpensionersold ageillness

The Day Of Her Leaving

the day of her leaving


it's a bit battered now

but I remember it when it was pristine

pages almost sticking together as they opened for the first time

faces inside

staring back

unaware of time passing

monochrome memories


family, relatives, confetti, suits, shiny shoes

daft hairstyles back-combed into oblivion

me as a small boy

laughing at my sister

in ...

Read and leave comments (5)

wedding memories family

Ocean Blue

Ocean blue

Anaglypta under

Stretched roughly

Corners creasing

All the way down

But it does the job for now


A couple of maritime ornaments

Add to the cover-up

A new lampshade

A wooden board with inspired sayings

These are the things that erase the former occupants personality

Making us smile

Not wince


Can we cover ourselves up?

Mask the lines?


Read and leave comments (3)

Cake Mix

Lied back

Eyes staring upwards

At the Soft Cell poster

Awkwardly tacked to the ceiling

But already beginning to curl at the edges


The sound of crockery clattering

Gently switches me back to reality

The familiar sound of the pot mixing bowl

Rocking back and forth

As Mum beats the eggs with alarming ferocity

(No mechanical aids in sight to whizz the mix into fluffy...

Read and leave comments (2)


I told you


I told you
In 1982
Deacdes ago now 
But you'd have none of it
When I said I knew what Eartha meant
When she growled
"I Love men
I love men
I love men"

Didn't you think it was strange
That I enthused so much over Dynasty?
And Joan Collins
In all her finery
Strutting around like the cat 
Who'd clearly got the cream
Stiletto heels leaving a bloody trail
Of the r...

Read and leave comments (2)


Just In Time


Among the grit

The tears 

The nights spent alone

With just a screen 

For company

I almost thought I'd had it

Didn't think I'd see day again

Vision clouded by hiding 

Me from myself

They say 

If you dream you're falling 

And you hit the bottom

You're never going to wake up

Just in time 

I opened my eyes

Read and leave comments (4)

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message