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Nikki Whittall

Updated: Sun, 6 Nov 2011 02:17 pm

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I love writing, short stories as well as poetry,but I've only relatively recently started "performing" in public,reading regularly at The Bards of New Brighton. My baptism of fire was at The Festival of Firsts in Hoylake...ouch!I have three beautiful but perplexing teenage daughters, a cat who thinks I'm staff, two gormless guinea pigs, a reclusive rabbit and a fully functioning magician who I love dearly.


SHOPPING LIST. Tin of cat food Bag of rice Tea bags (Earl Grey might be nice) Butter Toothpaste Free range eggs Home wax kit to do my legs Something for tea Something exiting Oh God! Wednesday! Creative writing! What do I need? What do I take? The imagination of William Blake? “What have you been writing lately? Something poignant? Something stately? Something to rival Roger McGough?” Oh, Buttercup Syrup for Sophie’s cough, Coffee Ginseng (feeling tired) Bottle of wine (and uninspired) This can’t be all I’ve got to show, Veggie burgers Wash ‘n’ Go, They’ll want to hear something They might insist, And all I’ve got’s this bloody list, Better write something A.S.A.P Paper Pens Something for tea. LADYBIRD. Always out of step, out of synch A shrinking violet I don’t think I’d get Up and shout my name out loud, I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. It’s late June And woven into the afternoon’s Light, summer dress I make an impression on no one, Nothing but the grass Exhaling its life supporting gas Into the breathless air, Where The park is a communal hog roast, Bodies turn in the heat until they’re done Raising cans of lager they toast As they toast salutations to the searing sun. Then, out of the blue Out of the corner of my eye I see you, Hovering like a traffic warden, Not the usual common or garden, Black as an undertaker’s coat Arterial blood on a virgin’s throat You drop onto my outstretched finger, A sphere of polished jet, little harbinger Of heat waves, I bet You’re not like the others, the good mothers Characters on story book covers, You’d fly away home in your own time To the smouldering embers of your gothic pile, Unlike your nursery rhyme Counterparts As cheerfully red as Snow White’s smile You are as black as her step mother’s heart. Two yellow spots on your back, The amber stare of the wolf in the woods Darkly tracking Red Riding Hood. Rising on the thermals of my blown kiss That assists your flight, I keep you in my sights, A pupil in the iris of the sky I, watch you leaving Weaving above the heaving mass Of bright, red beads spilled on the grass. Taut with the approaching storm The air snaps, and they swarm, The sunbathers gawp At the crimson sea They don’t see you and they don’t see me. Soon you’ll be lost, just another in the crowd But I’m proud That we saw each other, didn’t we? MOMENTS AGO. Moments ago, I packed a small overnight case with a shawl to frame your un captured face, unworn knitted booties, neatly matched the egg yolk yellow of chicks, newly hatched, baby clothes that swamped your tiny frame that you wore before you grew into your name. Moments ago, we packed bags and boxes into the boot, make up, teddy bear an interview suit, dressed in an oversized smile, I hug you wearing bravado like a raw tattoo, a big girl now, in student halls through the rearview, I watch you growing small. LITTLE RED. Carrier bags caught in the branches of trees colourful clots in the lungs of our cities carrion birds rattle their cages like phlegm who'll be first to fall off their perch? Me? Them? That's the question, T.B or not T.B? No doubt at all, it's going to be me. Once upon a time syrup from a spoon would sooth a cough, and 'You'll feel better soon.' Words softly spoken, that was all it took as you read stories from my story book. Now I need something to forget myself, stuff you wont find on the pharmacy shelf, not like your Prozac and your Valium, however would you cope without them, Mum? There's a boy on your carton of semi-skimmed fourteen years old,ginger haired skinny limbed, Do you think, as you drink your Nescafe of how he is, and where he is today? We left our home, the guns, the gas the traps, reduced to scavenging for scrawny scraps, I'm used to fresh chicken, free range eggs, now I watch the litter bin while he begs with his empty Costa coffee cup, the need to feed my babies fills me up. We compete, the hungry young man and me for remains of malnourished K.F.C. How far would I go to protect my young? Up to the point where my scarlet pelt's hung just a trophy, around the farmer's wife's throat, to dress up her own, less beautiful coat. Theirs is the kingdom, the power the glory, seeing this kid I think what's his story? She's there again, I know her so well, her flame flickered eyes reflect our shared hell, she's a flash of defiance in defeat while I take on the hue the street, unwanted, unnoticed, fading away, a rain erased stain near Pret a Manger. Sometimes I sit here and plan our escape, one night she'll come in her red evening cape, smelling of roses and musk and fresh air, with my scent in her nose and grass in her hair, she'll take me home to my sisters and brothers read us a book from cover to cover, lull us to sleep in our warm, cosy den, let me sleep until the story starts again, and just when I feel like I've reached the end she'll let my story begin again. WHY. Why does she who smells of me and bubble baths and Dairylea why does she who's hair is wound around sticky fingers and chewed, by me why does she who's hands are soft and squashy as knitted mice why when she's already nice as nice as nice as pie, why why does she put paint on her face, her eyes all blue like my new shoes, and red on her lips like my cut knee, why why is she going out like the sea why does he, who I love as much as she, cry, face wet and salty like sand, I don't understand why is she wrapping me in posh perfumed goodbye why, and, Daddy, what is a lie?

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Ann Foxglove

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Mon 9th Jul 2012 10:41

Hi Hugh, thank you!It's quite an old one, actually the Sophie with the cough has just left sixth form! To my horror I realised the other day that I've written another poem featuring Roger McGough and Blake, oh dear.

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Sun 8th Jul 2012 19:30

"Shopping list" my favourite,would definitely put it on my shopping list--well done.

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Ann Foxglove

Sun 11th Sep 2011 18:53

I wish you'd blog/post something Nikki! You write beautiful stuff!

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Winston (Admin)

Sat 23rd Jul 2011 22:47

Hi Nikki , Welcome aboard. hope you enjoy the site. Winston

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Ann Foxglove

Mon 18th Jul 2011 19:47

Hi! Welcome to WOL! I used to have a fully functioning magician - aren't they great! I like your poem very much! xx

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