Black Orchids

A lover’s parting gift
the silk kimono
black orchids on yellow
wrap her skin
in the bedroom
turned atomic darkroom
Hiroshima’s flash photography
tattoos orchids shadow artistry
on angel skin

Published in Hearing Voices issue 1 (Crystal Clear Creators): Oct 2010

The Last Performance

Quivering candles melt in drips
down burnished silver candlesticks.
From glinting crystal, fluted lips
imbibe their wine with eager sips.

Assembled dinner party guests
in front row seats at their request.
Each one, dressed in party best,
anticipates a grand gabfest.

By carefully-planned complicity,
observing every nicety,
the players’ deft duplicity
apes blissful domesticity.

Abettors in the said collusion,
tasty dishes in profusion
validate the grand illusion,
adding to the guests’ delusion.

Each cognac-fuelled rave review
drifts back down the avenue
as guests leave, bidding fond adieux,
the evening’s end long overdue.

The room that lacks an audience
has lost its cosy ambience:
an empty stage that waits in silence,
ready for the next performance.

The actors wipe away all traces
of greasepaint smiles from tired faces.
No more need for airs and graces,
corsets, braces, tight shoelaces.

The Cab Door Closes

The cab door closes


she takes her seat in time
to watch a private showing
in the rear-view mirror

he stands mid road
shot in rapid pull-back
tarmac back-lit

no back story
just this cameo
to mark his letting go

as she leaves
for her next casting

Published in Staple issue 73 (film): summer/autumn 2010

Seeing Red

Ruddy stain
spreads over guilty sky.
Dawn breaks, shamefaced.

Brake lights blink, bloodshot.
cars crawl, petrol-fuming.

Ranks of crimson
power-crazed lights.
Traffic flow stemmed.

Flushed scarlet
warning signs apologise.
Banks of cones close in.

No front line advance.
No ground gained.
Trapped here, seeing red.

Published in The Journal #26: spring 2009