Sunday, 27 April 2014

Blank Spaces (A Collaboration)

(A collaboration between a friend on Tumblr, Peregrine ( and me.)

It’s not as though there is
a right or wrong way
to fill in this blank space.
It’s not a quiz.
And yet,
it says so much
that I see “lost”,
and you see “luckiest”.

What does it mean?
I see the hole.
You see the donut.
I am yin.
You are yang.
I am the blank space.
You fill me in.
We are interconnected.

It isn’t a question
of what’s right and wrong,
but of the responses
we’ve been trained to live.
In how many ways,
have you been filled with
you’re the “least,”
the “littlest,” the “lowliest.”

But my mouth will fill you
only with the “loftiest” words.
My eyes will only see
the “loveliest” in you.
And always, in all ways,
will I fill the “loneliest” places in you,
the “lustiest” places in you,
the blank spaces in you, with my love.

~ Peregrine and KDB

Copyright 2014

(Peregrine's is in plain text, mine is in italics.)

(Picture Source: prostoslozhno)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Orwellian, or Right is Wrong

"When"?  Say rather
"If"…and my word,
What an “if” that would be!
And then, of course,
There’s that whole
"Right place" thing…
Where IS that, anyway?

Obviously, then,
When the wrong turn
Gets you to
The right place,
It was all
A HUGE mistake!
Surely you see that?

If it were truly
A wrong turn,
The end would be dead…
Like those cul-de-sacs
That take you round
In circles, back
To where you came from.

By this logic,
If you end up
In the right place
From that wrong turn,
Then for you,
Right is wrong, like life
In Orwell’s novel.


Copyright 2014

Saturday, 12 April 2014


I am not that girl
Who does as she is told.
I am not a girl.
Funny how some men
Seem to forget that,
And expect obedience,
Consent, submission
From someone like me.
I may not be in your face
But that isn’t a sign
That I’m downtrodden.
Go ahead,
Raise your boot.
You’ll see…
I’m not under it!


Copyright 2014

Friday, 11 April 2014



Everything about this greyscale piano —
from its keys like uneven teeth,
in need of more than brushing
to remove the dust and decay
that years of mistreatment
and neglect have caused —
to the space it occupies,
all bricks and mortar, rough-hewn,
cold and under-used,
bespeak a painful loss.

No music warms the cold places
in that stony room.
No sharps and flats swell round
the empty spaces,
nor wisps of airy tunes
disturb the curled leaves
of the abandoned sheets.
A paradox on legs,
the ancient instrument seems
a statement of fragility and force.

Fortissimo, pianissimo…
no sounds at all
defy the rigid quiet,
or mar the weathered stillness
of this antique…
disregarded, disrespected,
a hushed requiem for a life
lived far too long,
or else too soon discarded…
its death an unvoiced crescendo.


Copyright 2014

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


Kenny Chesney is one of my favorite country artists.  He sings a song titled “Don’t Blink” about the swift and sure passage of time, and the necessity of making the best use of the years you won’t even notice slipping through your fingers.  I quote a few phrases from the lyrics for his song, along with a link to it on YouTube.)

Kenny Chesney sang it…

"Don’t blink!" he sang,
his rich, nutty voice
reminding me
that time waits
for no one.

"Just like that",
I’m here,
an over-fifty,
what my mother
must have felt
watching me.

"You take a nap"
and no one’s left
to share the blues with.

"Your babies growing"
not going,
'cause they can't,
and you in two minds
about that.

"A hundred years"
is likely
no more than
a drop of water
in the ocean
of time.


Copyright 2014

Monday, 7 April 2014


I am a writer.

This is not a “Eureka!” moment by any means.  No light bulbs flashed, no lightning forked across the skies inside my mind, no thunder boomers rocked my inner landscape.  It came rather more like an inspiration, a wisp of air on a breeze of thought, as I was composing other things, thinking other thoughts, being who I am so often afraid or ashamed to be…a writer.

I became a writer the first time I noticed the way the office assistants in the doctor’s office where my mother also worked wielded their pens with almost artistic efficiency.  I liked the way they held those pens, the way they mastered them and subdued them to their wills as they told the papers they inscribed with meaning what was what.

I became a writer the day I noticed how my teachers used words like bullets, forceful and focused, and never spent, even when they were discharged from the weapons that were their lips.  I loved the way they made those words roll off their tongues, the way their accents — and there were many in my younger years — massaged and made those words musical, magical, mystical.

I became a writer the first day I interacted with words on my own, in the books that drew me into their very hearts.  Words that arrived on the ships of history, or the wings of romance, or the secret passageways of spy drama, or the guns of war, or the wheels of police drama, or the engines of science fiction and fantasy.  Words with spokespersons such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Alistair MacLean, Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters, John le CarrĂ©, Betty Neels, Barbara Cartland, Dorothy L. Sayers, P. G. Wodehouse, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein stole me away from my teenaged world and took me into theirs — the drama, the poetry, the fiction — and showed me how writers negotiate a space for us to be who we are, and to be more than we can ever imagine ourselves as being.  They showed me how writers create a world at once true, flawed, and filled with potential.  They stole my heart and mind, invaded my spirit, turned me inside out, and remade me into what I have become…a writer.

I became a writer the first time I wrote something that was not meant for red ink or criticism.  The first letters to penpals, when I had to sell myself as someone interesting enough that they would want to keep the correspondence; the long letters to my older sister, away in England training to be a nurse; the poems of teenage angst about my size (weight and height), my race, my hair, my dislocation, my loneliness, my fear.

I became a writer at the kitchen sink, re-enacting for an invisible radio audience, and for myself, the dramas I listened to on air (their names escape me now), soap operas for the ears alone.  I wrote all the parts, acted in each role, directed and produced my drama as I washed the plates and pots and pans, and slid the knives and forks and spoons under the water.  I lowered my voice to be the male lead, and raised it to be his love interest as I scoured the pots till they shined.  (I hated drying dishes — it never took as long, and my stories always got interrupted by the last pot dried.  And there are no stories in a clean plate!)

I am a writer each morning as I contemplate the sky, and my messed up nails.  I am a writer each mid-morning, as I make pronouncements about life and learning that my students wish me to repeat so they can write them down.  I am a writer each afternoon as my friends share their vision of me with me, in ways that bring tears and smiles and inspiration to go further.   I am a writer as I go home and observe the flow of humanity along the highway.  I am a writer as I read the works of those other writers who inspire me with their imagination and creativity and brilliance on here.  I am a writer when I chat with friends, on the phone, in text messages, and online. I am a writer when I compose my sexual fantasies, my dreams and wishes, and plant them in the hearts, minds and bodies of the men and women I create.

I have accepted the challenge of writing for pay — VERY SMALL pay, but money is money — based on prompts given to me by my “handler”, and with word limits, and it’s as if someone has poured an elixir directly into my veins.  I am energized, excited.  It’s like an adventure for my brain.  I imagine this might be something like what an adrenalin junkie feels just before he jumps off the cliff, or the bridge, or out of the aircraft, or over the side of the boat into shark-infested waters.
I am always composing.  It’s what I am doing as I write this, looking for the next good word, the better metaphor, the best idea.  It’s what I do when I watch my Britcoms or Top Gear (the British one), or when I am reading my vampire erotica.  It’s what I do in cabinet meetings when the Chief Cretin is spouting the ghastly stuff that putrefies the air and chokes the system.  It’s what I am always doing.  I think, therefore I am…

…I am a writer.


Copyright 2014