Memory Store

Flower Petals floating in Water

Memory Store.

A staccato flash of white scurries across
the top of my fence. The albino squirrel
come to bury his autumn hoard.
Where does he keep his memory store –
his secret recollections?

I imagine mine to be in a biscuit tin.
A large one – gold rimmed,
with a Victorian Christmas scene of
two well-wrapped children peering into
a bowed, glass-paned shop window.

My biscuit tin no longer smells
of cinnamon and ginger.
When I opened it today it smelt of
rose petals – soft as cream,
in summer colours of yellow and pink.

With a twist of my stick
the petals swirl in a pan,
cold water flushes over their bruises,
but does not absorb them, or meld them.
The water carries them.

I stir vigorously,
splashing drops onto my gypsy shawl,
but the petals float stubbornly.
I imagined a magical potion,
A rose-infused brew.

I dip my finger and taste the wet pad.
A hint of muddy grains and something musty
meets my tongue,
and I pretend it is no longer just a rusty pan
of tap water and stolen blooms.


Spiral of Desire

Spiral of Desire.

Lips play with the sounds –
piss ta chee oh,
trying out each shape –
straw bare ree,
imagining the taste on the tongue.
Coloured mounds glisten, relucent,
beckoning behind the counter’s
curved glass belly.

The first lick grooves a helter-skelter
spiral around the upper scoop.
A brief ascent, a sigh, as the cool sweetness
fills the mouth, trickles down the throat
and down we ride on our tasting mat,
sucking rogue drips,
corralling the melting cream,
until we reach the wafery ground.

Now a thirst creeps in – we knew
It would end this way.
One desire met
often leads to another.

Samhain Night

File:Jack-o'-Lantern 2003-10-31.jpg

Ten days to go until Halloween…

On This Samhain Night.

As sunset marks the start of Celtic day,
Flick’ring piles of light crown nearby hills.
Fiery faces glow round pagan flames,
On this Samhain night, this night of thrills.

Skin the apple in one long, tendril piece,
See true love’s letter prophesied and curled,
Or catch it, spinning, with sharp, eager teeth
From a basin, splashing water swirled.

Hopeful guising, songs and tales are spun,
Woven in the magic of the air.
Celebrate now Harvest’s work is done,
Pumpkins glow with gouged and wicked stare.

The willing soul is cleansed by sacred smoke,
Torches from red hallowed fires are lit.
Chanted rituals, ancient gods invoked,
Trusted lores upon the lips are writ.

Spirits search abroad for mortal homes,
Veils ‘tween realms are lifted for this night,
And graveyards whisper from their emptying tombs
As drifting ghosts are led by hopeful lights.

Hearth coals glimmer from a silent breeze
And doors slam sudden shut by unseen hand.
A chill trail creeps sharply as Winter’s freeze
And bloodless lovers answer One’s command.

Grumpy Pig

Grumpy Pig.

I pick him up and feel his weight.
How heavy he has become.
I worry I might break him –
How old is he now?

His creased face is lined with dust,
but his body is smooth and glossy as chocolate.
Carefully I turn him on his side
as his innards crash loudly.

I ease out the soft rubbery disk and shake hard.
Noise crashes onto the table. Louder and louder,
then easing off until it turns into a faint jinking.
A soft patter, a silvery ting.

A splayed mound of heads, crowns, numbers and symbols
dully greet the day. Some worn to almost total anonymity
– a halfpenny from 1899, a farthing older still.
But some are still brash, a bare two decades old.

I spread the momentos of foreign holidays,
expired coinage and commemoration
across the wood.

How long before a piggy bank becomes a museum piece?
Mine has become a repository not just of personal history,
but of a different age. When money was felt in the hand,
pushed through a slot, chinked in a purse.

No wonder he looks so grumpy.



stock photo, nature, water, pattern, backgrounds, driveway, texture, puddle, natural, stones, circles, background, rings, rain-drops

Autumn can no longer be ignored. The temperature and leaves are dropping. After such a long, warm, dry spring and summer the next few months will require quite a bit of readjustment – are we ready for that?


The robin in my garden
sings shrilly. Suddenly
he’s the only bird around.
He rules the damp, dark fence,
master of the scraggy wet grass,
the grubby brick wall.

Petals cling to their colour,
fighting the brown tinge,
the shrivelling, the mushy stem.
Impatiens – with such a classic name
I feel they should be

A dark grey puddle is ringed
with silver raindrops – different sizes
flashing for a second,
stretching wider before
the surface sucks them into

The faint gossamer
of rain pales the
green on the trees
and shrubs, preparing
us for the nakedness of winter
and what lies ahead.

Begin Again

Response to writing prompt on Creative Writing Ink – who doesn’t wonder from time to time about scratching out what we’ve done and starting anew?

Begin again.

I would like to leave myself.

No longer be what I know as me.

To crawl out of this frame,

Escape the aches and only ifs,

Begin again.

I’d drag the rubber over

The scribbles and the crossings out,

The jumble of ideas and plans

That sometimes worked, but often not,

And wipe the board to virgin black.

So when we’re standing face to face

I’m faceless. Blank.

You’d reach your hand,

Or would you flinch?

Too scared to touch

This stranger.

Not at the end, but at the start.

I’d search until I found a bridge

To somewhere new.

The water singing on the rocks,

Would whisper through the salted boards,

As on I’d walk above the tide

Whilst down below coiled shells

Would glow their iridescent sheen

And cast me in a nacreous hue.

Walk on, they’d call,

Until you reach another shore.


It was late afternoon when I recently visited our local cemetery. Long shadows from the cypress trees stretched before me, interspersed with dark mounds from moles. The headstones recall the names, ages and family position of those we have lost – but is there more beyond?

Memorial, Walstead Cemetery © Simon Carey :: Geograph Britain and Ireland


Yew trees –

As dark as the shadows they cast across the tufted grass –

Stand amongst the domed messages of

Silent moles.

Their shapes are strange,

Smooth abstract topiaries

Of a novice gardener,

Lacking form,

Waiting for the time

When transformation finds his shears

And turns their rooted mass to shapes of

Unimagined grace.