The Hill House

There is a house that sits
Between the wing beat of bats,
The ovation of tawny owls,
The velvet pawprints of cats.
Inside the whispering of fairies
high above the bed,
The sigh of a sleeping dragon,
The books that must be read.
Within the gentle sound of laughter,
The muffled hum of a radio,
The scent of breakfast starting,
The savoured taste of local ale,
The feel of frosted glass on your fingertips,
The magic of marmalade fire
The emergency bottle of cabernet.
And the view spread over the valley
In a sunlit summer’s dawn.

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February 1996

Feeling sick as yellow daffodils
Yet to make an annual appearance.
That day the air was sharpened
Biting their ears like rifle shots.

They had parted with a whisper,
a kiss, echoes of hard words
Dulled by a silencer of stiff upper lip.

The key turned, the engine fired
Driving, such statistical hazard
Passing rural nameless faces,
Wood pigeons calling for calm.

Life rolled forward on tarmacadam
The office hummed coffee flavoured
idle gossip. Before the phones rang
And daily dirge of calls commenced.

Inside the busy bubble of monotony
For a second it slipped from thought
Until time stopped, sound sucked back.

Until the distance voice was drowned
Out amid the sirens blaring out
She called him, no answer, she waits.

London had coughed, then continued.
Later on, when her anxious breath released
he mentioned, the bus had been cancelled.

Crumpled lines

This crumpled piece of paper
Squashed in to a screw ball
Tossed carelessly in the corner
Edges torn with embarrassment
Fibres soft from salty tears
Creases join to tell a journey
Underneath the ink unread.
Her words are waiting,
Who will walk to care
Would you stop and stoop
Do you see her eyes shine
Will you listen to her lines
The brindle lurcher gives a whine.

Sea horse

The blame always lies.
A dog flicks its ear away,
towards the seashore’s edge.
You can hear the horses calling,
mother did you forget me?
The moon is riding the veil,
blood stains drag at her skirt hem.
We will not weep the dawn of oceans.
This power is not in action, but
In the choice to remain still.