security versus story

How much longer will I pad the dreams

of others who pay me daily.


Why is my vase full of distracting sand

instead of pebbles that count, that matter.


My true life skills, my singular gifts

are stifled in admin, thoughts of bills.


Striking out, writing stories down

feels impossible, crazy, waste of time.


And so I count, I help, I fix, I support

the sorry souls of others.


But when will it dawn that I could die

with my stories still inside me.

Trust vs Fear: the creative writer’s dilemma


I creep around, spying other’s glory

through shrouds of envy and spite.

I stress, I spew belligerent bile,

I despoil what feels my birthright.



If you only knew what your heart could spill.

If you only could allow

those creative gales to transform your gall

into work that makes you feel proud.



That gale just feels like a deadly whip

that will beat my words to a pulp,

reducing me to a limping pace

while the rest of the world can gallop.



Gallop implies a race to somewhere

while your journey is yours alone.

Pick supreme, your heart’s main theme,

and you’ll romp to the place called home.


A poem for Day 14 of NaPoWriMo 2015: A dialogue

A Charm Against Losing Yourself

Take one low self-esteem

and challenge its main themes:

stop thinking ugly duck

let those bullies self-destruct.

Change the way you mirror

to see yourself much clearer.

Chuck that tired old clutter,

keep that stuff that matters.

Take a good old look

at what keeps you so damn stuck.

Let your tongue slip down a sled,

letting go all that’s unsaid.

Create a dumping ground

to feel loved, alive and found.

A poem: in-my-head versus on-the-page

In my head is a perfect-shaped rhyme.

On the page it’s stinky old slime.

In my head is a thoroughbred thought.

On the page it’s mixed-up, debauched.

In my head is elegance and pace.

On the page it’s a cluttered disgrace.

In my head I want it to be all right.

On the page I fear it’s a right old sight.

In my head are obstacles many.

On the page the delays are plenty.

In my head I’m tired of the woes.

On the page I close my eyes and just go.






A poem about a cruel word

Criticise me to make you feel big

Belittle my efforts to cut me quick.

Pick your topic to slice me deep,

one that’s callously, coldly cheap.

Mock my spirit, fool my world.

Your cruelty’s the grit to my inner pearl.

Because in your denial you’re up to your eyes.

So who are you to criticise?

For NaPoWriMo Day 18

A poem for my self-doubt

Doubt is the opposite of faith

and often has double the strength.

It wheedles, it whines, it stretches my nerve

from width to depth to length.

Doubt is the enemy of hope

and stamps on my self-belief.

It taxes my time, my gut, my soul.

It’s nothing but an insidious thief.

Doubt is the victor at night

as an unfulfilled day draws dark.

But it’s no match for a shiny new morning,

full of light and love and spark.

Poem: The Creative Escapee

Your boss is always right, she says,

As she wields a pen of heavy red

That bites and wounds my worried words,

And my former self-belief goes blurred.


Your boss is always right, she mouths,

As my typo sends her humour south.

I hang my head, gut full of shame,

Have all my creative leaps gone lame?


Your boss is always right, she shouts,

As my brain cells begin to cower in doubt:

Is my work that flat, that nondescript,

Does her critique always have to be sour-lipped?


Your boss is always right, she yells,

As I reflect upon this straitjacket hell

Of rigid rules, of constant digs.

A model of how you can’t forgive.


Your boss is always right, she screams

Hysteria’s norm? That’s what it seems.

A dumbed-down doer is all she wants,

But there’s more to me than a size-12 font.


I may type your amends

With intentions well meant

But you can’t reach the real me

‘Cos I’m a Creative Escapee.


So yes, the boss is always right

But the red pen certainly doesn’t delight.

What rules my world is being in sync

With my authentic guide of true-self ink.

I Am Enough: a poem to fight feeling ‘less than’

When somebody makes me feel less than,

Says I’m too much can’t, not enough can,

There’s a fear that jellies my thighs,

And my heartbeats double their size.


My essence of soul gets lost

As my fingertips turn to frost.

And I scrabble to save my self-esteem

As it’s chased by monsters in my dreams.


My sense of self loses all its shape,

My presence shrivels like a sad old grape.

As I creep away, full of blame and gall,

The shivers of shame make my skin cells crawl.


I feel nothing of worth, my confidence kicked,

My value rusted, my optimism pricked.

I retreat to a cave, all dark and dank,

Knowing I’ve only got myself to thank.


But at my core there’s a flicker of flame.

Really, this time, is it same again?

Will I let them all tread

On my bowed, mournful head?

Or will I rise from the wreck of this feel-sorry stuff

And say to the world: “I am enough!”

Why I’m already humbled and inspired by the Paralympics

I’m forever reminding myself to be grateful for what I’ve got. Not always be looking for the next house, the next job, the next pair of shoes. To focus on what I’m good at. Not bemoan what I’m not.

Which is why the Paralympics Opening Ceremony for London 2012 has made me feel humbled and inspired.

Humbled because people accept their fate and just get on with things. Martine Wright, a woman who lost her legs in the 7 July bombings, has turned adversity into a triumph by becoming a Paralympic volleyball star. She slept 10 minutes longer the morning she ran onto the Tube and ran up the escalators and ending up sitting beside a suicide bomber. Other people may have reacted differently to losing both their legs. But she now believes this was meant to happen, and she feels so grateful that it did, because she’s now living a new dream.

Inspired because there is no limits to the generosity and wisdom of the human spirit. Professor Stephen Hawking, the most famous scientist in the world, implores us to keep striving and pushing boundaries. He said: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

I may not reach Professor Hawking’s insights, but I can resolve to be more curious in my own little way.