daubing paint on a canvas, celebrating joy, tears falling on red red paint.

red salt water

salty red paint

painting is liberating,

airbrushing reality,

joy overcomes pain,

joy overcomes sadness,

joy overcomes.

Stranger Danger


He died on the street outside my door

Clutching his chest falling down    slow

Screaming for help   no assistance we gave

Left him dying, writhing in pain


Hardened by street crime  we assumed a scam

A gang to come running when we stepped outside

Little boys with no respect for elder or wiser

Did they cause? Did we cause? The life we have to live.

The boy, fourteen years and 3 months

Post mortem revealed a heart broken

By the fear of strangers who lock themselves in

And don’t engage humanely with any ‘cept kin


The pain of the mother screened close up

despairing of the lack of help.

I recognised her grief stricken face

as the lady from the corner shop


We should’ve known him

twenty years or more ago we would have

chatted with him daily watching him grow up

we ignore the young, and we do so at our peril.

Sukey Mackie

hold my hand

Todd waits by window, bag in hand.

Tom drives to avenue, long time banned.

Todd clutches his teddy close to his chest,

Tom disengages clutch, nervousness confessed.

They meet on the path arms flung open wide,

Todd laughing, Tom crying, genetically allied.

The trip, over so quickly, words not spoken,

Tom drives and Todd watches, limbs frozen.

Todd waves by window, hands on glass.

Tom drives back the tears, upright with class.

Todd clutches his teddy, runs into Mummy.

Tom engages clutch, drives away humbly.

Sukey Mackie

Rook’s Quarry

Even on the train she didn’t miss a trick

like a rook on patrol for fantasy tidbits

she sat upright, neck elongated

flicking left, whooshing right.

The slightest movement alerted her eyes

and she honed in on the offending persona

Not one person was beneath her contempt:

high spirited children, to her   unruly

languages other than her own,

others of differing abilities       teenagers

women in loud clothes with heavy make-up,

men in groups clutching each other in raucous laughter.

Her husband huddled in a rounded heap

waiting to spring to attention at the harridan’s whim

years of nagging    third party abuse

lends him immune to her innocent quarries

Later that year    she lay dying

Turning to him she said

“I spent my entire life as the norm

to which all should conform;

eating should involve a knife and fork

skirt lengths below knee but not too far

maybe it would’ve turned out different”

and her last breath said “If you’d orgasmed me.”

Her pecked man left knowing it was all his fault.