The Helper

Wooden armour aligns the shrubs; protecting Mummy and myself. The emerald topped elephant legs tower above, shielding us from neighbouring kingdoms. The trees’ offspring of golden brown fall helplessly in the autumnal breeze. Mr Next-Door commenting on how marvellous the flowerbeds looked, how gifted I was with the shovel. My weapon of choice in any outdoor activity. “Mummy’s little helper.” My furrowed brows scowl at the walls lining the flowerbeds, as they fail to camouflage us from this nosey intruder. My contribution being to stab at the lawn repeatedly with my garden sword before moulding together matted, green hairballs to nest black crawlies. I kneel on the grass, shovelling holes for bed space, a burrow replica, as I anticipate the next herd of visitors. I am assigned Noah, as I prepare sleeping arrangements for my feral guests. Replacing Mummy’s newly planted carnations for muddy tunnels; entrances for the ants’ next arrival. My formerly white tights now dyed swamp green. Battle scars; later soothed with stain-remover. These scars of imagination became legitimate, when my toddler self faced a physical opponent. No dragons coming to sabotage Noah’s ark, but the wobbly back door step. My destination being the toilet, my toddler self raced indoors. Cracking one’s head open connotes something of a nursery rhyme nature, yet no Humpty Dumpty activities were witnessed in my family garden. Instead, a crimson puddle and an ambulance were the aftermath of my gardening efforts.

My ‘active imagination’ was a common remark made by teachers in later years. I agreed; my former ‘gardening’ technique being the early indicator to my Mother. ­


‘parent’s’ house

what you thought you knew

becomes just recollection

a story you tell

uncertain if it’s

a photograph performed

or someone else’s words

home for christmas,

your walls, the framing

deems artificial

the positioning is

different, you’re new

‘student life’s changed you’

they say

as your clothes reek of half-price

laundry detergent

your eyelids coated in blue shadow

finding yourself

is said to be the aim

a degree

a bachelor of employability

‘think of all that debt’

(said by your grandma)

into her china cup

mounted by porcelain, zig-zag roses

you feel resemble you

more than relatives sat amongst

your sunday roast

Tomato Skies

Tomato Skies, Ketchup Clouds

marshmallow fragments

a kaleidoscope of moving, changing settlement,

a colossal burst of new days

the frosted towers, steep, uncertain

degraded with the new season


not smoke, not cloud

a blur

faster and


and quicker

a tornado of the sea bed

gashing, awe, wonderstruck

beams of fluorescent

i sit in the


and watch it


Room with a View

They never stick around,

That door; they walk straight through,

Don’t know why they intend this upset,

But they do

No goodbyes, only the room with its view,

But written letters, postcards

Just for you

No dampness on the cheek,

Or tearful goodbyes,

No last hand holds

Stamped across my mind, (‘kisses from Versailles’)

Window panes and cushioned seats,

Gazes through its glass,

An endless journey

(Without you)

Till they knock the wood,

At last