The Darkness Reaches Back


I am not ‘proud’ to be British
Because it is not something I have achieved

By some force
Of chemistry and biology
And powers beyond my reach
I, whatever it is
That constitutes ‘I’
(is it my body? My mind?
Some other energy?)
Was born here

A screaming babe in a hospital
One child
born that day of that year
In that hospital

Built in a town
In a county
Of a land that my parents
And their parents
And theirs, theirs, theirs
Happened - by a mere tilt
Of the compass of fate or design
To be born into.

I earn a wage and pay my tax
But I have not achieved a thing
to declare myself proud

I am not proud -
I simply am.
Britain is in my bones but it is not me.

And to those who would call themselves
My fellows
My countrymen
Spitting hate in the name
Of an institution
Built on a rock
Built on the broken backbones of others
Green grass watered
By their blood and tears

You are my fellow nothing
And I have never wanted for your honour

For your defense
Of the soil I walk upon
And the blood you spill in its name.


My mama told me
That sometimes fairies get jealous
And steal human babies

Replacing them with a changeling
A little goblin babe.

I still can’t work out

Which one I am.

Your eyes, he said, aren’t they amazing?
Right now, he said, they’re bright blue as sunny skies and shining.
Yesterday, he said, they were darker, midnight, a stormy sea.
When i met you, he said, they were pale grey and solemn, clouds over the moon.
Usually, he said, they’re the colour of a winter sky, hiding secret power behind the clear icy blue. 
And when you fall in love, he said, will they be the colour of a tropical ocean? 
Aren’t your eyes beautiful, he said.
They betray you, he said.


Don’t seize the day.

There are so many clamouring for the affection of the Day.

Seize the night.

Walk right in with your eyes on fire 

And seize the night.


My armour has its chinks
And I am softer inside than I would reveal.

I have a straight strong spine
Holding me upright
A hardback book of secrets.
A sparrow’s chatter on my tongue
And my mind a locked box
Full to the brim with memories.

My eyes are the eyes of owls
All seeing, changeable
And old beyond my years.

I am thunderstorms and I am sunshine
All at once.

I am made entirely of love
And will fight 
For what is mine. 


That time of year has returned

When the garden spiders are sitting

Fat queens at the centre of their silken world

Counting the diamonds resting on each thread

Emerald leaves glitter beneath them in the late afternoon sun

I whisper my secret to the first that I see

And when I later pass the web by my garden gate

The queen winks an obsidian eye at me.


I want someone to kiss my stomach
and hips
and spine and ribs

Dig their fingers into my flesh like a beast tearing me to pieces

Bite my lips
and kiss my neck,
my shoulderblades,
the insides of my thighs

Wrap me up inside their body
So i can eat their soul inside out

And let them breathe secrets behind my ears
and weep
or smile
Or swear an oath onto my chest

Kiss my fists and open palms

And when we are done
We will start over.

I am a monument.