NaPoWriMo2015 – Rose


They thought you
were a wilting violet;
delicate drooping petals,
sweet colour,
soft scent,
in need of protection.

I laughed at those creeping weeds.
I saw a different flower
bloom in you.
You stood your ground,
dug in your roots,
sprouted thorns.

Gentle, yes,
but not to be dismissed.
You outlasted them all,
dandelions and daisies alike,
flourishing afresh,
blooming in warm shades
of peace, love,
friendship and passion.

How could they fail to see
that you were a hardy little rose?

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NaPoWriMo2015 – The Bat (19th April)

The Bat


You came into our bird cage
as a great black bat,
built to fly,
but nothing like us.

You hung beneath our perch,
mimicking our manners,
always ending up upside down,
wings akimbo,
half blind.

The twittering tits
squawked at our friendship,
“Hark at the brown sparrow
and the black bat!”
They preening each other’s
blue and gold feathers
chirping in saccharine voices.

I gazed at you,
envied your black leather wings.
I flew beside you at night,
saw beauty and grace in you
which never glowed in the daytime.

You swooped under the moon,
fearing no-one,
mistress of the dusk.
You showed me another world.
While I will never be a bat,
you are the reason
I escaped the bird cage.

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NaPoWriMo2015 – The One Who Got Away (18th April)

It’s been a whole lifetime
since you waved me off
in my Dad’s car
from outside your party.
I remember
that your hand fell quickly,
heavy as my heart.
We turned a corner,
and you were gone.
You were the one
who got away, and away and away.

Fifteen years later,
fifteen years old seems an age ago,
but here we are
sat in a hotel bar,
trading tales
about your wife and kids,
my husband and cats
and all the corners we turned in life
to end up here.

You’ve lost your hair,
I’ve lost my shyness,
both things we used to hide behind
last time we knew each other.
Now we’re out
in the open
and there’s no mystery left,
just an odd sense of comfort
being around someone I used to know.

We laugh
at the children we used to be
pretending to be grown ups.
Now we accept
we’ll only ever be pretending.
You wave me off at the lobby,
hearts and hands light,
as we go back to our lives.



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NaPoWriMo2015 – The Wish (17th April)

I wished you the worst,
in the way
that only a fifteen year old girl can.
A filthy, sticky wish,
born of spite and venom,
bred in a new-broken heart.
My wish wielded claws,
gnashed its teeth,
threatened a suffocating doom.

Near twenty years later
a lifetime down the line
I check back,
see that you got
everything I wished for you:
deaths, destruction
heartbreaks galore;
my fifteen year old
appetite for revenge
lies stuffed, bloated,

This was supposed
to be a victory.
It rings sadly hollow.

Be careful what you wish for,
even if it is for someone else.

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NaPoWriMo2015 – Without You (April 16th)

Without You

I wondered how
I would cope
without you
in my life.
Now I’m here,
and I live.

I live
without you
grating against
my precious silence.
Without you
on my opinions,
gobbling up
all my words
and then spitting them
into my face.
I live
without you
treading on my toes
when I walk,
tripping me when I ran.

I have found,
on reflection,
that my world
is a much nicer place
without you
in it.
Because now,
I Live in it,
rather than enduring you.

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NaPoWriMo2015: Namesake


Dedicated to Kate Mulgrew, for her portrayal of Kathryn Janeway

Captain Kathryn had a nice ring to it,
not the kind you usually associate with a woman.
No diamonds or cute velvet boxes for this redhead.
Captain’s pips
on a command uniform,
brushing away the use of Ma’am or Sir as irrelevant.
You made me question
why gender or protocol should matter.
You insisted on the rank you’d earned,
Which lit a flame of desire in me
for letters and titles.
Who would care about Miss, Ms or Mrs
When the tags on the end of my name
read Ba, Ma, PGCE?

Captain Janeway,
you strode across my horizon and my TV screen,
Uniting rivals, friends and enemies in one crew,
Under a banner of ‘I say so’
Light years from any patriarchal enforcement of law.
You used a mother’s authority,
Wielded compromise as a strength,
Insisted that the ends
did not always justify the means.
You made me see life as a journey,
not a destination,
Self-conduct and integrity as important
as the End Game.
I keep your photo on my wall,
Reminding me where the future of woman kind is headed.
To boldly go where no one,
where no man,
has gone before.

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NaPoWriMo2015 – Myfanwy (April 14th)

My Great-Great-Grandfather was a fluent Welsh speaker and a bard of the Gorsedd, a national poet of Wales. His daughter Myfanwy married an Anglo Welsh boy, an English speaker. As a result my grandfather was raised to speak English as a first language, rather than Welsh. I have inherited my Great-Great-Grandfather’s drive to write, but his language has been lost to me.


I’ve traced your name on the gravestone,
folded my voice around the sounds,
echoes from the land of our fathers.

You were named ‘Beloved’,
lost in life to an Anglo boy,
reclaimed in death
by your father’s name.
“Here lies Myfanwy,
daughter of Craigfab,
Bard of Wales.”

Your heritage was built in stone,
glazed in poetry and language.
Did your heart break,
to see your son’s face
turned to your father’s,
bereft of his mother’s tongue?

Did your love for the Anglo boy
complete you?
Or destroy you?
Were you whole in his arms
or lost in his world?
Did you know what would follow,
when your lips touched his,
swallowing his language whole?

My grandfather sleeps at your side,
with his own Anglo wife.
Two steps down the family tree,
the language root
was severed.
My mother mourned him
in English
with all of her Welsh soul.

The sounds of your language echo,
meanings long lost to me,
memories of a heritage denied.
I long to reclaim your father’s poetry;
but I write in the language
of your Anglo boy.

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NaPoWriMo2015 – Texting (April 13th)


When you are away
we chat in square text windows;
stark white spaces
filled with sharp black letters;
We trade cute yellow faces,
simple emotions,
small smiles and winks.

When you’re with me
our pauses say more
than all our words.
When parted,
our words are swallowed,
lost in gaps.

I long for the sound of your voice,
treasure all your small words
and broken sentences;
I dread the long silences
which can’t be deciphered.

I miss your smell
and your sky blue eyes,
how your hair falls into them,
the colour of sunlit hope.
I miss your smile
and all that hides behind it.

I lack the words
to tell you how much
or how deeply.

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NaPoWriMo2015 – Shining (April 12th)


You were my golden God,
my sun,
burning away the clouds.
I bathed in your warmth,
reflected your glory
fancied myself your Goddess,
pale moon to your fiery dominance.

We raced across the sky,
a long lovers’ dance
I lived for the chase,
pursued you.
It was destiny.
I would never catch you,
I was only ever
invisible to your world.

In the cold depths of night
long after you had slipped away,
the stars whispered to me…

one of us…
one of us…
you belong here…
one of us…

At dawn
I did not look for you.
My world glowed,
bright with promise and hope.
Amongst my own kind,
at last,
I shine.

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NaPoWriMo2015 – Growth (11th April)


We fall.
Dread hitting the bottom,
the crash into failure,
darkness folding over us.
The End.

But down in the blackness
there is no more falling,
no more fear,
just solid ground,
a safe base.

Seeds in the earth,
we grow.
Working our way up,
seeking light on instinct.

We creep out into harsh light
bright and cold
beneath an empty sky
stretched wide
with terrifying promise.

We might wither,
shrivel amongst stones.
Exposed to fresh chances,
we fear to climb
in case we fall again.

But we grow regardless.
Green and fresh,
Naive and sickly.
Waste energy sprouting leaves.
We drink in the sun,
hungry for love,
bereft of gratitude.

We blossom slowly,
tender pettles furled tight,
We fear our thorns,
other people’s flinches.

Our leaves are snipped for mulch,
thorns stripped with care.
Under a kind touch,
we bloom,

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