A poem about scales

The flame is a scale held to the light.
It flickers in petition. It bids us to reignite
some salacity already gutted from our life.

red herring

Yes, that last line is akin to a title. I remembered that Debussy does likewise in his Préludes.

At the moment I am swimming with the red herrings. There’s perhaps another poem in that, though I have been imagining a fantastical puppet show. “Swimming with Red Herrings” would involve fire-eaters and tea-lights. There would have to be a pond on stage.

My grocery list of current cravings includes asparagus, scrambled eggs, real sheep and goat’s milk feta and the freshest pita bread from my local Greek-Cypriot grocer (Tony’s, incidentally). For some reason, I can’t get these items off my mind.

Preview my first volume of poetry, Shining in Brightness here. Follow me as @BeadedQuill on Twitter. Find BeadedQuill on Facebook.

It should not be polished

Simply say
I am here at this place
doing this thing, though I am writing to you.
Look – something I have observed.

You could add
I miss you much or
I wish you were here, because –
note something we could share.

Maybe you could sign off
Fondest regards, or
All my love and a thousand kisses,

but that is rather silly, so xoxoxo will do.
Here I am, in an afternoon,
noting the formula for correspondence.
Look, the whole point

would be a letter
from you

I am a great fan of letter and postcard writing and my recent correspondences have triggered a few turns to poetry. The above may make it into the forthcoming bundle “Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys,” which is steadily rising in poem count.

In addition to the other poetry on this blog, you may enjoy my first volume, Shining in Brightness. It is available for preview and purchase via blurb.co.uk

You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter, where I tweet as @BeadedQuill.

Pavement Writer

Image credit: http://bit.ly/12N0a1l
Image credit: http://bit.ly/12N0a1l

On scribbling a postcard to…

next to the postbox
in the wall of the
sorting depot
The last collection’s at 5.30pm
though emptying happens
throughout the day
for your convenience.

Another possible addition to “Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys,” my forthcoming bundle of poems. This project follows the recent publication of my first volume, Shining in Brightness, which you can preview here.

Follow me on Twitter where I comment on postcards, boys, muesli and martial arts. I’m @BeadedQuill

I don’t work for you (or Modern Frustrations)

I called in once:

Please confirm.
I called again:

No email yet.

I came in-store to sign your forms

You took the card and swiped it then.

I called in once:

Please confirm, the booking’s through.

Yes, yes, of course. Someone will be in touch.

I wait a day,

No news, no word.

This is absurd! It’s not my job

to chase, when it is yours.

I was making a travel booking, but through a series of miscommunications and delayed replies the whole thing descended into chaos. For a long time I have been reluctant to share this poem online because I thought it was inappropriate to rehash the negativity of this scenario. However, I have come to realise this is poem captures an interaction which many of us who have had the pleasure of travelling or booking anything have experienced. The poem captures that unfortunate moment when you end up running around after your booking to such a degree that you wonder, am if perhaps working for the business rather than receiving service as a customer? It was out of such frustration that the above poem wrote itself.

Out of some sense of free market courtesy, I have removed the name of the business that originally featured in the title. In all fairness, some of the staff offered a very genial, professional service on this occasion and have done so in past instances.

Nonetheless, here is the poem. Perhaps it can stand as a trace of a contemporary interaction.

If you enjoyed the above, please enjoy a preview of selected work from my first volume of poetry: SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS

On Twitter, I am @BeadedQuill. Follow me as I muse on creative process, writing, muesli.

From a cutting grew the plant –


A year ago I shared my first post. This is #53.

From about this time last year, I knuckled down to the collation, editing and typesetting of my first volume of poetry. It is now available for preview and purchase via blurb.co.za

Since June last year, my work has been published in the poetry journals PIYE and Carapace.

Since 15th June last year, I have participated in writing groups, poetry workshops and a few poetry readings.

This time a year ago, I was quite ill. Now I am stronger, fitter and grateful for each day during which my body carries me.

At this time in 2012, I didn’t know what the next year would hold or how I would ‘manage it.’  A year later, I am still writing and trying to stay true to my vision of being A Writer.

A heartfelt thank you to all my readers for following, commenting and sharing. To all the friends, family and community who continue to buoy me, a thank you is also due.

Where will things be at in 2014? I do wonder and dream.

Solutrean Hypothesis

For a season,

transient over the ice-pack,

her bundle regarded hope

while his averred fealty.

Both solicited the dragon’s gate

yet overlooked the soft pearl which sustains

the breath and pulse of para-reality.

The Solutrean hypothesis proposes that the first people to settle in the North Americas travelled from the landmass now known as Europe. It is suggested that these nomads may have moved across the frozen ice from Siberia.

In the spirit of “A Thousand Scientific Facts about the sea” and the rusting brass badges of “At Noon,” this poem is not intended to be factually accurate. Instead, this is a story of woman and man travelling with their bundles. While they journey, the pair seeks the large, recognizable, mythical landmark that will herald their arrival. In doing so, they overlook that which small, self-creating and enduring.

If you enjoyed this poem, I invite you to preview my volume containing a “mystical decade’s” worth of work. SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS may be viewed at blurb.co.uk

I tweet regularly about my forays into quirky stuff. Please follow me. I’m @BeadedQuill

On the way to Westminster

A blast! A work of genius!
Was the killer whale that hit sharp at Leicester Square.
It swam in from Morden
via Bank
trawling on the High Street
with all the hours in the world
daffodils at 80p/bunch
and such sensational warming relief.


A poem for you on this sunny Thursday morning. It was inspired by my early morning book signing in Westminster. You too can own a copy of my first volume of poetry, Shining in Brightness. It is available via blurb.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter, where I tweet about poetry, my London ambles and other adventures. I am @BeadedQuill

Night-Star of Sirius, Eastern Cape

With light that is
     between the toes
and shines on
    the river banks,
it twinkles in the sunlight.
Star of Sirius,
Star of Sirius,
    life star,
        watery star
           carrying children over
your tide
swaying rushes
embracing fish
holding frogs
Star of Sirius.
    Night-star of Sirius
    twinkling in the sunlight,
carrying promise.

Grahamstown, 2008

This poem is drawn from the “Journeys and Experiences, 2003 – 2008” section of my volume, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS.

During 2007 – 8, I lectured in art history at a South African university, but spent much time pretending to be a musician. I played the viola in the university orchestra and attended many of the wonderful concerts hosted by the music department. This poem was written in loose, free-form while listening to a jazz piece about the annual flooding of the Nile and the mythological Night-star of Sirius. The location markers, “Eastern Cape” and “2008, Grahamstown,” set an ancient, abstract myth about Africa’s seasonal regeneration in a real geographical realm and time. Of course, the location was the recital room on the second floor of the music department, far away from any riverbank mud.

You can own this poem – and 19 others – when you purchase a copy of my first volume of selected work: SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS. Two explanatory essays accompany the poems and the volume boasts beautiful cover artwork by UK artist, Nicola Slattery. Copies are available via blurb.co.uk.

I am on Twitter as @BeadedQuill. I tweet about poetry, art and culture and martial arts.