Said the man to the King

Said the man to the King

(whilst concealing a grin):

Rolls of fabric, neat and trim

shroud your holy, pale skin.

Silver thread stitched thickly

around collar and sleeve, strictly

the finest for this work of art;

certainly, Sire, you’ll look the part.

It’s magic, I confess,

to help weed out those who are less

than intelligent at court,

it’ll be a game, a sport,

for the dim witted cannot see

these garments made by me!


Said the King to the man

(though he was panicked by the plan,

for in fact he could not see

the clothes supposedly reaching his knees):

What cleverness, sir, you’ve shown,

I would truly never have known

that a charm could be used

to seek out those who have abused

their position by my side,

but now they cannot hide!


And so the next day,

to the townsfolk’s dismay,

the King held a parade,

and a declaration he made

that any who claimed

his robes not to be, shamed

themselves and should admit

their serious lack of wit.

Yet among the mutterings

and unsure shuffling

a hum of laughter did climb

at the sight of the King’s bare behind!



If you’re grey on the outside,

are you grey on the inside, too?


Forever a colour

that is not a colour?

Neither bright, nor dull

but a fluffy, half-formed

substance in-between?


A blur of identity,

an endless game of cat

and mouse,

see-sawing up and down,

with the fear of staying

who you are

at one end,

and the fear of

becoming someone new

at the other.


If you’re grey on the inside,

are you grey on the outside, too?



Mechanical Lungs (draft)

I gave you my voice

once. You had me

caught and caged,

ready to sing for

you and any audience.

To perform until my lungs

were spent, my fragile

frame shaking, but it made you happy;

I could see.

So I persevered, even though

my head would droop and my

light chest was gripped

with tightness.

Then you were gifted a metallic me.

It astounded you and every





was ensnared

by the grinding inner workings

as it chirped out

a charming replica of song.

You cast me aside,

I was free to fly again.


to sing when I pleased or sing

not at all.

But eventually, as all things

do, the grinding of fake me

ground to a halt.

And your heart was released

to beat on its own.

The beat was weak.

You realised that it was starting

to break apart.

The cracks had appeared when you first

pushed me aside,

yet the pain was masked by false joy.

I can fix you,

bandage you up will warm trills

filled with spring flowers and

gentle breezes, the chorus of dusk and of dawn.

I can heal you.

Will you ask?


Sprouted (draft)

Up, up.

Green shoots,

eager brown boots.

A steep climb

for a little crime:

coins here, coins there,

as jumpy as an adult hare.

For a good cause;

give yourself pause.

The goose’s egg,

easily as big as your head,

a lilting harp

that never plays sharp.

Snatch them up quick!

Ears open, never miss a trick.

Down Down,

nearing the ground.

Run, lightning feet

through the patch of beet.

Safe for a while,

the end of the trial…


Giant fists waiting to pound.

Extracts/ Flash Fiction

Extract: The Origin Stone

‘True, I’ve felt its desire to lure you here, too. But now that you are here, I believe it recognises who will be more beneficial to it.’ He looks at me, his fake smile fading. ‘You think it’s me stopping you from using your powers? Guess again. The Stone doesn’t want you interfering with my plans, and it especially doesn’t want that,’ he nods to the First, ‘roaming around so close to it either. Like any rational being, the Stone fears its destruction, and one clumsy step from that monstrosity will most likely shatter it into a thousand pieces.’


Uncovered (draft)

Why should my  sensitivity

be a sign

of who I am?



should I be measured by

the bruises I bear

from a night of unrest,

when all I asked for

was hospitality?


Why would you seek

to drug me

with pea-sized pills

and force me to climb

the innerspring tower,

when a simple question

would so easily give

rest to your doubts?


Don’t take my truths

as acceptance

of your hand.


If you had

seen me

first, I may have reconsidered.


The cover has been

removed from you, not me.


Your chance has been spoiled:


desire has that effect.

You will



Well-shaped Sand (draft)

Purple mist wisps down

shaded dunes, creeping hands

mottling the yellow grains,

tumbling into bustling cities

ready to snatch at the wealth

of a merchant’s wares:

sugared dates, pistachios,

beads and scarves and

a thousand other riches

to flavour sips of life.

Lit by the lamp’s flicker,

illusions are stamped

over a tide of eyes,

but never reach the corners

filled  with emptiness

bottled tightly into fancy glass.


A shadow’s footsteps (draft)

The shadow of the second star

glides across creaking boards and

bloated sails, summoned by its youthful

keeper to sew it tight for the morn.

Safe from adults, hooked and

wigged, who pillage every source

for glittering trinkets and the dust

that brings spells of flight.

Yet twisted intentions hold no key,

only one power can grant the skies.


From the full-lipped colours of

wild flowers, to the salt of deepest

seas, in the shimmer of a mermaid’s

scale and the warmth of a firefly’s glow

lies the echo of magic’s pulse, keeping

the ever grasping hands of Master

Time distant as dreams of rushing

hordes and striking clock towers.


To question a parent (draft)

What would you do

if your son grew crooked?

With crooked thoughts

and crooked ways,

gnarled and twisted

as a malformed tree?

Would you recognise him

if his roots were swept away

by time, humble origins replaced

by woven finery, declaring to

all who might listen

that his reputation at

spiriting away prized objects

has earned him the name

he always sought?

A Master, yes.

A legend among thieves.

Would you ask him

to prove his tremendous skill?

Would you care?

Or could you simply take

him back, proud that he

accomplished all he wished?

Would you say, ‘My

Son is a man with

crooked thoughts and crooked ways,

yet never a body has he hurt.

With swift agility he takes

possessions, but they are only such.

My son, the Master Thief.

We may be different,

but I am okay with that.’


Ice on Lips (draft)

The splitting of the glass caused the earth

to cry out; caused the earth to cry out

with the agony of the darkest mottles

taking root in hearts and eyes,

framed into windows and tailored spectacles.

A vision of wrinkles, dark splotches cast

into marbled nature, now teach warped

learning to craft cunning thoughts.

Caught! The attention of ice, snowflakes

skitter down, plucking a kiss from

the lips of her cunning prey, wrapping

cool breath tightly about to mask

the journey through frozen skies.