Walking across the threshold

my nose is affronted by dust and mustiness,

then underneath that vanilla extract scent comes.

The smell of old books, loved books, well-handled books,

books with broken spines and dog ears,

coffee stains on their covers

and notes from relatives:

‘Happy Birthday, love Aunt Mary’

‘Season’s Greetings, Frank! Christmas ’78’

‘To Mr Baldings, English Teacher Extraordinaire

upon your retirement.’

Love notes written in margins of epic romances,

the strict calculations of Vernians,

and the underlined and highlighted words

in a thousand textbooks read by a hundred thousand students

working towards their exams.

All books have a story,

not just the one printed on the page.



I ease into the spine,

careful not to rip or tear,

hearing that new page sound;

a spreading of toes

preparing to feel the ground

in case it tries to slip away

from me.

A deep inhale

before setting the fingers to work,

elegantly stretching from right

to left

as eyes blur left

to right.

Strength flows up my arms

congealing in my head.

The saliva on my tongue


of salt;

bittersweet meetings,

conversations left unsaid


there was so much to say.

I arch upwards,

clearing away the tide

that fills my lungs,


the raw.

I step back to mountain;

the cover shuts.

My body tingles

with satisfaction.

My mind

is famished.


I’m in an anthology! ‘One Hundred Voices vol 3’

One of my flash fiction pieces is being published in an anthology, which is currently available for pre-order here. If anyone’s interested, there’s 10% off when using the order code: 100V3-97.

Happy reading!