Life taught her well –

hide beneath pretty

packaging, paint sleeves

pink like brittle


fingernails to ward

off the curious

and offer a semblance

of heart without


engagement. Scars

mean band-aids,

amateurish wrappings

to disguise the terror


of being known, the

risk of offering her

self and finding that

she is not enough.





edges bleed

silver linings

when fingers are

free to touch the stars;


edges build

diamond pillars

when vision breaks

loose beyond the scars.

The Work of a Carpenter

Wounded Tree

You bear scars where life carved lessons into flesh,

but gaping wounds testify to your strength,

not your weakness.

They call you Victor,

not Victim;


not Overcome.

For deeper still than chiselled fate

are the  grooves whittled into

outstretched palms,

naming you one of the Chosen –

the work of  a


Healing Stars

The niches where life’s cruel claws

have scratched and torn through surface skin

draw blood from veins, where pain leaks through,

and trace the places you have been.

A surface coat of ‘happy paint’

can’t cover up your precious scars –

in sharing yours with all of us,

your wounds can shine like healing stars.


I see your pain,

the places where jaws masticated,

flesh was torn,

air stung punctures

and cud was savoured.

Offender took his leave

with no idea of how badly

you were trodden upon;

oblivious to damage,

he went on to bigger and better things,

and earned his wings.

I would say that I’m sorry for your hurt,

so very sorry –

because I am.


those holes –

they give me

the only ray of light I’ve had

down here in years.

They give me

precious beverage,

liquid life,

as rain trickles over

your jagged edges.

So don’t waste your energy

seeking Offender long gone;

know that

I am better for your scars,

and know that

I think you’re


Secret Luminosity

There’s something different about you; I see it in your face.

It’s like you’ve left us all behind; you’re in your happy place.

The scars of disease are evident; there’s no hiding the holes

Where hail struck you dumb, where insects wove their boles.

And yet your rays are evident; there is an inner light

That gleams with warmth and brilliance, a phosphorescence bright.

And I’m left wondering, perplexed; I really want to know

Your secret luminosity – what makes your blossom glow?

What makes some people rise above horrible circumstances?  What quality do some possess to create the drive to survive?  Why does one walk out of the ‘hood’ with heart intact, and another fall to addiction?  What makes one victim go on to greatness, and another a predator?  I want to know…

The Web

She wove her dream-web, a mystery veil

With which to shroud her soul;

She felt in her core that her scars glowed pale,

So hiding them was her goal.

She couldn’t know that the threads would trap

Her heart inside their maze,

Or understand that the mystery cap

Hid much more from others’ gaze.

So now she has the arduous job

Of fraying all the threads;

With every snap, there is born a sob

As knots relinquish beds.

And oh! the terror in her inmost heart

As web lays down its toll;

To live without strings is a brand new art,

And it will bare her soul…