Her Brush With Death

frosty foliage


The frost that ruptures arteries

and makes her foliage weep

is also master of the brush

that earns true glory’s keep,

for as he paints the crimson tide

with blood as palette’s edge,

his lines mark beauty’s truest form,

and trace salvation’s ledge.


The Cut


The sap you’ll bleed will tell the tale;

we all know the drill.

The  shock of the first prying probe,

the initial cut,

slices through more than skin.

But it’s the continual pounding,

the interminable perforation,

the ongoing flurry of jaw-jolting blows

that will have you screaming Uncle.

Just when you feel that the hammer has hit your heart

and defeat is inevitable,

the bird finds its worm,

and the real pest is revealed.

The blood you’ll cry

will cauterise the hole;

only the scab will

testify to your


when you find the sky

with outstretched arms…

You Rose

You definitely deserve an ‘A’ for effort.

Your work ethic dictates policy,

keeps you after hours,

banks over-time pay.

While others turned up their noses at the challenge,

you rose.

Some undefinable quality

in your genetics

bred tenacity,



While others toppled,



failed –

you rose.


October roses are a real treat – this is the last of them, I’m afraid – but while the frost got most, and broke their spirits, these rose!  

Rise Again

Strangled by frost’s fists,

your cells surrender.

Cytoplasm spills from pores

hard-pressed by mercury’s plunge.

It is time.

Time to beat a hasty retreat,

seal off summer’s silhouette

and lay up treasures

for seasons to come.

Capitulation, not abandonment;

acquiescence, not succumbing.

After your pupal pause,

 Sun caresses your dead skin;

you will

rise again.

Alive and Kicking

Which is more alive?


you need to know when to fold,

when to halt the forward momentum.

The irony bleeds on blades of steel –

blooming is most profitable

when ground to a halt;


in the secret places,

seeds are knit from

crisping petals,

distended ovaries,

dried husks of youth.

Once the shell of beauty is ceremoniously cracked,

rendered useless,

torn limb from limb

in ferocious labour pains,

what spills from broken caskets is

Alive and Kicking…

King’s Ransom

You’re an original, I’ll give you that.

Side-swept hair that just won’t quit,

Grandiose words and grandiose plans.

Your dreams are larger than life,

Just like your grin.

No one but you knows

Of damp pillowcases

And wobbly knees

Because that is your night life,

And during banking hours

Your mask never slips.

Yours is the drama of the Queen in her court

Who relinquishes her first-born

To pay a King’s ransom…


How many people that you met today functioned professionally and competently

and hid their tears behind an actor’s mask?

The Storms of Life

The storms of life have had their way,

The years have turned her dark to gray,

And robbed her of her partner, too –

The scars are where her feet walked through

The toughest rock-infested climbs,

The places where the toughest times

Have tried to conquer inner peace.

Doctor’s bills, death’s release,

Betrayals multiplied by four,

Troubles knocking on heart’s door.

Beneath the gray exterior

Lies a heart superior,

Tested by a difficult life,

Tempered by abundant strife;

She will live to see the day

When others lead her by the way,

Lives whose hearts by hers were touched

In sundry ways, by her deep love.