frosty oats

Turn not this beauty from your skin,

Do not deny its wintry kiss;

This touch of trouble deep within

Has brought you to the brink’s abyss,

Where self is laid on frozen shrine,

Blowing chaff from every cell,

Sowing strength in every line,

Birthing beauty honed by hell.





Your world covers your lines

in high-powered ad campaigns

that promise forever young

in a bottle,

the fountain of youth at a cost;

but swallowing emptiness

cannot fill canyons.

In your lines,

I trace the conquest of first love,

baby bottles and funeral baking,

losses and gains

multiplied by loaves and fishes.

No serum

can replace the living

drawn in these lines –

this is no paint-by-number

out of a box,

but an original,

a hand-drawn facsimile

of you. So hang out your laundry,

put it all

on the


Ruffles and Folds

Antiquated, perhaps –

petticoats and ruffles

don’t equate with modern ways.

Facebook is what she does with dog-eared pages in her spare time.

Internet conjures up tangled silk stockings

rather than monitors and keys

in her mind’s eye.

Her skills are those of a dying breed –

her brain remembers how to keep the fire stoked

to bake her weekly bread,

not who visited her last.

How much pickling salt to add to a quart,

how to blanch her beans to keep their summer’s crunch

trumps where her little bed lies

in these confusing interminable hallways.

But her smile still lights up a room.

Her quaint and dainty ways still

cling to her ruffles.

And her wizened frame

hides true beauty

in its folds…


You’ve wept until your eyes are puffed

In turtle-shell disguise,

Your face is red, your cheeks are stained

With tears that trace your cries.

You hang your head as sorrow deep

Weighs your visage down;

You’ve cried heart dry so many times,

It weeps without a sound.

But you don’t see that in your grief

Your blooms are opening wide;

Rich beauty lies within your pain,

Allurement which can’t hide.

And as you grieve, the Master of

Your heart is drawing near;

He wipes your eyes, and as you cry,

True beauty washes clear.

Subtle Strength

No damsels in distress, these –

delicately fragranced with

the scent of spring rain,

their fragility is misleading.

Vulnerable yet graceful,

theirs is the strength of the centuries.

Soft and brimming with young,

bursting with life-wombs,

they laugh at the winds

and scoff at the thunder.

Theirs is a fleeting beauty, yes –

but theirs is raw Life,

sprinkled by waters of mercy,

cloaked in dignity and a suppleness

that bends in the gale

but cannot break.

Time has tossed them a test –

and they have passed with flying pink colours…