Here is a small selection of the poems that I have had published in: Writing Routes (A book on Writing Therapy - http://amzn.to/HuySno )
small press, and an art installation at Bank St Arts Centre, on the space left behind when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911.
Beads of ruby red drain and draw from ballooned cheeks,
pool in bottles under the bed.
Breath mists the mask, a green of sun on pale water
- a horse trough in France, water
cleansed by a ball of ashen clay,
a clarity that entranced us both back then
him teetering on tip toe to peer down.
The nurse lifts the mask, the straps, seaweed green,
cut across his mutilated face.
‘Water.’ I hear his voice.
She turns away, ‘No water.’
‘He wants water.’
She hands me a pack of foam pink lollipops.
‘You can swab his mouth.’
His lips are the colour of conkers, formless as old shoes.
I dab, tentative, recall the fear of the scar of his umbilical cord.
Gently, so gently, I roll in the pink lollipop, see it stain to blood,
poke deeper, his tongue is livid, bruised to liver, congealed with blood.
He gapes like a fish, his eyes wild, anger that masks fear.
I look away, place back the pale green of the mask, hide the violent scar.
He gives up, arcs his head away, back against the white pillows, closes his eyes.
Iodine stains darken his neck, yellow leaches his cheeks.
Strangers, whilst he has slept, have broken his face,
and yet, still perfectly placed above each eye, polished as black talons,
are the exquisite curves of his eye brows.
never seen wearing a hat
Warm milk with fresh coffee
clean white cotton sheets
a walker in darkness
LIttle Polly Flinders among the cinders
a go to bed sleepy head
the cat sitting sunlit in the window
winter, hard frost and soft snow
songs sung shyly
the ferry-man and not the swimmer.
Mrs Cleave had one journey that I knew to.
From her slate-built house
shadowed by the monkey puzzle tree
she cycled on her huge black machine
with its wicker basket filled with eggs
to the country station.
In the waiting room I stared at
her pale blue watery eyes
her grey hair plaited in a bun
her soft doughy skin
all shadowed by a black straw hat.
The train smelt of coal,
pungent in the hot sunlight.
Mrs Cleave leaned out of the window,
(something I was not allowed to do),
and scanned the passing fields
to count her sheep.
He came to build her shadow-box
saw what the tourists could not
da Vinci’s careful brush strokes
wet black blended with lead white
his sfumato technique
a smoke that drifts at dusk
a transition from light to dark,
La Gioconda’s veil of protection
day by day was slipping away
her edges hardening
too many eyes peeling off
layer upon layer of her cardinal self
the backdrop of rivers
and snow tipped mountains
slowly losing their mystery.
Peruggia the carpenter freed her
threw the frame in a cupboard
and wrapping her in a red blanket
built a trunk with a false chamber
to take her back to their homeland
so that she could replenish herself
and allow the veiled illusion to return.
*Sfumato – an Italian term meaning smoky.
It is a painting technique that creates the effect
of a soft haze, or a sense of atmosphere.