Melt Down

She drifted down Main Street,
shrunken and exposed
to the gaze of lacy twitchers.

She maintained a regal air,
head high, Liberty scarf fluttering.
Think panache, she thought.

Her expression was composed,
eyes cool as anthracite
and mouth dead as diamanté.

But sunbeams melted her frozen
cockles, dissolved her moody blues.
So why the tremor in her guts?

When she reached the Post Office
her feet puddled like jellyfish
and she slumped against the wall.

Her reflection in the window
was pale as January. Her face
had slipped to her waist.

With failing heart she understood.
The next day all that remained
was a dark stain and a scrap of Liberty.


Photograph by the author

Down But Not Out

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been away for some time but I’m back, or at least for now. Apologies for my absence from Blogging World and the world in general. So far I’ve spent five weeks trapped in a small hospital room in Inverness following a fractured femur. Tragically my treatment has not gone according to plan. After the initial operations to repair the original fracture I have acquired another THREE broken bones in my legs due to careless handling and bad advice from Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. And the worst news is that the fresh broken bones are not fixable. Any surgery could make things worst not better.  No one seems to know what the prognosis is.

I’m trying to stay positive but it’s hard. I don’t know how much mobility or independence I will ever regain. It’s also hard not to be consumed with anger for the so-called experts in this hospital who have damaged me and are now trying to sweep their negligence under the carpet. I have not even had a proper apology or any acknowledgement that anything has gone wrong.

Anyway, when my mind is not fried by morphine, pain and exhaustion I will try to post here on The Purple Hermit and I hope my followers and supporters will understand.




Her feet were jelly fish stranded in a rock pool
or filo pastry left in the rain
and her toes were marbles lost under the sofa.
And her ankles were secret trapdoors
and her legs were ships lost in the Haar
and her thighs were a terrorist ambush.
Her crotch was a picnic under a shady tree
or a foreign film with subtitles
and her vagina was a waiting room with velvet sofas.
Her stomach was a piano keyboard
or a bottled gas cooker
and her waist was Fingal’s Cave
and her ribs were hieroglyphs found at Skara Brae
and her buttocks were exclamation marks!!
Her breasts were cumulus clouds at sunset
or thermonuclear weapons
or lamps in a distant window.
The crooks of her elbows were pistachios
and her arms were War and Peace
or bulldozers on a building site
and her hands were Olympians.
Her spine was a rope bridge over a canyon
or an Aeolian harp
and her shoulders were white whales.
Her neck was a seagull diving
and her chin was King Canute
and her cheeks were beech leaves used as bookmarks
and her skin was Flamenco.
The tips of her ears were whipped cream
and her teeth were a cryptic puzzle
or the standing stones at Callanich.
Her eyes were a film by David Cronenberg
or Mississippi Mud Pie in a late-night café.
And her eyebrows were squeezed tubes of tooth paste
and her nose was a wind turbine on a Scottish hill
and her mouth was a furnace manufacturing steel rods
or a jewellery box lined with jade.
And her hair was the wings of a Gypsy moth
or frosted willow branches
or a moonlit path
to an unknown destination.




My surrealist poem, Serenade was inspired by Not the Furniture Game by Simon Armitage.  He is one of my favorite poets and he was born in Yorkshire, England like myself!  I wrote Serenade during a bout of influenza, high with fever, painkillers  and sleep deprivation which I’m sure helped the flow of bizarre images.  Perhaps it was worth getting the flu as this is a poem I remain proud of.  I often use it in writing workshops with adults to encourage the use of bold metaphor.