Zero Twenty Forty.

There is the crease

I’m standing in the fold of it

Like a baby laughing in the laundry

Look at all the years

Refractions in space-time

Star specks of me bouncing against the walls


Who. Are. You. Am. I. Now

Zip zip.

Heisenberg’s fireflies


I am waving,

Shining skin, no folds or creases

I am wondering about now

What’s going to happen.


I crawl right back to zero

I am young enough

The fibre in my legs matches intent

Then I whoop down the slope of youth

First lock of hair, first steps, first words, first kiss

Plummet into the soda stream of passion

From which I still suck

More deliberately than before

Not toothless yet

Not imbibing life force through a straw.


Forty is a high wall to leg it up

I don’t know if I can be bothered.

Oh go on then.


Sitting up here, feet dangling

Swing swing

Looking back down at my soft skin

Twenty, still wondering.

I know what happened now

I could fold up the letter of my life and post it back.



Crystal and the Knife

Hold me to the light

Glints, reflections

I am cracked and glittering

I am the crystal and the knife

I am the blood and the indentation

The slice of life

The husk

Blown from the palm with birthday cake lips

I am the spinning

Of the dust and the blood


And the mud and the lust

Flat atoms beneath the sole’s tread


I am dripping, slipping

My sea is a red one, dead one

Jellied fish in salt tears

I am the guts pulled out still throbbing

The baby sleeping leaping with old sobs.

I am the poppy and the wide grassy field

I am the green blade

I am the scratch and the ladder

Oozing rubies

I am the dark stain and the shimmer


The reckless and relenting

Sharp quiver


If you do not reach me, reach for me

I will fall and clatter,


Splatter on the stone floor

Pour into the porous cold enduring

rock from the earth’s heart.

Sweet Beating

I will split, cleave.

I will burst, I will break, into

Tears, Laughter, Song.

(Could have cut the atmosphere)

Heart slivers in the broken glass.





Right now.


Right, now, I must get the beds made, clear away the breakfast things, give the bathroom a good clean, put the washing out, what’s the weather like?



The sun on the grass, blades dipped in butter.

The flutter of a wing, a breath, of bright air.


Good drying then, I better get the clothes out before I head out to the playschool because by the time I nip to Tesco’s and then unload the shopping I won’t get another chance till after lunch. And then the baby will need feeding.



Curled around mine as he sups, tucked against my breast.

Small head, exquisite skin, we morph into each other

His/my fingers in his/my mouth.

Tug, tug tug.


Pulled in every direction, can I have a yoghurt, mUm I’m hungry, where ARE my socks then? you said you would play with me, is that a missed call? can you help me wipe my…he PUSHED me, eh, eh, eh, eh, wah, wah, wah!


Walking. Extra slowly.

First steps in soft felt shoes.

He is outside!

He cannot believe it, take it in.

He spends forever tracing with his finger

the fascination of a wall in pebble dash.



Dash, God is that the time, come on we better hurry, we have to pick up your brother, the baby’s in the buggy, you’ll have to walk, can’t you walk any faster, COME ON! now, now, what ARE you doing, panic stations, heart racing.


Heart racing.

The day we met, you came up to me, you smiled

What a smile.

That whole day we spent in the park, chilling out, making out.

The moment we married, congratulations, kisses.


Kisses at bedtime, and baths and pyjamas and hot water bottles and stories and snuggles and last minutes snacks and oh I forgot to tell you, the clothes for the morning and lunches and can you put the bins out while I get the baby to settle and the kitchen to wipe clean, what else, now, right..


Wipe clean.




Right Now.


COLOURS (My first poem – age 8)


Yellow is for flowers and pretty buttercups

White is for snow, paper and cups

Blue is for the sky and sea

And pink is the colour of me

Red is for the sun, setting in the west

And red is for a rosette that shows that you’re the best!


If we thought that love was gone (1991)

If we thought that love was gone

that out of sweetness none remained

why should we catch the balmy air

its warm and laden music strained

upon a wise and falling light

the evening coming home to rest

the wide relentless sky still bright

like a heart stretched taut with car

then shall we find brim-comfort there

that what is now, not past is best

the full and glowing day now done


Why should we catch the balmy air

with glee and toss it through our hair

shout and stomp and shout again

that all we want to be is here?

And yet we grip rich beauty tight

must keep this fleeting joy so rare

within our touch, our taste, our sight

but scent and sound they drag us back

to scenes of sweet and haunting pain

and put us face to face with fear

that what is gone will ever lack


Shout and stomp and shout again

that what despairs cannot be heard

Feel the sun – a love’s embrace

the breeze becomes a tender word

that soothes the soul, the heart and mind

and summer’s wealth of promise stored

makes the falling evening kind

and musings touched with warmth erase

the tracks where restless hopes keep pace

Then loss and aching quiet ignored

both strength and beauty now remain.


  1. I particularly love “birthday cake lips”. I love your rhythm. The only piece I coudln’t 100% hear was
    I am cracked and glittering

    I am the crystal and the knife

    I am the blood and the indentation

    I couldn’t quite work out how you are saying these – as single statements or eliding into each other as the rest of the poem does.

    Wonderful. I’d love to hear it 🙂

  2. Very beautiful poems, each with distinct charm.

    I can really relate to NOW!

    The one you wrote as a child is so sweet.

    The last one had a great rhythm. The first one had great imagery and deep feeling!

    Loved them all!

    1. Hi Anne,

      My poetry is more a personal aside so its great when people respond warmly to it. ‘Now’ has indeed been popular with those in the know, i.e. those from the mother and toddler groups, the rest is a little pocket history.

  3. Hi Alison and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    I love your new poem.

    “Plummet into the soda stream of passion

    From which I still suck”…

    “Not imbibing life force through a straw.”

    I love those lines. You write amazing poetry!


  4. Alison,

    Great imagery through all of the poems. All showing the dance through life, my favorite is “If we thought that love was gone” (1991)

    “Then loss and aching quiet ignored
    both strength and beauty now remain.”

    I wish I could write poetry like this:-)

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