Month: April 2016


Leonora took a dainty revolver from her reticule and shot the Reverend Gilead between the eyes.

Taken aback, the Reverend died instantly.

Leonora summoned Quain to tidy up, and to serve tea and simnel cake in the Blue Room.


To all in tents and porpoises

The Met Office has issued the following severe weather warning:

Strong gales overland and high tides at sea are expected in the next twenty-four hours.

If you live in a tent, you need to re-evaluate your lifestyle choices immediately.

If you are a porpoise, you need to dive deep, and let the wine-dark sea enclose you in her  loving arms, at least until 08:00 hours on Tuesday.


Coming out (2)

How can I tell his mother
that our son is turning pink?
It’s really tutu much to bear!
What will the neighbours think?

Please don’t get me wrong
— I’m trying to be strong —
but if he asks to borrow
my copies of The Stage,
I’m sure I’ll have a hissy fit,
and scweam and scweam
with wage.


Taproom memory

Miss Leonora and the Reverend Gilead took tea and simnel cake in an inglenook, discreetly, while Quain tended the horses.

It was only when Miss Leonora shrieked that others in the taproom knew of their presence.

— Vile brute! Oh!

— But my dear, it’s a sovereign balm!

To this day, drinkers at the Frog & Hacksaw talk of the balm of Gilead, and laugh till their sides ache.


Ignis fatuus

A hooded friar moves towards me in a stone-cold cloister,
silent as the grave, and slow as breathing.
It is dusk and he holds a lantern, throwing crazy shadows
on walls, on rafters, and on effigies of long-dead saints.

I cannot see his face — he may have none.
He may be an effigy too, quickened from his tomb
by flickering light, by baleful night.
He is silent, faceless, timeless.

Now he stands before me, the lantern stills,
and its grey light shadows me like stone.
He looks at me, and clasps
my dismal soul in a deathly stare:

‘Bloody cold in here! You’re the new guy, aren’t you?’