Purple Toothed Grin

Dot the Astronaut

Dot loved to build towering towers
and play with trucks for hours and hours
She loved to play with her brother’s toys
but he said they were just for boys.

NO THEY’RE NOT, cried Dot.

Her brother was a little older
and every day he came and told her
some toys aren’t meant for little ladies
and told her not to be a baby

I’M NOT, wailed Dot.

In her room she thought and thought
about what it meant to be Dot:
What did she want to grow up to be–
certainly not a “lady”!

WHAT ROT, thought Dot.

She made a tower so very high
it’s tippy-top tickled the sky
and looking up she knew right then
what to be when she turned, oh, ten.

AN ASTRONAUT, cried Dot.

She told her brother her new plan.
He laughed and said “You’re not a man!”
She looked at her feet, she looked at her hands,
she did a dance and a headstand.

Oh, I guess I forgot, winked Dot.

The next day she got a cardboard box
and covered it in polka dots
and when her brother came knocking
said, Please, please can I come in?

No you may not, said Dot.

She cut out windows and built wings
and drew an engine on the thing.
Her brother yelled under the door,
“Please let me in, I’m just so bored.”

I think not, said Dot.

She put the fish into the sink
so it would have enough to drink
and plopped the fishbowl on her head
and dreamt of stars when she went to bed.

Ready or not, dreamed Dot.

The next morning she let her brother in
to see just what she’d been building.
He looked in awe at the rocket ship.
She said, “Come on, let’s take a trip”

Thanks a lot! he said to Dot.

They blasted off and flew up high
way past the regular blue sky
into the darkness of outer space
where they held hands to feel safe.

You know, you taught me a lot, he said to Dot.

Then stars dotted the universe
and they looked down at planet earth
where boys and girls can grow up to be
anything they want to be.

The End
(or should I say
dot dot dot.)

Brunch with the little ladies

Construction paper fascinators
and savoury muffin crumbs


The warm sun
robbed her photos of
familiar faces and
distant happy places

A friends’s name,
just yesterday,
burnt off her tongue
by cacao
left on the stove
too long.

The blinds are shut
in the daytime now

as the night gets
in her fuzzy bathrobe
and slippers

and eats the last biscuit
leaving crumbs on the counter
and a few on the floor.

She sits there
by the window
reading in the dark,
never turning a page.

Mail You’ve Got

Is it just me (or is it you too)
who feels oddly unloved with an empty spam queue?

Are my tags not seductive,
my titles not titillating, my poems not constructive?

I ask of you, Akismet, what can I do
to tempt the spambots – the illiterati – into loving me too?

With a black-and-white theme, words and no photos,
I consistently manage to escape their notice.

Here’s my conclusion, my literary coda:
I shouldn’t emulate poets; I should emulate Yoda.

Sitting next to myself on my couch

It’s lucky time can be rewritten,
there are many things I’d like to do
though right now my life is being unwritten
as I spend all my time watching Dr Who.

Just when I thought it finally over
(the light at the end of the vortex beckoning)
I stumbled upon the Torchwood cover:
my future (and present, by my reckoning)

remains but a blinkin’ blinking cursor
that will never become text
as every show is a precursor
to the show that’s coming next.

Another possible future:

The (Time) Lords, they have smiled upon me,
this addiction I may just have kicked
because Torchwood doesn’t appear to be
available on my Netflix.

December 24

Rain falls —
our white christmas dimples
and disappears.

A Frozen Landscape

There was a blizzard in my brain
and everything is covered in
white nothingness
and all the gates are frozen shut.

Wrapped up in a blanket, I
await The Great Thaw when some
bumbling brain cell finally rediscovers fire
and things begin to flow once again.

Until then, in preparation,
I’ll let the seat of my chair warm
the seat of my pants,
and, anchored there, I’ll find my release —

a once majestic glacier
shrinking in the open sea
or, it could be said, I think,
expanding indefinitely.

Home Alone

Baby’s at daycare –
I can still hear her breathing
through the monitor


Most days
my to-do list reads like 
the TV guide

Shadows of Ourselves: A Shadow Sonnet Exercise

You never saw a doctor as you
never saw the need but then never
cannot last forever, you cannot
forever dodge disease. To find forever

is, however, all we can do: mortality is
our weapon forged deep within our
cells: they mutate and mutiny, cells
conspiring to conspire, to conspire

against the brick-and-mortar you, against
who holds you under lock and key, who
keeps your feet planted as your soul keeps
lifting up — after years of heavy lifting —

until its arms are light as air, until
time, at long last, no longer need keep time.