The Drunken Entertainer

Spangled Clown

Get up and clown – it’s my turn in the ring

I’m uncertain how I got here

Yet it’s my job to dance and sing

For all the gawkers who with glassy eyes

Take in the act, react

Their own conclusions to surmise

Put on my face, in painted white and red

But funny drunken stumbles

Mean I use the blue instead

I stumble over words so gracelessly

Look – watch me hit the floor

Roll up! Come in! Admission’s free

For who would charge to see a show so poor

A crumbling clown who cannot

Hold together any more

With incoherent ramblings she tries

“Now look, and see the glitter

As it falls down from her eyes”

Oh watch me tumble, watch me bruise

It’s no injury, if I’m funny – Then I’m entertaining you

Let me roll and rock and break Are you not yet amused?

I’m certain that made up I make

Such a very pretty, dancing thing

Oh shallow clown, keep dancing

Then they cannot see the sting

Glaze their eyes with sparkles in this show

Mask the rage that rises

If they’re laughing, they don’t know

I rip my paper heart to shreds

On stage, like confetti to throw

And tumble upon my audience’s heads

Applaud me now and say you liked my spiel

(May  only one or two comment

“Somehow those tears seemed real”)

In this gaudy ring, your pleasure is my pain

Don’t worry though, and come back soon:



The Wordragle






The wordragle struck and rendered me mute

Leaving its victims with words less astute,

Some call it block

But I know better

The wordragle struck

And left me fettered


If only it struck at times less intense

Then the symptoms it causes I’d be apt to dispense

As I do all the symptoms

Of things like the flu

But the wordragle struck

And I can’t seem to spew

Any words from my fingers, my mouth or my brain

The incessant attempts drive me insane

The brick in my mind

Doesn’t let words come through

Cuz the Wordragle struck

And left me unglued


Well you know what you Wordragle? I know what to do

I’ll write me some research, or a literary review

Something I don’t have to create from the start

It still takes finesse and it still creates art

Then I can lull you to sleep once again

Cuz when the Wordragle strikes

It’s just a matter of when

I can start to write poetry, limericks or prose

Cuz when the Wordragle strikes

You have to fight to compose


Two Shoes TuesdsayI’m hooking this up to Josie at Two Shoes In Texas for Two Shoes Tuesday. The cue is “Storm.”  Which is how it feels when you get the dreaded writer’s block and have a storm in your head that you can’t seem to let loose…. I heisted the illustration from

Shel Silverstein because why reinvent the wheel?








The music in you

If you say you can’t get the beat

Or don’t know music, forgive me

For apart from pitying the desolation

Of the place you now find yourself

I must point out the error of your ways;

You are wrong.

You began with rhythm,

Increasing in tempo

And ecstasy

Before the monotonous thrashing

Propelled the halves of you to meet

In an unheard crescendo

Which nonetheless heralded

A new human.

You grew

Cradled by your mother’s heartbeat

The cadence of her voice

The timpani of her digestion

And percussion in every moment as she walked.

At night, when she slowed down

You awoke and began to play back

Letting her know that you had heard her song

And were beginning to harmonise.

You were born into a cacophony

Gradually you learned to sort out

The orchestra of the world

Into its constituent parts

Your ears becoming accustomed at honing in

On various sections:




The sound of a dropped coin

Or a loved one’s voice

The more you lived, the more you heard

The more you heard, the better you know

For it is in you – this world music

It is cell-deep and singing


Your own song

As unique as the whales

Who bellow their tunes

Using the base of the ocean

To refract their solos

And send them worldwide

Your voice

Your movements

Your heartbeat

Your song

As unique as your gait

As wild as your rolling eyes

As lilting as your voice

Changing each day

With your moods and movements

You say you don’t know music

You say you can’t get the beat

But you have only to look in the mirror

To see the truth:

My dear,

You ARE the song.


For Jennie, who asked nicely.

I was a stubborn child


Was it the added stress
Of having someone there?
Or having to wait whilst
Mum and sis popped out?
Or me, responding to
Whatever goading vibe was given off?
The three of us were stuck
In a car with nothing to do
The devil on my shoulder
Convinced me to mess around with you
I know I took your hat
It had you riled
I wouldn’t give it back
I was a stubborn child.
You asked, but I was having fun
You demanded, but the game was young
You began to threaten; your eyes got wild
I wouldn’t give it back
I was a stubborn child.
You turned, your face a mask of blazing hate
In confined space your whole self did inflate
Words no longer enough – too late, too late
I wouldn’t give it back
I was a stubborn child
Suddenly your hand lashed out
Grabbing – not sure what for
Landed, tangled in my necklace
Which I, in pre-teen vanity had worn
To try to make my sense of self
Not seem so battered and torn
Surely, to an outsider
A kid in a necklace must be the norm
But this new use
This vile new gist
You wound your fingers in – began to twist
Surprised, horrified
I held the hat away
Our friend sat frozen in the front seat
Didn’t know what to say
An ugly look seized you as you smiled
I would not give it back
I was a stubborn child
And so in stale mate
Your gargantuan will ‘gainst mine
Yet with my throat closing over
There wasn’t time
I couldn’t make my point
As the cords bit into my skin
I had to take a breath
I had to let you win
Daddy, couldn’t you see the tears
As your daughter choked for breath?
Couldn’t you see my fears
You hated me so much you’d bring me death?
Daddy, why did you take such pleasure
In showing me I was reviled?
I had to give it back
I was a broken child.

Fire Dancer


Hesitant and fearful,
She looked at the bed of coals before her
Willing them away
As though by the force of her concentration
She could undo their reality
And send them into the wilderness
Of unbeing.
Alas, they remained there, glowing
Ready to blister and burn and turn to ash
Any foolish enough to attempt a crossing.
Yet she knew, for the signposts were clear
And she was nearing her journey’s end –
Those horrific coals – that firey pit
Lay between her and Freedom.
She agonised for days
Walking close, feeling the heat
Losing nerve and retreating:
A tango of anticipation and dread
Which could go on forever,
Until one day, she understood.
She walked to the edge of the pit.
The coals sizzled, their incandescence reaching out
In waves of burnt air, towards her
Trying to claim her as an offering to futility.
She shrugged at the embers as they winked and glowed
She bent down
She took off her shoes,
And stepped in:
Scorching heat intense about her toes
She walked quickly
Pressing each foot lightly down
Amongst the hills of trembling ash.
Flames licked her ankles,
Sparks rose up her legs, glittering her skin
Hair swept over her face in concentration
Stepping ever onwards
Heat engulfing her body
Consuming her with scorching tendrils
Crisping her skin and pulling her to itself.
She continued; quick, quick, quick
No time for slow, but sinuous
Lithe and powerful
Purpose in every movement:
A rhumba amidst the inferno.
Her limbs glowing with reflected light
Shining with rivulets of sweat,
Cascading down to their steamy deaths
On the burning battleground of coals.
She continued; the other side in sight
Striding now – sooty and smudged
A mess of tiny, fireborne hurts
Singed edges and blisters
The lingering memories of its attempted destruction
She continued, suddenly raising her hands
Her hair flew back, exposing bright eyes
And stunning smile
She took the last few steps
Fists clenched, arms outstretched
Like wings behind her head
Beautiful fire-dancer.
Glorious warrior.

Inspired by and dedicated to my Precious; my friend Samara, who dances with fire and wins.