Fairy Garden



She still believes in fairies.


They write her notes in the garden

Populated with the homes she’s made for them,

Where occasionally a wildflower

Will bloom, bright and blue,

Half-expected, that welcome, noble guest,

Around which the fairies will dance

Forever through the night.


She’ll hear their music.


I will, too, sometimes – rarely –

Though it’ll never sound the same,

Because that is what time does to one,

Layer by layer like a sandstorm

Stripping you of every ounce of faith,

From which you once so freely drank

Of that most holy of chalices.


She drinks too greedily from that fount.


Soon, she’ll wonder why that cup,
Which once overfloweth,

Is looking emptier by the day,

Youth, she’ll lament,

Lasts but a summer.


She knows that summer is ending soon.


The Pettiness of Dreams


Inspired in part by Herbert’s ‘Mr. Cogito Laments the Pettiness of Dreams.’


The Mariana had been COMING SOON

Since the Fall of Rome to barbarian tribes,

Yet the wasteland it would one day sit upon

Seemed to me like the fallow fields foretold to follow the End of Days,

Like a slim, white dog following its master,

Searching for scraps,
Withering away with the ebb and flow of time,

Until one day the wicked wind will whisk it away,

And it’ll waver, waif-like, before twirling away in a whirlwind

Of boundless, ecstatic freedom.


The Mariana is like that, too,

Unendingly patient, watching;



One day,

She’ll weary of waiting

In the wasteland where the pools of water –

Most of it left over from Noah’s flood –

Gather to whisper their terrible secrets

Unto the nightmares of children;

And COMING SOON will peel itself away,

And float away, dandelion-wish-like,

Up, and towards greater things,

And the billboard will continue

Rotting its way into the sea,

And then – only then –

Will the Mariana awaken from her restless sleep,

And lament

The pettiness of dreams.

and their ashes will blow away




The old photographs

Tell a story like he could never;

They’ll keep your secrets,

Those long departed who needn’t hope to die;

And they’ll smile – frown –  sit, pensive,

Or be caught in a moment of ecstasy eternal,

Until the day he tires of their ceaseless, immortal existence –

Then, he’ll build a bonfire on the beach and

Pale, ruinous flame will lick and flick at their edges –

Their smiles will curl one last time, and be gone,

And their ashes will blow away,

Still burning.


love lies bleeding



I hold my breath until my chest burns,

And my stomach churns,

And all I am yearns for the air I will not inhale;

My love lies bleeding, pale,

And I pray that the holy host, crowned in amaranth will hail

Him with kegs of the finest ale, and I can think

Only in the currency of kisses,

And all of me wishes

That they were as numerous as the riches of the empire,

But for all this desire,

We are down to the wire and, sharing a final embrace,

He turns to face the angels in their grace,

And I weep for him,

As the willows did, in that final wartime summer.

On Writing: The Value of Editing

I have a confession to make. If you were to ask me my biggest flaws as a writer, I’d probably mutter an excuse about purple prose before ashamedly admitting to my greatest writing sin: I despise editing.


I never edited my first series of (unpublished) novels. I am sure that if I were to read far enough into them, they’d be riddled with plot holes and whole legions of spelling and grammar mistakes that are the hallmarks of a first draft.


I wrote those 1,076 pages – roughly 350,000 words – when I was in my early teens. It just doesn’t feel right to go back and change the words and ideas I labored so long over. There is something sacred about one’s first work, and I cannot bring myself to break the spell I cast so many years ago.


I am beginning to see the virtues of editing, particularly as I tend to discovery write my fiction. I am also starting to go back and rework some of my poems, though I still find editing a struggle.


I am on the third draft of this poem:


The Last of the Snows Came in May

it quickened my heart
to see the new buds in your garden
wither and turn their faces back
to the loamy soil that birthed them,
and whose final freezing, like the closing of a door,
had brought with it the cold breath of Chaos,
face pale and bloodless, as yours had been,
curling my shaking fingers
’round some glittering, ill-omened thing;
our promise ring.


An earlier draft is also published on this site, should you like to see the progress I’ve made. I am still working on the poem, still changing and tweaking and fiddling.


If pressed to say why editing is so difficult for me, I would explain that I get far too attached to my writing – my characters, my prose, my metaphors; everything.


To call on those who have quoted and misquoted Faulkner, I suppose I must ‘kill my darlings’ more often.


I’m off to do just that.




I saw you, yesterday,

Holding a rose as our lives converged

For one fleeting moment;

And I knew it was not for me,

But imagined it was,

There in the tunnels,

Where the clouds of our breath followed us

Into the train,

And all the way home,

A miasma from a different time, another place,

Now lost;

The world in which that moment was spawned

 Having changed, irrevocably,

For such is the nature of things,

To never stand still,

Even for an instant,

Not even long enough for me

To see the flower you didn’t pick for me

As more than a brief, blood-red blur

Of a life we will never live,

And a moment

We’ll never recapture,

Enraptured though I was,

By you,

And a red, red rose

Destined to win another woman’s heart.


The Last of the Snows Came in May



The last of the snows came in May,

And I must confess

That I was gladdened by their arrival,

As I was lovesick that winter,

Into the spring,

And it quickened my heart

To see the new buds in your garden

Wither and turn their faces back

To the loamy soil that had birthed them,

And whose final freezing,

Like the closing of a door,

Had brought with it the cold breath

Of Death, face pale and bloodless

As yours had been,

Curling my shaking fingers ‘round our promise ring,

As you returned the ill-omened thing.