God, Under a Bush

Like many, I seem susceptible to impromptu attacks of introspection from time to time. Last Saturday I had little excuse. I was taking an afternoon train into the beautiful city of Bath to meet old friends. These are the kind of friends that are like old sweaters you lose down the back of a wardrobe: […]

When Summer Isn’t Summer Anymore

A grey-haired man, Harry, sits before the television in a modest home, one eye on his newspaper, the other on a tennis match unfolding before him. The sound of a key rattling in the lock of a front door is heard, and a woman, Jill, appears, carrying various carrier bags and sundries. Jill: Breathless. There’s […]

Weather Balloon

We have this little weather balloon; And I release him towards you, The sun tucked underneath his little arm. He skuds up three flights of stairs with ease, Whirring noisily all the way. Reports filter down to base camp As his green shoots break through The crackling ice of your troubled summit. The cool, clear […]

Round Pegs

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in square holes. The ones who see things differently.   Steve Jobs There is a boy called Michael. Michael is willowy, pale; he walks with long, low strides, arms straight down by his sides as stiff rods of iron thrust down […]

A Life of Taking Care

To walk through a deserted school is a strange thing. Firstly, the quiet. The mere skittering of an empty crisp packet across the tarmac is enough to startle. Solitary footsteps click-click-clicking nervously down corridors, flanked by peeling displays on the walls. Then, the revelation of a wider world beyond: waste collections vans, police sirens, the […]

I’m Sorry, Carole Smith

It was me: I had killed you. I had turned it over and over again in my eight year-old head, useless thoughts like wet laundry flopping in the final throes of a drum. What if I hadn’t said this? What if I hadn’t done that? Why, dear God, did I ever join in with the […]

Because She Was Your Mother

What happened to you – you that can take a life so easily? What happened to you – you, to whom a mother once gave the gift of life? How greedily you suckled, thirsty for a world that you would taint with unimaginable hatred. But back then, with gentle, tentative fingers, your mother wrapped you […]