identical things out of synch

wrinkles in the mirror for example
when I am clearly only six

and it is strange
that someone as tall as me
can’t reach the top shelf
staggering that my slimness
escapes over my belt

how can reality keep
getting it so wrong

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in slant and dappled light
two kingdoms meet
the running border
of the river struggles
with itself………stones
wild water……..tumbling
oblivious to the fall of chieftains
the shift of power
the shuffling of wealth
are nothing here
beyond sweet light
moving through air
and water……….two realities
wrestle………… will not
let the other go
and one will not let the other fall

in this thin place
they must meet
life to itself
the wound not incidental
but a pivot and a lintel
turn………………the door is open

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via Notifications

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I click on the bell

enjoy the joke from the Episcopalians

feel commiseration rise

with the friend engaged in struggle

someone has liked my comment

there are fish in it again

why did I say that


is it celebration or complaint

are the fish in ice cream

or the living room

is the letterbox stuffed with them

does the jam taste funny

another click will take me to


I don’t go there

my life is better full

of fins and scales

mysterious water-breathing things

rising random to the surface

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catching on

that one thing that I loved and couldn’t part with
took charge
and though I carried on as if it hadn’t
it drew me back again and again
and every time I stood by it
I love you I said I will not let you go
or bury you….. remembering you is not enough

I carried you up hills
across fields….. skirted ditches
lost friends along the way
but hung on….. hung on
was the spinning woman….. dangling
by her gritted teeth from the bright trapeze
turning and turning in the dazzle
to the cymbal’s hiss at the end of the drumroll

would I do it again
no….. I need to learn to trust
the radiant absence….. the mark beneath
the mark….. the surfacing of joy
bursting up through water after a dive

I am learning to swim


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nodding acquaintance

a foxglove that I never planted
but was pleased to see in leaf last year
is tall now….. and dark pink
bees visit…… sliding their fuzzy arses
into the snug pipes of the flowers
reading the secret codes of pollen

I see it from my window
willowy…….. head and shoulders high
above everything else in the bed
the wind sways it in the corner of my eye
I look up
the foxglove waves

these days more often than not
I wave back

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March Paranoia

I think I might have daffodils
the whole place is full of them
outbursts in fields
tete-a-tete in gardens
and in window boxes

I  keep my distance
stay in and  watch the news
the world burns with them
yellow rules
they are everywhere
in buckets in shop doorways
in supermarkets

I think – onions…..who can trust them
a bulb’s a bulb

Jan Dean

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hoarding the bread
was not a good idea
black mould
blue-green penicillium

the walls however
were inspired
so many seeking shelter
so many flocking in

and now I have them
all the lost
and mine

Jan Dean

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Poem with illustration.

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