Apr 7, 2021


“Do we start now? It’s already five past?”

“No let’s give it a moment, shall we. He’s key to all this, isn't he?”

“I suppose so, but really, we’ve all got other things to do.”

“I know, I know. Just be patient.”

“Patience is a virtue, isn't it? I forget.”

“It was Cato. Who said patience is a virtue.”

“The Chinese bloke?”


“The Chinese guy in the Pink Panther films? He attacked Clouseau at every opportunity.”

“No. Cato, a Roman. A senator.”

“Why did they name a Chinese manservant after a Roman Senator?”

“No idea. Anyway, we need to be patient. If we are to get it all sorted we need to have him here and make sure he agrees.”

“And if he doesn’t? What then. We’ll have to go upstairs and tell them. Today. It will have to be today.”

“Yes, it will. But he will agree. It is in his interests to agree. He said as much yesterday.”

“Yesterday? What did he say yesterday? That he would agree?”

“Not in so many words”

“How many words?”


“How many words did he use to say that he agreed?”

“He didn't say he agreed.”

“So what did he say? Exactly.”

“He said that he would find it hard to disagree...if it came to it.”

“Came to what? I don't find this encouraging at all. How can you be so sure? So calm.”

“Patience. It’ll be fine. He’s just cautious. You know what he’s like.”

“He has to agree. I don't want to go upstairs. Not today. Not to explain to them why we can’t go ahead.”

“Have you ever been upstairs? It’s fine.”

“You have? You’ve been to see them before? “

“Oh yes. A few times.”

“Hang on, here’s here.”

“Well it’s about time!”


This was an entry to the Secret Attic weekly flash fiction competition (25/2021). The rules are "Choose just 1 piece of dialogue from the three offered to write your piece of flash fiction of no more than 300 words. It should read exactly as stated, a stand-alone piece of dialogue." I chose "Well it's about time!"

May 2, 2020

Ye Olde Tynder Ballade of Olden Tymes

Ho! Lustful yearnings unsatisfied in daily pursuit
Are made plentiful and mysterious in new manner offered.
Galleries of suitors doth present themselves for reckoning
With bold statements made of dragons slain and castles owned.

Left or right, ‘tis such a simple question.
How dost my mind twist and turn on this very notion?
Can one love be found or lost in such a casual manner?
Fie! What fate awaits an swipe of thoughtless speed?

My aspect concerns me greatly when seen thus,
Are mine features fine and fair or too plain for all?
The jester teases and tells of my beauty well regarded
But the jester plays not for likes and jest for lols.

The daily search for love’s sweet honey doth me consume.
Minded like a madness to find the deepest satisfaction,
And yet I only find knaves not knights, addled with pox and ailing.
Whither yon knights? Tarry sirrah, please do and rescue me.

Nov 15, 2019

The Lament of the One Armed Sailor

I wandered lonely as a bastard
Even had my own tin tankard
Travelled thrice around the world
And married the loveliest, prettiest girl

She gave me sons, strong and true
Caleb and Jake were handsome too
Not so much Zack, who never looked right
He had a tongue like whip, a mind like a knife

My girl, my wife, my lover, their mother
Was the rock in a frock who kept us together
But God is unmerciful and no friend of joy
He took her from us, leaving me and the boys

Caleb my first born decided to leave
Took trains then planes then took to the sea
Jake wanted action, needed to fight
He went to the city and was doing alright

Zack stayed home, helped me along
Did this and that but never did roam
I loved them all dearly and missed my dear wife
As I looked back on a wasted life

Was there ever a woman who stood so tall
With pride and passion, and never a fall
Her heart, her beauty seemed endless back then
She was cut down so quick, we were shattered and broken

Ten years later, we all returned
Memories faded, grief still burned
Three sons and a husband gathered as one
Paid tribute to her who was second to none

I wandered lonely as a bastard
A feckless life of beer and tankards
I saw the best of a beautiful world
And married the loveliest, prettiest girl.

Sep 9, 2019

Our Lady

She screamed at the sky and wailed at the stars 
Her sobbing was heard on Venus and Mars.
The griffin sat silent, the sphinx had a grin 
But the phoenix had risen and taken her in.

To the land of the desperate, the land without song
Her guides and her watchers now took her along
To meet with the king, the king of all things
Who might grant her release from this prison of hurt.

The king heard her scream and her wail of despair 
He looked into her soul and decided to spare 
Her fate at the hands of the sphinx and the griffin
And release her again to the land of the living.

Our Lady was freed and made her way home
But the King drew his debt, the world she would roam.
In search of a lover she wandered the land
An impossible love, never to find.

Her legend lived long her story eternal
Of forgiveness and love and creatures infernal
They say she still wanders the world on her quest 
As wind in the barley, as love in the dust.

Madame de la Haye

Curls and curves
And the sweetest smile
Mysterious, vulnerable
And hard as nails.

Complex, elusive, a glimpse of...
A peek sometimes, beyond the veil
So long worn, a habit hardly seen.

Private in public, performing, perfecting
The art of the play, a merry dance she leads.

Beautiful, teasing, pulling and pushing
Her dreams from the shadows.

Jun 14, 2019


I make people cry
That's what they say
I don't need to try
It just happens that way

When I sit down and write
The words flow with ease
And try as I might
I don't seem to please

The gods who protect us
From the rough stuff in life
Who try to connect us
To the good, not the strife.

Yet the words keep on flowing
The phrases and graces
Yet I need to keep going
Until a calm small voice says

"You have to stop now
Your damage is done
You've got to see how
The love has all gone"

I make people cry
That's what they say
I don't need to try
It just happens that way.

Clark Kent Owns a Vespa

By day a master of the universe
At his command a million things
Will dance to the rhythm of his mind.

A nod, a wink, a gesture makes or breaks
The careers and fortunes of minions.
Superman in a Saville Row suit.

He strides between buildings
He glides up escalators
He flies business class, always.

And yet he travels home by train
First class of course but still, a train.
And transforms at the platform 

He returns the pin stripe to the pannier 
And pulls on the wet weather overalls
And a helmet, for protection.

Then off he chugs on a Vespa Imperiale 
Uncool, practical and domestic
At the mercy of traffic lights and buses.

His kryptonite is wedded bliss
Superman returns mild mannered and damp
Ready to hang up his cape until the morning.

Sep 19, 2018

The Bus to Morden

She met Satan once.
On the bus.
He liked travelling on the top deck.
At the front.

She sat next to him.
She didn't know he was Mephisto.
He said he was going to Morden.
For lunch.

"You look sad" said Satan
"Tell me why".
"I am lost." She sighed "I have no purpose.
No love."

"I feel cursed. Not blessed.
And invisible to others.
My heart is good.
But empty."

"Do you see this view?" the Devil asked
He pointed ahead.
To a blissful beautiful world
Beyond Morden.

"When your time comes this will be yours"
Whispered the Old Man.
"All yours.
If you want."

She wanted. Oh how she wanted.
She knew in her empty heart
This was her paradise.
"What's the catch?" she said.

"I can fill your heart
With love and joy
So full you will feel blessed indeed.
It will last forever."

"But you're right. There is a price.
There is always a price.
You cannot serve two masters
You will only have one love."

The bus stopped at Morden.
And Lucifer got off. For lunch.
She left too,
To find her Father.

Old Nick was right. He usually is.
Her heart was filled with love and joy.
She lived in daily ecstasy.
But there was a price.

Her heart was so full of joy for The One,
She had no room for anything else.
She had suitors and favourites by the dozen
But she was devoted only to Him.

The Devil was smart.
He had revived the rose but covered it in thorns
Beautiful. Untouchable.
Loved. From afar.

May 21, 2012

Liberty Jack

Let me tell you a story about Liberty Jack,
From a time long ago from way on back.

He big, he was bad, he was a man on a mission
To prove them all wrong, he had an ambition.

Jack had a plan, his mind was on fire,
“Gonna build myself a huge new empire”.

He wanted bigger than big, he wanted it enormous.
He wanted yellow, black and red and looking kinda fabulous.

So Jack built his biz and he made himself some money,
But he never found a woman, he never found his honey.

No apple of his eye, no one to share the tale
Of Liberty Jack, the man who couldn’t fail.


Apr 21, 2012

The Poet

She’s a poet you know, and she loves her rhyme,
She crafts and shapes, she teases and creates
Spells for readers, a world without time:
Space for her thoughts, what she loves, what she hates.

I was caught, trapped by her magic refrain
Never thinking of danger, nor pain ahead
I stumbled, I fell, I tried to explain
But my words lay lost, rotting, dying then dead.

We left the forest with its safe embrace,
Resolved to walk on and look way ahead,
All I took was the memory of her face,
She took her words, found a new path to tread.

There was love in those words, faith in the deeds,
And somewhere quietly my heart still bleeds.


Mar 13, 2012


But I turned it off, it wasn’t m' fault,
it’s the 'orse, of course, that decided to bolt.
I took leaps of faith and tried to undo,
the pain and the angst of m' best friend 'oo,
Could never resist the joys of Torbay
where she went with 'er friends each Wednesday.

But I turned it off and it didn’t work,
a bit like m' Da' who sometimes would shirk,
A day of 'ard labour, of sweat and of toil
and blisters on 'ands that rose like a boil,
And now it’s all gone, life’s just not that fun
because that thing was a thing that never was on.