Strokes of Light




Cov 1


The book will be launched via zoom – and you are warmly invited to join the launch here via the Facebook link.

If you do not have Facebook but are still interested, please fill in this form by 24th May 2020 and I’ll contact you with zoom info.



You can order the new book via the publisher’s website, link above.

Here’s a sample poem for you:



Are those stars walking on a million tiny feet across the pebbled beachey sky? Do they dare into the sea with its tidal pull rhythm? Their line of time is that small ridge of sand on the flats where one after another the waves unroll their spindrift prayer mats.  Watch them, these old ones, cross the wrinkled line from day to night, water to dry, surfing where their sticky toes no longer touch the wavered floor  – see them hold out their five arms and swim-wash as each rug pulls from underneath – out into open water. There, they might meet again, strung along new horizons breaking open the sky’s perforations.

After ‘Daybreak’ by Galway Kinnell


And here you can listen to Galway read his poem, which he prefaces with the anecdote about being in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef and being inspired by the sea stars there….


I have been doing a series of readings Facebook.


See you at the launch.


Inner Dialogue – The Dance



time lapse photography of woman standing

Of her body I think first – the spaces it takes up and the angles in the air that will become the bend in the elbow, the flex in the knee.

Of her body I think first – how I help it, take it higher, move it more easily, the lift of the muscles of her back, the fall of her arm, the twist of hip and ankle and neck.

Of her body I think first, the focus is hers. The balance in the probe of light. Her body the sinew and synapse, her body the angle of ankle to toe the spine that can winnow the dance from her. From us.

Tendon to bone, the tip of her finger, throb of her jugular. The spaces between her arms, her breath.

She is the bright dancer under the spotlight, I am the fulcrum, the support and guide.

I think first of her body, the dance her turning, like waves like the ocean, the emphasis is her.

Now, three things happen: the thunderclap; the lights go out; the music stops.

A smell of smoke. She gives a small cry, just an intake of breath. But I do not take my hands from her.

The focus is still her.

The audience shifts.

Rain on the roof like applause.

In the beam of an iPhone she slowly, uncertainly, raises her leg and arm.

The dance continues.

Then, light after light in the seats, looking like glitter, like pin pricks in the black, the acrid smoke, the hammer of rain, the shush and rush of it overflowing the theatre roof.

She hesitates as if waiting for a signal, arm raised, leg lifted, waiting for just a moment in the lights of the phones from the breathless audience.

I hold her there in the pause, the hiatus. The music went out with the lights, but the audience is still there, quiet and breathy in the dark.

In the pause I balance my hand, her hip, I see her profile against the audience’s twinkling and I wait.

Inside her body it is dark. Muscle, sinew, tendon, bone, the passages of blood through the heart, the twang of nerve, ripple of synapse.

AS rehearsed, she tilts her head and in the glimmer she dances, moves to me, then away, her arm the balance between us, her spring and then weight against my arm, against my torso.

But think, first, of her body in the many fingers of light. The theatre in the hush of the rain. She dances, up and down over me and under, into the light and below it, forming new angles in the shadow of the phones, to the trickle of the rain, to the pelt of it on the roof. Into its hush.


Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on


The witch still shuttles though dreamscapes doesn’t matter how many times I recite the news she is not there. Fire, the mocker of magic flares in the blank, graphite smoke trespasses again and again on memory’s chimney. But here she come again hurtling through the void where the thought of her would have been if she had not taken the space for herself, as black as a cave and more empty. Her eyes are worked until they shine. Her fingers telescope beyond their ends. Poisonous as waspstingsnakebitedeathcap – just the way I made her. 

Sky #1



I take time to throw my eye up into the sky, notice that spill of air against blue, the cumulous, temper in the wind. Today the horsetail flume means change, I smell it, too, smoke hubris, arrow points of every drop of moisture up in atmospheric pressure to the north. The bearded gentlemen cirrus nod to high flying birds, speckles now on the deep horizon that mimic the patterns of their eggshells. They flit, strung on the possibility of their wings, beads along lines of air, catching the updraft and whorling there. My eye sees aquamarine circles, spindrift weather just water’s dance with heat doing laps from ice to liquid, liquid to steam. My eye fills like a pond and I drink it down to earth, noting the tang of grief that it all passes so quickly, so quickly.

Fragmentation or Self Portrait



I am the woman who walks

slowly, with a dying bird

in my bra.


there is flint under my nails,


a tickle ready to

laugh at the back of

my throat



with my snowflake fingerprints



and strings and strings of things I said

and didn’t mean


I am here in a stretch at the back of the calves

and open open open hearted


in this frame the blink, the

second then gone

like a child who no one

can ever find in the garden.

She was here: now she isn’t.

She was there: now she is gone.


I always note mournful colourless birdcalls

as if to say:

what if I’m only myself for the

second that you’re there?


with all those hauntings of dreams

among all the known landscapes

in the tingle of nerves at the centre of the tooth

me with a footfall light as pawprint


I am the one who is there in the night to ease the terror

of the dark

where we are all erased.

The Future is Sleep


pexels-photo-776291.jpegThe future is made of sleep. Soft cold set, stuff of drip down cloud effect, bottle body drowsy, chimed with silence, doused with absence. The future is made of the past – dropping into moment after moment. We will make no money, will take empty, flit high but lay low. Don’t tell me this is work – I saw her stiff and not asleep, her face the rigid calm of not being there and lying down on the cypress after her family sang all night for three nights and the monks had taken their robes and incense. We send kites into the sky, we send paper cranes into the river, we send poems into the void of technological advances, we send ourselves into unknown sleep, so deep it pays no dividends.

Green Tea


tea-farmhouse-hand-fresh-39347.jpegThe first is summer grasses

dewed up on the night’s breath

nectar of photosynthesis

sweet for a second before the

dryness tangs almost bitter

a switch lost in the heated cup

the the lips can only bear it

for the moment of the throat.


Imagine all those leaf-tips

tangled with winds

the anvil of sun floating them

closer to shaving

swift fingers pinch them from

nests of growth and they dry

lower their sunset

until they are deep green


a river of thirst themselves

waiting for the boiling.

Does the Ocean Sleep?



Waves glimpse

tremble. The afterlife-wind

picks up lasting speeds

to blurr the line of vibration

moving across water.

In and out is surely

inside and outside

passing the shore again as

the draught-tide commences and commences

– see there in hollow

a small pause between?