The Poison In You

What if I wasn't like you?

And I was just me, and Myself was true?


And if you did bad would it mean I would too? 

Would it mean if I did it, I'm exactly like you?


Would I be subject to your evil?

Would I be subject to your internal upheaval?


What if I am good in spirit,

And you might just rather not hear it


And if I did bad, does it mean I'm just like you?

Looking for an excuse for the culprit that causes blue?


Decisions left to baseless comparison

Myself gone from me, and origin

She tells me so, I'm just like him and her

Do you see my other qualities as just a blur?


Bring my poison, she admits me to it

Determines me as someone else and then she sits


Then, who am I?

A continuation of your deranged views, someone elses cry?


Alice walks with
the thin maid
to the stables, holding
the thin hand with


red knuckles, the
mild limp crossing
the narrow path like
a wounded ship. Do


you like the horses,
then? the maid asks,
bringing the eyes
upon the child,


holding tight the
pale pink hand.
Alice nods, yes,
I like the black one,


like its dark eyes
and coat. The maid
eyes the pinafore,
the hair tidy and neat,


the shiny shoes, the
tiny hand in hers.
Have you ridden
any yet? the maid


asks. No, not allowed
as yet, Alice says,
feeling the red thumb
rub the back of her


hand. Shame, the maid
says, perhaps soon.
Alice doesn't think so,
neither her father nor


the new nanny will
permit that; her mother
says she may, but that
amounts to little, in


the motions of things.
She can smell the
horses, hay and dung.
The red hand lets her


loose. The stable master
stares at her, his thick
brows bordering his
dark brown eyes,


conker like in their
hardness and colour.
Have you come to
look at the horses?


he says, holding a
horse near to her.
She nods, stares
at the horse, brown,


tall, sweating,
loudly snorting.
The maid stares
at the horse, stands


next to the child,
hand on the arm.
You're not to ride
them yet, he says,


but you can view,
I'm told. Alice runs
her small palm down
the horse's leg and


belly, warm, smooth,
the horse indifferent,
snorting, moving the
groom master aside.


The maid holds the
child close to her.
Be all right, he won't

harm, he says, smiling.


He leads the horse away,
the horse swaying to
a secret music, clip-
clop-clip-clop. Alice


watches the departing
horse. Come on, the
maid says, let's see
the others and lifts


the child up to view
the other horse in the
stable over the half
open door, then along


to see others in other
half doors. Alice smiles
at the sight and smells
and sounds. She senses


the red hands holding
her up, strong yet thin,
the fingers around her
waist. Having seen them


all, the maid puts her
down gently. Ain't that
good? the maid says.
Alice smiles, yes, love


them, she  says. She
feels the thin hand, hold
her pale pink one again,
as they make their way


back to the house, the
slow trot of the limping
gait, the maid's thumb
rubbing her hand, smiling


through eyes and lips,
the morning sun blessing
their heads through the
trees and branches above.


if only, Alice thinks, looking
sidelong on at the thin
maid's smile, her father
did this, and showed such love.

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Alice chalks

secretly, in

red and white,

a caricature


of the new

nanny her

father has hired.

The stick like


figure is spread

eagled across

the side wall

of the house,


red hair, eyes

and mouth,

white long



teeth and

four fingers

on each hand.

She has heard


her parents row;

the new nanny

took her by

her small hand


to the nursery

and sat her in

a chair; stay

there, she said.


She draws a

thin white line

of chalk through

the nanny's heart.


She stares, smiles,

and wipes her

hands on her

pinafore and


put her hands

behind her back.

Her father had

punished; her


mother had

cried and rowed

and now Alice

waits outside,


by the wall,

staring at the

caricature, the

stick nanny


with an arrow

through her heart.

The sun is dull;

rain threatens;


birds sing; the

thin maid walks

with a mild limp.

Alice waits for


rain; her hands

sense the area

of punishment

pain. Mother


loves and hugs

and kisses. Her

Father glares

and shouts


and smacks

and never misses.

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She climbs the narrow

staircase of the tower

which is circular, now

and then a door leads


off to a room, but the

doors are closed, and

only her shoes echo on

the stairs. Her father


has forbidden her to

climb the stairs, too

dangerous, Alice, he's

said, but she climbs


them in-spite, her sense

of adventure overriding

her anxiety of possible

punishment. She stops


half way. Breathes deep.

Her cheeks flush red,

her eyes bright blue or

green, depending on


the light, her mother

says, on kissing her

goodnight. She walks

up further, putting a


small hands on her knees

to press her on. Nearly

at the top, passing

another door, pressing


her knees, onward trot.

She stands on the top

step and opens a small

door that leads to the roof.


Fresh air meets her,

warmth of sun. She

walks carefully along

the narrow ridge, peers


out over the grounds below.

The gardener is busy

in the rose beds, back

arched, hoe in hands.


Her father stands nearby

pointing a finger, words

inaudible to her, linger.

She ducks in case he


looks up. She walks,

bending low, along

the narrow ridge to

the other side. There


she peers at the back

garden and looking

down sees the thin

maid carrying a bucket


along the path. Thin

arms and hands barely

managing to haul along.

A dog barks. Someone


laughs. She ducks, and

walks the narrow ridge,

and into the door, onto

the winding stairs. She


waits. Listens. She tiptoes

down one step at a time,

ears cocked, mouth dry.

She pauses outside a


door half way down.

She turns the handle

and looks in. The room

is empty. She enters


and closes the door behind.

A bedroom. Small bed,

washstand, cupboard,

chair. She walks on by.


She opens the outer door

and peers along a corridor.

No one in sight. She goes

out and shuts the door


behind. The smell of polish

and flowers. Shining

floors, carpet well brushed

and clean. She walks


slowly along the corridor,

dark shadows in corner

and doorways, lights off,

sunlight barely touching.


Her father is at the other

end talking to Fedge.

Baritone to baritone.

She ducks in a doorway,


bites a lip, fiddles fingers.

Had he seen her? The voices

carry along the corridor,

rising and lowering like


heavy waves. She peeps

out of her hideaway, eyes

bright against dark shadows.

Her father stands there


towering high. She smiles,

moves out, folds her hands

in her pinafore pockets.

Where have you been?


he asks, his voice baritone

deep and vibrating doors.

Walking, she says, looking

for Dolly. He sternly stares,


dark eyes burning. Not

been on the tower roof,

I hope? She looks at the

shiny buttons on his coat,


sometimes she can see her

face in them smiling back.

Oh, no, she lies, wouldn't

dare, too dangerous, to


go there. He looks her

in the eyes, and knows

she lies, a double wrong

to be corrected, his mind


suggests, but isn't sure,

if it was she, he saw.

Could have been another,

he'll ask her mother,


to keep an eye and watch,

not to be too content; or

her naughty daughter will

receive her punishment.

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A Little Child


Have to be a little child from my father,

Have to obey Cthulhu evermore.

And all bad things turned into dust,

By my evil and good Father.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Some thoughts I had.

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Alice liked the soft
voice of her mother,

the telling of stories
as she fell into sleep.


She liked it when her
mother hugged her
tight and kissed her
goodnight. Her father


seldom came to story
tell or hug or kiss or
such; seemed it was
too much. His voice


was deep and harsh
as winds, his eyes
dark and shark like,
peering without those


feelings of love or
want or admittance
into his realm of deep
concern, cared neither


if she drowned nor
burned  nor if in her
dark hours she counted
unhappiness on her


fingers and toes; he
was her father, but
one of those. She liked
to hug and kiss her


doll, poor substitute
for a father's love,
it sitting there in hers
arms unblinking and


smile-less as her father
did; feelings not there
or if so, well hid. Alice
kissed her mother's brow,


her arms, her hands,
her fingers, too, what
was a deep sad fatherless
or seemingly so, girl to do


to bridge the space or gap,
but sleep in her mother's lap

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To Ingrid it was a picnic, but to Benedict it was merely a bag of goodies and bottles of pop. He said to meet him outside the green grocer shop in Meadow Row, just a little inward in case Ingrid's father came that way on his way to work and became suspicious. Benedict stands by the green grocer's shop, looking over the bomb site, the areas of green where weeds grow up through the bombed ruins. He holds the brown paper carrier bag in one hand, his other hand in the pocket of his black jeans, fingering his two favourite marbles. He knows she wants to come, she was quite excited by his idea of a lunch in Bedlam Park. His mother has made the sandwiches: cheese, spam, fish paste. Two packets of potato crisps, and two bottles of pop drinks. He'd bought two Mars bars at the newsagents earlier that morning out of his own pocket money. He walks up to the edge of Meadow Row and peers down towards the slope leading to the flats. No sight of her. Maybe her old man has kept her in saying she's been too naughty to go out. Or maybe she's too frightened to ask or say and is waiting for her father to go, before venturing out. He sniffs the air. Fresh and warm. He walks a few steps down by the public house and back again. The smell of beer is still clinging in the air. One door is open, a lone drinker sits on a bar stool, sipping a beer. Benedict looks up the street towards the New Kent Road. As he looks back down the street again, he sees her coming, nervously looking over her shoulder, her pace quick, her legs walking, but almost running. At least she's come, he muses, holding the bag in his other hand. She arrives at his side out of breath and anxious. Sorry I'm late, she says, he has only just gone out. They've been rowing all morning. I kept to my room in case he found fault with me and kept me in or lashed out at me, she says, looking over her shoulder again. Well at least you're here, Benedict says. I've got the grub, he shows her the bag, and drinks of pop. She looks at the bag and looks in. Here you take it, he says, and hands her the bag. They walk across the bomb site at a slow pace, she talking about her parents rowing, about hiding in her bedroom, listening at the door. Benedict listens, he knows her father and mother, her father dislikes him, thinks him a spoilt brat in need of a good hiding. Benedict thinks like wise of her father, only he thinks her father's a bullying pig in need of good punching(although ten years old he's too young yet to oblige). She talks of her mother crying during the night, the sound of slaps, raised voices. Benedict takes in her short sleeve, green dress, food stained, her grey once white ankle socks, battered shoes, and the green speckled cardigan with only two buttons. They walk on and down the subway and out the other end along St George's Road. She talks on about missing her tea the evening before, her father claiming she had not done sufficient chores to deserve it, even though her mother had said she had, he ignored her and sent Ingrid to her room. She was hungry all night. Her stomach rumbled, she hardly slept. Did you eat breakfast? Benedict asks. Yes, I got some this morning before he was up, she says. They walk on by the shops and houses, he telling her about the six shooter his old man had picked up for him from a junk shop. Silver looking, the bullets come out and go in, he says, but I didn't bring it, I'll show you another day. They go by their school on the right, by the church, and on and into the park. The war museum is on their right, the football grounds on their left. They walk on until they find an area of grass that is clear and clean of paper or dog mess or tins and settle down. He takes off his jacket, with his small toy gun in the inside pocket, just in case of bad guys ambushing them, and lays it on the grass. She removes her cardigan and puts it by her legs. Fading bruises show on her upper arm, but he says nothing, takes note and looks away. She unpacks the carrier bag of sandwiches and bottles of pop and packets of crisps. Her eyes widen. Did you make the sandwiches? She asks. No, my mum did them this morning, he answers. She's good your mum, she says. Yes, she is, he says. He says nothing about her mother. He knows her mother has little say in how her life is run or how her daughter is treated. Ingrid hesitates. Shall I take one? She says. Of course, he says, that's the point of bringing them. Do we say grace? She asks. Can if you like, he says. She says a grace over the sandwiches and crisps and bottles of pop, her eyes closed, her hands together at the palms. He stares at her hands, the thin fingers, the chewed nails. He also noted that she winced as she sat down on the grass,  just a short while ago, her father's handiwork, no doubt, he thinks, seeing how she sits to one side. Amen, she says and he adds an Amen afterwards. He opens up the bags of sandwiches and offers her a choice. She stares at the bags, hesitates, then picks out a white cheese sandwich and bites at it ravishingly. He takes out a brown spam sandwich and nibbles. They sit in silence for a while eating. He offers her a bottle of pop, which she takes and unscrews the cap and sips. He unscrews his bottle and takes big gulp. She watches him, looks at his combed back hair, the wave, the hazel eyes. Does your mum know you're with me? He asks. Yes, she says, asked her last night while he wasn't around. What did she say? He asks. She said I could, but to wait until he'd gone off to work and not to mention it to him. Guess he'd not like that, Benedict says, you out with me? No, she says, looking away, staring at pigeons nearby, he doesn't like you, he thinks you're a bad influence on me. She is silent. He studies her profile, her eyes, her shape of nose, her hair badly brushed. The bruises still visible on the arm. I think your father's a pig arse, Benedict says out of the corner of his mouth while eating. She looks at him, her eyes bright and wide, her mouth open, words waiting to come, but don't. She bites at her sandwich. He takes a slug of his pop drink and wipes his mouth on the back of his hand. He burps. Last time he saw me with you, she begins, but then says nothing. What? Benedict asks. What did he say? She wipes her hands on her dress. She looks across at the football grounds. He said I wasn't to see you anymore, she says. But you have, Benedict says. She nods. Yes, but he mustn't know, she says. I won't tell him, Benedict says, if you don't. Last time he saw me with you, she says quietly, he punished me.  Why did you come? Benedict asks. I wanted to, she says. Even if it costs you? He asks. She sighs and nods. Even if, she mutters, gazing at him, looking at him with her sad eyes, her fingers holding each other. He takes another sandwich and bites into it. She looks at her fingers, feels the sensation of pain in her thighs, tries to sit in another position, shifts on the grass. She takes a sandwich from a bag and nibbles anxiously, her fingers holding, her body shifting to ease the pain, her eyes looking, staring, feeding on him, feeling safe, feeling lost and found. Benedict takes another slug at his bottle of pop, gulps down, wipes his mouth. Don't be anxious, he says, tapping his small toy gun in his jacket pocket, you're safe with me. She smiles, moves nearer, sips her drink, touches his leg, feels safer. Despite the pain, she thinks, she'd see him again and again.

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You're not eating properly
Eliane's mother said
you've hardly eaten a thing
Elaine who'd been thinking


of the boy John
looked up
through her glasses


at her mother
at the dining table
got to eat
her father interjected


got to eat
my young Plump Hen
her sister said nothing


but grinned
I do eat
Elaine said
but she didn't feel


like eating
it seemed the least
important thing


at that moment
her stomach felt
as if it had fallen
into a slumber


not enough
her mother said
maybe she's fallen in love


her father bantered
Elaine went red
and lowered her head
and began to nibble


at the food on her plate
her mother said


it's some silly
slimming diet
I bet
not very successful


if it is
her younger sister said smiling
John had touched her arm


in passing at school
not by accident
but by design
he meant to touch


to bring her briefly
into his world
his circumference


she still touched
now and then
the area on her arm
he touched (at school)


with her fingers
I won't have you dieting
over some silly fad


her mother went on
but Elaine ceased listening
the words were buzzing flies
she wanted to


flick them away
with a hand
John had talked to her


not at her
or about her
(as others did)
or down to her


but with her
in a duel thing
he and she


kind of exchange
she ate slowly
the food almost
making her gag


getting stuck
in the throat
she held onto


the image of him
in her mind tried
to focus
on his outline


on his features
his words
taking each one


she could remember
and turning it over
in her mind
as if it were


a rare gem
girls your age
what are you now?


14 yes 14years old
ought not to diet
her mother said
breaking into Elaine's head


if I see you not eating again
I'm taking to the doctors
Elaine looked up


and put on
her good daughter face
that I'll do
whatever you want features


and John had placed
a hand by her head
at the school fence


his arm brushing softly
against her hair
and he never said anything
unkind about


her dark hair
or the metal grips
her mother made her wear


and her mother rattled on
but Elaine just returned
her innocent girl




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My father's hunting passion (guns)


It has been a while since the last time I saw them, but my dad has them all in a safe. From rifles to handguns, my father has had a lot of guns since I was a kid. He became a hunter before my parents got married, 20 years ago. Hunting season lasts from November to January every year and I always remember my mom telling me that my father went hunting even when I got born! My grandfather got so angry at him and scolded him. Since that year, he never goes hunting on my birthday. But after it, he goes every weekend! When the first hunting season weekend comes, he calls his friends to reach an agreement about the car they are going to travel in, he prepares his hunting clothes and, obviously, his beloved guns. Then at 5 am my mom makes him breakfast and he leaves. Sometimes he hunts, sometimes he doesn’t, but he always comes home with a big smile because hunting is his passion. I remember 2010, when traveling at night or very early became dangerous. He missed an entire hunting season. And let me tell you that hunting to my father is like Christmas to a kid! It’s that one thing that he is really looking forward to since February. So, imagine a kid having no Christmas! Although he was sad, he didn’t lose hope. He waited patiently to the next year and he brought a big deer to the house. He used to take us hunting with him too. Well, first he would take us to a shooting range to practice, with handguns and bow and arrow. Then, my sisters and I were there with him just waiting and being quiet in order to not scare the animals, but also very alert in case you see an animal. Then we would help him with the gutting, the storing and the cleaning. But now that we have grown up, we are lazy and we don’t go with him to hunt anymore, but I still like to practice my shooting. I think my father is a really good hunter. Besides his experience and that he always scores in the target, he is very patient and persistent (he waits 4 hours sitting down quietly) Patience is a quality I don’t have but I am trying to learn from him. Actually he is already preparing everything for this year so let’s see how this season turns out.


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