The trouble I had
getting out
this morning
Milka said


as she met you
by the bridge
her bicycle


against the hedge
her hair unkempt 
her eyes ablaze 
the jeans


and bright red top
hands on hips
cigarette hanging
from her lower lip


she(her mother)
giving me
the 3rd degree
where was I going


and why?
and O
I could have
pulled my hair out


and stuffed it
here she paused
and breathed in deep
and said


good to see you
she added
blowing out
and trying on


a smile for size
you said
not been


a good start then
she said
had to rush around


like a blue arsed fly
to get the chores
done in time
and then I had


to creep out
before she knew
I'd gone
and my brothers


didn't help
they knew
I was meeting you
but still they


egged her on
you smiled
yes that's what
brothers do


I guess
not funny
she said
seeing you smile


I wanted to see you
and after the last time
and well
that parting kiss


left a lot
to be desired
you stopped smiling
and put on an


I’m sorry I smiled
kind of face
and yes I should have
left with a better kiss


kind of look
so where
are we going then?
you said


not the cinema
sitting in the dark
watching others smooch
while we sit there


like dummies
eating popcorn
or ice creams


valuable time
she said
you said


what about we ride
to the big river
and sit beside it
and catch up


on some
serious kissing
and talking
and stuff


she said frowning
you know


cuddling and such
she pulled a face
and then went
and got her bike


and you both rode
along the lane
to the main road
then rode further


until you came
to the big river
and dismounted
and walked along side


the river bank
pushing the bikes
she still silent
the air fresh


birds in the trees
and flying
now and then


the wide river
and she laid
her bike down
and sat


on the grass
by the river bank
the bushes
giving shelter


the river running
at a steady pace
you sat beside her
taking in


her stare
her silence
like the grave
her hands


on her knees
her knees together
you ever fished here?
you asked


she said
not here
the smaller river


with my brothers
when I was younger
she looked at you
her eyes


scanning you
it's not you
I’m angry with
its her


(her mother)
all this
where are you going
and why stuff 


makes me so boiling
so I could bite
my arm
kind of thing


she said
then smiled
and you smiled too
yes I guess


people get you
that way at times
and she sighed
and looked out


at the water
the air breathed in
and you looking
at the sky


it's going
to be a good day
and kissed her shoulder


and she turned
and kissed your lips
and the whole
my mother


doesn't understand me
and I could stuff
my pulled out hair
up her arse


kind of thought
drifted away
on the kissing lips
and eyes closed


and hands resting
and hugging each other
you smelling
her perfume


(her mother's borrowed)
and she forgetting
and forgiving
her mother.

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She'd run
from the shelter
of the old


corrugated shed
to the shelter
of the trees


you followed
seeing her ahead
happy to be away


from school
a job lined up 
and you too


glad to be away
from the brain washing
and having that job


at the garage
to begin
and she ran


through the narrow rides
of the wood
knowing you


were behind her
looking back
at you as


she ran
and past
the small pond


and she stood there
looking at it
the pond water


by cast away tins
and rubbish


and she said
not what it used to be
and you stood


beside her looking
at the still pond
the brown water


and she said
I used to come here
as a little girl


and bathe here
with my sister
wish I'd known


you said
before you came
she said


we were only 8 or 9
as were you


so it wouldn’t have
amounted to much
depressing seeing it


like this
she added

let's go elsewhere


you said
go to the our lake

she smiled


yes you remember
our name
for the large pond 


so you both
walked on
and over


the wooden fences
and across the field
by cows


avoiding cow pats
and over
by the lake


where she sat
on the grass


at the clear water
the ducks swimming there
fish under


the water's skin
just visible
do you remember


when we first
came here?
she asked


you nodded
we were so
shy together


we just about
found words
to speak


and our fingers
nearly touched
and I blushed


and it was
so innocent
so white


and silky
and that first kiss
that was so magical


so non-sexual
and she laughed
and you sat beside her


and said
are all first kisses
like that


do you think?
ours was
she said


you thought on it
so unexpected
so unplanned


a full moon
lips warming


softly wet
and she turned
to you there


sitting by the lake
and gave another kiss


more tongue
and warmth


more sexual
and sensual
and the ducks


and fish
the water's skin


cared not
if it was love
or lust


or grace
or sin.

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There was no place to go,

she knew that, the school

was a complete wash out,

no place at all there, except


the gym, and that was almost

always occupied. She couldn't

take him home in their lunch

hour because her sour mother


was there, mooching around

like some miserable sick cow.

The sports field was too visible,

the small area of wood was no


good, too many prefects, spying

the grounds, doing their rounds.

She could have the occasional

grab with him for a quick peck,


in some dark nook in the corridor,

but it was all too much of a smash

and grab affair, not the kind of

kiss to make a tremor through


her hair, or stiffen her small tits

with excitement kind of kiss, she

thought sitting in the class room,

as the teacher rabbited on about


some king who'd lost his head

or something. She scribbled down

the name and date and what had

happened and why and where,


giving the male teacher the, I

couldn't care less stare. If only

Benedict was there, standing

where the teacher stood, his


hazel eyes, his quiff of hair,

ready for a kiss, and embrace,

lips to lips, face to face, hot kiss.

Benedict lived too far away;


a school bus trip, an hour or so

away from where she lived and

the school. She'd seen him briefly,

in the passageway, on her way


to biology; he smiled, waved,

then was gone, off with another

boy, towards the science labs,

his quiff dancing as he walked.


She'd not kissed him all day,

no chance had permitted, the

wet grounds had ruled out going

on the sports field to wander


and smooch, the recreation

grounds were out of bounds,

the gym too busy, too crowded

with sports loving girls, doing


their indoor netball or what

have you, and all she wanted,

needed, sitting there giving

the teacher I’m bored stare,


was a gentle kiss and cuddle ,

not this regurgitated history

and brain soaked boring muddle.

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All through the woodwork lesson
and through a double dose of maths,
he thinks of her, the kiss on the sports
field, the brushing of his lips on hers.


He'd almost cut his finger on a saw,

being preoccupied with thoughts of
her, her eyes through glasses, the
innocence of lilies about her, the way


she looked so surprised, he having

kissed her.  Not planned, no he didn’t
plan the kiss, he was just going to talk
with her, get to know her more and


better, when the impulse to kiss, over

came him, as if some rarely seen fish
of the sea had drawn him into depths
he'd not known. He sits on the school


bus, got on before she had, looks out

the window, shy of seeing her, now
wondering what she'd day after that
kiss, her reaction. Trevor says softly


something about the Frump, he doesn't

turn, looks at the kids waiting to get
on the bus, excited, engaged in their
conversations, laughing. He is aware,


that she may be on the bus now, he is

so self obsessed, he can hear his heart
beat, thump through his chest. Trevor
next to him, talking across the aisle,


says something about her, but he isn’t

listening, stares out. He feels as if he's
under a microscope, eyes gawking at
him, words around him. Maybe others


saw the kiss? He didn’t think about that,

never gave it thought. The radio is on,
the music blares, some one is singing
about love and missing her. He relaxes


as the bus move off, senses no one is

aware of the kiss, no talk, or chatter
of it. Even Trevor, who is the vanguard
of gossip, says nothing about that at all.


John is aware she sits across the aisle,

a little bit back. He could possibly see
her, if he glanced over the top of his seat,
but he doesn't, he looks at the passing


scene, trees, hedges, fields, cottages.

He tries to calm his beating heart, the
thump seems almost audible, as if
the whole bus can hear its thump.  


He closes his eyes and thinks of her,

the lips kissed, the eyes behind her
spectacles, her mouth, the way her
words were stilled by his kiss, were


drenched in her virgin mouth; he had

touched her, too. His hand had soft
touched her arm, drew her body closer
to him. She smelt of countryside, air,


and hay and fields. Her lips there were

feather soft; he could have slept there,
lay there, brushed the lips, as if a red  
butterfly had landed, sought refreshment.


He reruns the kiss, in his head, plays

it over and over. She is there just across
the way; he can almost sense her eyes
on him, like feelers reaching over the


seats to touch him. He opens his eyes,

Trevor has football cards in his inky
hands, he talks of this player and that,
that football team and this, but all John
can think on is the butterfly landing kiss.



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you said
but Fay's father


ignored you
on the stairs
of the block of flats


you were only trying
to make peace with him
because of Fay


but he wasn't
buying into any Jewism
as he termed it


forgetting that
his Jesus said head
of his Catholic Church


was a Jew himself
but that was
another matter


so you let him go
on his way
up the stairs


humming some
Latin hymn to himself
later seeing Fay


on the way
to the grocer's shop
through the Square


she said her father
had forbidden her
to even talk with you


(the Jew Boy
he had said)
but she knew it was 


impossible even
if she wanted to
which she didn't


despite the risk
she ran in seeing you
or talking with you


I only said shalom to him
you said
she frowned


it means peace
you said
I could have said


something else to him
less friendly
she smiled weakly


best say nothing
she said


you said
so you walked with her
to the grocer's shop


across the road
and along to the grocer's shop
by the newspaper shop


where they had
The Three Musketeers book
in the window


which you wanted
to buy at sometime
and you showed her


the book and the cover
with a picture
of three musketeers


sword fighting
and you walked on
to the grocers


and she bought
what was on her list
and you got


what your mother
had written
on a small scrap of paper


and afterwards you said
how about a penny drink
at the Penny shop?


and she looked anxious
and said
not sure Dad  said


not to linger around
well don't linger
you said


but have a drink
and we can sit
by the wall outside


and see the world go by
and sip our drinks
she hesitated


but then said
so you took her

to the Penny shop
and bought two bottles
of penny pop


and sat outside
by the wall
your shopping bags


beside you
the morning sun
blessing your heads


and she talked
of the nuns
at her school


how strict they were
but one she said
was kind


and taught her
the Credo in Latin
word by word


and you sat
listening to her
and she sitting there


momentarily free
like an uncaged
song bird.

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Once school was done
and after your tea
of beans on toast
you went with Janice


to the narrow passages
behind the ABC cinema
evening creeping in
she next to you


getting the jitters
street lights
here and there
casting shadows


making pretend giants
and you'd pick up
from the ground


and put them
in your pocket
what do you want
them for?


she asked
make myself
a cigarette later
you said


she said disapprovingly
you mustn't
that's horrible


and those
left over cigarette butts
have got
people's spit in them


but they make
good cigarettes
you said
her face grimaced


you took in
her red beret
to the side
of her fair hair


her blue eyes
on fire
if I did that
Gran'd spank me


well and truly
Janice said
trick is
not to be caught


you said
a rat ran by
and she screamed
a rat ran by


my foot
she stepped back
and grabbed your arm
yes you get them here


at this time
of an evening
you said
I shouldn't be here


she said quietly
Gran thinks
I'm in the park
well as far she knows


you still are
you said
but that's lying
she said


no it is being
careful with the truth
you said
you walked along


the passageway
and came out
on to the New Kent Road
and at the front


of the cinema
with its big billboards
and little photos
of the film being shown


and what was
to be shown
you peered
at the photographs


Janice beside you
how about
I bring you here
on Saturday?


you said
she peered
at the photographs
then at you


it's a cowboy film
she said
yes and its got
good gunfights in it


and I can practice
how they do it
she frowned
not sure


if Gran'd let me
she said
say you're with me
and she will


you said
she didn't look
bit her lip


treat you
to an ice cream too
you said
how much will it cost?


she asked
you said
but don't worry


my old man will pay
he usually does
she bit her lip
a little more


have to ask Gran
she said
you said


then you walked
along the road
past some shops
then stopped


at the fish and chips shop
smell that
you said and sniffed
she sniffed


isn't that good
you said
she sniffed again
smells of vinegar


she said
and fish and chips
you said
she looked at you


her blue eyes
lit up
by the light
from the shop


want some chips?
you asked
I've no money
she said


I've got 6d
that'll get us
a bag to share
she nodded


so you both
went into the shop
and the warmth
and the smell 


and the noise
from some radio
blasting out
a Bill Haley song


and ordered a 6d
bag of chips
and added
salt and vinegar


and walked out
and across the road
and down Meadow Row
the moonlight bright


lighting up
the beginning of night.

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Having washed her doll
Battered Betty in the baby
bath, Helen dries it in an
old towel her mother gave


her, rubbing it with her
childish motherly attention
to detail. That done, she
dresses Betty in some doll's


clothes her father brought
home from a  junk shop
on his way home one Friday.
She wraps Betty in a fading


shawl, and goes to the front
door. Where you off to? her
mother asks. Taking Betty
out for a walk, she replies.


Where abouts? probably
to Jail Park, Helen says.
Watch out for strange men,
her mother says. I'm with


Benedict, Helen says. O,
well that's OK then, her
mother says, relieved,
pushing damp hair from


her lined forehead. Helen
goes out the front door
and walks along to the
railway bridge next to the


Duke of Wellington pub
where Benedict said to
met him. She pats the doll's
back as she walks, tightens


the shawl to keep the doll
warm. Benedict is waiting
by the pub wall; his cowboy
hat is pushed back, 6 shooter


gun is tucked in the belt
of his short trousers. Helen
sees him before he sees her,
she prepares herself: licks


fingers to dampen down her
hair, straightens her thick
lens spectacles, wipes her
nose on the back of her hand.


Am I late? she says as she
approaches him. He pushes
himself from the wall, his 6
shooter quickly out of the belt,


he blows the end. No, he says,
just thinking of the Billy-the-Kid
I saw at the cinema the other day.
Got shot. Died. I wouldn’t have


done that, I'd not have turned my
back on the marshal whatever
his name was. Helen rocks Betty
in her small arms. Given Betty


a bath, she says, nice and clean now.  
Benedict gives the doll a glance,
puts his gun away in the belt.
Good, he says, can't have our


kid dirty. Helen smiles, no, we
can't, can we, she says. Mum
says to look out for strange men,
she adds as an after thought.


Benedict pats his gun, no strange
man will get to you or Betty,
he says determinedly. Just as
Mum says, Helen says quietly,


looking at the cowboy beside
her, his hat now pushed forward,
his hazel eyes focusing, on her
and the doll. Let's go walk, he


says, I'll give you and Betty
a push on the swings and
roundabout. So they walk up
Bath Terrace, she telling him


about a boy at school calling
her four eyes, and he musing
of putting a couple of slugs in
the kid's head: BANG BANG,


the caps will go, just smoke,
no holes, no death, or if he chose,
maybe a good sock in the nose.

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Lizbeth's hand
is on the metal ring handle
to the church door.
The hand twists.


Hard to move,
jerks, pushes.
The door gives
and they are in.


Smell of oldness
and damp.
He closes the door
behind them, his


hand giving gentle push.
It clicks, holds firm.
Small and old,
the walls a fading white.


Old beams, pews,
altar table clothed
in white a cloth.
She looks around,


eyes scanning,
hands by her side,
fingers of one hand
holding her blue dress.


He follows, footsteps
after hers, scans her
before him, the walls,
the old wood pews.


They stop and turn
and look back
at the smallness
of the church.


Here will do,
she says,
pointing to a pew.
He shakes his head,


we can't, not here,
people may come.
No one comes here,
except on the monthly


Sunday or the odd
visitor or tourist.
He scans the pew,
old wood, wood knots.


Who's to know?
She asks. He walks
down the aisle
touching pew tops.


She watches him,
his reluctance,
his hesitation.
Some boys would


jump at the chance,
she says. But not
here, he says, turning
to face her, not in


a church, on a pew.
Some might, she says,
running a hand
over the pew top.


They had parked
their cycles outside,
at the back
of the church wall.


The sun shines through
the glass windows.
What if someone
comes and finds us?


She smiles. Moves
towards him.
Touches his face.
Imagine their faces,


she says. No, I can't,
he says, not here.
He stares at her,
her smile, her eyes


focusing on him,
her red hair loose,
about her shoulders,
her blue dress,


knee length,
white ankle socks,
brown sandals.
We're only 13,


he says, shouldn't
even be thinking
of such things,
let alone doing them.


His body language
tells the same.
She gazes at him,
his short hair,


his eyes wide
with anxiety,
his grey shirt,
jeans, old shoes.


We'd always
remember it,
she says, here
on a pew, me


and you, this
small church.
We could come back
years later


and view
our love scene.
No, he says,
not here, not


He looks at
the walls,
the roof,


the pews,
the altar table,
white cloth,
brass crucifix.


She sighs, looks
at the pew,
imagines the place,
the area of pew.


He and she.
But it is just
mere thought,


she has not so far,
nor he, just an
impulse on her part,
an urge, a hot


compulsion to
Let's go, he says.


Wait, she says,
let's just sit
in the pew,
just sit.


He studies her,
her eyes lowered,
her smile gone.
Ok, he says,


and they enter
a pew and sit.
The sunlight
warms them.


He looks at
the high windows,
at sunlight.
She sits and looks


at the brass crucifix,
the distorted Christ,
the head to one side.
She wonders how


they would have done it,
he and she, here,
on this pew.
She is unfocused.


She feels the sun
on her. Blessed,
she thinks, maybe.
He feels a sense


of gain and loss.
He has stepped
to an edge,
stepped back,


gazed into
a dark abyss.
She turns to him,
leans to him,


thank you,
she says.
They close eyes,
lips kiss.

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Dead Girl

Cthulhu Mythos

A father took a silver platter,

Full of delicious foods

And brought it to the cellar,

To feed its dead girl thereof.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Mythos poem.

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