Cats Smiling
Mise Gnarling
Ants getting on with their day.
Each blinded by the capability of the other
Each jealous in their own particular way
Each wondering why me here today.
The farmer cleans up the yard not knowing
of the turmoil amongst the cows, straw and hay.
And I wonder to whom do the farmyard animals pray
when they dream of having a better day.

The Perils Of Onion Peeling

Once Upon A Time There Was A Little Girl.

And one fine day she took it upon herself to go to the shop to buy groceries,

She took the list prepared by her mother and with the money in her purse went out wearing a hat

The sun was shining and her journey was a good one.

At the Store Mr Patel greeted Pamela ‘Hello Pamela, Come to do some shopping?’

Mr Patel handed a basket to Pamela and she set off on her way.

Half an hour later she was done walking home with the groceries.

When she got home her mother said to her ‘Well done Pamela! For doing the shopping. As a reward tonight you can cook dinner’

‘Hurrah’ said Pamela laughing

Pamela’s mother got out the ingredients mince-beef, tomatoes, one large onion, and various herbs and spices and put them on the kitchen table along with a sharp knife.

Pamela followed the instructions followed by her mother until it came to the onion.

First, she peeled off the hard outer skin. Then she peeled off each layer of the onion one at a time until she reached what look to her like a large walnut.

Pamela went to the kitchen draws and pulled out the largest nutcracker she could find and cracked that nut in two only to find inside a red apple.

Pamela took the plunge and took a bite only to find that the apple contained hundreds of little black spiders in a red sauce.

She put the apple down on the table and watched as the little black spiders ran everywhere.

She rubbed her eyes sure she was in a dream and then looked again. and a big black spider was knocking at the kitchen door and then her mother walked in on eight hairy legs and Pamela fell over backwards and hit her head on the tiles, knocking herself out.

She awoke a couple of hours later with the doctor there who said ‘There’s nothing to worry about. Just a bump to the head. Children will be children, and children will fall over!’ This brought a laugh from her mother who was fussing nearby.

Okay, Pamela. Goodbye! said the doctor, placing a large red apple on her bedside table.

Pamela looked at it and inwardly groaned. Her mother, now back on two legs thankfully, smiling said ‘I’ll put this with the others downstairs, O.K. Pamela?’

Pamela went to object but at that moment, a hairy spider came down on its silk and dangled inches in front of her, centimetres from her eyes.

Pamela shut her eyes and then opened them again. The spider was still there and the apple in her mother’s hand too was dripping a red goo onto the floor.

There was only once thing for it. Pamela opened her mouth took a deep breath and screamed.


Shut-up Your Teenage Brain Tonight

I Like it low and Loud because that’s how I roll!

Well, get up and smell the roses, today is a brand new day.

Shut up and put on some poses lest you end up like I dunno. Something that will die in a ghetto.

It’s time for the morning to have its time ignored or not

And for the night to be the same. You are not playing the game.

Tell me how I almost made it in a timeless buttercup glow

of how I walk in the black man’s shadow. The rapper of

dubious means and character knows enough not to get eaten

and to rise to the top of his miserly kingdom (on beats and rhymes)

Show him a router and he’d grow weak at the knees and for shouting

about the birds and the bees which we all took for granted aged nine and ten.

He is Humpty Dumpty putting us back together again.

But we are not broken, lost or misguided people like you who guide those in the image of you but humans and amazing creatures too.

So put down your mace and pepper and pick up some-thing to make you better.

A pen or a sword might do without needing to ram it down your throat with hate

but to run you through that I might do, to see what comes out of you.

I bet it’s deadly serious stuff, black goo with lumps of ‘hello, how do you do?’

And you’d think that this couldn’t break a rose head on its branch but the hip is hard

and solid yet contain feathers that are honest and sometimes nature comes in hard packages but I don’t want to listen to your empty promises shouted morning noon and night. I don’t like the aggressive person I become when listening to your dum de dum, dum.

So shut up your hate and replace it with something great. Lest I become like you

another soul lost to the ghetto.

If I Call Out – ‘Ghost Bull’ Run Run Run Away!



If I call out, they have won.

If I stay silent, they have won.

If I grind my teeth, they have won,

If I gape like a fish, they have won.

If I go…ape then go


ghost bull, horn to horn…


Throw down fresh sand and be prepared

for ghost blood in the halls

and on the street  ghostly gore.

Put out ghost flyers on the walls

Two ghost bulls go, now three, now four

Are ghostly gladiators on the floor?

Where in a silent battle, where no quarter is given

and inches are precious like gold. We take the strain in a  nose to nose, forehead to forehead battle of force in the ghostly sawdust ring.

Night after night, fight after fight; battering ram blows rain down on my head,

made of bone and horn and not sensitive at all; that

absorbs all your blows and gougings of the horn.

We can do this all night …if you have the stamina…Ohhhh!

Crescendos of ghostly cat-calls ring out and the battle rages on

until finally it is no more.

The combatants weary yet idle for more.

on reflection…

Will I see precious peace in the place of ghostly wildebeest?


Or will I spend my time alone and go mad with only blades of ghostly

grass for company?


I vouchsafe on this ghostly wreath for nights made of more horn than you bargained for on this heath.

Now go in peace ghost bull, go into whatever place IS NOT IN MY FACE!

Sweet Dreams, Ephraim


Sweet Dreams Ephraim2.png
Sweet Dreams,Ephraim

The road was long, at least, that’s how Ephraim remembered it.


On his way home  and reaching the bottom of his road where the bucket and slop cloth awaited him the following morning. He let out a sigh.

‘That’s one for Mom none for me. Again. At least, the bricks are red and the bucket black and the slop cloth a nice shade of grey and smells nice. And at least, home is still here, and at least, dinner will be on the table and mom will tell me to take off my shoes and put on my slippers and hang up my coat where it belongs. And in the sky, the clouds will float on by without exploding on a summers day in a blue sky. At least, I know that the red balls shine and drop into the pockets without a sound on the snooker table and I know I will cry myself to sleep tonight.’ thought Ephraim as he took his place at the dinner table.

‘How can you eat that meat?’ asked his sister of Ephraim.

‘I dunno. I just sort of chew and up and down it goes.’ said Ephraim without an ounce of malice towards his vegetarian sister.

A disappointed look passed between sister and nobody else in particular.

‘Here’s your vegetarian gravy,’ ‘Now get started, before it gets cold. Ephraim. Elbows.’

And after the washing up was done Ephraim watched Star Trek and then played a little snooker and then went to his room and listened to his tapes. Then his mother came and told him to get ready for bed. He changed into his pyjamas folding his clothes carefully on the back of his chair and depositing his underwear into the Ali-baba on the top of the stairs. Then he got into bed and his mother came around and turned off the lights wishing him good night and pleasant dreams.

Ephraim turned over in his bed hugging his duvet tight. And then he cried for an hour before going to sleep. Later that night, in his dreams dolphins played violins and a big bear wearing a top hat sang a sad tune. It went something like this.

Ephraim. Ephraim.Ephraim.

Why do you misbehave?

Why don’t you do as your mother tells you?

Why do you torment your sister?

Why can’t we trust you?


Ephraim awoke at seven the following morning and was eating his breakfast and looking forward to the afternoon when he would play ball with his neighbour Tom when his mother said to him.

‘Ephraim, those trees need cleaning. I’ll put the kettle on and you get the bucket from outside. MmmK’

‘Mmk, mom.’ said Ephraim looking forward to his afternoon’s playtime.

He went outside and noted the clouds passing by in the otherwise blue sky and thought to himself.’This is a good day, and I’m cleaning now but will be playing this afternoon’

It was at this point that a passing cloud exploded taking out Ephraim his bucket and his house on the street and turning him into ash that fell gently like rain over the big smoking hole that was once his home.

The newspaper reported it as a freak weather cloud pressure abnormality rare and very dangerous. Of course, nobody had mobile phones in the Eighties so the event did not get recorded. Rumours circulated for weeks that Ephraim’s mother had stashed explosives in the outhouse but nobody ever was sure what happened that warm summer day.

Life carried on for everyone else and in naughty children’s dreams the bear still sang and the dolphins played the violin.

Now Ephraim has passed over to our side

And now plays in our band as we go 

into the dreams of children everywhere

Where on his banjo he plucks at their heart strings 

imploring them to see the other side and to be good.


Image Credit


Writing Exercises #365daynovel – Pencil Sharpener Man


‘A crime fighting superhero lives in my cupboard!’. So says Jack. Jack is ten going on twenty and his brother Lis, 12 and sister Jo, 14 don’t have a clue. It all began when the neighbours dog Poochy Poo, got stolen when Mrs Sparkles was at the newsagent buying yesterday’s paper.

She left PoochyPoo tied up outside the shop to a lamppost and when she got back five minutes later PoochyPoo had gone lead an all!

Mrs. Sparkles went back into the shop and told Mr Gupta what had happened and before long a crowd had gathered.

‘Please be quiet and let Mrs. Sparkles Speak’ said Mr. Gupta his hands up in the air, trying to draw attention to himself.

‘Well, as usual, I tied poochy to the lampost and gave him a chew and told him I would be back in two minutes. I came into the shop to get my paper and some tissues and I spoke to Mr. Gupta about the banks, you know what they get away with is a crime! So I take my shopping bag and get outside and go to untie Mr. Poochy but he was gone!

The crowd gasped.

‘All that was left was his sparkly collar’ said Mrs. Sparkles.

She held up the collar for all to see.

‘Have no fear, Pencil Sharpener Man is here! Let me get straight to the point! Justice will prevail! Who has the sharpest pencil?, Shouted Pencil Sharpener Man?

He was wearing a pair of red trousers, red shoes and wore a red belt. He also wore a red jumper and tied onto the jumper were pencil sharpeners of all shapes and sizes. Round his neck, he wore a red cape and he wore a pair of red swimming goggles around his head.

‘Let me see that’ Said Pencil Sharpener Man reaching for the collar.

Mrs. Sparkles said’thank you’

Pencil Sharpener Man selected a pencil sharpener from his jumper, one that was also a magnifying glass.

‘Well, what do we have here?’ Asked Pencil Sharpener Man, looking through the magnifying glass at the collar. Everyone crowded round.

‘looks like chocolate’ said Jack who was covering one eye and staring through the lens.

‘Chocolate! Dogs don’t eat chocolate boy’ said Pencil Sharpener Man

‘Mrs. Sparkles. Does your dog eat chocolate? Have you eaten chocolate today?

Mrs. Sparkles shook her head.

‘Well then we have our first clue’ Said Pencil Sharpener Man


‘I sell chocolate’ said Mr. Gupta helpfully. Everybody turned to look at Mr. Gupta.

‘At what time before Mr. PoochyPoos went missing did you last sell some chocolate Mr. Gupta?

‘Well let me see, Jack had a bar and Lis bought some chocolate  mice then at quarter to ten a tall man wearing a striped black and white top with an empty sack over his back bought one bar as well. I remember him because there were chocolate prints on his clothes

‘A tall man eh, who gets chocolate on his hands, with an empty sack eh?

‘Woof Woof’

‘Mr. Poochy poos! Said Mrs. Sparkles clutching her bosom.

‘where?’ asked jack.

Mr. Pencil Sharpener Man put his hand to his brow and searched around in a circle. Everyone followed suit

‘There!’ On the other side of the road. ‘A tall man with a stripey top with a sack over his back’

‘Woof’ came from the sack on his back.

‘Mr. Poochy poos! said Mrs. Sparkles clutching at her Bosom.

‘Who has the sharpest Pencil?’ Asked Pencil Sharpener Man.

‘Pencil Sharpener Man!’ shouted everyone.

With that Pencil, Sharpener Man crossed the road and put his hand on the shoulder of the tall man.

‘Got a pencil in there? Or a Dog?Asked pencil Sharpener Man

He Took the bag from the man and handed it to Jack. Jack put down the bag and opened the top. Out jumped Mr. Poochy poos.

‘Mr. Poochy poos! My precious! said Mrs. Sparkles

‘Let me see your hands’ said pencil sharpener man.

The tall man held out his hands. They were covered in chocolate.

‘Chocolate!’ exclaimed Mr. Pencil Sharpener Man. ‘And it matches that on the collar. Speaking of which so are you thief! said Pencil Sharpener Man producing a set of pencil sharpener handcuffs from his jumper.

‘Yeaaahhh’ said all the kids.

‘Yeeah. Hurahh for Pencil Sharpener Man’ said Mr Gupta

‘Hurrah For Pencil Sharpener Man ‘ Said Mrs. Spakles’

‘Woof’ said Mr. Poochy Poos

Later that day Jack was at home on his bed reading his comic book and his dad came into his room wearing a pair of red swimming goggles and carrying a heavy plastic bag.

‘Mr. Pencil Sharpener Man! Said Jack, excitement in his eyes

‘Who?’ said his dad taking off his goggles and putting them in his bag ‘ I have just been swimming and need somewhere to put my kit. Do you mind if I use your cupboard, Jack? Asked his Dad.

‘Im putting it on the top shelf at the back so it is out of your way’ you won’t need to look in there, will you jack?’

‘No’ said Jack

Wotcha Jack’ ‘ I got you this’ A red pencil Sharpener. Look after it Jack. Who have the sharpest pencils? said his Dad winking at him.