Category Archives: December

It always starts with a trickle;

a drip from the gutter,
a splash from a road puddle.
droplets cluster and procreate;
a lake ripples over grass.
Waves froth and rise up;
crunch pebbles and bones.
Water floods in from above.
A dream re-stitched and recycled.
Torpedo slashed the old packet.
Empty eyes passed him in the water.
Ocean filled the radio officer’s hat.

Ocean filled the radio officer’s hat.
Empty eyes passed him in the water.
Torpedo slashed the old packet.
A dream re-stitched and recycled.
Water floods in from above
Crunches pebbles and bones.
Waves froth and rise up;
A lake ripples over grass.
Droplets cluster and procreate,
a splash from a road puddle
a drip from the gutter.

It always starts with a trickle.



Inscrutable presence
the red and black mask
on our wall.

You can sense
ancient wisdom within
the curve of its brow.

Eye holes dark voids
through which it watches
what’s going on.

Shell earrings dangling
on both sides
pick up every sound.

Slab of a nose
all the better
to sniff things out.

Finely chiselled lips
silent now but one day
will pronounce judgement.


I dress in water
head to toe
from stiletto bubble heels
to a tiara of diamond droplets
which melt drop by drop

I leave salty kisses
which blister paint
crack concrete
rust metal

I wrap the pull and push
of the universe
in folds of a velvet
fine enough to make a ray of sunshine giggle
strong enough to hold a whale in childbirth



Looking at a fallen branch
I see what appears to be:
Christ on the Cross.
Is my sister’s religious mania catching?

In Art Class I strip off the bark,
sand down and oil the wood.
A contorted pale body,
agonised bearded features,
eyes turned heavenwards.
But none of my classmates can see it.
“Abstract art, eh?” declares the teacher.

I photograph my artwork
on my phone
in various locations round our house
to find where it looks best.
Reviewing the photos later
something catches my eye
in the background of a shot
taken on the upstairs landing.
An indistinct pale shape
in Geraldine’s bedroom
visible through the half-open door.
Zooming in it looks like:
a naked torso,
a twisted head,
a smudge of beard.
Strange illusion, no-one was there.

After church next Sunday
the new curate
is introduced to my family,
shakes us all by the hand.
Charismatic pale face, dramatic beard,
eyes averted, avoiding Geraldine’s gaze.
Suddenly, I see him with no clothes on.



A poem more about the truth, naked truth, of what’s going on right now…


A high price to pay at their journey’s end
they travelled a long way, he on foot,
she on a mule,
and she heavy with child.
All doors were closed against them.
No welcome anywhere.
And the night bitterly cold.

There are others travelling now,
paying a cruel price
for unsafe boats, or crowded lorries;
men, children, women heavy with child.
Many die on the journey.
No welcome anywhere
and the nights bitterly cold.

How they would be glad of a stable,
the body-warmth of beasts,
the small comfort of straw.

Gill McEvoy Dec 2015

A foreign language

When I became a foreigner
I began to learn the language of smiling
how eyebrows can flag up problems
marvelling at the number of punctuation marks
which can be sewn in the furrows of foreheads
in the shadows of hair
hidden under hats

I learned to listen with my eyes
feeling safe in the silent spaces between the storms of conjugations
which rage between the historic past and future conditional

And when the din of consonants swimming in the salt sea spray of silent “h”’s
threatens to drown the word
I am a foreigner again
adjusting the volume with a tilt of the head
learning to speak with a gentle touch of the hand


Hi folks, I wonder if any one would be kind enough to give a little feedback on this.  Also I really don’t know if blue tits feather should have an apostrophe.



sank down through
stain glass and set up his guitar.
His fingers trembled over first notes
but a slap of fierce rhythm
turned heads as he settled into himself.
The hairs on the backs of their necks
rose when he sang.
It was a voice that tunnelled.
He chanted, sotto voce,
with a lost sea voice that told
of blue-green pools,
gannet pulsing seas
and a coracle spiralling
into unruffled space.
And then there was lightness.
His fingers brushed
brass wound strings
that rang like harebells.
It brought the oxygen thin air
of a mountain retreat.

Poised now he parachuted down
on a blue tits feather
to land on slate warmed
by a throw of cornflower petals.

He crooned to the old bones
that lay beneath and there
was resonance. Melodies in
counterpoint wove in and out
Of hoary oak beams and we
cried for the beauty of it.