The solitary magpie visits started on the day he got the call. He couldn’t help but  wonder whether his sorrow should have been kindled by loss or guilt.

Each time the tremulous tinted visions descended, it wasn’t concern that the world had changed beyond recognition that burnt a hole in his chest, but rather the stifling fear that this rural pocket of England had been somehow trapped in an earlier decade, unwilling and unable to yield, a relic steeped in pain. The newsreel span through a progression of intricate movements, but for this picturesque hamlet, all outside influence was seemingly repelled by the protection of the weather-beaten sign that she had painted. The petrol station nearby still manned by a local family who used to organise summer cricket matches on the well-manicured green and still do.

Memories and fevers had kept him from going back there for so long. Even in the throes of her illness when her voice became unfamiliar, he couldn’t bring himself to swallow the fear and take her hand. The burden of the past just felt too great, and so instead he hugged his knees in solitude some hundred miles away, wishing that the only thing that had changed, could have stayed the same. That she could have kept her mind.

The lillies started arriving soon after. Little bottle-green Honda’s saturated with the stench of stargazing sympathy.

Everything served as a reminder that he was the last of his line.



Words that should warm, only make us brittle now.
In the dunes, fractured, you will find us.
Sipping tea until it drips through the cracks,
and probably beyond.

You said it was beauty, the bleaching of bones.
In the ocean, promised of inner landslides,
But poised are we until we’re lacquered and fired,
and made ceramic.

(c) Accidental Tentacles 2016

No more roses


Rosaceae are on the move again.

Curling thorns blotting out the sun,
Casting shadows over
the shadows I no longer want to see.
Leaving only moonlight to bathe in.
Gauzy hues and iridescence
where the gaudy and asinine used to lay.
A history reconstructed.
Shading in emotions were there were none.
I seem only to remember us
twisted together in those thorns,
Delicate and tessellated.
Morphing into something we never were
and could never be.
If things had really felt that way,
I never would have left
I never would have fallen asleep.

In my dream, when you said your wife
would love this song,
A part of me withered.
The stillborn fantasy that only awakens in my sleep.
Part of me yearning for something
in the memory of your face that wasn’t you.
Awaking with an overwhelming sensation of loss.
Eyes wide open
And incandescence burns off the thorns,
Leaving a truth bare and brutal
That I won’t mourn.

Don’t give me roses, Love
They will only contaminate my other world.

(c) Accidental Tentacles 2016