The puzzle she picks

is missing a piece.

But she cracks the code, 

finds patterns beneath.

That rhythmic contraction, 

the root of the beat. 

The beat of another, 

she resolves to keep. 


Cuculus Canorus

 ‘Sing cuccu, nu, sing cuccu

            Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!’

                                             The Cuckoo Song (Anon, c. 1250)

The host does not see that

Black heart, hidden beneath

Her sleek plumes of blue, grey.


Her cutthroat mimicry,

Fools; pipits, dunnocks and

Warbler too, cuccu, nu.


And that brood parasite

Nestles in, makes her bed.

And seeking to destroy


Lies, with him. Exacting.

So bold in her pretence,

Not a feather ruffled.


She gorges, mouth agape,

Sates the host’s cuckold now.

His new cuckoo, cuccu, nu.





The clasp,

loose and rusting

barely contains the flesh

of lust – pucker’d and visceral.

You feast.


Wire mesh

cuts the skin deep.

So delicately bound,

to structure the irritation

of love.



the slackened skin,

worn thin. Waits trembling.

Fraying lace frippery betrays

the lie.


The straps

hold no tension.

Strained by the constant pull,

hanging limply. Exposed for all:

the truth.


And she,

held in by clasps,

held up by wire, mesh & straps,

held prisoner by a past is

not me.

The ‘bow


So did they find that pot of gold

at the rainbow’s end?


Their twisted colours, crimson fold,

arcing at the river bend.


Full spectrum of their growing love,

illuminated here.


Refracted light disperses all;

their optical illusion’s clear,


and in my violet mist that falls,

dew settles all around.


Reflecting the impossible,

their love, now gone to ground.