Spell Check

Don’t walk too near the woods, go ’round

Especially at night

And if you must, don’t make a sound

Keep low and out of sight

Don’t whistle, sing or kick at stones

Don’t stop to climb a tree

For, if you do she’ll boil your bones

And have you for her tea

Because The Witch of Oldham Woods

Takes little ones who stray

Extinguishing the childhoods

Of those who lose their way

Who’ll never hear a mother’s words

Before their empty grave

Whose names are rarely ever heard

Whose souls no man can save

Don’t walk too near the woods, turn ‘round

For, all I say is true

And pray you’re found on hallowed ground

When she comes after you

A Reptile Dysfunction

Explorers who first reached the Nile

Soon came upon a crocodile

Whose improprieties lay steeped in lore.

The wily reptile would beguile

An out-of-towner with a smile

Belying a betrayal at its core.

Dear friend, I wish to welcome you!

How was the road from Timbuktu?

Come near that I may hear what news you bear…

In truth, the beast had had its fill

Of horns and hooves and ibis bills

And thus, resolved to seek more tender fare.

The wayfarer, now curious

Despite all signs injurious

Would take the bait, not wishing to be rude

Recounting tales of spitting snakes

Of feuding sheikhs and salted lakes

And bartering with Bedouins for food.

Then we must feast! the creature cried

If you will let me be your guide

We’ll cross to where the spoils are most exotic.

It’s just offshore, a pleasant ride

Do climb aboard and sit astride!

And voyage with me into the aquatic.

To eat one friend is impolite

To eat two speaks of appetite

To eat them all may lead to the odd question.

But be it large or small amounts

To some it’s what’s inside that counts   

A thought our croc is currently digesting.

Watch Your Tongue

When canny cannibals suggest

You call round as a dinner guest

You’re right to feel suspicious

They’re hoping you’re delicious

And if the book next to the pan

Is How To Serve Your Fellow Man

It’s time to quit the venue

‘Cause guess who’s on the menu?

Soviet Reunion

I’ve not written for some time but I’m now posting again.

The thing is, I have friends in Ukraine whom I’ve known for a great many years. I visit them once, sometimes twice, annually so it’s been tough watching recent events in the news. I travelled there in October when the signs of war were increasingly ominous and I’ve not stopped worrying about them since.

I’m a teacher and during the recent Easter break I journeyed to Ukraine to see these same friends. This time, however, the trip wasn’t so straightforward as it required flying into a neighbouring country, taking trains, boarding buses then crossing the border on foot.

I didn’t go there as a mercenary. My sole mission was to deliver medicines and other necessities whilst checking on the wellbeing of my friends. Given the circumstances, most are holding up quite well but I’m sure there’s loads they’re not telling me.

That’s because they don’t want me to worry.

Can you imagine that?

After an unforgettable week followed by some tearful goodbyes, I made my way back across the border and flew home.

Back to teaching.

Back to writing.

Back to normal.

Lucky me.

High Stakes

Nosferatu' at 40: The Quiet Horror of Werner Herzog's Remake | Hollywood  Reporter

Should I love you?
Take hold of you?
Our first kiss would be your last
Blood pulsating
Seeping, sating
Taking more than I had asked.
This lifeless life out of the sun
Exiled from God’s own plan
Its beastly feast that’s fit for none
Was not how I began.
Still, you near me
Don’t you fear me?
I can suck you into hell
No
I’ll leave you
Let me grieve you
In that place where monsters dwell