Old Transmissions

I miss the clutch in our old car, father’s hand
engulfing the round knob of the gear shift each morning
as he slipped us into the flow of traffic.
The groan of the car made it clear
changing gear took effort,
that inertia was best met
with steady step and gentle grip.

My mother doesn’t miss those days
struggling at the roundabout,
stalling on the long slope to city centre.
Her automatic starts and stops at will,
no fuss, no sound, without straining,
without the thoughtfulness of old transmissions.






blood lust

Clear tube fills,
dark blood swills
through a machine
that separates
red from the rest.

Without red cells,
blood is yellow
like the sunlight
filtering through
strip mall windows.

Men lie on beds,
women attend them.
Needles as hollow
as drainage ditches
dig into their arms,

drawing them
into a loop
with distant strangers,
these givers of life
to receivers unknown.

Word Prompt: lust

Zombie Apocalypse

We first saw them in dark spaces: cinemas, bars, clubs.

They were few and it was rare.  We didn’t know enough to worry.


Then our friends, the people we worked with, started to show signs:

unfinished sentences; repetitive motions; insatiable appetite.


It became obvious when it spread everywhere:

A circle of friends, standing outside at lunch break, feeding;

A family of four, sitting at a restaurant table in silence, heads down;

A car idling at the green light…


We didn’t partake, but it began to gnaw at us.

There was something about the equation,

action-reaction, constancy, feedback, loop,

creating mountains of more,

the sun never setting on it,

people creating symbols,

symbols begetting symbols,

symbols eating people.


All those ideas

vying for your brain:

they want someplace to live.



Word Prompt: snack



The One

Imagine all the bottles
we’ve used and discarded,

the ones dropped
into recycling bins,
or the rubbish,
the ones rolling
around under
passenger seats,
the ones squashed
in our show of strength,
the ones tossed into childhood closets,
caught between moth-balled gowns & memories.

Imagine one of those bottles
became aware and asked,
What am I doing here?
Why am I empty?



Word Prompt: bottle