Saturday morning:

Stretched nakedness on sheet

And sleepy swaying smile

The aroma of coffee

dancing and steaming

alive with the anthems of plantations

The clock

tick, tick

pounding its lineal pathway though the orbit of the planets

and failing

The morning breeze playing with the bedroom’s

lace-trimmed curtains as though they were a virgin’s undergarments and the breeze a mighty frigate that had crossed hungry oceans to bear witness to such tantalizing loveliness

(mish 2020)

…original artwork by mish…watercolour on paper…


There was no moon that night

The storm had advanced like a war

Brooding and wary

With trigger happy clouds

And projectile rain

Every now and then lightning would crack the sky apart

Deafening and shameless

As though the voices of past heroes were echoing messages that we refused to absorb

As though they were mad as hell

and bent on destruction

As though all would soon be over

Then the dawn arrived with its chants and its promise and its delicate tale of ‘yes’ leaving me ecstatic… as though I, crouched and steadfast in some dark, cold laboratory, had fashioned it single-handedly from homespun recipes and fizzing explosions of colour.


As though I’d somehow invented tenderness

(mish 2020)

…original artwork by mish…acrylic on canvas cloth…


We moved about the morning like subtle arrangements

Like wildflowers in a jar on a sill in the breeze

Easy and tender

It was a good day

Outside the garden was preparing its fiesta

The birds with their aching ballads

The jewelled prisms of dewdrops

The rousing perfumes

A sudden shot of silver from a webbed sail

The garlanded branch

The trickling sugared sap

The attentiveness of ants

A butterfly

In these moments the earth flourished and our bodies escaped their spiritual prisons

In these moments our shadows forgave us

(mish 2019)

…original artwork by mish…acrylic on worn cloth…


He drank as though he’d murdered someone in the moonlight and had realised all too late how beautiful they had been and how very little time there was and how disinterested the stars.

It was strange this dark epiphany

It was music

It was a sword of unbearable sweetness

He placed his bottle beside him

It wobbled a little

(So did he)

Then turned to watch the early evening crowds ferrying their groaning repetitions back and forth along the boulevard like mice imprisoned on a treadmill

What sort of lives, he thought, are these that study the clock and beg from heaven?

That gnaw on promised glory

And dance to the torment of their foes

What sort of lives content with chasing shadows?

He wanted to shout at them his drunken revelation

Of how he’d been shot through with both blade and harp

Of how ruined lives can mend

And love be rediscovered

And of just how big a heart can grow when one decides to care

(mish 2020)

…original artwork by mish…soft pastels on paper…


All that will be has already been

Eons move in circles

A nomad sun emerges and reemerges

The silenced moon drowns and resurrects

Past visitors return in some form or other to the scenes of their crimes

their losses

their loves

Dreams clash in orbits

The water’s skin ices over

again and again

Then melts into coils of ageless destinations

Ancient stones reminisce the blessings of rain

And beliefs and poor decisions spin in perpetuity

In the face of such power of vanquish and return

I stand like a chalice of songs

My life a riot of fantasies

A faltering breath between two doors

and the road ahead a twisted wound

A curl of cigarette smoke

A turmoil-in-waiting

A lasso

(mish 2020)

‘THE SWAN’…original artwork by mish…soft pastel on paper…


I am, in this instant, at my loveliest

Each future moment shall strip away at me slowly, slowly like a lover before dawn

Till naked as a serpent at the rebirth of skin I shall surrender to time’s theft

But for now, oh majestic diversion, sweet breath and sunsets and the honeyed, silken comfort of all things that clothe me in you

(mish 2020)

original artwork by mish….mixed media on paper…


That summer:
the sun bled heat like an open wound.
It bleached the horizon into thin strips that whipped the lungs and smothered breath like merciless pythons.
It fed on salt and irritation.
It drained the people of their dreams.

That summer:
Each night made its entrance on a hot slow wave, unfastened its girdle, spread its legs like an expert and steeped the wearied city in smudged and inky silhouettes.
Each night darkness pulsed a sultry heartbeat.
And cicadas grabbed at drooping leaves with ready loins and robust haunches
And glow flies blinked out soggy codes of hope
And gutter rats tinkered with temporary freedoms
And lovers, as pungent as spice boxes, tiptoed onto the deserted streets, and veiled themselves in shadows and throbbed their way to morning.

From a distance:
The wretched peered through slatted blinds
Their mouths tight
Their eyes sharp
As though the shelves in their heads were stocked with mean moments that had left them unsettled and ravenous for love.

From a distance:
Spellbound, they watched love thoughts in action
And learned the urgency of shadows
and of a better kind of breathless.

That summer the wretched learned to restock their shelves.
That summer was the beginning of change.

(mish 2020)

…computer sketch by mish…




they stand at the edge of heartbreak


Fatigued by imaginations that are far too small for dreams

Ship-wrecked and stung with grief

Defeated by love’s censors

Tomorrow, day will end with shadows flushed in crimson

Crickets will chirp their declarations to the sky

Vacant webs will tremble with unrestrained sincerity

And moonlight will bleed out like kindness

Tomorrow they will waken from their pity

To a word, a look, a gesture that will detonate their hearts

Tomorrow they will fold like silk doves

in love


(mish 2020)

…original mixed-media on paper by mish…


I don’t want life to be miracles and magic and unexplained wonders

I want it to be ordinary

I don’t want people to be fabulous or gifted or super-powered

I want them to be human

and fragile

and touchable

I want them to have hair in the wrong places

And soft warm shawls of flesh

I want them to smell

And make poor decisions

And sometimes good ones

I don’t want to love everyone

Just the one close at hand who is tired and sad and frightened; with grief woven into his destiny like little deaths recurring without mercy

I want to hold him and to care totally without it being an exercise in barter

or an orchestrated pantomime

Without it being of any real significance other than what it is

I want to be held so in return

The two of us locked in a timeless moment

clinging like fools

Unaware that that our tiny, dusty space is not the world

(mish 2020)

…original pencil and ink sketch by mish…


She stood at the end of a cobbled road overlooking a twilight valley

Beyond was the ocean with its salt wash and scrub

And its blustery dance

And its sting

Beyond, a rising moon draped darkness and fear in bruised blues and purples as velvet and as beautiful as sin

Nearby a dappled moth sought a garden of remembrance

Nearby a speckled frog sang of princes

Stooping, she gathered a handful of smooth pinkish stones that were sheltering in the sparse wild grasses at her feet

turning them gently, lovingly, in her hands

over and over

as though they were relics of a kindness that had nowhere to go;

no place to call home;

as though they were soft rose-blushed memories that had promised her the universe, then fled

like fallen gods

‘Such a curious mixture of elements’ she thought

‘Such endurance,

‘Such tender, tender miracles’

(mish 2020)

…original artwork by mish…acrylic on paper…