Hope in Satin by Duffy Sheridan



She sent me a poem,
My darling,
A poem,
A poem she sent me,
My sweet Holly Hughes.

“I wrote you a poem,
My darling,
A poem,
A poem I wrote you,
My Michael, my muse.

I hope you can cherish,
My darling,
My poem,
My poem you cherish,
I so hope you do.”

I wish I could cherish
My darling,
Your poem,
Your poem, to cherish
As I cherish you.



A Little Way Off

The Letter
The Letter by Duffy Sheridan


A Little Way Off

Watching you daydream is like watching flowers bloom in slow motion.
– Russell McLondon

When your eyes unhook their gaze,
Slipping back in time by seconds,
When your thoughts roam out to graze,
Something not-remembered beckons.
You are taken through by where-knows what ?
It’s all so ev’ryday except for when it’s not;
Just like random numbers, only with less plot.

And your smile is only-just;
Never meant for those who see it.
And your breath is held in trust;
Softly, slowly, then you free it.
Waiting for your day to recommence,
You’re floating off beyond the realm of making sense;
Just like in the movies, only less intense.



How to Make Love with an Alien

Octopus by Hajime Sorayama


How to Make Love with an Alien

A siren may serenade – softly she sings,
A banshee may let-out a climactic wail,
An angel may hug with her feathery wings,
A mermaid may wrap with her muscular tail,
A harpy may shriek with her passionate lungs,
A centaur may whinny her amorous cry,
A gorgon may kiss with her two-dozen tongues,
A faun-maid may stroke with her flocculent thigh.

But humans, ah, humans, the uppermost rungs,
The strangest of lovers of all you could try.



…but then again, too few to mention…

Embarkation of St Ursula by Claude Gellée

…but then again, too few to mention…

I wonder how we might have met,
If I were not so shy and wet –
We may indeed have had a blast !
Ah well, the moment passed.
I was so young, I was so green,
I didn’t dwell on might-have-been –
The moment came, but then was gone,
And I was moving on.

I wonder what we might have thought,
If I had not adventure sought –
But on came life, so bright and fast,
And so the moment passed.
I was so young, so seventeen,
I had no time for might-have-been –
The cygnet must become the swan,
And soon be flying on.

I wonder if we might have laughed,
If I were not so brash and daft –
I set my lot before the mast,
And thus the moment passed.
I was so young, I was so lean,
I longed for now, not might-have-been –
My time had come to take the conn,
And I was sailing on.

I wonder if we might have sighed,
If only I were not a-stride –
But all the world was deep and vast,
And so the moment passed.
I was so young, I was so keen,
With time enough for might-have-been –
I searched for Zeus and Prester John,
Forever moving on.

I wonder what we might have found,
If I were not so onward-bound –
But dice were thrown and dye was cast,
And so the moment passed.
I was so young and so serene,
And put off thought of might-have-been –
So many sights to gaze upon
Meant I was moving on.

I wonder what we might have said,
If only I had stayed instead ?
We may have loved as beau and lass,
Or let the moment pass.
We were so young, my almost-queen,
So nearly and so might-have-been –
The chances danced, the summer shone,
But life was moving on.





The number one is many things:
The first, the last, a third of three,
But never red or cold or soft to me.

And as for feelings Monday brings
Like boredom, stress and starting new,
It’s never musk or Mendelssohn or blue.

My numbers do not stretch in strings
That always and precisely wind
In fixed meanders hanging in my mind.

And yet, for you each letters sings
As glad or cautious, salt or sweet.
To you, my view of life is incomplete.

How am I to love you back ?
My thoughts are elementalized,
My triggers compartmentalized,
And never transcendental accidentalized.
And you with yours all out-of-whack
With P’s as quartz and Q’s as jet
In ways I’ll never really get
When white is white, and only black is black.

I must admit, it kills me
When I think of how I’m blind
To the wiring of your mind,
And the way your neurons spill and slide.
But then again, it thrills me
When I think of how my touch
Can bring about so much besides,
With all your senses catching rides.



Watching You Idle

absent minded
Christina Rossetti by Dante Rossetti

Watching You Idle

I love the way you love to put
Your limbs to work on your behalf,
And use the top side of each foot
To gently stroke your other calf.
I love the way you interlace your toes
So absently,
But best of all, I love how no-one knows
But you and me.

I love the way you stretch and pull
Your sleeves, to burrow hands within
So all that shows beyond the wool
Are fingertips where cuffs begin.
I love the way you flex and click your thumbs,
And use the other eight for drums –
I love the way your body uses stealth
To exercise all by itself.

I love the way you use your eyes
To stare and stare and never see,
Until they catch you by surprise
By darting off quite suddenly.
I love the way they love to smoothly glide
And sometimes fly –
But best of all, I love the way they hide
When feeling shy.

I love the way you purse your lip,
And chuck your tongue, and breathe out slow –
And always lodge an apple pip
Within your teeth, and never know.
I love the way that ev’rytime you smile,
It has to build itself a while.
It’s not your body that I most approve,
But it’s the way you make it move.

Tubular Belle

harry beck map
Harry Beck’s original 1933 Tube map


Tubular Belle

I happened upon her by chancery lane,
A greenford-eyed angel was riding my train.
She stood like a monument, no poplar tart,
She’s shoreditch to snaresbrook my hammersmith heart.

Her body’s a temple, all saints can’t compare,
So redbridge her lips and so blackwall her hair.
Her beauties are out of my gallions reach –
They pinner my tongue, which cockfosters my speech.

A wapping-great loughton’s west acton the fool –
He’s epping and barking, but she’s morden cool.
She’ll ruislip his grasp with her fairlop display,
And mudchute him down as she bounds green away.

I see her each mornington crescent alone,
Her marble arch skin is like cream leytonstone.
This queensway of smiling’s from upney above –
I cyprus with wonder and kilburn with love.