The first time I realised I was a woman

I was walking home, at night

It was dark, not the kind of dark you get in the countryside,

City dark, big town no city status dark

Streetlights and headlights, and the biting cold

Nipping at the back of your legs

Prickling your skin under your tights

Like needles.


The first time I realised I was a woman I thanked god

For the woman holding onto my arm

And the loud women on either side of us

Because at least we were together

Which meant when a man rolled down his ford fiesta window,

And shouted like an asshole at a football match

At the girl beside me

We could laugh about it.


The second time I realised I was a woman

I was in a club,

It was dark, not outside dark, club dark,

No one to see wandering hands and sharp words dark.

Lights flashing like they’re trying to hypnotise you

And guys talking in riddles, saying one thing and meaning the opposite

Like novice snake charmers, like lion tamers

Like the guys with the whips at roadside animal shows.


The second time I realised I was a woman

Some guy at the same club

Tried to back my friend into a corner

Not realising that she was not drunk enough,

And we were not careless enough,

To let him do anything more than smirk

Before we were between them

And he could see our growling





The third time I realised I was a woman

I walked home alone

With my keys held loose in my hand

My heels louder than my heartbeat

My head held high

Not because I was not scared

But because my fear was a palpable thing around me

A blanket of protection, pricked ears and

The solid feeling of a phone in my pocket


The third time I realised I was a woman

I knew there was nothing I could do

So I promised to text when I got home

And I regretted not attaching that rape alarm to my keys

And I thanked god

That I was not drunk or careless enough

To be a liability


An Ode to My Inner Bitch

My inner bitch is beautiful

Her lipstick is the colour of blood on the throats,

Of men who will not let her finish a sentence.

Her winged eyeliner is tipped with razor blades,

And she wears insults around her neck.


Her hair is thick and long and plaited with my insecurities,

Great flowers of expletives pinned through it.

She wears my confidence as a mini skirt,

And does not shave her legs


An ode to my inner bitch,

She is loud and brash and people take notice when she speaks,

She screams and screams within me

As I lay down and take it again


An ode to my inner bitch,

Whose words run over my lips like a waterfall,

And flood the ears of those who will not listen to me


An ode to my inner bitch,

Who is everything I want to be

And reminds me everyday that bitch

Is just a synonym for strong

Poetry in Motion

I would like to say that my life is a series of poetic moments

held together by the string of chronology.

That I look for the poetry in my life,

the great heart wrenching,

soul swelling,

life affirming moments

that define me.

I would like to say that I have people that fill me,

with a such a warmth,

as though I am my own sun,

my own springtime.

As though the love I feel cannot be contained,

and it bursts forth,

golden beams from my soul,

from my eyes.


the truth,

is that I am without poetry.

My life,

is a series of mundane moments.

A string of the day to day with no variety,

with no love to give me warmth,

with nothing except the reality

of a smile,

of a hug,

of a laugh.

With nothing but the honesty

of a cup of coffee

and a chat on the bus.

With nothing more, and nothing less,

than friendship.

Which maybe, just maybe,

is poetry in motion


To the guy that makes her smile

like the sun has taken up residence behind her eyes

I trust you,

I trust that you will not hurt her

I trust that you know the treasure that now sits in the palm of your hand,

the jewel that sleeps curled up on your chest

I trust that you know her worth as well as I do.

To the guy that makes her gush

like the entire universe is living in her mouth,

I trust you,

I trust that you will keep her safe,

I trust that you will no let harm befall her

and that you yourself are not harmful,

I trust that you know her heart as you know your own.

To the guy that makes her happy,

I trust you,

I know she makes you happy too

To A Woman I Have Never Met


Usually I make a point of starting all correspondence with “Dear…” but you are not now, nor will you ever be, dear to me. So much so that I cannot bring myself to write it.

You will never read this, in fact I very much doubt even your daughter will read it. But that is not why I am writing it.

My anger, neigh my disgust at you is such that I cannot let it be contained within me, for fear that it has the power to poison my blood. How dare you speak to your own child like that? How dare you leave her in pieces and abandon her to pick them up herself? How do you wake up in the morning, look at a child that tries so hard, that struggles so much and that loves so deeply and turn your back on her?

Perhaps you don’t.

But it is the only way I can rationalise your behaviour, that you simply do not care, or worse yet they you honesty harbour malice towards your own daughter. I have not lived in your house, I cannot attest to her treatment of you, nor can I say that I have witnessed your treatment of her. But I can say that I have spent hours worrying desperately about a person you destroy in SECONDS. I can tell you that whilst you move on, whilst you start new arguments and cause fresh heartache I am replaying the last conversation of that sort in my mind and hoping that I said the right thing. I stopped tears, or provided warmth in the winter of your relationship.

I cannot say that I have witnessed one of your arguments, but I have witnessed the fall out, I have seen the aftermath and walked in the shadow of your destruction. I am in a position to dislike you.

To a woman I have never met, you make me sick beyond words, you pain me beyond pain, and I dislike you not only in my conscious mind, but in my soul.

To a woman I have never met, I am not a mother, but one day I hope to be one and I can only pray that my children will never feel as your children feel.

To a woman I have never met, it is entirely possible that I one day will meet you, and I will smile my sales assistant smile and trot out my customer voice and be polite and gracious and the cookie cutter bright-young-girl I have been my entire life and you will not know that inside I am seething.

To a woman I have never met, she is better than you in every way. You don’t know that yet, but let me tell you, to everyone else is it is glaringly obvious.

To a woman I have never met, I am truly sorry you cannot see her worth, because I do, and others do, and we are blinded daily by her light, we are amazed endlessly by her intelligence, and we are left breathless by her endearing charm and effortless wit.

To a woman I have never met, I dislike you, but perhaps I pity you more.