Monthly Archives: March 2013

Silver Thread

I’ve had it up to the back teeth with metallic thread. It’s a pain: it splits like giraffe legs on a frozen pond, it won’t go through the eye of a needle and it tangles without so much as a ‘sorry’.

Trouble is, it looks good….

I’m using split stitch which is a labour of love but the finished piece is tactile and smile-inducing, even if I have a punctured finger. I hate wearing a thimble, it makes me feel like Mrs Tiggywinkle….102 and spherical.¬†

Will this be another one for the wall? Suggestions as to what to do with it please!




Filed under embroidery, fashion, sewing

Sea Urchin, Kenya

Sea Urchin


I got up in the night,

foot pad on cold tile

an edge broken and crumbled, sharp,

and stood at the window

watching the near light turn blue,

watching the sea gap before sky

hardening from indigo

to verdigris,

its white reef ridge

a chalk line marking the end of sea,

watching limp frilled palm leaves shiver

over water,

breathing with the quiet dry rasp of tide on sand,

my foot still sore where the jet smooth needle


where it slipped through skin into flesh,

skewered and stayed

hard black

until Hero, the boy from the village,

peed a hot stream of acid yellow

which pooled on the sand

and I laughed

at its ordinariness.



Filed under poems, poetry, writing

Africa Cont.

Arrival at Mombasa


At Mombasa after rain the potholes pool red

blood spotting the runway,

shining like clots in the sideways zinc-glint of sun,

slicing through clouds the colour of bruises.


You’ve been here before. I know.

But not by air,

by open car, too-fast spraying rusted earth along dust roads

coming from Nairobi.

Too fast to smell the resin-high frangipane blossom

or pick mangoes,

growing wild as blackberries in a hedgerow.

Too fast to the cobalt sea.


Your knuckles are white-boned gripping my hand

thin skin soft stretched

as the wheels skid on rain,

but we slow to standing

and the scent of Kenya begins to seep in through the cracks:

a sweet tang of hot damp air,

of earth-mud and diesel.


Filed under poems, poetry, writing