Beware the Horrid/Humid

In the depths of Summer,
When the sun beats sticky into your clothes,
And the air is thick
And the flies are huge,
Maybe stay at home. Indoors.

Ignore the beach.
Ignore the lure of the blue,
Of wide skies and deep seas,
Of outside meals and verdant pleasantries,
Of laughter and bronzing and
Of strangers, scantily clad.

For those are his baits,
His gaudy feathers,
His colourful lures,

And you are his prey.

He lurks,
In the heat,
The Horrid-Humid.

The beast that feeds,
With slow-grinding jaws of sweat,
Upon fine plans and the day’s desires,
With all the sad certainty of a sand-castle.

KNOW the Horrid-Humid by his roar:
The screams of too-hot toddlers,
The crashing of too-big waves,
And the droning of a thousand picnic-wasps.

FEAR the Horrid-Humid for his hunger:
His ice-cream melting,
Day-ruining hunger.

AVOID the Horrid-Humid by his nature,
And learn to live in his shadow.
For he always faces the sun,
And he cannot see you,
Or hurt you,
In the shade.

In the depths of Summer,
When all is shorts and sandals,
And flip-flops and buckets
And spades and sand and salt…

Look up and see the Horrid-Humid,
And Sweltering,
And Just-Outside your door.
And maybe stay at home. Indoors.
And let another be his prey.


Tarot 01

The First Chapter in a potentially long series about a steampunk magical world where the Tarot function like Yu-Gi-Oh cards.


“I am NOT being the page of Cups!” screamed Lydia, charging down the hall with all of the blind fury that a scorned eleven year old can muster. “I am the Queen of Swords!”. The hallway was long and lined discreetly with coats of arms, suits of armour and stuffed animal heads mounted over guns. Lydia took a swipe at a moosehead as she passed, but it didn’t seem to mind. Lydia’s mother simply stood in the hallway, hands on hips.

“Lydia St. Jude, you will come back here this instant, or by the Tower, you’ll regret it.” Continue reading “Tarot 01”

A Perfect Love

It’s so much fun to pretend to be the person you are when you’re in love.

And it makes you lesser, and feel lesser when you’re not him.

That wonderful, talented, attractive man that you were, that she loved, that you loved.

And now it’s moved on, and he’s gone, and there’s you.

The man that you are. Not all that you could be. And your warts start to show.

And in rooms not kept clean and in tears that she’s seen, and in anger and pain and in rage, all the memories of you that you shared are now dew, and evaporating from the page.

Here’s to the Women,

all lovestruck and lovelorn who are people they’re not,

and cannot continue to be,

just to be, for a while, perfectly in love.

And here’s to the Men, who again,

are never the people they actually are,

until it’s just you,

and the you that he knows,

with the unpleasant toes and the scars and the stretch marks and moods.

And you know that he sees you.

The woman you are. Not all that you could be.

All that you have been. And will never be again.

Here’s to the newlyweds, In quarreling arms,

in fits and in spats, in hot and in cold, and in death you do part.

Here’s to the couples who love in good faith

and are true and themselves when they woo, but in vain.

Here’s to the bachelors, the spinsters, the cowards,

who count down their lives by the minutes and hours –

who would never share their precious time,

their sacred days,

and terrifying weeks,

and lonely years. And here’s

To the actors.

Who strive each day to play the parts they’ve long outgrown.

Who go to work in the morning and bring romance home.

Who wake each other up with stories or sex or gossip or just for love.

Who grip Time’s fist and fight him, bleeding,

to roll with the punches,

and keep up the show.

They have intermissions,

they have to take breaks,

and take off the greasepaint and go for a fag…

but sooner or later, the drama comes calling

and on come the stagelights

and up comes the curtain,

and you’re there again.

The people you were, and are, and all that you can be.

And though you are pretending, you have,

and always will,

a perfect love.

Wow, okay so I really like this one. It’s probably a spoken word piece more than it is a poem, but I broke t up like it’s meant to be read, so hopefully you can still get the gist of it.

Hit me up on twitter @Sellpen. Seriously, I’m lonely up here.

Sellpen Reviews: Wonder Woman

Sellpen Reviews: Wonder Woman

Yeah, it’s pretty good.

Superhero movies are selling like brownies iced with cocaine – it doesn’t matter how many you eat, or how badly made they are, you STILL want more. Given this, I suppose it was inevitable that in today’s post-Frozen world, where strong female leads are de rigeur, that DC would tap Wonder Woman for a film or four. She’s the perfect choice: Brand recognition, emminently franchisable, and plenty of bad guys and comic book threads to plunder for sequels. In her, DC has an opportunity to flex its muscles and prove that they haven’t just got the bulletproof alien one, or the one that’s Batman. They have a girl one too.

The only problem is that DC just can’t stop making bad movies. Between the utter mess of just… ALL the recent Superman films, the terrible “Batman Vs Superman, colon, dawn of oh my god is this title still going?” and Suicide Squad which sucked, Wonder Woman doesn’t have a great pedigree, but manages to turn out a pretty good film. Let’s talk about that. Continue reading “Sellpen Reviews: Wonder Woman”

Don’t Live in London

Don’t live in London,

The rents are too high.

So are the buildings,

And you can’t see the sky.

This is a little thing I wrote at the same time as @TheLadyAmelia wrote her London poems for Sellpen’s #20MinutePoetryChallenge.

If you want to do a challenge with me, or challenge me to a duel, or dueling banjos with me, or play Banjo Kazooie with me, or invite me to see your play, or whatever, then talk to me on twitter @Sellpen.

If your city never sleeps, it needs a doctor

An obese city never sleeping,
Shitting in the Thames.
It bloats with poverty and weeping
Even as its skin distends.

As fleets of flabby pre-fab flats
Flow out across the flattened hills,
We’ll all ignore the City’s sickness,
And fail to heal her ails and ills.

A pomp-pocked, prettied pestilence,
She wears a cheap cologne:
Of corporate souls, and things she stole
From cultures not her own.

For all her gawdy-tawdry masses,
Less is more and more’s the pity
Such a vileness underscores
Our poorly painted prosti-city.

This is a little thing I wrote about London. There are good bits to London too, but it’s difficult to see how we can continue to swell the population and polution in our cities with the overwhelming volume of damning research on the subject. And yet we do.

Anyhow, comments and criticism welcome – either leave a comment below, or chat to me on Twitter @Sellpen 🙂

The Game Renaissance

We are living through a renaissance. The last one went on for four hundred years, and was only noticed after it ended, so you are forgiven for missing this one. Now you know, however, so you have no excuse whatsoever to avoid indulging in it. Take advantage of the golden age in which you exist. Go get some art in you. I am, of course, talking about board games.  Continue reading “The Game Renaissance”