Sino-Victorian Mum – An Expeditious Sketch

Sino-Victorian Mum

To find my mum’s affection
you could
write to her

her speech is –

but what if
you have to
it must be
you can’t
we should
it has to be

(to a description of my reality
or a fact)


(to a suggestion for a new way of doing things)


(quite often)

Absolutely not!

and sometimes she’ll just
completely ignore you
if she’s Busy Thinking.

Now… what if she’s emailing?

I found  “Dear ______,”

Could you”
I would like”

Wow, there was even a



Her handwriting irritates me – that scratchy sound
of anxiety – whether in biro or Very Worried marker
oven 200’c, 20 minutes, David takes 2 sugar, electrician 9:30am
is walled with mum’s notes
you might find – in very old letters and postcards

a far care-freer, fun-filled breeze
and when I was a child, she gave me a
bath and we sang a song about a fish that got                                 away


once- Loooooong ago, a little

time to relax









I read this poem to my mum! Tentatively.

She responded by repeating aspects of my poem and changing the words to be about me. Then I encouraged her to write a poem, which she did! Some of her friends have self-published poetry and she has always loved literature. I think that’s why she wanted me to study English Lit.

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Running for paper (Eights #8)

My waking dreams me. Who is

this ghost running for paper

in a room full of paper, we’re

part of the place where everything

falls, it’s a room where torn walls

walk, it’s a part of the song which

everyone pretends they’ve never

heard – not since the other day

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One word at a time (Eights #5)

If the person you love is

70% water, it can be

hard to hear them in

all the rain. Take

off your coat and step

into the falling rain – nothing

is so hard as it may seem – one

word at a time

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A few smiles away, snow hums (Eights #7)

Listen to yourself, they said

you’re shouting again, I paused

and found myself wedged be

tween a dead vowel and an ex

hausting page-fold – – yet

just a few smiles away, snow

hums – branches nudge clouds..

(whose moon is gold and sings on time?)

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Writing from there now (Eights #6)

My bf studies creative writing

his room is full of books

and idk what’s in them – I

spend my day fighting

sleep too. Where’s your future

today? Oh it’s sleeping again.. (hands

up if you know what I mean..) “I

know – – I’m writing from there now”

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Winter’s at my window but (Eights #4)

Winter’s at my window but

night water’s watching me this

silence frightens us – well, let’s

turn up the volume, return

stare, sound transforms the water

eventually strange speaks loud again

blood&beats blood blood Blood JUMPS

hello hello hello Hello he-

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Wise to go swimming (Eights #3)

When the person you love

is 70% water, it’s

wise to go swimming – dip

a lot, a little in their

splashing freezing hot warm

mind, take off your

stay-dry stay put bag

and spin around a while

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