Monthly Archives: September 2015

The return of the prodigal sock


My sock came back!
My sock is back!
Oh joy of joys
my sock is back!

I went to the laundry room to find
my blue sock hanging on the line.
Imagine my relief and surprise –
it wasn’t even traumatised.
It gave me a look as if to say
“I’ve only been on holiday.”
Its other half is so excited
now that they are reunited,
and I’m as happy as can be;
my sock has been returned to me.

©Jane Paterson Basil


Blue without you

BeFunky Collage Sock

Maybe I seemed to take you for granted,
maybe you always felt supplanted
by my oft and careless controlling acts,
but I thought you wanted to tread in my tracks.
I always loved both of you equally,
you and your sister were kind to me.
We walked about the world with pride.
the two of you marching side-by side
while with my feet I’d lead the way,
revelling in our intimacy.

I feel the guilt; was I to blame
for your twin sister’s grief and shame?
While wrapped around my toes she stares
at my left foot so stark and bare.
I haven’t the heart to put on my shoe
and cover that sad scrap of blue.
Friends may shake their heads and say
You’ll have to throw that sock away –
it has no use with out it’s twin.
Put it behind you and start again.”

I haven’t the heart to forget the past,
I thought I’d found a love to last.
I should have checked the washing machine –
I blanch at what a fool I’ve been.
Two socks went in, just one came out
and though I’ve wept and searched about
the sock is gone, it is not there
and I am broken past repair.
Oh! blue cotton beauty, come back to me,
I’ll love you throughout eternity.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Always there for me


three weeks clean
no pain of waiting, hidden
in unlit lanes, for sleazy meetings
with hooded dealers
no needles
no more the game of shame
and ignominious endings

but every day she is there
she is always there
the deadly witch, weaving pictures
sprinkling the image before my eyes
of glittering, golden brown powder
as she whispers
only this will lift your spirits
only this
God in highest heaven
give me the strength not listen
please help me; blind me
from the sight of her shimmering hell

three years clean
no needles
no pain of waiting, hidden
in unlit lanes, for sleazy meetings
with hooded dealers
no more the game of shame
and ignominious endings

no more does she weave pictures
or sprinkle the image before my eyes
of glittering, golden brown powder
or whisper
only this will lift your spirits
only this

every day
she was there for me
she was always there for me
but no more. I expelled her
the witch is dead

©Jane Paterson Basil

Posted for Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations



A Hidden Ember

when I am broken
my protective shell smashed on
the bleached sands of all lost things
my sticky innards beached and caked with grit
frightened, squeamishly wriggling
while silence screams lies in my ear

and someone makes a remark, which
leads to a thought, which
leads to a smile, and
I give a laughing retort.

I sparkle and shine when everything
lies in pieces around me
and without a tiny tap on the funny bone
I may expire.


Sparkle and Shine

knows me
like my siblings do
we share our first

the waste of all which
has since been
a hidden ember glows, and
sometimes when we speak
we are one again, unchanged
though age has bent us

and familiarity
sends a spark from the
ancient fire of childhood
setting us aflame with merriment
it is then that we shine
we turn dark into light
we sparkle and
we shine

Written for Calen’s Sandbox Challenge

©Jane Paterson Basil

A new baby has been conceived!

Embed from Getty Images

I feel like celebrating. After two days I have a four thousand word foetus.
My new baby book is well and truly conceived, ready to develop limbs, and I’m excited.

Thank you Anton, and everyone who has given me the inspiration and confidence to keep on writing. That goes for you:

Dancing Echoes

There are so many others out there whom I haven’t named. Thank you all.

This post has two purposes: the first is to express my gratitude. The second is to ensure I put myself into a position where I will be too embarassed to abandon this book halfway through.