Monthly Archives: December 2015

This is not my life

at each fresh evil I break a little,
recovering more quickly every time;
reassuring with an easy joke, a smile,
thinking to escape the agony,
but it cuts deep into me
and with sharp fangs it rips out my creativity,
visciously spitting it out
to land like embryonic seed on arid ground,
never to stretch to maturity.

sometimes I want to scream
“this is not my life. It is not me.
these insipid lines and phrases
are less than my ability.”

©Jane Paterson Basil


If I could

Written for Calen’s Sandbox Challenge


If I could erase anything from my persona
I would be without this sickness of spirit .
the fear, constantly digging into me.
the indignation which inflates into rage
whenever my daughter tries
to push her brother to destruction.
I would sling from my sight
the impurity of my desire for her imprisonment;
I would throw out
my pathetic impotence against the beloved enemy
as she wields her filthy weapons
in an effort to kill everything in her vicinity.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The things kids say


I spent boxing day with my family. We were all sitting at the table eating when one of my daughters said to me “You do know you’re on the broken chair, don’t you mum?”

Well, no, I didn’t, but I secretly reckoned if it fell apart it would add humour to the occasion.

My seven year old grandson giggled and said “If Grandma falls off the chair she’ll be an even more broken old woman.”

For a split second everyone looked uncomfortable – would I see the humorous side of the remark?

How could they doubt it?.

The chair wasn’t dismembered by my raucous laughter, and I was a little disappointed – it would have been a perfect finale.

©Jane Paterson Basil



tired feet slapping as I’m dashing down the lane
rapping out rhymes in my overactive brain
random ramblings rushing like a runaway train
can’t locate the brakes and I think I may derail
scattering my passion in the wake of my trail
an ambiguous failure lacking wind in my sails

I’m gasping for breath but I’m almost there
in the kitchen at Elaine’s I sink into a chair
with a mundane mumble on the state of my hair
while she switches on the kettle to make a cup of tea
I regulate my breathing as she listens to me
and I’m grateful to find myself where I need to be

©Jane Paterson Basil

Home décor



she excels at selecting presents,
but although most of my accessories
enjoyed their first days in another place
I am obsessive about my colour scheme,
and I glanced uneasily at the gift-tagged package,
secretly fearing it may be differently shaded;
picturing Indian sequinned purple, or even
a tasteful but innappropriate shade of grey.
I should have had more faith.

star-spangled wrapping lies about my feet,
dampened by tears of appreciation
as I hug the cushion to me
the words “never forget you are loved”
emblazened across it’s crisp fabric
sinking into my torn heart and warming my cheek.

©Jane Paterson Basil

My child spirit


it was a time when magic was ever there;
the iridescent dawn rarely questioned until
the miracle of it overwhelmed,
spilling deep within, overfilling my spirit,
bringing dewy tears which would evaporate
into the still of the morning.

too many unsettling questions,
energetically dissipated by racing limbs,
by shrieks and laughter; by games,
as I tried to hide the differences,
wishing only to fit in.


I was going to give this poem the title “Now I know how my mother must have felt.” She was deeply religious, and that’s where she kept it; hidden deep inside, because my father did not allow religion into the house.

©Jane Paterson Basil