Category Archives: free verse



Had I
been born
without eyes,
or too dim to see the picture,
I’d carry less blame for the way
I lived my life.

I could say
I acted blindly,
but I was clear-sighted and bright.
The decisions
were mine to make,
the prizes were there to be taken
— if not for me,
at least for the sake of my children, —
yet I didn’t realise the stakes
were so high.

Please say
it is not too late
to put right the mistakes I made,
and change the course of young lives
before I die.

The Daily Post #Blindly

©Jane Paterson Basil




Their persistant weapons
find a hundred ways to break you.
They split your tender flesh.


It’s happened
so many times before.
Seems like forever.


Scar tissue sits thick on elastic skin.
You examine each chilling wound
as it knits into a jagged seam.


after quivering years
of enemy ambush and friendly fire,
you stand guard for a while,
examining shadows.


ticks softly.
Hushed fairy stories
invite slumber.


As soon as your limbs relax,
a trickster attacks from behind,
slicing bright scarlet gashes
across faded scars.


This time,
you remind yourself
that you have survived countless conflicts,
and still you refuse to be beaten down.
Your wounds leave deep lines,
but they always heal.


The Daily Post #Heal

©Jane Paterson Basil




I dressed like the rest of ’em,
dragged the ragged hem of my Indian Kaftan
as I shimmied in the ‘seventies summertime dust,
bare soles greying,
slurping up the dirt as they slapped on the pavement,
lank hair swaying down around my waist.

I picked up the lingo;
learned to tag a suffix onto hellos and info.
“Hi, man”, “Hey, man”,
“I’m spaced out today, man”.
I gabbed about breadheads, straights and deadheads,
denied having hang-ups,
while the guys got spaced out,
dabbled with the wahwah, and crashed in the pad.

I dressed like the rest of ’em,
babbled like the best of ’em,
but I burned with a different kind of fire.
An anomalous question mark, an obvious outlier,
I shook my head at weed, and I detested LSD.


The Daily Post #Outlier

©Jane Paterson Basil



Said Prudence, “I’m particular
about staying perpendicular
when walking home from drinking
at a party or a bar,”
so whenever she got drunk
she drove home in a car.
This imprudent action
soon put her in traction,
with her legs at an angle
and bones in a tangle,
and three mangled bodies
laid flat on a slab.

The judge said to Prudence,
“If you had been prudent
instead of particular,
no doubt you wouldn’t
be entering prison
as Her Majesty’s guest.”

The Daily Post #Prudent

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Dark Lane


“Later,” I heard you say.
Turning, you walked down the dark lane.
I watched as the numbers on the clock changed,
eating minutes, hours, days.

Years went by,
then, “Soon,” you cried,
and turned to walk again down the dark lane.

Your last word was “Tomorrow,”
spoken with confidence and hope.
I reached for you,
crying, “Today, please, today,”
but you turned away
to take one last walk down the dark lane.

Your clock stopped,
leaving memories of a lost embrace,
the deathly echo of a promise made too late,
and nightmares of a dark lane.

In memory of all the lives which have been stolen by addiction.

The Daily Post #Later

©Jane Paterson Basil


Need to sleep…

In the fridge
delicious home-grown broccoli
~ a funny Mothering Sunday gift ~
slowly withers, as it waits
to become the best bit
of a favourite dish.

I sleep on.

Bruised avocados
flow through my dream.

Tomatoes split.
Leekage feeds silver threads of mould
which sit like velvet silk
on ruined red skin.

Cheese may start to stink,
but this house will not tumble or tilt
if I sleep on.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Lonely City


The barman polishes glasses in the old hotel
where love does not go,
watching lost causes dragging their woe.

He notices Luke lolling on a lounger
lisping lonesome odes to a lewd idol,
wishing Lady luck would bring a lusty, busty thing
to bellow his burning inferno.

He watches as Lizzie spies a luscious bulge of taut muscle.
A pheromonic tang
~ a sly, anarchic, chemical bomb of sex ~
floats across the space between them,
slipping beneath her skin,
jingling in deep, secret flesh,
to tinkle within.

She longs to lock her legs around his thighs.
Licking her swelling lips, she thinks of reddened kisses,
of teasing touch that slithers,
of silver rubbed into burnished bronze tickle,
of tangled, sticky limbs slapping,
of ripples that build into crashing waves which break
bringing grand, bruised release.

Lizzie lets the seconds tick
as she plans a chance meeting with this winsome man.
She notices his Guiness,
and brashly thinks to buy him a drink.

Luke lazily raises his load, loathe to leave,
still wishing Lady Luck would bring a lusty, busty thing
to bellow his burning inferno.
He sees a lovely woman, leaning at the bar,
and risks a step in her direction,
but she is lifting two drinks,
and one of them is Guiness,
so he thinks she has male company.
The barman looks on.

Lizzie swizzles, sees Luke leaving the hotel lounge,
head down, heading for the City,
deaf to the bell of the rumpy-pumpy bus.

She swallows her wine,
follows it with the pointlessly bought pint,
and wallows in lustful self-pity, while the barman looks on.

Luke listens to the low lullaby of Lonely City
where love does not go,
intuits the ugly grumble of unsated lust,
and he wishes,
that just for once,
Lady luck
would bring
a lusty, busty thing
to bellow
his burning inferno.

Lizzie buys a bottle from the bar.
She goes home alone.

The barman looks on,
longing for her unlikely love,
but knowing that Lizzie is a lustful child of Lonely City,
where love does not go.
Tomorrow, or next week, he will leave.

<> <> <>

This odd little dirge wafted by, so I caught it and wrote it down for The Daily Post #Luck.

©Jane Paterson Basil