I catch myself, sometimes

reflected unawares,

watery sunlight and dust fairies glower

in imagined distaste.

I flinch, the image familiar yet alien;

sickening snarls, decades of drilling

voice trigger happy hate.


before the gentle hand of love

whispers softly

“you are enough”.

I remember then, the truth.

I am not a fucking ornament.

What is ugly if not a construct of the mind?

Orwellian nightmare, bred into existence

seeping thinkspeak evil

smoking gun passed from parent to child

endless warfare cloaked in concern.


My own personal distopia;





Universal punchbag.

Time to end the hatespeak.

Charge lips with tenderness, hearts with love.

Worth is our birthright.

Claim it till the very language of contrition




Pauline Brown 2018








A mother’s love,

exquisitely borne;

battle scarred, exposed

like open wound never heals

like heart tossed to wolves

over and over,

brimming in what ifs,

the weighty sum

of every scrape and bruise

branded on her soul.

Ever wondering, hoping;

for storms weathered,

love remembered,

creeping in to steal kisses

while they sleep.

Pauline Brown 2018


cleaning up

The air hangs heavy

his rickety back garden bonfire

greedily gobbles each hideous snippet of lost love;

remnants crackle on taunting flames.

He stares intently, willing peace as

singed smiles

flutter over head

hope incinerated,

his useless attempt to erase a past

indelibly pained on his soul.

Secrets drift, acrid hurts fill his lungs,

he splutters wearily as all around dense clouds snake

a heady trail of no thank yous;

the sky blackened unmistakable weight of sadness.

Pauline Brown 2017


raw edges

Art imitates life;

transposed in dimensions

that which cannot be faked.

Shortcomings preserved;

clean lines and crisp edges,

forever mocking subjects hell bent

on ignorant bliss.

Know where the end begins

as light pervades the listener;

longing for more eclipses

the flat plains of progress and defies modernity

with all its bells and whistle pathos.

Truth will out they say in threat or promise,

stripped bare, ankle deep in scraps;

exasperated sigh of assorted beliefs

to be lovingly crafted in our wake.

Pauline Brown 2017




microscopic threads

Doubt never leaves;

constant companion turbulent minds,

where decisions meet intersection of truth

and possibility, silken threads of maybe;

never-ending hum of radio chatter.

Two paths collide at certain end,

though it is never over.

Life abounds with such alternates;

choices toss and turn like flotsam

washed up on stony beach as waves whisper

unrelenting torment;

What if?

Pauline Brown 2017

rain rain go away

Narcoleptic appliance

fell asleep mid task

leaving trails of musty laundry

and frustration in its useless wake.

(Old age –  it had a good innings)

Textbook dependence

bordering desperation

we go full on cold turkey as we

frantically scramble to recall the ins and outs

of drying the old fashioned way;

sunshine and pot luck.


Ridiculous in hands on confusion;

enslaved to nature’s whims

we mourn our lost friend

and endeavour to replace, post haste.

Pauline Brown 2017

unseen, unheard

Old aged cruel deception; decrepit

carriage behind which eyes, opaque

and unseeing hide a lifetime’s knowing.

ageing petrified; existence muted,

swept underfoot by trumpeting

obsession with youth.

Vulnerably beautiful; the lucky

observe as decay taunts sharp

mind; or fade into daylight

robbery of tender neurons blunting

intricate veil of presence.

Lost in simplicity, transcending new,

their legacy; gossamer trails in time,

webs spun, wheels long since set in motion.

Old age heightens our shame;

so we toss aside the dregs

and mop up privilege earned

by those same discarded souls.

Pauline Brown 2017