Can you spot the seeds of tragedy

or the tricks which make it so?

A great man’s pride? A pile of stiffs

upon the stage? Oh no  –


it’s when you trust the ringing bells,

when joy bounds in your heart –

when angels slide down sunbeams, swear

new chance, new self, new start –


when you believe at last you’ve learnt

the lessons of the past

and then repeat the same mistake

once again typecast ‒


or when you wake up with the one

you thought this time would be

a sounder bet, to realise

you’re up the same gumtree . . .

Published in Snakeskin 254, October 2018