storm raging

November 23, 2019

I remember that night in the Dolomites when we made love with a storm raging outside – the deafening crack of thunder as you were cumming shook the chalet to its foundations and woke everyone in the other rooms. We both felt as if we were in another world.


Alone in the Rain

October 28, 2019

Rain falling on me.
I am naked and awash
with the rain that wakens
your scent on my skin.
Cold, too.
Pointless to try to warm up
as this night my soul
is a thunderstorm of chills –



October 27, 2019

The former synagogue high above the town
bears a plaque
to say here was where
an old faith flourished and faded

and across the town valley
the Methodist Chapel
hangs on by its fingertips, fading in turn

Forget buildings –
Gods are happiest out of doors,
burning bushes,
strolling the tide from St Ives to The Gribben
and back again

I saw The Eye Of The Wind
blown from Southampton to Falmouth,
counting its losses and setting sail again, godly
to Spain

Penelope Shuttle

a storm brewing

The wind is rip roaring like an express train over the moor. It comes from the south-west, so not cold. Just angry. Unreasonable. It wrenches branches from the trees standing guard over the generations of buried dead in the churchyard. It shrieks in the smoky chimneys of the cottages, rattling windows and doors in their frames and filling the heads of sleeping children with unpleasant dreams of shapeless things.

And the rain. Did I mention the rain? Torrential, unceasing. It was rain like this, I’m sure, turned old Noah to shipbuilding –


September 9, 2018

I will bruise your lips,
and scar your knees
and love you too hard.
I will destroy you
in the most beautiful way possible.
And when I leave,
you will finally understand,
why storms are named after people.


6th June 6

Last night’s raging gales and watery darkness, collapsed this morning into wind-muscled day. High skies with racing clouds like huge white fortresses above the flowered lanes and tall church-tower…

Reasons to be cheerful part thirty-two: In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro (I’ve sought tranquility in everything, but found it nowhere except in a corner with a book).

Hold a hand up to your cheek, feel the slanting rain on your skin, soaking your hair, while you, drowning, floundering like a big black bird, scream ‘Feck, feck, feck it’ at the uncaring elements.

Such is life in the wilds.

Aware of time passing. Each new day is a day nearer death. This house over time will faded, its windows take on a new clarity, the glass imprinted on the very air. The stairs will become shadows. Perhaps as a ghost I’ll return, pass through a door that is no longer there?

Diary 7th / 8th March

Such irregular days filled with tempestuous winds. Hear it whistling in the chimney, day and night. Gusting. Carrying the dead, desiccated heads of last year’s geraniums over the lawn. Dustbin lids rattle and crash. And rubbish is scattered. It roars like an express train overhead as it flaps through the hills from the coast…

And the rain – torrential at times! Threatening a veritable Noah’s flood. We should be building an ark, gathering animals two by two. Then, afloat after 150 days, the waters will recede and we’ll find ourselves together on Ararat.

Truly, we are experiencing weather of biblical proportions!

Oh, summer when will you return…?


Then: Paris, at age seventeen: a necropolis of a city; a place of the dead, stinking of traffic fumes, freshly baked bread, and smouldering Gauloises cigarettes. A city imbued with odd shadows and strange intrusions of darkness that confused and misled the unwary. It tasted of pernod and water and Bouillabaisse and bitter black coffee.

The women, you’ll recall, tasted of salt and sweat, acrid beneath a casual dab of perfume – that perfume always gardenia on the tarts: perhaps sex workers clubbed together and purchased in bulk for a discount…?

But the whores like the city were all about pretend. Smelling of gardenia around the tits, but of Roquefort between the legs.

It was a city of rising and falling, of bright lights and darkness. The easy voluptuous rhythm of sex, and the staccato barking of car horns. French men drove with their hands on their horns, whispering their our Fathers and their hail Marys until journeys end. Jazz clubs at night, then a trip to one of the many ethnic joints for couscous “à la française”.

And writing, writing, writing until your hands cramped and you were good for nothing – not even a quick wank!

Paris, a place of occult phenomena, of conflicting absurdities. A city filled with monstrous revenants, a catastrophe…but what the hell, the Metro was cheap as chips!

In a world smitten with insanity we still have Paris and its Metro! I felt like Orpheus underground in search of my true Eurydice on the glorious Paris Metro.

Remember? Wandering the museums and galleries, day in day out, like one in a narcotic daze. Parallel worlds could be accessed there. You could easily become lost. I believe you did become lost…?

And, oh, how that place could wound. That awful city, headlong full of the undead. Everything was an exaggeration. Already lonely, it painted your imagination with its horrors, its monstrousness, filling your soul with such darkness that you wished everything to end –

But then, come the morning, your ordeal, your self-imposed exile would begin over. Balance returned, however temporarily. You’d go out into the city armed with fresh hope. Experience again the desire to grow and to touch the moon from this terrible place…


Last night, in bed, not sleeping. Storms were forecast to come in off the coast, but they failed to appear. Plenty of cloud though: thick, black, making it the darkest of nights. So, no rain, no thunder or lightening…No apocalypse, so far.

Fell asleep about 1:30 in the AM. The dreams came shortly after: crowded, uncomfortable, as always: alternative lives in alternative worlds, the sort of shite we could all do without really. Reality twisted beyond normal comprehension…

Strangely, dreamt of Clare P who I haven’t seen for years. She was sitting on the edge of my bed fully clothed. I was naked, uncovered, stiff. And she was masturbating me, using thumb and forefinger only. Very businesslike. Bizarrely, Miss P, our headmistress from school, was in the room watching us both, intently.

Miss P was a big woman. In the dream she was wearing a brown skirt so short it exposed her stocking tops, which cut deeply into her huge thighs. She didn’t have a blouse on, and her brassiere barely contained the swell of her breasts. She seemed to be enjoying Clare’s little jeu errotic, but didn’t speak once. Nor did Clare come to that. No one spoke until I said, ‘I think I’m going to…’

But I didn’t. Instead I woke to impenetrable darkness. And I lay awhile savouring the ambiguity of dreams…dreams deranged by harmony or an unsettled state of mind? This time falling short of the ragged reefs of nightmare.

For no apparent reason my thoughts turned to Kenneth B and his sister. That peculiar Wednesday afternoon at their parents home. The long summer holiday from school only part digested when Ken invited me over. I kissed his sister on the mouth, I remember. Like him, she had red hair and freckles.

The three of us were half-undressed and kissing each other later that afternoon. Eyes closed, I was uncertain if it were Kenneth or his sister’s tongue in my mouth. But I did put his cock in my mouth and she did suck mine. She had skinny shoulders and freckled arms and tiny tits. Her bush was orange, and her sex tasted slightly acidic, I remember, a cross between lemons and red wine. Kenneth’s sperm was thick and salty tasting when I swallowed it. Our three faces glimpsed in the bedroom mirror were flushed scarlet.

He invited me back again, two or three weeks later, but I made excuses. One part of me wanted to do those things again, but another (more practical) part made excuses, bowed out on the grounds of timing.

Finally some rain has arrived, rattling on my study window. Time now to put the past back in its metal box and fasten down the lid. Work beckons…