Mont Saint Michel, Normandy, France

In the chilly raw hours
whispering his name
pricking him with her hatpin
ensuring he was sound asleep
she impishly for his own good
robbed him of his memories
tucked them in her rucksack
would glue them into a scrapbook
for the sake of the unborn
the very moment they got back
Only his worst memories mind
for they were the ones that tormented so
leave the rest in-situ, safe and sound

Rummaging through his collection
of afterthoughts and apparitions
while filling her bag the thought struck
that they were mostly monochrome stills
most out of focus, a dilettante’s technique
altogether captured with Brownie 127 eyes

Delving deep, what an archive!
much more than she had anticipated
zeroed in on those of things lost and
of loss itself, of endings without beginnings
a deficit of ancestors, felines and conquests
poems on post-it notes, a life in a hat, then
the motherload, a bare raven haired fire-eater
counting manly face beads on an abacus
another of the same woman tearing at a
human heart with her unadorned fingernails
Dante’esque the one of her joyfully feeding
tethered owls with pleading rodents skewered alive
but mainly just rats, razor-blades and fallen leafs

AD ‘long since’ he who had recently
been tagged ‘second-hand goods’ along
with she who was glisteningly untried
ventured far and wide to a place where
tide outpaced a stallion at full gallop
where a spiritual, peppery island buttressed
an 8th century monastery sheathed in a
café au lait skirt of pernicious quicksand
It went by the name Mont Saint-Michel

Accessed their pre-ordered two star
unembellished granite walled freezing room
via narrow ‘prayer and penance’
perfumed cobblestone passageway
barely enough space to house a ghost
blessed though with a bedstead an outsized
long since departed friar had left behind
tiny stained glass aperture, no curtain and
beholden that a lover’s moon had presented herself

Inside looking out to sea next morning
“You’re full of the joys for once I see”
A canny wink and the blithest of grins his riposte
By design she had triumphed, not that she would tell thus
maybe leave the scrapbook out on the side table one day



  1. “she impishly for his own good
    robbed him of his memories
    tucked them in her rucksack” – great stuff! It all is – this too – “A canny wink and the blithest of grins his riposte”. I enjoy pausing wherever I like in your writing, no rules man. *nods*

    – sonmi-into-esme upon the Cloud

  2. I suppose we can only imagine what we would find when viewing scrapbooks of someone’s memories. Of course mine is buried under lock and key and rated X. I believe yours hasn’t been accessible for years. Brilliantly written as per usual Mike!

  3. This is wonderful. I enjoyed reading, Mike. As the reader above, I especially admired ‘“she impishly for his own good
    robbed him of his memories
    tucked them in her rucksack”

    1. Thank you Laine…she to this day hasn’t yet left the scrapbook yet she was my salvation at a difficult time. I’ve been wanting to credit her thus for many years…again my thanks.

  4. This is most probably quite a far fetched analogy of your poem, and I even hesitated to portray it to you. But I will anyway. When I read this, I imagined a ginormous ocean pizza; the crust the shore, the middle the sea. With each verse the words drifted from shore (crust) to middle ocean dispersal (pizza centre) and back again. Ending somewhere in between. If you were ever to order it, ask for Peppery Island Buttressed with Temple Crust.

    1. Very good…more so that said pizza is plainly not from a franchise but homemade from an independent outlet. Interesting that the sea is inward not outward…rather captures what the words meant (well I hope it does…introspective and all that!). Cheers

      1. Didn’t turn out to be a poem! A short story in the end…just have to get the missus to proof read and give it the thumbs up…hope to post shortly…deciding upon the time machine was a tad vexing…still a challenge is a challenge and my brain was empty until this idea was triggered…my thanks!

      2. Looking forward to its birth. The empty brain is underrated, bask in it’s glory Mike, as a Mediterranean crab would

      1. It’s easier (no cutting, no measuring) and cheaper. But I like the smell and feel of different textured papers. So that sensation’s gone. No worries, there are tons of paper await me!

    1. Thank you Aquileana (superb name by the way). I try to avoid the confessional always yet sometimes upon reflection when contemplating my special gal of many years standing I am reminded of that night on Mont St Michel and even this old fool sheds a few tears of joy she found me…there you go I’m welling up again! What an idiot I am…probably always will be. The best of good fortune be upon you.

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