nothing exists twixt reflection

and blind bard Homer’s

doubtful dreamland

no real estate and Rolex’s

Porches, lobster thermidor

or beating hearts

just zilch


these days

he was comfortable

with just ‘zilch’


free from danger


not unlike forgetfulness

afforded small comfort

from the harsh reality

of facing simplicities stark fact

that she had so long ago departed

that he had no idea where

in the cosmos

she might be



the land of ‘zilch’ and the ‘palace’

(yes, he determined, definitely a ‘palace’)

of forgetfulness

are the stuff

of impermanent fabric


all too often

from darkest recesses

reluctantly he caves in

craves her image

feeds his addiction

a cutthroat temper, green eyes, reddest hair

upon which sat her trademark tangerine beret

cruellest thing

she left behind

the beret

as memento



matchless in and out of bed?

or had hindsight

afforded her that status?



an ever-changing canvas

painting narcotic landscapes

erroneous portraits


64 thoughts on “ZILCH

  1. Beautiful Mike, and it rather reminds me of Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam, in which the paths of former lovers of a prematurely deceased and deliciously vivacious woman are set against one another. By the way, I think Ruggieri’s painting, that you’ve chosen to accompany your own fine work, is fabulous.

      1. We had a wonderfully exhausting Christmas with the children and their families. I’m completely tuckered out. How about you and Shirley?

    1. I may have a beret fetish. Dear Shirl has hundreds. By the way, I have kept the Scottish fishing industry alive this year. Salmon, smoked salmon, salmon pate, mackerel…and wide afield, Scottish cheddar (not English this tie around) and oat biscuits. Is this support sufficient to acquire Scottish nationality and save my European status…I can eat tons more if it helps? Did you have a good one?

      1. In point of fact my wine stocks are dwindling…a day trip to France beckons with a degree of urgency. I see this end of this island is significantly colder than Scotland these past few days. Central heating pumping out here…as heat rises, Lord Zoolon up in his attic studio wearing just t-shirt and shorts moans about the extreme heat!

      2. Three days of clear blue sky yet three days of 24/7 lingering thick frost on everything. From the comfort of a warm bed I asked my wife would she do the dance of the seven veils for me. Her riposte, a ‘What do you think?’ that plainly meant no! She then dressed herself in so many layers she could get a job sitting at the front of a Michelin tyre lorry and not look out of place. That is how cold it is.

      1. Heating on low! Mines been on full throttle for days now…still frozen solid. For this New Years Eve my choice of hat might be the furry Russian number that makes me look stupid (Shirl thinks I’m mad not wearing it outside yet overlooks I have my standards and panache to consider), then there is the fez or perhaps the Fedora (except that one cost me a good few quid and I don’t want it ruined). Choices, choices…I shall report back…couldn’t lend us your fur coat could you?

  2. These are the moments where I want to take your main character and give him a hug, just because. That’s how good you are at creating complete people in such a brief amount of time. 🙂

      1. Cheers. By the way we watched a film The Lady I the Van last evening. If you get the chance do watch it. What a character she is (Maggie Smith plays the ‘lady’). Right, off to freeze in the high street now…I maybe sometime!

      2. Ice, ice, ice and more ice! As a sufferer of Raynaud’s phenomenon this is not a good time of the year for this old time-travelling fool! How I suffer for smoked salmon.

      3. Salmon was devine. Not so my yellow numb fingers…lost all feeling to the extent I have to write about someone who has never had feeling about his personage! Worst frost for a decade. I am still frozen solid even with the heating pumping out to the extent that I have trebled poor Shirl’s hot flushes while Lord Zoolon sits in his attic studio wearing just a t-shirt and shorts complaining that the sudden influx of heat has put all his guitars out of tune…and there’s me in thermals, still frozen solid!

      4. Oh no! Sounds like you need to put rice in a sock and warm it up in a microwave…think that’s always what my folks did…my poor brain’s a bit mucked up since Biff decided 3am was a perfectly good time to give a long and loud monologue about trucks from his top bunk. How Bash slept through it all on the bottom bunk I have no idea.

      5. Oh the joys of nippers and sleeping. I remember it so very well! ‘Rice in a sock’? I shall have to think about that, presently I am test driving an array of thermal jumpers and such like purchased this very day from a shop se ng ski clothing…although I now keep getting the urge to slalom.

      6. That brings a memory back. Me with a ripped hamstring (cricket accident); a nun with a broken wrist with her best friend nun helping her out; a kindly nurse with facial hair who made me the self-same thing for my injury. What a funny old world we live in!

  3. When I look at the painting I guess that she didn’t leave her beret behind on purpose. She must have put it on the bedspread that is very close to the tangerine color – and forgot about it. She might miss it too, and wonder where in the cosmos it might be 😉
    Thank you for making 2016 better with your poetry. Now sleep into new year with zilch worries and wake up in happy 2017!

    1. Off to bed even as we speak. And thank you for those beautifully gentle posts, with sublime photography that always make me fell better about this wretched planet we live on.

  4. Happy New Year, Mike! I hope this guy goes out and starts dating other women (but gets dressed first, of course 🙂

    1. And a truly happy year to you also Ms Carolee Croft. I think we all have someone in the locker of memory…whether we wish to meet with them ever again, perhaps a different story. I’ll try to keep my clothes on henceforth though!

      1. True, it’s the one who got away that dwells in our imagination. I think it is best to reduce their impact on you to zilch because you’re meant to be with the person you’re with now. It all works out for the best, that’s my belief anyway.

      2. Cheers Carolee. Certainly I found the love of my life after the event I’d thought I’d found it in another. It is thus that the point you make is a pertinent one. You clearly have insight.

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