Photo by Man Ray


In the chilly dark 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 leaves

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
she’d maybe leave the scrapbook out on the side table one day

Under an enchanting full moon, Mont Saint-Michel in winter had few visitors; bliss. It was that magical setting where my misplaced imagination finely reinvigorated its dog-tired self. ‘Tis an old piece is this one, yet so is Mont Saint-Michel and so is me.

Should it be of interest, below my most recent book entitled ‘MAYDAY’, a book of romance, time-travel and more than a little risqué happenings. It can be found at Amazon in all formats under the name Mike Steeden.

Copyright © 2015-2022. All rights reserved. Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, and lending, prohibited.



  1. An evocative poem. I particuarly like the lines “ventured far and wide to a place / where
    tide outpaced a stallion at full gallop.” I visited Mont St. Michel when I was sixteen. I found it an an awe-inspiring place.

    1. My thanks, young Liz. Kind words, appreciated. We were there in the middle winter yonks ago on this occasion. My ‘almost’ poem, as I call them, is about the whys and wherefores of my annoying moods…I’m an idiot in that regard… Shirl making sure I’d escaped England to a place I loved thus cheering me up as in that time of the year the tourists are nowhere to seen…notwithstanding that I am one of them. I’m good at contradictions as well! Anyhow, I trust you’ve had a fine Christmas and I wish you a happy New Year. Regards, Mike

  2. I love this idea of a love putting bad memories away in a scrapbook while her lover sleeps. What a grand way to awaken in the morning. As I age I think this is happening naturally, although none are kept in a scrapbook, they just fade like the stars into the dawn. Lovely poem, Mike, and quite inspirational.

    1. My thanks, LuAnne. I agreee. Memories…good and bad…belong to the library in our minds. The bad ones at the back of the shelves covered in dust. I hope your Christmas was a good one. Regards, Mike

  3. Mike, you are a touchstone, available 24/7. At this pernicious moment, the populace in the Kingdom not-so-United writhes under the diktat of strange and silly functionaries, emitting imperial stench. Tomorrow, I witness and report. In the morning, I hope to post the words of closer witness.
    I look forward to MAYDAY and celebrate your kindness and rare care, while I bobble about in the belly of the beast. A behemoth of insatiably self-serving greed that grabbed the baton of settler colonialism and called it blessed exceptionalism. Feh!

    1. My thanks, Bill. I’d been wondering where you’d gone to only to discover WP do not send me your blogs anymore. Rest assured I’ll try to sort that out with them. That said, I’ve always considered your posts…in these times particularly…tell the honest truth, be they historic or current. We need more like you. When I read your work two words come to me, one…as mentioned…’truth’, the other ‘equality’, both of which, if people got their head around them, might well save humanity on this planet. Talking of ‘equality’, or lack of it, be it skin colour, female, sexuality etc. perhaps this world would, at lease, be a much better place. You know, when I was 5 years old, my mother and her chum sipping tea in the parlor, started discussing the wave of people from the West Indies coming to England some to drive the buses and suchlike, others to become doctors and nurses. Listening to the pair I heard mum’s friend say, “Those black people all look the same to me,” followed by, mum adding, “I don’t mind them but I don’t think I could touch one.” Even as a kid, I knew they were out of order. Now, nigh on 70 years on, that conversation still lives inside; haunts me, as does that wonderful word, ‘equality’…the latter haunting me in a good way! It won’t happen, of course, but I’ll still dream it possible. Regards, Mike

  4. Your words buoy me in this way. Exactly. I would love to use this evocative anecdote from your earliest childhood memories in a forthcoming article. With your approval and attribution, of course.

    I am also on Twitter (@BillZiegler1947), where I tweet on provocative and unpopular perspectives. Yesterday, I replied to a post by Stefanie Fox, director of Jewish Voice for Peace, where I am a supporting member and contributor. More on this at a later moment.

    More immediately, actively engaged in supporting Inchie.

    In solidarity, Bill.

      1. Bill, I’ve got an email from a delivery company called UPS. They are saying that they cannot deliver the book. I can’t follow their wording…most odd. IPS477978901UXK is the tracing code; Order Pending, the reason. I’ve no phone number but they say their address is 6101 Long Prairie, Ste 744 # 511, Flower Mound, TK75028. Are they for real? If ‘proper’ it might be easier if you get hold of them from your end. Regards, Mike

      2. I am not at all surprised, Mike. It’s all a fucking result of Brexit stealing your Eurozone citizenship.
        Insufferable cretin criminals who “master minded” BreakShit.
        Kindest Regards,

        I look forward to adding this tome to the Crowell Manor Library. Sir.

    1. I’ve just this minute followed you on Twitter, Bill. As to my mum, feel free to use her unpleasant words…not that she released at the time, methinks. For the record those words were spoken in 1955. As it happens I wrote a book about ‘she and me’, called ‘An Only Child & His Mum’s Amazing Germ Phobia’. Should you want a copy I’ll happily send you one, just let me know where to post it. I wrote it well over a decade ago after we’d sold our PI business and retired early. I never liked said book, yet others did and insisted I should publish it. The content is actual unlike my usual fiction. Anyway, all the best, and a Happy…what a dull word…New Year, Sir. Regards, Mike aka The Old Fool

      1. Lisa and I are very much looking forward to receiving, reading, and enjoying this volume. I trust your readers on that. And to placing it on the Steeden shelf at Crowell Manor.
        Our address should arrive in your inbox within a nanosecond or so.
        Street address en route!
        Humble thanks for following @BillZiegler1947

      2. Cheers, Bill. I’ve not got an address yet…more likely I’ve failed to find it. I’m not familiar with an inbox…I’m hopeless when it comes to matters of the internet. Should it help, my email address is michael.steeden@gmail.com For the record, and validating my address, it is;
        261 Folkstone Road, Dover, Kent, CT17 9LL
        All the best to Lisa and your good self. Regards, Mike

      3. Sorry for the delayed response, kind Sir! I also have a great love of all things analog, including slide rules Haha!! My son Alan is a world class computer guru, so that gives me at least *one* leg up. All information now soundly written in ink on foolscap.
        Regards, Bill

      4. Were it not for my son I’d not be able to post on WP nor anywhere else. The lad is a musician (composer, classic to pop) but even him, no expert, resolves so many problems I can’t fathom. Perhaps I can swap him for Alan. Anyhow, I shall post the book your way the moment the adress arrives. Regards, Mike

      5. Here we have it, Bill. News today tells me that the gal at the Post Office was telling the truth. It reads, ‘Royal Mail says it is unable to send letters and parcels overseas after a ‘cyber incident’. It is telling customers to stop sending items overseas while it tries to resolve the issue. The firm said there were also minor delays to deliveries into the UK, but domestic deliveries are unaffected’. It seems it’s Russia behind the problem. However, the book should have got on the way to you as the inability to post to the US began on Wednesday, whereas I visited to Post Office on Tuesday…fingers crossed!

      6. The book is on the way, Bill, but not without a friendly battle of sorts. I’m not sure it is me getting old, yet this world of ours seems to create problems rather than resolve them. Anyhow, the pleasant lady at the post office advised me that staff shortages, Royal Mail strikes and bad weather had contributed to the problems…problems going on since September gone…leaving many a parcel to rot away in England; going nowhere. Even Christmas gifts will still not arrive to people for many weeks still. It’s been in the news yet I had no idea it might effect parcels going abroad…I’m still not convinced that’s accurate, but there’s not much I can do about it. As such the book might well take longer than usual, perhaps up to 12 weeks! Sorry about this. I’ve been posting my signed books to my wonderful gal in Florida year in, year out, without any issues like this. For over a decade she’s been doing all the design and publishing for me for yonks. My books turn up at her place usually between 10 to 14 days.
        Still, it will arrive and I hope you’ll enjoy. Regards, Mike

      1. I’m taken with ‘edgy’, Sir. You’re spot on. Whatever the gals I write about, in the end, as with Mayday, ’tis of their choice and victory is always theirs. My sincere thanks, Mike

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