Through fat and thin






Perhaps I was meant to be fat?

Always waking hungry
craving breakfast as
a start.

And done digesting that
strong appetite
for lunch.

After eating this
extended sluggishness
dragged on.

Until an evening meal

spread need
of rest

then sleep.


imagined workouts

all postponed.

To days

never came.






Since writing the above lines, in 1981, I continued avoiding the gym.

Later, chronic illness deterred exercise.
Yet I remained fairly slim.
Until around 2014.

Once consulted, doctors said expanding waist size often happened during “middle age”.

Next, an unusual type of vertigo attacked.
The scales went into reverse.
Whatever I ate, weight loss persisted. Alarmingly fast.

(From peaking at 87kg (192lbs/13.9) I dropped 27kg (60lbs): to 60kg (130lbs/9.2).)

By 2015, very weak, it became harder lifting my feet.
I began shuffling along.

A few people wondered if I was dying.
(Such thoughts also worried me.)

A test revealed severe pancreatic insufficiency.
I had been wasting away due to malnutrition.
Literally starving.
Because my stomach failed at digesting food.

Doctors focussed on this skinny state.

Though I haven’t gained the weight back, despite years of enzyme supplements.


There are positive sides:

Being nearer a semi-goth look.
Without makeup.

My cheekbones show more.
I quite like them.

School uniform could fit again.


So, that’s something.

As an M.E./CFS sufferer
(across three decades)
I’ve moved from ill and fat.

To ill and thin.


Thin seems better.




I’d sooner be well.








Hi everyone!

Frankly, I felt too sick and depressed for blogging, this week.
But, didn’t want to give in, and miss a chance of interacting with you all.
So decided on posting, anyway.

Comments are always VERY welcome! 🙏

Art on the blog is mine. Hope you like it?

Thanks for reading. 🙂

( Anxiety / art / beauty / blog / depression / illness / life / mental health / poem / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )


Gratifying cruelty




He wrote the word “crackdown”.

Envisioning a huge heel
which crushed some parasite.

Best not mention any resemblance to a jackboot.
That would never do.
The sneaky media inflated such details.
Especially from government spokesmen.

Similar problems curbed rants about “scum”.
When veering toward despotic shadows.
“Adolf ruined it for us. We can hardly show our balls,” he grumbled,
“Or get the juices flowing.”


Released bowel gas
spread sensations like a warm eel
uncoiling round his pants.
But he ignored anal distraction.
This unruly orifice, too often disrupted thought.


His department planned intensifying policy.
Cutting payments to the sick.
(Cloaked by its usual rhetoric: of “helping”
and “reform”.)

A renamed “Wellness scheme”.
Seeing everyone “reviewed”.
All declared “fit”.

He hoped the badly ill might just give up
or kill themselves.
Ability to mount appeals
“revealed” more health.
Should courts (despite instruction) rule in claimant’s
favour, automatic “reassessment” must occur.

Via long forms so elaborate
and framed with legal threats
many quit before the end.

Recurrently retesting.

Til the weak began relapsing
at the sight
of official letters posted
through their doors.

“Relentless pressure.
Wear those bastards down!”
he jeered.

“Good riddance!

Whiny spongers
won’t be missed.”


One could enjoy a stimulating
sugar-coated cruelty.

he started writing once again.

“We shall create new hope,
and guide the lost
from welfare to wage slavery…”

He crossed out “wage slavery”.
“the dignity of work”.

(Pious lies were safer options.)


Discomfort sensed
he raised his leg.
A hot fart ripped across the duvet.

He sat up, eager.
for an odorous afterglow.

Yet sniffed in vain.

“Damn! The bugger’s gone to ground.
Like a furtive vole.”


It was growng rather late.

He put aside both pad and pen
then flicked the lightswitch.
Turning off his reading lamp.

“A job well done.”


He lay and smiled.



by a gratifying











Hi everyone!

I’ve lived 32 years in fear of large official letters arriving.
They are almost always bad news.

Being unfit for work, due to chronic illness, left me dependent on the state.

Underlying anxiety never really ends, while sick, alone and poor.
That “safety net” is only a decision away from letting you fall.
(If having no family or friends, to keep one off the streets.)

Though (being so unwell) I was, eventually, granted benefit “for life”.

But then “reforms” abolished it.
And now all payments have ceased.


Comments are VERY welcome!

(Art on the blog is mine.)


Thank you for reading.



( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / fiction / humor / life / mental health / poetry / politics / reading / thoughts / writing )

Losing my uncle





A phone rang through my dream.

I woke to darkness, hearing sound persist.
Reached the living room too late.

No message. Number unknown.

Who’d call at one a.m.?

I fell asleep, again.

By dawn, a recording has turned up, after all.
My uncle is in hospital.


I arrive on the ward. A nurse asks our relationship.
“Nephew: next of kin.”
“He’s been telling us what a lovely person you are,” she says.
“Must be taking strong meds!” I almost quip; but,
unsure humour is appropriate, only emit a subdued


Ray halts eating dinner. Complains about stress.
“Finish your meal,” I say, “I’ll go and have a word.”

Staff wheel his bed to a single room, I’d noticed.

“Wow! This is more like a hotel. Own lavatory. Lots of space.
How did you manage it?” he exclaims, delightedly.

Being intense in his enthusiasms, future visitors would endure
loud praise of my resourcefulness.

I imagined their eyes glazing over.



Discharge dates revised, his stay extended toward seven weeks.

One evening, as I readied to depart, Ray’s face changed.
Looking oddly young and vulnerable.
A small, unfamiliar-sounding, voice implored:
“You won’t forget me, will you?”
“Of course not,” I answered, tenderly.
His hand, that had clutched mine, relaxed.

A strange impression rose, of having glimpsed some inner child.


A few days later, gripped by an abrupt urge to visit, I suddenly stopped.
And found myself talking softly, as if he could hear me.

“Ray, I don’t want you suffering any more. I know you have to leave, soon.
There’s no need to hold on, just for me.”

Ten minutes passed.
The phone rang.

A matron from the Cardiac unit says Ray has died.

“When did it happen?”
“Ten minutes ago. He quietly slipped away.”


Blue curtains surround the bed.
Behind them a nurse declares,
“I’m going to give you a nice wash, Raymond. Is that OK?”

I felt briefly disconcerted.

“Excuse me!”
She peeks out.
“I’m Ray’s next of kin.”
She allows me private moments.

I kiss his cold forehead, one last time.

“So sorry not to get here sooner for you, mate. Late as usual. Hate to say goodbye.”

I lift his lifeless hand.
Then place it, carefully, back upon the blanket.


I walk down shiny corridors.
With Ray’s belongings stuffed in carrier bags.

Trudge out, to chill November air.
Squinting at car headlights, amid bustle and noise.

Irredeemably alone.
In a city full of people I don’t know.






I had four weeks to clear his flat.

“Here I am again, Ray!” I say, stepping inside.
Light fell on his favourite chair.
I half expect to find him sitting there.
Everything is as it was.
Yet he is gone.

I kiss the spot his head would rest.
It has no scent.


Before obtaining a death certificate, I detour.
Along St Thomas Street, where he was born.
This day’s for him.
I brush each post and wall with fingertips.
The road’s deserted. No one sees.

I am hallowing the ground.


As I exit the register office, rain begins.
Seeking shelter in a covered market, I scan local papers.
“Day of the dead,” their headline reads.

Ray sought coincidences. I cannot show him these.


Back home, my mind replays our conversations, on the ward.

“You’d hold my hand all the way to the shops,” he said,
“and talk to everyone. Full of life. A joy to be around.”

“I thought I’d always been depressed?”
“Not til your teens. Once you gave up art.”

I asked his earliest memory of me.
“I came in from work, and there you were.
A baby. Lying, peacefully, on the sofa.
It was love at first sight.”


Thus, hand in hand, we neared the end
of our long togetherness.
As he moved beyond my grasp.


(Meanwhile, I could now anticipate
a bleak decease
without shared family stories.
No bedside visitors.
Nor human touch.
Or child.

Having failed to win a woman’s heart.

An experience for others.
Never mine.)


Next, recalling when
he’d gazed into the distance,
sighed, and said,
“I wish you’d been my son”.

At which
we both fell silent.

Ray, who often talked profusely
lay, just staring upward.


Here the silence seemed
quite beautiful to me.
I didn’t want to break it.

Then Ray gave my hand a gentle squeeze.


And this is how
I’ve chosen

to remember him.







R.C.H. Webber (1923-2017)







Hi everyone!

I’m blogging the above work to mark the second anniversary of my uncle’s death,
this week.

Apologies for writing an unusually long post.

Comments are always VERY welcome!

(Especially on such a personal piece.)


Thank you all for reading.


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / life / love / mental health / photography / poetry / reading / relationships / writing )


Letter to Satan



Dear Satan

I wish to make a complaint.

About unsatisfactory service
received from your minions.


Tempted with glossy ads
promising granted desires
for all prepared to pay the price:
I signed a deal
agreeing transfer of my soul to you
at death.

In return, it was stipulated
I’d gain lifelong grandmaster skills
exactly matching those possessed by
former world chess champion
the late Bobby Fischer.


Several weeks elapsed.

Seeing no change
I phoned Daemonic Plc
customer care team.
They assured me complex abilities
might take months developing.


Trustingly, I waited a whole year.

Yet remained on the same mediocre level as before.
Still miscalculating during games.


After ringing again, some details were checked.

Then infernal staff informed me that
due to glitches in data entry
the single “talent” passed
had not been Bobby Fischer’s
or even chess-related.

But, instead (mistakenly)
derived from a certain Nobby Fischer.

An obscure, Scunthorpe based, tobacconist
successful only at completing “easy” crossword puzzles
in his local newspaper!


Given such gross mismanagement
I am appealing to your Luciferian sense
of honour and fair play:

by requesting our contract is immediately


Yours Faithfully, etc.






I hope this matter can be swiftly resolved
without any recourse to



a higher power?











Hi everyone!

I’m reaching the end of blogging past prose, here.

My attempts at humour have had less appeal than sad poetry.

Writing feels even harder this week as, aside from all my other symptoms,
depression has recently spiked. Pulling me toward giving up altogether,
while enveloping work in an atmosphere of futility.

But I’ve ground out another post, anyway.


Hope you are all well?

Comments are always VERY welcome!

(Art on the blog is mine.)


Thank you for reading.

( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / fiction / humor / life / mental health / poetry / reading / story / writing )


Nympho Nazi?


      Please do not read if easily offended!



Recognising my desperation, the guys at chess club suggested dating sites.

Being a pessimist, I was doubtful about joining.
But still signed up.


Sole success came in the form of an improbable beauty.

Her profile picture drew me.
I’d always adored blondes.

“Far too young. Way out of your league,” my inner voice judged.
Then I read she sought “Hot times, with older men.”



After messaging her, surprisingly, I soon received a contact number.

Our initial conversation followed an unexpected course.

“Hi Magda.”
“Hi Ken.”
“The bio says you’re pansexual.”
“Can I ask a related question?”
“Ooh, go on.”
“Is there a role you especially enjoy?”

“Nazi slut.”
“SS uniforms. And cock!”


“I noticed your rune-shaped earrings.”
“Very good. Did you also fancy pounding me with your hammer of Thor?”

“I planned on going for a meal, first.”
“Sounds rather lame, Ken. The only thing I want to watch you eat, is me.”
“Hey! I could be vegan.”
“No need to play innocent. I’m a dirty girl.”
“Yes: I swallow. And I take it front and back.”

“I shall bear that in mind.”

“You’re a funny guy. Which is why I gave you my number.”
“It’s easy for me. If I need a laugh I just stand before the mirror.”
“Aw! You look quite distinguished, with your grey hair.”

“I’m starting to like you already,” I said.


“We live in the same city, Ken. Are you free tonight?”



My penis urged my brain to drop its qualms.

I paused.
Remembering the last sixteen, lovelorn, years.
Five thousand four hundred days:
yearning for a woman.

Unending physical loneliness.
So intense, it felt as if I wore my own touch deprivation,
in an unseen suit of aching body armour.

Why reject this unique chance to gain relief?


Magda was pleasant enough, allowing for her provocative style.
Might she be giving me a kind of female “test”?
I’d surely often failed those, in the past?


Would I ever get such an opportunity again?




“You’ve gone all quiet on me,” she said, softly.
“Sorry, Magda. I got distracted.”

“Can you make it, tonight?”

“I have some videos, to get you in the mood.”
“That may not be necessary.”

“Are you coming, then?”









“Guess you’ve talked me into it”

I heard myself say.










Hi everyone!


This is almost the last of my old prose.

I was anxious over how much to self-censor?
While reluctant about excluding such work altogether
(as I’m blogging all types of past writing, not just musings and poetry).


Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?


Comments are always very VERY welcome!


Thank you for reading.



( art / beauty / blog / blogging / fiction / humor / love / mental health / reading / relationships / sex / story / writing )

Block twat





In every block of flats, I found

a twat appeared
who seemed designed
to cause persistent suffering
for vulnerable unfortunates
within an earshot’s range.


From varied means
these agents chose:

Some, thudding bass
through concrete walls.

Or loud TV’s, plus shouting.

Drilling, banging, barking.

Sawing wood at 4 am.

I’ve heard all those, and more.


Thus peace was wrecked
for neighbours
left to cope



Then nicer tenants
were replaced
by others
less considerate.

Till few remained
who’d halt a slow



Aside from daydream’s hope
or fantasized revenge

one can only seek
new homes, and flee.

Yet knowing twats may follow

(if they aren’t already there).




So social housing
wears me down.

I’m stuck here.



An unloved, friendless, pain-filled grind.

(Add crushing insignificance.
And never getting laid.)


Given time, perhaps
such burdens
might suffice
at breaking spirit?



But being forced
to fret
each ruined year

as life declines

by a group

of idiots.




It’s things like that

which really



the knife.










Hi everyone!


Please note:

I grew up (in England) employing the word twat as synonym for an annoying person.
But I’m not sure if that usage is so prevalent in the USA?
Apologies for any confusion.


My old prose has morphed toward poetry, during editing, again.

Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?


Comments are always very VERY welcome  😁 !


Thank you all for reading.


(anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / illness / life / mental health / poem / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )

Horny toad





“The night had gone OK, until Dave tried getting his knob out.”


“Where was this?”
“The Horny Toad.”
“Crap pub.”
“Yeah, he knew somebody in the band, though.”
“Was it The Tampons?”
“They got a fit bass player: she’s proper stacked!”
“No. And I prefer flat-chested.”

“Do you wanna hear the story, or what?”



“The group were late…”
“Hey, was it Sword of pork? They just released Wedding tackle.”
“Can’t remember. We mainly scoped the local talent in there.”
“Thought you preferred The Newt & Gherkin for that?”
“Well, he’d told me their singer attracted women like flies round shit.”

“You felt up for some rock chick style poon?”
“Full tattoos and chlamydia, mate!”


“Six pints on board, Dave’s messing about in front of these girls.”
“Are you pretending he isn’t with you, by then?”
“I’m looking the other way, as he gets hit.”
“Bit of handbags?”
“I only saw him fall across a table, hand down trousers.”
“Did they have boyfriends in tow?”
“Thankfully, no.”

“What was he doing?”
“Said one of them asked who Mr Percy is: he offered to show her.”
“Lucky you never had more trouble.”
“Cider drinkers, eh?”


“So how big is it?”
“His donger. Vlad the Impaler.”
“Don’t know.”
“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Why would I be interested?”

“Because you are gay!”


“F**k off!”









Hi everyone!

Though I have avoided alcohol for 40 years and rarely spend time in bars,
this piece attempted to imitate a type of non-PC banter, once overheard among young men, after several drinks.
For the crudity, I apologise.

Please do not take it seriously.

Most profanity has been edited out; but some retained, for the sake of authenticity.


It was also a writing experiment: at using only dialogue, with no added description.
I hope you found it intelligible?


Comments are always VERY welcome!  😊



Visitors may now be relieved to hear I did not produce much prose after 2010, and thus,
shall soon resume blogging my more usual musings, and depressive poetry.


(Art on the blog is mine.)


Thank you all for reading.



( art / blog / culture / depression / fiction / fun / humor / life / mental health / music / reading / story / writing )

An argument with my penis







“Remember me?” it asks,
as I undress for bed.

“I’ve been trying to forget, but you keep turning up,” I reply.

“Oo-er! Turning up, eh?  Never know yer luck,” chirps my penis:
having a fondness for double entendres and vulgarity.

“Vulgarity is it? Get him! On that high horse,” he sneers,
with a slight toss of the head.

“I reckon it’s time you did a bit more tossing, around here.”

“Pipe down,” I said.
“Too late. I’m wide awake, ready for action.”

“Well, there isn’t going to be any.”

“Why can’t you find a girlfriend, then?”
“Because I’m a loser.”
“Depressive, you mean.”
“Melancholy realist.”

“You need a good woman!”

“Or even a bad one,” I thought.

“Yes. And how about me? Ten years lacking female company.”
“You aren’t helping to lessen the pain, either,” I grumbled.

“At least I function normally. Unlike some.”

“This conversation’s giving “self abuse” a new twist.”

“So, pay me a little attention.”

“In the end, that only leaves a sense of increased emptiness.
Over an aloneness.”

“Oh! Who’d be chained to such a pantywaist!” he mutters,
shrinking back, resentfully.



Being estranged from one’s manhood is an unhappy state.

Actually, I feel sorry for it, yet don’t want to stir things up.



Anyway, he’s fallen asleep, again, now.



Just wish I




could do
the same.












Hi everyone!

After being surprised by old prose morphing toward poetry (during editing) in some previous posts, I’m finding pieces based around dialogue are more resistant to change.

Sorry for lowering the tone somewhat, this week, but fear not:
I intend returning to fairly respectable musings,
and sad poetry,


Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

Your comments are always VERY welcome! 😊


Thank you for reading.


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / fiction / humor / life / mental health / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )










Why she picked me, I don’t know.

Across the crowded square a woman heads my way.
Then stops.

“Where is hospital?” She demands, abruptly.
Sounding irritated.
Like somebody whose day is being made unnecessarily difficult.

“Just up there,” I point.

“You come with me!”
“Sorry, I have to go in the opposite direction.”

“Where do you live?” she asks.
“Around the corner…”
“In Kingsdown?”
“We live there.”
(I wonder why a local would need guiding to the hospital dominating our skyline.)

“What do you do?”

Finding her attitude confusing, I consider whether to attempt explaining my illness, or seek refuge in vagueness.
She immediately changes the subject, again.

“Where is Dighton street?”
“Behind these offices.”
“You show me!”
“Really, you can’t miss it,” I gesture.

“Where is police station?”
“Along that road…”
“Take me to police station!”
“But it’s quite easy to…”

You come to police station with me!”


I’m even less keen on this request, than previous ones.


While searching for some polite remedy, I suddenly become aware of a short man, and  young boy, standing next to me: sharing embarrassed smiles.

Turning, the woman begins angrily scolding them.
“What is your problem?!”
She exclaims, as if they are persistent nuisances.

The child’s look seems to say:
“Thank you, but she is a little crazy. We’ll take over now.”

Noticing she appears to have forgotten about me, I move away.
Still hearing her berate the silent males.
“What is your problem?!”
She repeats, loudly.


I felt relief mingle with shame.
At my failure to reduce the suffering of others, around me.

The city held so much unhappiness.
Including mine.

Depressed and sick, I viewed myself as useless:
saw my helpfulness as vain.


Thus I walked, more sadly, on.

Toward the distant mall.









Hi everyone!

Hope you are well?

My old prose resisted another transition to poetry, during editing, this week.
Though the writing seemed tempted that way, slightly, at the end.

(Any art on the blog is mine.)


Your comments are always VERY welcome! 🙂

Thank you for reading.



( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / culture / depression / life / mental health / poetry / reading / story / thoughts / writing )

Sulphur shadow





A muffled cry rang out.

His colon issued plaintive sounds.
As if small beings were imprisoned there.

“What sort of person even pities their flatulence?”  he mumbled,
after feeling sympathetic emotional responses.


Pressure continued building.
He tried abdomenal relaxation. (Visualising a smooth snake, gently making an exit.)

But the source of disturbance was stubborn. Approaching release several times;
only to shrink back, as might a timid mammal, hiding in its burrow.


Then, suddenly, casting off all inhibition with scandalous impudence,
a profound explosion burst forth, echoing around the flat.
Pain sparked across his anus, resembling the cut from a laser blade,
while he jolted upward, spasmodically.

Battling urges to lie down, he resolved on checking potential toxicity levels.

Nothing was detectable.

Suspicious of apparent odourlessness, he quickly leaned back, sniffing over one shoulder…


Lurking behind him like a sulphurous shadow, hung an invisible gas cloud.
Redolent of warm exhalations from some unseen jungle. Elusive yet corrupt.


“Dignity is undermined by our own innards,” he complained.

The powerful blast could also be viewed as a coarse reproach, against absent vigour.

“My farts are more masculine than I am,” he said, ruefully.
“If a blind woman heard one, perhaps she’d mistake me for an alpha male,
and not this feeble weed?”


He made efforts to regain composure, hoping the worst had passed.
Beyond that distressed orifice, spread weary emptiness.
Plus primal fear.
Of eventual anal nemesis.

And the road to fartmageddon.



“A man cannot escape his end. Or his rear end,” he mused.


“Ass is destiny.”












Hi everyone!


Hope you are well?


My old prose resisted transitioning to poetry, during rewriting, this time.

Sorry for slightly lowering the tone, but I decided not to exclude an attempt at, ahem, milking a little humour, from the experience of lactose intolerance.


(Any art on the blog is mine.)

Comments are VERY welcome!  😀


Thank you for reading.



(PS: Next week will be my 200th post.)


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / fiction / humor / humour / life / mental health / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )