Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year

Well the old year's out and the new one calls
And the children ask if their friends
Who you've known since school
And who are all cool
Can see how the old year ends.

You'll be with your man looking up at the sky
Clinking glasses of Cava
And wondering why
The previous year just passed you by.
Oh, so that's how the old year ends.

But you're still up at ten to three,
Nothing for it but to watch TV,
Any old crap will satisfy me
Because the boy's not home...

The man's in bed snoring his sleep
But me my night-time vigil I keep
Until he's home safe and asleep
No more 'round Bath to roam.

I'm yawning now so all I can say
Is if I turn in now to bed
You'll be wondering along your merry way,
After seeing in this great new day,
Recalling all I have said.

Happy New Year son number two,
Lock up well and know
That I love you!

© Lisa Lee 2016

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Dear Me...

Look at you, with your long black hair,
 White streak down the right hand side.
Your kohl lined eyes matching your black lips and rosary beads,
 Anything that helps you to hide.

I’m smiling as I see you, in your blue lace petticoat,
 Your 16 hole Doctor Martin boots.
A pirate on the good ship ‘Adolescence’.
 With your gang of 4 recruits.

I guess right now you’re missing Rob still.
 I can remember the pain of the split.
But there’s a boy at college who fancies you,
 And he has his own bed-sit…

I see you at The White Hart Inn,
 Working the bar, a favourite with the men.
Open your eyes more. Notice the attention.
 Make eye contact now and then!

Oh, and remember John, with the red hair,
 Who you went out with last year?
He’ll take you skating and he’ll want to talk,
 Listen, for Christ’s sake listen. He won’t always be here.

Finally, I feel I should tell you
 That what your mother said,
About roll-ups and Guinness not being for a lady,
 Drinking alone seeming unseemly,
Speaking your mind as being foolhardy
 And dressing just so as being untidy…
Well, all I can say is you’re a long time dead!

You’re doing just fine,
 So do what you do.
Live a little more,
 Love from you xxx

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Fathers Day

So many cliches when it comes to a dad
and daughter's relationship that we once had.
For as we grow older and wiser maybe,
The dad that we had is not the one that we see.

Do you remember the nodding birds that you carved me? 
The Dutch clogs that you made for my doll called Vrumme?
Do you recall the red Disco Belt you hid in the tree?
The flower press adorably painted by mum?

Do you remember the Capri from old man Joe Kiss?
The bizarre gift of a Womble from a lady who lived near.
She thought I was younger than her grandson but this,
Was untrue I was actually older by a year...

I remember you painting my skirting board in gloss paint,
Whilst I skipped out to go on a Sunday School trip.
I was in my 'holy-holy' phase, quite the Saint,
It didn't last as the mask began to slip.

It is said that when we decide upon marriage,
So as to avoid an inevitable disparage,
Choices are influenced by the first man we know.
So traits of our father will be found in our beau. 

So for better or worse you and Nige are alike.
Quiet and strong, a bit mad.
With no father to guide him,
Love him or chide him,
He looks to you too, like a dad. 

Now here we have my most treasured memory, 
One that meant more years after it became one.
Picture me ill, frightened and lonely,
A new baby demanding me down to my bone.
I can see you stood there by the side of my bed,
Opal Fruits in one hand, the other, Lucozade.
'Hello Lizzie, I was just on my way home,' you said.
'Hello dad,' replied I, my day had been made.

I guess I just thought you'd been asked to call in on me,
By a worried mother who just couldn't make it.
But when told of my most treasured 'dad memory',
She confirmed she'd known nothing of your first visit.

It took me right back to the days of old Joe.
Of renovating that wonderful old Ford Capri.
Those long summer days (oh where did they go?)
The solitude of us, you and me.

©Lisa Lee 2015

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


So this was an activity set for the kids... "Start writing and do not repeat a single word..."

A wet, particularly dreary Wednesday morning; Mrs Lee pulled on that favourite green, felt cloche hat, protecting each recently coloured hair. Driving to work in horrid drizzle changed her mood considerably, so up went the volume, number seventeen - deafening, as our singing Teaching Assistant screamed, nay, hollered out songs from Jim Jones Revue latest CD, 'Savage Heart'. Well, what else could Lisa do? 

"Chase away these blues with Dirty-Punk-Jazz!"

Persistent rain depresses middle-aged women, especially during springtime.

"I've got gravel being delivered today too..." thought little Lizzie, "Nigel shall be busy!"

Parking behind Assistant Deputy Headteacher, Mr Bradley's black, tatty Volkswagen proved quite tricky.

"I cannot shift gear! Grr, Carpel Tunnel hurts!"



"Oh my goodness!"

Everyone rushed outside, wondering what had happened...

Mark cried, everybody else just stood, open-mouthed. His clownish car collapsed, smoke billowing upwards, blackening everything.


Mrs Adams declared.


©Lisa Lee 2015

Friday, 20 March 2015



Once upon a time there was a little house…
In this little house was a tiny bedroom…
In this tiny bedroom was a small girl…
And this small girl was seated on a massive bed.

I was that girl and the bed was my cloud. I sat there, like an angel with my books open, my toys listening attentively as I filled them in on the exploits of Amelia Jane Again and the folk from the Magic Faraway Tree.
At night, with my thumb in my mouth, I would wrap myself up tightly in the quilt my mum had lovingly covered for me with a pretty floral fabric, my head would sink into a matching covered pillow. The pervasive Dry Musk perfume she wore washed over me, a spiritual reminder of motherly love that would gently lull me to sleep.

My bed.

Made, with love, by my mum.


This is my bench with a view.
It’s of the river with boats and shit.
But as the joggers jog
A man with a dog
Stops and it pisses on it.

‘Cheers mate!’ I say, looking up.
But he’s hot-footing it down the path.
‘Come again then, you dick,
And bring a big stick,
We’ll all have a jolly good laugh!’

I used to be an angel,
On my cloud with my toys, reading books.
But it all went to pot,
As dad drank a lot
And mum gave him reproachful looks.

Eventually she left us,
And my cloud felt all acrid and dead.
I walked out of the door,
An angel no more,
This bench, ever after my bed.

Dad drank himself to the grave.
I was just told about it tonight.
We didn’t stay in touch,
And no one cared much.
Although I think my mother might.


It’s been a strange kind of week.
Mum found me on my bench fading fast.
The day turned to dusk
As I smelled her Dry Musk
And she held me,
She breathed me,
Her tears soaked into me
How I long for this moment to last…


So my future bed is my past bed but where there once was a cloud, with a quilt so divine there is now a simple divan, too small for my limbs and too lumpy for my back.
But I can stretch like a cat, if I dangle my foot over the edge.
I can curl up in a ball, as long as I avoid the middle.
I can sleep like a baby, if I have the radio on.
I can close the door on the world so that sleep can descend upon me without any fear.
I’ve had two beds in my life, not including a cot. One saw me through childhood, kept me warm, save from harm and nursed me through sniffles and coughs. One saw me through heartache, kept me down, save from no one and bought my mother back to me.
Given the choice, I’d be where I am now, complete with the lumps and the occasional misplaced spring. I’ll die in this bed, I swear, but not yet. For tonight we’re off out, my mother and I, made-up and with Dry Musk pervasive.

©Lisa Lee 2012, re edited 2014

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Dear Boys,

Remember me? I’ll lay odds-on that you do. I was the small, peculiar girl in the weird clothes that wouldn’t sleep with you but loved you just the same. The girl who casually accepted the unacceptable with a nonchalant ease and the girl with the brother who’d have terrorised you had I not been so accepting. Well, I’m not much changed but, thanks to medical enlightenment, I have come to realise that, contrary to my beliefs, I was not the fuck up you all left me thinking I was. Here’s why.

So, whilst I was at secondary school, you were working in one of the local factories. You were my intellectual equal, and my first love. Our families knew each other and you were definitely not the boy ‘my mother warned me about’. (Come to think of it, she never warned me about any boys). I spent every waking hour with you or thinking about you. You’d join me as I babysat for the family up the road and fill my head with your nonsensical ideologies, and our sense of humour was spot on. Long walks across town always culminated in an even longer chat sat on the cold wall outside my house. We’d talk about Thatcher and how she was killing our generation, stealing our future. We discussed our likes and dislikes, man; we’d talk about any old shit! But the chats I remember most are the ones where you told me that, one day, I’d come to your house and find you hanging in your room. I was 15 for fucks sake, and, as I recently found out, chemically unable to deal with extreme emotion. (Though I did try, by offering you a knife, I think). For years I thought I’d done something wrong but, no. It was you.
I hear you’re married now, with a child. I’m relieved you never felt the need to dangle yourself from a light fitting or such like. I’m pleased you’ve moved on and are happy. Most of all I am bloody delighted to have shifted the burden of your insanity from my own. I never really needed it.

After (well, in between) all that there was us. There isn’t an awful lot to say about us is there. Only that you were my childhood crush, until I found another. (Love is a fickle thing isn’t it?) We half-heartedly gave a relationship a go but you were not the cutie of my past and as you revealed that after walking me home at night, you carried on to my friend’s house to fuck her, I thought, ‘Cool. You’re not getting it from me so… yeah… needs must.’ What, seriously?? I actually thought that? Well, it is NOT cool! When I look back and wonder where my self-esteem went, I can almost see me handing it over to you. Thanks for that.

College was great and that was where you and I met. We should have been ‘real’. I mean a proper boyfriend and girlfriend thing but I think we were destined to be just friends. I wanted you to take charge, to guide me because I had no idea what to do. Instead you left me, stoned, in the middle of a town, I think. I don’t really remember so you have nothing to feel shit about! I was with you when I learned of the suicide of another ex boyfriend. I was with you when your ex girlfriend broke in with a knife, threatening to kill me. But I wasn’t with you when you finally grew up and did something meaningful with your life, assuming you did, of course!

Finally, we get to you. My knight. I’m really not sure what you saw in me at all you know. I always assumed that you just loved the fact I had tits and a pulse but, as you have since pointed out, many of the girls in the pub (indeed all of them), had tits and a pulse. So, I guess, there must have been something else. Whatever it was you have triumphed where everyone else fell short. And I am so very thankful. Thankful because I am now the woman I always knew I could be. Sure, I’ll always carry that insanity gene but I have learned how to moderate it now, thanks to you (and a daily dose of Thyroxine). It is you alone, though, who has single-handedly built my self-esteem back up to a manageable height. It is you who ensures my soul is kept secure and safe. You are utterly perfect for this bundle of weirdness and I heartedly thank you for your unerring patience.

I am a very lucky nutter :)

Love, forgiveness and all the water under the bridge you require,


©Lisa Lee 2014, sleeping in Open Letters (Illustration by Lady Of Sorrows)
Trees That Bow Low

Once upon a time, in a Norwegian wood,     
There lived a kind woodsman,
Both loyal and good.
He lived with his wife who bore him a child
Then another, a boy,
Unruly and wild.

The Winter’s were cruel,
No food to be found.
What little there was
Lay under the ground.
The woodsman despaired,
His wife became weak.
They drifted apart
And seldom would speak.

The children seemed happy, content in their play.
The boy schemed a scheme and
The girl would obey.
They gathered up clothes and food they could steal,
Oats, bread and honey,
Enough for one meal.

They entered the wood,
The trees bowed down low
Showing the children
Which way to go.
The animals hid,
Not wanting to see
The Devil’s own son
Reach his destiny.

The morning arrived, bringing pain and despair,
For the wife checked their beds,
The children weren’t there!
The woodsman, distraught, took his axe and said,
“Wife, do as you’re told
And stay under the bed.”

For he knew the signs,
Of the Devils game.
His son, his own boy,
Was just not the same.
He’d known it for years,
It pained him to say,
But he knew the game
Would be ended this day.

Entering the wood, axe slung over his shoulder,
He furiously paced,
Grabbing a boulder.
Then with stealth, grace and a view through the trees
He launched his missile
With impossible ease.

Again the trees bowed,
Obscuring the view.
The boulder was lost.
Now on to phase two.
With his axe in hand
He cut through the wood,
His children watching.
One Evil, one Good.

The small boy, with a smile, stood, knife at the throat
Of his sister beside him
Who’s eyes looked remote.
With both menace and calm the deed was then done.
The woodsman’s two children
Became only one.

The little girl fell,
Her father yelled, “No!”
The boy licked his knife
With relish and so
The sacrifice done,
Pure blood in his vein
The boy stood trembling.
The trees bowed again.

The boy stood, transformed and still covered in blood
From his sisters throat
Who was pure and good.
Too good, it would seem, for the Devil’s own son,
As Evil struggled but
It was Good that had won.

Now cradled and safe,
Sister and brother
Were transported home
To the arms of their mother.
The Evil now Good,
The dead now alive.
Winter now ended,
The family thrived.

And what of the Devil, who possessed the son?
He left them alone,
And went on the run.
But where he is now, you can’t possibly know,
Just please watch your sons,
And trees that bow low.