Marionette / Energy


Knowing I’m a puppet
bobbing along the canal,
Someone’s pulling on the strings
controlling my wheres and hows.

I feel I have some say
on how to hold my arms.
Even at the mercy and sway
of unforeseen harms.

Rest assured,
I can resist
the forces in my wrist,
but not enough to break that solid grip.
Rotating fist.

Marionette overlord.
I can’t find you in me.
But, I hear your footsteps!
Pounding the balcony.


Somehow it’s much more simple
to style myself in ink
than play those notes,
and hear my voice
in the sink.

I’ll wait for notes – Enter my head!
– but hear these words instead.

I seem to love notes
less (much less)
than muttering words in bed.

Don’t get trapped within yourself.
I promise!
I’ll look beyond my eyes.
But really,
I feel much safer on the page
than in my musical lies.

I feel more present when I write
than when I play violin.

I feel like I can show the world
the girl that lives within

the spectacles and photographs
suffering from lethargy,
until words come to rescue her.
Dancing. Energy.

Since I read Kate Tempest
I can’t help but rhyme my words,
and structure them in rhythms.
Pretty chirping birds.


Sword and Dagger

Poise, bend, analyse

Tennis samurai,
orange-shirted tai-chi,
disciple with strong knees.

How to best move through the air
to get to where you want to be.

You have your Way,
I’ve my coffee (and cigarettes
zipped in my bag) it’s
all I have,

plus this green pen,
to fly through life
with the skills and brain
and body, we have
to get that ball
to hit your bike
parked in the corner of the world.

Poise, bend, analyse

Trace the process step by step.
That’s technique​! Joyce ‘Donato said
to the young soprano, ​Mix and mix
inside the stomach. Open!
The snake of air whose trajectory
must not, by unnecessary
bits in your mouth
and mind and body, be

Legato, le-gaaaaah-toe!
Legato vowels​, then ​go go go
and follow through​ be Ursula the
villain who is you on the stage,

for there is only true
and only false,
and everyone can see when you are true,
and everyone can see when you’re not you,

says, Tap-Tap-Tap​ the racket and the ground
going ’round the ball to contain it in two
worlds, but the ball just giggles
away, pulls her tongue out and says,

Hey! Hey!
Imma listen to the man,
so let me roll
and let me play!

Come ​ON​, yells the samurai
when he fails to shape the sky he wants.
Gotta listen to the man,​ says the ball, You see,
‘cos he wants his stripe of movement to fall​.

he performs for me now? says she.

Stabs her dagger in the bench,
Smells her own blood’s stench.

Written to be read aloud. Inspired by a man practising tennis in Cartwright Gardens called Tom, and Joyce DiDonato YouTube videos. 

“All the world’s a stage.” – A Letter to My Pre-University Self | An Ode to Life

Friday 21.04.17 – 10.27AM

I’ve just submitted a law essay which I believe has redirected me onto the path to Enlightenment, and I need to stop everything that I’m doing in order to write down what’s in my head. Brace yourselves…


And then he said to me, ‘Isn’t it funny we’re all just people walking around trying to put on appearances. . .’

‘I’m gonna grow a moustache and start smoking. It’s just another way to meet new people.’

Continue reading

October 28th 2013 – Don’t do that, please.

A person in a tutorial who, despite having been asked kindly by me to adjust his irritating habits, types on a laptop with the same degree of force necessary for a typewriter, browses ugly shoes online and breathes through his nose like a rhinoceros, should be more considerate to his fellow classmates.


That’s all I have to say today.

Back to my essay.

What is there to do after exams?

Yesterday we did our last ever school exam, A-level music! Perhaps the most inconveniently placed subject in our term, this exam took place in the final week of school, where time is reduced significantly by additional rehearsals for concerts.

The English A-level board OCR timetable their exams several weeks after the Scottish ones have finished. With the seemingly generous number of days available for revision, you think:

Oh it’ll be fine, we have ages. No need to stress.

On this occasion excess time seemed to cause my own learning to regress. I hadn’t been in a classroom for weeks and had lost the ability to write with a pen. The result: unnecessary panic and, more shamefully, boredom.

We powered through from 9 till 11 in the morning, then exited the exam room to take our first breaths of free life. Finally!

After devoting the majority of their time to this subject – for what feels like an eternity – my friends don’t quite know what to do with themselves.
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Mini, the one examining her hair, even said to me the day before:

I can’t imagine life after A2!

The lads on the other hand took to practising the assembling of their camping gear in preparation for an expedition this summer.
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Sleepy hammock time!
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Later I followed Mini as she tore down her revision material. I have never seen her so happy.

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I can see my wall!

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Not posted here, there is also a video of her jumping on those diagrams. I can tell you now that a pile of paper that size crumples an astonishing volume.


So how do you feel after exams? Is there another purpose to life?

The answers are ‘great’ and ‘yes’.

DIY masterpiece for Boarding School

What to do if your school forbids the sticking of revision on walls, wardrobe doors, bathroom mirrors or any other surface perpendicular to the floor including furniture?

You head to the kitchen and find a sturdy cardboard box. Flatten this and secure with sellotape.
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My Final Term at Music School

Hello again, I’m back with a fresher mind and lovely experiences to share with you from the last month.

(Can you believe this is my last term of high school? I’m leaving this establishment in 9 weeks!)

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Happy Easter! Photos from the end of term…

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter break. When I woke up this morning the sun was shining, the radio was comforting my sleepy head with choir and organ in a lovely morning service, and I felt quite at ease…

But peace and quiet rarely last for more than a few minutes. Today I’m going to the NYO Spring Course! Once again I am on the train to the residential with Michael.
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Here he is with a chocolate bunny and a beautiful score of Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5. Continue reading

February 26th 2013 – Sick in Bed

A friend challenged me to write my next blog post
In (Shakespeare’s) sonnet form. Bed-ridden, I force
Coughs, heaving breaths to pass hours and boast
Weak English skills to speak my mind’s discourse.
The sick waits in my chest. Bombs burst black fire
From lungs, pierce heart, grip throat. Within the walls
Of music’s madhouse, quavers cut the air
Mocking the girl who dreams for concert halls,

The gratitude of crowds and a red dress
For her amusement. But I see a sky
Whose plaster grey brings not hope, but distress,
A cup of acid, hassled hair and sighs.
As I’m pushed back down, silenced, far away
The mighty world flies through another day.