I have heard the word ‘butterfly’ used as a descriptor for people who struggle to make strong emotional connections – people who float from one romance to another.

I think it has something to do with the image of a butterfly going from one beautiful flower to another without ever landing – hovering over beauty as one might over a black hole – aware of the danger of being consumed by gravity.

I certainly don’t interpret the term negatively. I love butterflies.

Anyway …. Cyranny wrote a piece with her usual insight and delicacy but instead of focussing on the content of her post I became, instead, obsessed with the image that accompanied it. I wrote her a poem. It doesn’t mean much.

This is it.


I don’t really know you
But I recognise your style
I don’t really like you
And I’m not flattered by your smile
Don’t think that I am looking
When I see you everyday
Please don’t think that I am listening
If I hear you, anyway

I’ve never really talked to you
I’ve not heard a word you’ve said
Please don’t think that thoughts about you
Interrupt my time in bed
Don’t imagine that I think of you
When taking off my jeans
Don’t think that I can’t sleep at night
Or that you interrupt my dreams

But what is this thing about you?
What is this strange appeal?
I’ve never really touched you
So I don’t know how you feel
But you’re feeling free and floating
Flying faultless, free from sin
There’s a butterfly within you
And it’s painted on your skin


The truth is that I really do like Cyranny. We all do.


Anyone who knows me well will confirm that insomnia is a non-stop affliction that I deal with so much that I even forget that I am dealing with it (I don’t deal with it well, for the record). But it’s not nice. Or healthy.

Something arrived in my inbox today, quite coincidentally, making mention of the issue via Maria Popova at Brainpickings and detailing a technique that Patti Smith uses to cope with it. I have mixed feelings about Ms Smith. She is a very creative and talented individual, to be sure, but I find her to be what I can only describe as ‘attractively repulsive’. I don’t even know what I really mean by that.

Be that as it may, I did like the little story she uses to get to sleep. I am willing to give it a go …..

“I imagine myself a sailor in the time of the great whaling ships on a lengthy voyage. We are in the center of a violent storm and the captain’s inexperienced son catches his foot in a length of rope and is pulled overboard. Unflinching, the sailor leaps into the storm-tossed seas after him. The men throw down massive lengths of rope and the lad is brought to deck in the arms of the sailor and carried below.

The sailor is summoned to the quarterdeck and led to the captain’s inner sanctum. Wet and shivering, he eyes his surroundings with wonder. The captain, in a rare show of emotion, embraces him. You saved my son’s life, he says. Tell me how I can best serve you. The sailor, embarrassed, asks for a full measure of rum for each of the men. Done, says the captain, but what of you? After some hesitation the sailor answers, I have slept on galley floors, bunks and hammocks since a lad, it has been a long time since I have slept in a proper bed.

The captain, moved by the sailor’s humility, offers his own bed, then retires to the room of his son. The sailor stands before the captain’s empty bed. It has down pillows and a light coverlet. There is a massive leather trunk at its foot. He crosses himself, blows out the candles and succumbs to a rare and wholly enveloping sleep.”

This is the game I sometimes play when sleep is elusive, one that evolved from reading Melville, that takes me from the mat on the bathroom floor to my own bed, affording grateful slumber.”

I doubt that it will help. But it will be something to think about whilst I’m not sleeping

Who am I?

I get asked this question quite a bit. My honest answer is that I am a pathological liar and I assume that any further questions are thus rendered meaningless.

Nevertheless Rory, at aguycalledbloke has asked them anyway, and so I will answer with my usual degree of disarming honesty ……


What is your favourite sweet treat?

Gee. That varies from day to day. I have broad tastes. Something soft but still chewy. Something I can really get my teeth into, in other words. And something that is not afraid to bite back, tenderly. In truth, it doesn’t really need to be all that sweet.

Oh, whoops. I misread the question. I thought you asked who is my favourite sweet treat.

If you want to really relax – what is your go to?

See above.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

OK. This is like they do in those personality tests, right? Where they ask the same question over and over again, but cleverly reworded, to check for inconsistency?

Well …. I want it put on record that I don’t feel guilty about it at all. Not every time, anyway.



Cyranny wrote some stuff about difficult love and dangerous relationships and it was really good …. but I have the attention span of a flea and suddenly, once again, I was off on a tangent and regressing back into my youth when, for just a few moments, I considered myself to be a rock and roll sex god, who wrote lyrics that were thankfully drowned out by loud music and unhealthy pharmaceuticals.

God, how I miss my own immaturity.


You’re infectious baby

I’ve got the disease

I’m burning up

Thirty eight degrees

Sweetheart keep your distance

Please don’t touch

I can take some rejection

But I can’t take much


I’m lovesick, lovesick, I’m not feeling so great

Lovesick baby. It’s not something that I ate

But I have to bring it up. The condition won’t abate

Lovesick baby. Let’s regurgitate

I’ve got this burning love

It feels so pure

But it’s a hot infestation

And there ain’t no cure

I tried some meditation

With the doctor of love

And I promised dedication

To the Lord above


I’m lovesick, lovesick, I’m not feeling so great

Lovesick baby. It’s not something that I ate

But I have to bring it up. The condition won’t abate

Lovesick baby. Let’s regurgitate

But the Lord said nothing

‘Cause he couldn’t understand

He was far too busy

And he wouldn’t lend a hand

So I took to medication

Ignored the hymns and the psalms

If this is going to kill me

Let me die in your arms.


Girls. Who cares where they come from?

Here’s another one. This time from Rory, who confesses a love for country girls. I find my own feelings to be slightly less specific.


She was a country girl, of course

A country girl upon a horse

Then laying by a mountain stream

A country girl within a dream

But then there was the city chick

Exciting nights. When hearts go quick

City lights. The city beat

Love found us on the city street

Girls from North, East, South and West

I don’t know which I like the best

I answer when I hear the call

Girls. I guess I like them all.