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The Purple Haystack – A Sequence by Joanne Ashcroft

August 6, 2012

The Purple Haystack


Step Forward to Tell the Tale



not-doll sized neck-

cradled by over anxious


her image in the mouth forehead




3 to 4 and 6

separately at least once

children home and away 3

if local and previous partners

to panel


mirrored salted


and grin


perform-feed in a secure bucket change

rose buds   hoots a pass


equipped for independence review powers by whim their lack

a far miss her smirk

            to engage in public play


I heard

no-one is immune to

the use of emotive

language to edit

get strong




head to toe waist

being 16 is asked do you

drink cut yourself no

allergies medication


lay down that paper and


and write that

if you can


can renege

won’t retract


out loud

in writing


(numbers apply are turned away abort)


uninvited to

hear court jesting say we

are on


thing of pins itching

side-pitching in tongues

stitch listlongs

knit the eye cranial

tacking left to right

stinging ratworm

wrung and out in

casts dripping spit

divine lipsmith

puppet caster

forging glitter-traps

silence blown in

thorny breaths

beating cabbage whites

red drenched concrete

made paper

artless and lies

witless eyes raking

spring out

of time


baa baa cocker hoople doo


and still


the tug



Not on My Watch Tale


now love

we’ll bond

and I

shall show you how

to and how you

and no-one else can

do what I do


I make fives

top lunged

tic tack toe

goggle and


you can’t do


I can’t do



Too Far to Tell Her Tale


evil looks ruin

her luck

a slurred signature

incontinence (both)


the depth


arrive to woman leaving

the crackle of blister

as sweets

and washing


a face mostly eyes

a voice raising


clouds black rolling in rolling out

can’t say a difference

risk ruffling in a single number


a flea

minus sandwich

don’t crash


wished upon

the slipping surface

a hair away


give us her number so we can increase hope and confusion

no use to

ask who is prime minister



as breathing



guts see

clouds black

an abduction

out to lunch


Too Busy to Tell a Tale


sits opposite an ear

feeding a nose kissing

thick skin


who closest

was important


remember it

make changes

how do you feel


enjoy school

have any regrets

any qualifications

did you continue

value education

previous jobs / your current

how important

enjoy it


fit into family life


(she said she saw

her over-stepping her

words a bloody cascade)


what hobbies

and why

how much time

alone or with others


describe your personality

see yourself

with key words

(yours and others)

your strengths

aspects you do not like


marriages / relationships

give details


who leads

supports / strengths

stress / decisions

what effect


children   write briefly

how do they feel



is this end


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