MY poetry

A selection of my poetry is presented below.


I have published a book

' Looking Into The Abyss Over Tea and Cake',

which contains these and many more 

examples of my written work alongside the paintings they are

associated with, as well as a more detailed account of my background and story

which ultimately informs the majority of my creative work.


At present it is only available by contacting me directly.

For now I hope you enjoy this

small offering!



Twelve golden chairs downstairs -

the last supper before lockdown.


Was someone already dead?  Did they decline?

Whatever it was the air filled with sombre wine.

Visitors wore their favourite clothes,

pompous styled hairdos

all seemed anxious sharing six loos.

One gold, the others marble

nonetheless it did not relieve stress.

Each barely heard what the other was saying

some overtly praying.


They all ate and ate a seven-course meal

it was surreal but they could not appeal.

Instead they talked and gossiped

about the chair that was bare.


The sun cuts a large crack in the scalding sky

wild orange burns through.

Green foliage curves perfectly around us

on top of a precipice.


He was flirting,

I felt alone.

Our surroundings bleak

charcoal coated my wounds.


“Are you a model?” he asked

“Do I look like one?” I answered.

His friend gave me a cigarette


I wandered into the pit to smoke

hopeless, bloody hopeless pit,

then his beautiful face appeared like a ghost

beneath the perfect wave of grey.


God pull me up!

I ran forward as though on stilts.

A fire welcomes me from the inglenook.


Shaking off the flames

I drink gin and champagne

in the Blue Hotel.


What happens down Yellow Street?

Butchers selling mouldy meat,

mad dogs panting in the yellow heat,

luscious ladies lingering.

Large breasted ones singing,

men dancing out of sight,

corridors, alleyways,

things happening on various days.

I don’t know, I’m not part of their play

what goes on beyond the pathway.

Opening after opening

doors sway, pink, yellow, white days

delicate edge of my raw paint,

tattered and fragile.

Coffee shops stained with whores,

curiosity peers and steers

what happens year after year.

No more fights

with beer and brawl

they still seem to fall

and get up shaking hard

as they sing along with the local bard

“for he’s a jolly good fellow”.



Breathing, sighing,

her long tail could not lie,

as it curled closely, weaving inside out

under a grotesque and glistening rock.

So much pleasure was this erotic new treasure

beneath her sea, the Mermaid of Zennor.

Such silvery flesh and near mini death

awakened by sweet salt singing and breath.

Anxious brows relaxed again,

shimmering fingers soothing my brain.

Her golden hairs electrocuted flesh, erect,

tingling beyond the usual cause and effect,

beyond all science, planets, and sea, beyond

being prince, beyond being me.

Such luminosity, wrapping itself freely aglow,

such delicate treasure I cannot fathom to know.


Still life is not a ghost

and in some ways lives the most,

placed carefully, even playfully

passion fruit sits creatively

with succulent seeds pouring sin

from a battered brown and wrinkly skin.

Some fruits are whole, others closed, open, old

flowing with festivity and colourful fertility.

Morality sealed tightly with abstinence

but all are framed now.


I place fingers around each fig,

cool velvety coats lean

towards each other, some

open, soft, pinky red.

A little grape, stands alone

and one other fig without a home.    

To paint them is quite an experience

they neither move nor require

the usual passion from the flaming fire

and yet…

there is life in them just the same.

I can’t eat them now‘t would be a murderous shame!


In their bubble

of air and trouble.

Tall, thin, fat

life is simply not like that!

Quirky is as quirky does

be like you and not like us!

Lovable, odd, weird habits

not like nuns or white rabbits!

Can a quirk wear a skirt?

Wash their clothes and walk on dirt?

Short with tall, tall with small

wriggling around before the ball.

Tranny dresses, gay dresses,

trouser dresses, head dresses

chocolate dresses, sweetie dresses

no dresses - goth dresses up.  

Girls hold hands

dragging eerie man

banging heads with a frying pan.

Quirky is lovable, quirky is weird

quirky the man with the purple beard.

Purple thoughts entwine with wine

quirky mind with pretty thing,

pretty thing that cannot sting.

Quirky musician, quirky shades

singing to his pretty maid.

Quirky is as quirky does

relaxed and free from any fuzz.


A battered old hospital window hung,

small breeze blowing through cracks.

I lay glimpsing her bright blonde hair

as the sun shone in the warm, dry air.

Lizzie was full of zest when I got her dressed,

placing her gently on my tender breast.

Watching her grow was mysterious,

feeling deliriously happy changing her nappies,

impatient to see her walk, hear her talk,

interact more as we played together on Dartmoor,

the parks, toddler groups and in the sea.

Painting, cooking, creating, and reading lots of books,

singing merrily in the nook before bed.

One day, in the sitting room, alone

I called out to her dad.  The midwife soon arrived.

Little Lottie flew out!  There was no messing about!

Two hours and there she was, eyes wide as perfect as a china doll

with Lizzie softly touching her cheek

we sang Lottie into a very, deep sleep.

Lottie slept through the night within a few weeks.

A great observer learner who later loved puzzles

making potions of love with her own tears

placing them in a bottle, labelling all the

ingredients, she would give

this gift to me, as if to pray,

on St Valentines Day.

Lizzie read all the books in school!  She was nobody’s fool

who played hard and fast, by the rules,

ending up with top class tools.

She loved her sister, and they had much fun -

when young.  

Charlotte was sometimes called Lottie or Botticelli, Elizabeth, Lizzie, Lily

or Betty.   A part of their character expressed,

just like choosing tights, hats, and pretty, sunflower dress.

Felicity arrived whilst I had the flu and in a sense was extra brand new,     

born in the sac, sailors tales shared, ‘tis a sign of good luck and it certainly was!

Her head came in and out five times, like a nursery rhyme

before she decided to leave my womb!

It was exactly at noon and not a minute too soon.

Her beautiful face bright red and beaming,

Lily and Lottie screaming with excitement and giggles

their beautiful sister all full of wriggles,

a buoyant bundle of happiness,

our treasure to be loved and adored forever.

Felicity was like electricity full of eccentricity, fidgety,

often excited so people would become ignited and united

into her lovely, empathic light.   

Singing would fill the room,

bright and fancy dressing with her sisters and friends,

never did end.  Despite difficulties and some miseries,

they all remain close, profoundly.

Ten years on another was born, at home.

The handsome son, my only one,

his radiant blue eyes brighter than any sun,

a gift to behold with a personality so bold

it did not matter that he wasn’t as old as his sisters.

His siblings love him so much!

This rare and vibrant personality with gifts

 incredible originality all admired.

His forgiving nature and heart so pure,

an example to us, year after year.


Four wonderful children all unique, gifted and kind,

are the loveliest of creatures you will ever find.


Silken tapestries weaving

precariously, with exotic

soiree whilst gutters spill

with guttersnipes,

bare bellies bloating with air.

Foul smells mouthing from

their cake-free* holes

as corruption slithers around

decadent Marie! (Antoinette).


Poor little Prince Louis

paid the price for his mother's iniquity -

father executed, brother dead -

Louis Charles next in line.


His delicate features

like a moth that

flaps its wings

miming pleas

for normal things.

Rumour had it

a mute took his place -

muted dark being!

Tattered clown toy

groping in his own

royal, shitty earth

from sun rise to sun set

eclipsed black blankness,

solemnity and solitude.


Till the sweeper comes

till the reaper comes

shame has no name.


Angelic voiceless creature

are you happier in death?

Is the rain I feel,

your tears falling on my head?

*Cake - referring to the phrase in French

translated into English 'let them eat cake' erroneously

attributed to Marie Antoinette but which may have been

written by Rousseau,

when Marie Antoinette was but a child. 

The older anecdote 'why don't they eat meat' was the

response of Emperor Hui of Jinin Xizho Tongjian

when told his subjects did not have rice.

An external link to read more about

Marie Antoinette's missing son is here

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© 2021 Mary Clare de Pentheny  

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