A love letter to Gracie


Being between editorial jobs and an operation, I’ve been cleaning out my study this week, a task that was long overdue. Amongst the glory holes and dusty-musties, I found a hard copy of the following, which I wrote for Gracie while we were courting, years before we married, before Lily, who didn’t make it, and Vincent, who’s five in July. Anyway, I am not, by nature a poet – as I’m sure you can tell – but this caught me funny, because it was and remains just so us: Lux and Ivy, Lily and Herman, off in a little world of our own, a cornucopia of love and horror. So this one’s for Gracie – I hope you don’t mind. I’m so glad I found you. I thank the old gods every day. Happy Birthday, babe, I love you…

I Walked with a Zombie – Or Did I?

She took me with a cold slow hand,

While Hell’s Angels thundered by.

Through the flowers of a nuclear summer

She led me first awry,

Down the left hand path of a one-way street

As dead boys wondered why.

It was love at first bite in the cool moonlight,

When first I caught her eye.

Now every night’s like Halloween,

And every dawn I die

In a post-apocalyptic paradise,

I walked with a zombie – or did I?

She’s got that Triple X, X Files Factor,

A body to make you die.

She’s Annabel Lee, Gothic Zombie Barbie,

A bleeding nun whose eyes

Stare from the abyss,

While her suicide kiss grants your every wish

And whispers a breathless sigh.

As society fell and Cheryl Cole died,

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry

But I knew that I had found my bride,

I walked with a zombie – or did I?

An indescribable perfume blinded my eyes

As I held her spider’s hand in mine.

I gave her my ring, and then everything

While burning doves fell from the sky.

In a satire of post-consumerism,

Our marriage bed had a halo of flies.

So I plighted my troth in that terrible place,

To be honest she looked quite surprised

When I consummated our undying love

And all the tears ran dry.

I walked with a zombie – or did I?

We honeymooned in Yarmouth,

Which looked the same to me

As it had before the Last Judgement

Revealed the meaning of love to me.

We paddled; blood rained,

We had chips with our brains

And read Edgar Allan Poe by the sea.

Then an undead shark with a chainsaw

Took my baby away from me.

Now they tell me I’m dreaming,

And I can’t stop screaming,

And no-one will tell me why

I walked with a zombie – or did I?

PS No more goth poetry, I promise!

PPS We didn’t honeymoon in Yarmouth.

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