The thread of fictional stories that comprise Grace, have been developed from my interest in women pioneers of circus.

The poem Mercurial was written in 2018 and is included in Women Who Dare, a series of seven poems and five prints.

The stories in Grace, expand the same ideas into a prose narrative.


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On the fine linen of my skin

I invent myself

In intricate ink;

Serpents slip around my breast,

A lioness strides my chest and

In my arms rest 

Birds of paradise.  



I play the crowds like a concert pianist

Timing my turns with grace,

With ease, I catch the flying trapeze

Keep you in thrall, watching me -

One blink from a fall -

Leap for my life and turn thrice 

In the air.



Like a magpie I’ve stolen the show,

Hold the ring in my iron jaw,

Pivot in pinwheels 

(My stellar stunt).

You count with me – one, two, three -

I can shoulder a century 

Or more.



I tread the boards 

Contortionist extraordinaire 

I shift my shape (I wouldn’t fit);

I’m a free-falling freak

The vaudeville doyenne 

Singular corps

Trompe l’oeil act.



Now draw back the curtain, dare 

To discover my dislocation, my weeping wounds;

I’m a hellcat, a spitfire,

The mistress of tantrums,

I hire and I fire and I stamp my commands.

A volcano of pain 

I endure.