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Valerie McKinley


Grantham, England, UK

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Wednesday 26th May 1943


Valerie McKinley

In the midst of conflict

with the world at War,

my father at sea,

destined to walk

his homeland no more.

I arrived,

breaking free

of the darkness

out into the light

leaving the warmth of the womb

for a cool spring night.

Not understanding then,

for how could I see,

the man

from whose loins I sprang

would be but a shadow,

a ghost to me.



Valerie McKinley

Itís Winter
the morning is misty,
itís early
and the air is chill.
Itís Sunday
the world is praying
for peace,
let the earth be still.
the guns start barking,
bombers prepare to die.
is always the victim,
just passing by...



Valerie McKinley

If I had the mind

to dream

or the time

to waste on dreaming

I think my dreams

would be of you

maybe then

my silent screams

would stop,

as I recognised

their meaning.


I would find

I have no cause

to torment my mind

by feeling guilt.

It was not I

who gave you pause

to drink the world dry

to destroy the life

that we had built.

you created the strife

You chose to die.

Haunting Me


Valerie McKinley

I cantí stop the memories
Tumbling through my head
All I see is the face
Of one who is dead.


I donít understand
Why it should be
I thought that I had laid your ghost
But your back here haunting me.


No matter where I choose to look
Which way I my head is turning
All I see are dark brown eyes
Into my soul they are burning.


Why are you haunting me?
You didnít need me in life
We made each other miserable
As husband and wife.


Why are you constantly
Burrowing in my brain
Waking me in the dark of night
Driving me insane.


Please, wonít you go now,
Leave me in peace,
Please spare me all this pain
Allow me some release.

Then And Now


Valerie McKinley

I walked one Sunday down the lane

Round by the church and back again,

Down passed the brook I wandered on

And wondered where my youth had gone.


Then on a grassy knoll sat I

To watch some children passing by,

I saw them gaily running, playing,

Heard every word that they were saying .


Then in my minds eye once again

I walked a different country lane,

I saw other happy smiling faces

In distant bygone sunlit places.


I heard my brothers laughing loudly

I saw my sisters preening proudly,

I saw myself as I was then

And wished I could go back again.


Then suddenly, I remembered you

And most emphatically I knew,

I liked the present just as well

Where you and I together dwell.

Turquoise Silk


Valerie McKinley

I open the door to my wardrobe
My eyes fall on turquoise silk;
Touching it lovingly
My heart is squeezed
Constricting my throat.

Memories tumble down
Like autumn leaves,
Burnished and golden.

Here and there
One or two impinge
Turned black with choler,
Some still a jealous green;
With life and strength to sear,
As they touch my soul in passing.

Pulling the silky feel of it
Over my hips,
Feeling the swirl of the fish tail
Around my legs,

It could almost be then_

I close my eyes
I see you,
Hear your chocolate brown voice;
My heart races,
Eyes snap open and I am back.
I cast off the skirt
And cast off the memory_

Yet, the memory is playful
A chocolate chuckle
Resounds through my head
As I see the turquoise silk
Walking down the high street_

Leopard Spots


Valerie McKinley

Then, life was simple.
We were just cubs you and I;
our spots still pale and unformed
our paws playful
our night vision full of each other;
all stealth, all delightful, all exciting.

You must have been the first to notice
my spots defining,
my claws showing.
Your vision sharpened
wandered further afield
marked out new territory
sought out more exotic prey,
Whilst your star still sparkled.
The veil took longer
to fall from my love locked eyes
softening and blurring the edges
of your now experienced and well polished spots.