Night Owl

Not an early bird by nature,
more a lover of candlelight and lamps
—low lighting as darkness falls
inducing sleep naturally when needed.
Work and lifestyle, enforces an abnormal routine,
out of rhythm like a bad karaoke song gone wrong.
I coax unwilling sleep, like a sick patient force fed
as darkness falls, but my active mind roams along
dark corridors, through mazes reliving moments
recent and long gone, until I drift restlessly in
and out of consciousness, awoken abruptly by
the rising sun.

First published Dreich 2021.
The Halcyon Bird

Grief lingers on Mother’s birthday like her favourite perfume,
reigniting loss long after she has gone, the day dedicated to
Sinatra and songs that touched her heart.

Like a laser through an open door, chaos comes, green opal
sweeps a flash of light, displaying feathery turquoise top and
tails of electric blue, the

frantic fluttering of a visitor unused to glass panes and walls
persists, until perched high on a sill, hunched up, the kingfisher
surveys the room with onyx, pin top eyes.

A morphing form, compact pompom body, balayage, yellow
and white with long black bill like a workman’s tool, streamlined
for craft.

Windows and doors are unlocked, flung like arms wide open, allowing
easy exit into vast bush and warm blue sky. The ‘halcyon bird’
ascends bestowing peace.

  • ‘halcyon bird’ Greek name for a Kingfisher.
First published Poetica Review (UK) 2022.
I am originally from Birmingham in England where I lived for 34 years and still love dearly.
I have also lived in North Wales/ South Wales, Kent and New Zealand which has been my
second home for the last 20 years.

I live on a lifestyle block with my partner, dog, cat, and two chickens. I am a mother and

I have always been a creative person who enjoyed acting and singing. I was a member of the
Birmingham and Triangle Youth Theatre in my teens and performed as a student.

I was originally at University College Cardiff, but later studied at Massey University in New
Zealand and Auckland University of Technology where I gained a Post Grad Dip in

Writing is my passion and has become more important with the passing of time. In recent
years it has been a wonderful way to express myself and have a voice in a very unsettling
world where there seems to be a lot of uncertainty.

I was long listed for the UK Film Festival Script Competition 2022. I have been published in
Dreich, London Grip, Dawntreader, Ink Sweat and Tears, Red Poets and Poetica Review.

As an English/ ESL teacher in Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, it has been a pleasure to have
taught many wonderful young people over the last fifteen years. Working with young adults
has made me aware of the pressures placed on them from social media and the internet but at
the same time, access to things inconceivable in my youth.

I’m interested in themes such as identity, family relationships, finding acceptance, loss, and
social injustice. I am a supporter of human rights and a lover of the natural world.
Jake Hennessey is moved away from the
only life and friends he has ever known.
Although he initially finds comfort in his
new Pakistani girlfriend, Ameerah, at school
he feels isolated until he is befriended by
the enigmatic Al, a key player in a nascent
alt-right movement, England’s Own. In too
deep, Jake struggles to escape the clutches
of Al and the movement’s dangerous
front man, Micky Gately. A family secret is
uncovered and, when things take a violent
turn, Jake seeks redemption.
Set in Birmingham England, DNA is Sophia
Butler’s first novel. The narrative is mainly
from the point of view of its teenaged
protagonist, Jake, and gives voice to many of the challenges and influences faced by young people in the 2020s.
Thoughts and feelings