Thursday, 25 June 2015

"Desires's Detective" is in the TOP 5000 for Historical Mystery on AMAZON!

Excerpt from "Desire's Detective" by Desirée Cronson and Manuela Cardiga

Desireé bounced out of her bed, and onto her knees. Closing her eyes, she gave herself over to her prayers. She missed the quiet routines of the convent; the safe patterned life. Mostly she missed Matins: the morning prayers that seemed somehow to cleanse her soul and affirm her faith; her strength for facing life’s daily challenges.

She rose to her feet and stripping off her nightgown, proceeded to wash herself vigorously with the cold water in the laver by the bed. She was washing off the last of the soap when a tiny noise behind her made her spin on her heels. She was face-to-face with Jean, the King’s brother!

He stood with one hand on the door, his mouth opened; his eyes riveted to her body, on the small high virginal breasts, the taut pink nipples pearled with water. With a cry, Desireé grabbed for her gown where she’d left it at the bottom of the bed, and pressed it to her chest. Something fell from the gown’s silken folds: a box.

A red lacquer box inlaid with mother-of-pearl rolled across the Persian carpet, spilling its contents at the Duc d’Orleans feet.  Jean bent down gathering the box and its contents, using the moment to mask his perturbation at the sight of the girl’s nudity.

Desireé ducked behind a Chinese screen and quickly pulled her gown on over her wet skin.

She heard an exclamation and peeked out to see Jean bent over the desk, examining the box: her curiosity was definitely stronger than her embarrassment. She slowly approached the table and peered around Jean’s bent back to try and catch a glimpse of what he’d found.

He looked up at her, black eyes snapping with excitement. “Where is Noelle? Quick, call her.”

Desireé crossed the sitting room and knocked on her cousin’s door.
“I don’t think she’ll be up at this hour…” To her surprise Noelle opened the door immediately. She was fully dressed, immaculately made up and coiffed, and with a feverish gleam in her wide eyes.


“Good morning Desireé, Jean…I thought our meeting was set for 10 o’clock…I was about to go to her Majesty’s sitting-room to help serve her morning chocolate.”

“Forget the chocolate.” Jean’s eyes glittered, “Look at this… Declarations on the birth of a Royal child, a Diploma signed by the Court Midwife, who reports that the Royal Tattoo was placed as is usual on a presumptive heir, but the date…This was eight years before Louis’s birth.”

“The child obviously died…” put in Noelle.

“You don’t understand! There was no other male child. Only three girls, one born dead, one dead at four, and one who is supposed to be deformed, she was sent to St Cyr (we have an aunt there too); then two years later Louis was born, and then last, (but not least!) myself.”

The three stared at each other in bewilderment: another Royal Heir, and older than the King. He would take precedence; he could overthrow Louis XV and take the throne…

Monday, 22 June 2015


Ginny Johnson
Got upset
When she discovered
Her real name
Was not Virginia
But Vagina;

And her brother
Pitched a fit
When he saw
His birth certificate
Named him Prick
Not Dick.

(This is what happens
When I don't get
My caffeine fix)


Thursday, 18 June 2015


John Hagee
Got his knickers
In a twist
Cause he heard
His neighbour's wife
Call God in bliss.

Acording to him
There's no greater sin
Then taking
God's name in vain,
'Specially in a moment
Of  "shame".

I betcha his problem
Is not being Mormon
Or Baptist or Catholic
Or such...

I betcha his pain
Is hearing complains
That his wife
Never "came"
Cause he's just
A fuckin' bad lay.


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Ode to Sweeney Todd

Ode to Sweeney Todd

That barber-guy
The one who was
A bit too shy
To kill quick
And dice the bits
Like friendly Jack
And leave them poems
For the Police
With the left-over bits?

(Ye I know
I used "bits" twice
But this here
Is a jail-house rhyme
And I ain't the most
Edicated guy)

Well, he lived
With me Mum, for
Both bizness and fun:
He rented a room
Upstairs for two bits
Harvested beards
And played with her tits.

So one day Mum
Says to Todd:
"Listen here, Sweeney,
Ain't no bit of kidney
In this whole
Damned City
To be had
For a penny:

Not for love
And not for money
I even promised
The Butcher
I'd flog his dog
But he cried
And admitted
He had no hog
To supply that
Prime kidney
I need for my pies."

"The truth is,
Sweet Sweeney,
The Swine Flu
Killed every piggy
So I guess we is done.
I cain't keep doing
The pork pie-gig
And your barbering
Aint turning the trick
So we gonna be
Out on the street."

Now Sweeney weren't
The kind of guy
To lie back and cry
When life pokes him
In the eye -

(Not like some
We could mention
Who cried in detention
When Turn-Key Mike
Poked him in the arse
With his stanchion)

So he thinks
And he ponders
And he finds him
Some answers
By dicing
And slicing
His ethics
Along with a few
Of his clients.

Not to cut it too fine-

(Mum said you should dice
kidney in half inch slices
No more and no less)

He kept my Mum
Supplied with kidneys
And long-hog on the sly,
And even that uppity
Police Commissioner
Used to come slumming
To East London
To buy me Mum's
Special Sweeney Todd
Steak and Kidney Pie!

As for the how and the why
I'm in the slammer?
I followed the family
Into a life of crime
And wielded a hammer
When I got nostalgic
For my Mum's
Special Recipe
Steak and Kidney
With that brown sauce
On the side...


Saturday, 6 June 2015


of morning light
slices me awake
after a long day's
short night.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015


He turned with an embarrassed smile, one arm around the horse's neck, the other draped on the saddle horn, his foot caught in the stirrup. Ridiculous. She could see that in in the midst of this terrible moment he was young enough, silly enough, to feel ridiculous tangled on that stirrup, hopping on the one foot...

He turned that peach-face towards her, the skin so perfectly young it was utterly flawless in this hard light. His lips were parted, moist rose-petal lips; his eyes wide blue, glistening. His helmet had fallen off somewhere, and his cropped hair showed dark at the roots, sun-gilded in tiny stray curls at his nape.

He was so young.

He looked past her at the silent circle: the zulus with their shields and tall nodding feathers, the boer-boys on their restive horses; impassive faces overshadowed by their hats.

He looked at her, taking in her height, the scarred face, the bare speckled breasts above the kilt; and he blushed. He looked her in the eye, fighting to keep his gaze from drifting down to the pale broad nipples.

"Ma'am...Do you speak English?" His accent was flawless, precise. He was one of the precious boys they rarely let out of the drawing-rooms, and never out of the barracks.

She drifted closer, and he tried to back himself and the horse away from her.
"I am Napoleon Eugene, Ma'am, Prince of France, and I demand you take me to your chief, or someone who speaks English..."

She laughed that delicious girlish laugh. “The Imperial Prince of France, no less! Why, we are honoured, Your Grace...” She laughed again and turned to address the silent circle. “This man is of the line of Napoleon, like you, Dabulamanzi, are of the line of Shaka. This is history! Come my Dabu, come here to me!” and Dabulamanzi stepped forward to stand beside her, staring at the young man with unabashed curiosity.

“A Prince of France and a Prince of the Zulus...Charming!” That light silvery tinkling laugh,and Napoleon Eugene looked at her with a dawning alarm.

Her tones, so appropriate to the ball-room; her voice, mellow and supremely cultured, so at odds with the ferocious savagery of her face, her stance. She smelled of blood, sweat, rancid fat and madness. He was afraid, and so made his mistake. Precariously balanced, clinging to his saddle, he sketched a gallant bow “My Lady, I am charmed to meet you, and His Grace, the Prince. Might I ask My Lady's name?”

The face bent towards him went dull, the mouth gaped open for one long moment of deadly silence, then a scream erupted. She tore the assegay from Dabu's hand, pushed him back and away, struck at that pure and prissy hated face.

“Don't call me that! Don't call me that, you bastard!” And the blade rose and fell, rose and fell, and the blood gushed out from the gaping mouths opening at random on his protesting flesh.

He lay supine, face turned up to the blazing sky, and still her madness and her anger were unsatisfied. Again and again, she thrust, screaming, screaming. She stopped, fell silent and met the stunned blindness in his dead eyes. Those pale still-shimmering eyes. She drew back the assegai, thrust it into his skull, tore out one offending sapphire orb.

She turned triumphant, painted in blood, assegai held high. “The blood of Napoleon! I take his blood, I take his face; I take what was taken from me. Their precious boy for mine; his eye for mine, his life and his death, MINE!” And she took the eye - the blue astonished eye on the end of her assegai - between her lips.

She took it, swallowed it, sucked up into her twisted lips the dangling threads of nerves and leaking veins. She stood in barbaric splendour, the high golden grass stroking her thighs, the breeze lifting the scarlet general's cape that was her tangled hair from her shoulders and smiled, victorious, exultant.

And they saw. They saw the dead boy, hanging upside-down, foot in the fatal stirrup, hair tousled: head dragging on the ground. They saw the blood, the hate, the madness in her. They saw devouring death in her.

Every part of life and joy and love in them rejected her. They stepped back. The Zulus,shuffling backwards in the tall grass; and the Boers, pulling on their reins, backing away from the furnace heat of her face.

She raised the assagai again. “We take this land! Together, we take this land. We break them and devour them, until there is none left. Even the children in the womb we shall take, until they are gone even from Port Natal; until we have cleansed this land.”

She smiled and they saw the blood of a young man on her lips, in her mouth, staining her teeth. They saw the blood of Nations dripping from her tongue. They saw; and they were young, enough, tender enough that the best part of them was still alive; and so they saw the spirit of War and were repulsed.

Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 1 June 2015


Today I am pondering change:
Oh change unchains us
From our old pains
Frees us from
Bad sad choices
Let's us be ourselves

And still
That moment
Before we step away 
From that failed task/
Past mistake/
Familiar pain,
We hesitate.