Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sitting alongside...

So I tripped this morning at the top of the stairs and fell awkwardly in the doorway to the attic, banging my elbow and landing palm-down on the flat-iron doorstop by the attic stairs... ouch.

I lay awhile, looking at the books on the lowest shelf, idly wondering where we had assigned 'Bell Hooks', who I want to re-read, but haven't come across since we moved..

Then I sat on the top step, testing each finger in turn, flexing my wrist and regaining my equilibrium. My little terrier arrived and sat beside me, in silent sympathy, the epitome of the definition of a friend...


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunrise after Solstice


Not being a shepherd,
or a sailor,
I take delight
in the pink-painted sky
this early morning
after the longest night

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Palimpsests


High above Aberystwyth
the woods are still deep
in autumn's copper petals
and woodsmoke hangs in the air

in your childhood garden
you laugh up at me,
wildly scattering the apple leaves
we have just raked into a pile and

somewhere in wartorn London
two young men, brothers,
are scrunching leaves in St James' Park
and woodsmoke hangs in the air

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Saturday



A high, howling wind
this morning,
and the turning tide
meant we
alone
walked the beach.

Picked our careful way
through the debris
and the high-tide boulders
to the shoreline
and the spume

Scanned the horizon
for the sails
of a waiting pirate ship
and paddled
inadvertantly...

Friday, 6 December 2013

6B, for smudging and softening


The mist lies deep this morning,
not - as I was going to say - heavily,
as a grey woolen blanket, obliterating all opposition.

But lightly, as silver down,
caressing the folds of the hills,
gently erasing worn and battered edges

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Chattering monkeys


Swinging precariously
from branch to dangerous branch,
Balancing distractingly
on the highest reaches of my mind -
Pulling faces...

I coax you down
to the heart's core of safety,
Cradling you
with unwarrented kindness -
Hush now, be still...

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Sunday afternoon above Aberystwyth


The bay is as glass today,
silver-blue sea-glass,
muted and still.

Pen Llyn and Ynys Enlli
are clear on the horizon.

For a moment
a train in the distance
and a lone seagull
the only sounds.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Low tide, Aberystwyth


The beach was empty today and,
forgetting our original purpose,
we pottered along to the pier
and back,
finding a handful of pearl sea-glass pieces
glowing green among the shells and pebbles
of the morning

Tiny really,
as though, for me, the tide had tossed up a reminder:
'Sometimes smaller treasures...'

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Winter colour


In the sheltered lea
Ragged-Robin smiling still
Magenta morning

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Winter afternoon impressions


A crisp north wind bites,
Snow lies on the far mountains,
Bonfire's acrid smoke

Monday, 11 November 2013

Brighton autumn Sunday


Sky-blue city streets,
winter, waiting in the wings,
draws its cruel breath

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Treasure trove


Among the debris
of yesterday's storms
a curl of rusted metal
is to me
a viking armoured cuff

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tanybwlch morning


Beachcombing after the storm,
an unexpected sun made a brief appearance. 
For a minute a white gull feather cast a pine-tree shadow 
on the stones

Monday, 28 October 2013

And this morning...



.. honeysuckle stems,
 rescued from the hedge,
suffuse the kitchen
with the warm ,nostalgic scent
of summer past

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Storm warning... at the bar


Angry grey sea
hurling furious waves
at an unheeding shore.

Sunlight on the horizon..

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Today


Maybe
it was the warm sunshine
on my back,
or the scent of ferns
in the high farm hedges

but suddenly
it was as though
I would round the corner
in the lane
and you would all be there

at the beach
getting surfboards out,
changing, shrieking,
running down to the
waiting waves

or one of you
cycling back to meet me
as I arrived,
with some complaint
or other...

A dog barked
or a car passed
the curtain closed and
I was again present
here,

but those times and places
only a breath away...




Friday, 11 October 2013

Murmurings


If time has any meaning
we can grow old up here,
will the road re-echo today's laughter?
And will they one day walk this way
and think of us?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

After last night's storm


The landscape is washed clean today and
the blackberries are still sweet in the hedgerow.
The steam train is hooting in the valley,
there are whitecaps on the bay out toward Ynyslas and
I THINK I can see forever

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

'Heroes in the seaweed'


A wild wind and westerly
and high spring-tides
have fashioned quite a different shoreline.

We stroll smiling
secretly, sorting through the debris
to unearth today's treasure

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Autumn haiku


Unexpectedly
low tide beyond the bar and
rockpools glisten green

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The attic, when he's gone


Abseiling spiders
coffee cup abandoned book
and one forgotten sock

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Wet Sunday Walk


Wild the windy beach
silver-salt the sea-spume spray
on my laughing lips

Monday, 9 September 2013

'Kicking the Bar'


Blue, storm-washed shoreline,
liquid-honey sunshine wraps
peace around my shoulders

Saturday, 7 September 2013

September Haiku


Summer's suns have set,
blackberry-tasting autumn days
sweeten my horizons

Monday, 2 September 2013

Beyond the bar..


There's seaweed and fire,
pebbles and the scent of rain,
secret angels roam

Sunday, 1 September 2013

September morning


Bruised and storm-battered,
clearer now the sea-washed air
stills my unquiet mind

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tan y Bwlch morning


Sun promises warm,
fragile sea-pinks breeze-braving,
salt the misty air

Monday, 26 August 2013

Nant Yr Arian


Forest-dark silence,
light-filled, sky-arched ridges
quiet speak to my soul

Thursday, 22 August 2013

On the fence-posts


Silent, threatening,
etched against the summer sky,
five hooded black crows

Monday, 19 August 2013

Haiku version..


Early blackberries
memory-tastes of long ago
sharp-sweet on my tongue

Saturday, 17 August 2013

'Only he who sees...'


The blackberries were ripe alongside the cliffpath this morning, so, on our daily walk, the dog and I savoured the first of the season (well, I tasted some, she didn't - though I once had a dog who would eat them delicately off the lower bramble branches).

Aah, how taste brings memories flooding back- blackberrying over the years:

With the now-grown-up children, in the hot humid sun of late August, when the heavy weight of summer-holiday activities fell squarely on my shoulders..

Further back, and the memory-taste is mingled with that of polo-mints when he and I walked the coastal paths of Wales and Cornwall in our before-children days. A different dog-companion again..

Further back again and you are there, unusually as you didn't like the great outdoors. This memory is so vivid I think there must be a photo somewhere - you in your disreputable raincoat, hooking down the high brambles with your father's walking-stick, brought along for the purpose..

That same walking-stick you took to with aplomb after your fall about ten years ago, defiantly defending your treasured and surprising independence..

That same stick you stomped into the hospital with last summer, arguing that there wasn't anything wrong..

And the most recent memory - last summer's late blackberries, gathered in September for chutney, when I was mourning your loss..

That same walking-stick stands in the corner of the room now, garnered along with so many trifles from the house-clearance; smooth well-worn wood, bearing such a store of dreams. I shall not start using it, yet..

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

From the lookout


Above the rooftops
disconsolate seagulls wheel
rain stopped play today

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Growing-up


Insouciant fledglings
feed among the scaffolding
unconcerned children

Thursday, 8 August 2013

August morning


The light is silver-hazy
where the sea meets the sky,
boats appear to fly
and soaring birds to swim.

At my feet
the green and grey of sea and shore
are mingled

There are no clear-cut boundaries anymore

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tan Y Bwlch


The rhythms of the sea today
Are blue and green and grey
The painted boat crosses a line of silver
And drops its anchor -
A child's red toy
Bobbing in the bay

Friday, 12 July 2013

Leaving my house


Drowsy-warm honeysuckle 
assails my senses
through the open windows
this too hot July day..

Too hot that is to be cleaning 
empty bedrooms...

'Blow and bother
and hang spring-cleaning'
(I remind myself firmly)
will NOT do today...





Friday, 5 July 2013

Beechwoods


Clear emerald light,
soft breeze to ease
my fragile heart and
still my mind -

can't let it go!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

summer dawn


silver crescent moon
piercing soft black velvet sky
torn my tired heart

afternoon haiku


scatter of pigeons
grey between midsummer trees
unaccountable heart

Monday, 24 June 2013

Broch


Stone by painful stone
we built our
wall
Then stood appalled and watched
the scaffold
fall
around our dreams.

Shuddering it stands
our tender
life
What can withstand the storm-
encountered
strife
if not our dreams?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

After the storm


In the rain-green park
dogs and children run
released,
the trees drip
sunshine

Elderflower is warm-
scented
and I dance slowly -
Billie Holliday
in my mind

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

.. because I cannot..


I write because I cannot dance
the things I want to say -
the wings upon my heels are words
birds
taking flights of fancy where
my body cannot follow..

Monday, 10 June 2013

Walk in the park


Sunshine-stripy picnic rugs,
a straw-boatered  band to jazz our afternoon,
a gallant couple jive,
insouciant dogs posture
and children play

overhead
unconcerned
the yellow bi-plane is a toy
in the blue Sunday sky

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Old linen jacket


At night I walk my childhood streets
again
and suddenly by day I turn
in vain
because I thought I heard you speak
my name
or then because his shoulders stooped
the same...

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Early walk


Cool beechwood morning
dappled green and gold sunshine
and birdsong all mine

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

May haiku


Horse-chestnut candles
lit against the green and grey
warm my soul today

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The view from D10


Rainy-day horizon,
softened strips of grey and green
beyond the window

bank holiday blues


In the rain-green park
yesterday's summer sounds still
echo in my senses

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Storm cloud haiku


Sudden bright sunlight
birch branches etched sharply white
blue-black angry sky

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Eavesdropping haiku


Riding on the bus,
List'ning to conversations
The lives people lead!

'But isn't she, y'know...?
'Mmm, nine years older than him..'
'And does she really...?'


Thursday, 16 May 2013

May haiku


Lazy, warm river,
sunshine-yellow irises,
suddenly kingfisher!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Taking down the paintings


I remember the grey
day you all arrived
('going home')
to cheer my grieving heart..

You came with a canvas
blue and white impressions
of sky, wind
and sea, dark at the horizon,

And just a single curl
of wave

And now within a year
we're taking down the paintings,
packing up
our troubles with the shells

The colours of the sea
are waiting there
for me

(what colour is the sea today?)







Monday, 13 May 2013

stormy monday


vertical grey clouds
pour down on us
between valiant rainbows

Rainy-day river thoughts


Each drop of rain hesitated momentarily, then
rippled in circles to the edge of time

Friday, 10 May 2013

Early hours


Sparkling as diamonds
Raindrops pattering softly
Black velvet skylight

Thursday, 9 May 2013

dance


We moved as feathers in the breeze,
danced as dust-motes, soft in a slant of sunlight

Sunday, 5 May 2013

River trip


The lazy blue and white reflections were like Giverny to my rested eyes

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Friday, 3 May 2013

Thursday, 2 May 2013

More iambic thingys

Tell me again of dreams that can come true,
drown out the muttered lies and old regrets,
the whispered winter-words of cold reproof -
and sing instead sweet summer-songs of truth

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Daily walk


Quiet the woods today,
shy anenomes hiding
in the longer grass

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Haiku 'Friends'


Heart racing wildly,
Suddenly silent stillness
and all will be well

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Morning haiku


Lemon-green cowslips
Blue-distant haze of April
Patch of sunlight smiles

And Alistair's 'six-word-saturday' (for those old enough to remember):

Summer draws back, winter drawers on..



Thursday, 25 April 2013

iambic thingy..


When rain fell softly late last night it seemed
as moments from a half-remembered dream
call gently and, when uninvited , sing
sweet-scented mem'ries to my list'ning ear

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

cherry trees


And today the unaccustomed blossoms
fall
drifting silently, as yesterday the snowflakes
fell

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Bird of prey


A lone kestrel hangs motionless over the fen,
then drops
like a stone 
from the still sky onto its hapless victim

Monday, 22 April 2013

Sunday, 21 April 2013

highflight



the yellow bi-plane is like a toy in the bluest sky today

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Friday, 19 April 2013

For Maxine..


Driving up the long  Ely road I think of you,
and wonder,
have you noticed the rooks are building high this year...

Thursday, 18 April 2013

elfje


Restored
to stillness
by mindful moving -
Now there's a paradox -
dance!

Dance


Stillness escapes me
when I'm still - mindful moving
brings stillness within

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Haiku


Bright and stormy skies -
spring arrives without warning
this bewildered year

Monday, 15 April 2013

sunshine..


Blinking we emerge, troglodytes, from our winter selves...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A pearl of great price..


The receding tide gradually reveals
today's treasure,
gleaming irridescently
among its beachcombing debris -

a breeze-blown gentle-slow sun-warmed sense
of wellbeing...

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Thursday, 11 April 2013

spider elfje


Pilates -
core engaged,
legs scissoring erratically,
small spider pauses, clearly
nonplussed

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

First sun


Two yellow butterflies dancing in the first warmth;
I close my eyes the better to listen -
light high birdsong,
the subtler wood-pigeon,
gentle on the ear;
and the hum
always
of traffic


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

elfje


Hope -
Leaf buds
On broken branches
Cheer my unaccountable heart
Reassurance

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Reunion Blues


Three penguins stroll down the street, reminiscing nostalgically about a time when
everything was black and white...


Saturday, 6 April 2013

HIS six-word-Saturday


(Blasted dog!)
'Hare-chasing, coursing through her blood...'


And mine:
'My mathematician - he can write too...'




Friday, 5 April 2013

Cambridge dusk


Banks of black clouds are angry purple hills on the fen-flat horizon

Thursday, 4 April 2013

April?!


It is snowing again today;
in the park seagulls circle
in disbelief.

By the pond
well-wrapped children throw bread
to the ducks.

the east wind is too fierce
for the water to freeze

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Ducks


Three painted mallards flew across the blue sky this morning
exactly the formation of those plaster ducks that rose
eternally
above the fireplaces of our fifties childhoods

Monday, 1 April 2013

'Bookspine poetry' from my shelves


'When we were very young
so many ways to begin...

A moment in time...

When we were orphans
...the shadow of the wind...'

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Sunday afternoon sport


In the distance at the park a few trainer-clad, track-suited youths were jeeringly, aimlessly kicking around a small white dog.
I am glad I waited till I drew nearer before making a fuss.
It was a football - and didn't seem to mind

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Early Thursday Haiku


my skylight morning
frames blue cerulean sky
and pink feather clouds

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Late March morning


Last clumps of snow
linger, scowling in the hedgerows,
where the blossom should be smiling

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Muse...

At the very edge of darkness I hear hesitant hope humming...

Monday, 25 March 2013

Friday, 22 March 2013

Am I shallow...


... I wonder
to take such pleasure
in my new, halfprice sweatshirt -
a metal zip AND big buttons,
grey soft-lined cotton, deep bound pockets

AND a hood

Between the banking clouds...


... at the wind-roaring park today
the sun makes a cameo appearance.
Grateful for the brief respite
we all smile
even the buffeted pigeons
and the barking-mad dogs

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Cold
and wet
forecasts all gloomy
give us a break
Chancellor!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Breakast


Foggy Monday morning
a lone chaffinch feasts
mindfully
at the birdtable.

Lingering over my porridge
i wonder
idly
if he too is composing

his smallstone for the day...

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Friday, 15 March 2013

Streetview


The city shopfronts are everchanging;
hairdressers morph into coffee-shops
into smart men's clothes-shops -  and back;

two-dimensional rainbow shades of modern life,
and indifferent i sit and watch them change;

Ah -  but the backs of the houses -
higgledy-piggledy jumble of gable-ends and exposed beams
secret attic windows and padlocked ivied gates,

Holding all of history's mystery. these streets can i wander and dream

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

encounters 9


We stomp through the park, my dog-companion and I, in several layers plus two coats, hat, gloves, scarf.... me that is, not the dog, obviously. Her scruffy fur-coat is in need of a bath and a good groom, but does the job she says.

We meet him swinging along, cigarette in hand, wearing trainers, jeans and a black leather waistcoat, sleeveless and unzipped over a bare chest...

Colder today I say, somewhat foolishly. He doesn't feel cold he replies, somewhat needlessly...

What is his secret? i ask myself, as we move on with our lives - are the tattoos adorning his body thermal?

Yesterday's stone


Surrounded by jeering faces
I am hurtled, unprotesting finally
over the sharp edge of a precipice
to spiral slowly now
a feather...

as the sounds and places of my day recede
I am drawn down
gently in the warm silence
to be enveloped
at last
in sleep

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Friday, 8 March 2013

Aerial view of Aberystwyth - a postcard


I'd like to say the town lies
sprawling
like a stranded starfish
or a sunbather asleep on the beach.
But it doesn't - it curls
along the coastline, with its knees and elbows tucked
into the estuary and inlets

Like on a cold night or after a bad day,
when our familiar bodies meld together
in sleep

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Aberystwyth roofscape


From the hill above the promenade the row of yellow chimneys stretching away is bizarrely like a flight of steps across the roofs - only the puff of smoke from one gives the game away. I feel like Mary Poppins..

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

An ent-elfje


Treebeard
smiled benignly
this Penglais morning
We returned his greeting
warmly

Sunny Tuesday smallstone



Sweet how the first warm spring day
Brings the smiling girls out into the streets
Prettily-clad in their mauve, white and gold
crocus-petalled skirts

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sunday morning, Aberystwyth



Climbing the steep flint path above the town, I draw deep breaths of the scent of change and possibiity

Journey


Late again! - Yesterday's 6-word stone got delayed after our journey: 

Westward heart-singing, smokey-sweet scents

Friday, 1 March 2013

goldfinches


Peering shortsightedly down the garden this morning I realise the finches are back - the sudden bright flashes in the air around the seedfeeder a giveaway really..
The same sharp flash of gold is in my dog's soft black-feathery ears as she runs windstreaming  in the sun later in the green park

Thursday, 28 February 2013

end of winter...


The first yellow crocus and dark purple irises
huddle together precariously in the
still-arctic breeze

Above them the delicate creamy-white hellebores
dance bravely

Wednesday, 27 February 2013



Up-startled
into tree-flight,
the chattering green woodpecker
yaffles to its neighbours
a warning of our arrival



Tuesday, 26 February 2013

smallstone


Silver-white birch stems
ghostly against the blue-grey
February canvas

Sunday, 24 February 2013

eleven words



I love the eleven-word structure of the 'elfje', but I'm aware I play fast and loose with the classic concept. So if I'm causing any headaches, happy to call it by any other name!

As suggested, a smallstone for my son:

Carried
by grace
beneath my heart,
child of my soul -
Poet!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Cambridge haiku


The drunken bike leers
wolfishly at me from the
post it's leaning on

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

elfje for the 21st century



There's
a rumour
a little humour
will save the day
LOL !

Spring?


Fingers of sunlight
questing through the frosty branches
and the voice of the turtle-
dove replying

Monday, 18 February 2013

elfje 4

Dreamscape
Dream escape
on my mind
Liminality, new life beckons -
Aberystwyth!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Elfje 3

Silver
Crescent moon
Lies supine, laughing
So what's so funny
Anyway?

Elfje 2


Sunshine-
sparkling strands
against deep azure -
the down-dappling, weeping-
willow


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

'Elfje' 1


Emerald
coriander adorns
our curry tonight -
Fragrance lifts the spirits
delicately

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

encounters 8

Already harassed and running late
I stop at the gym
for a quick blast -

Ahead of me in the queue
two young guys who have just parked
in the disabled space.

At my turn I mention this to the freckled receptionist
and ask that management
 deal with it -
(Predictably, behind me,
the disabled minibus
has parked elsewhere)

In the gym
they are disporting themselves
like young cocks
and I return to reception
a red mist before my eyes
 and ask to speak to a manager

Who eventually, grudgingly
sends out a call...

Fearful of reprisals
I hide in the car
to change my shoes and

 drive home carefully
angry with the arrogance of those young men,
with the indifference of the management
and most of all with myself...

Myself?

Oh yes, for no longer having the courage
 to face them down myself -
for they were each
twice my size
and half my age

When the red mist dissolves
and I am walking the dog
I muse that today I understand
Yesterday's papal decision
'no longer up to the battle'

(Though I admit I am no wiser about his battles...)





birdsong

In the bleak february park
treetops -
a tap-hammering woodpecker,
the rasping laugh
of a crow
and something else,
whose name I do not know
and whose song I cannot describe

Monday, 11 February 2013

encounters 7

Why I don't like the supermarket -

In the village shop tonight:

The greengrocer ('I only deal in cash')
who leaves home at 3am every day
for the London markets,

The lady vicar, as round as she is tall
jewish-american academic
in tweed skirt, striped socks
and walking boots,

Romany-Richard, black, beetling brows fierce, who
'doesn't agree' - with anything as far
as I can tell...


And me, tired from a day's work,
trying to negotiate the conversation
and buy my apples

We discuss the pope
before parting
cheerfully

Sunday, 10 February 2013

encounters 6

His clothes had seen
better days, as they say -

Grimy green jacket,
frayed at the cuff and
 hole cobble-mended,

suspicious shirt-collar
around his turkey-neck and

 tired, spattered
pin-striped trousers

and slippers.

His body had failed
him too, you might say -

Hearing aids whistled
 tunelessly, canaries longing to fly free,

Tufts sprouted from
strange places and there was
something in his hair,

mottled hands palsied
as he searched the old book
for the words he wanted.

But ah his voice was rich and beautiful,
clear and strong,
his smile wise and warm,  and his mind
as an eagle soared

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Friday, 8 February 2013

encounters 5

Feeling not-so-sparkly and
with depression lapping bleakly at the edges of my mind,
I call on the guys( with gingerbread-men) because
They'd pranged the van...

He's feeling blue-black too
Tired, frustrated and ranting
 about this
and that.

(The milk is sour -
He makes me black tea and we shut the door
on the colleague drilling shelves
in my brain)

I sympathise but find
we are arguing
about this
and that

(I swear he argues a full
circle) We are not really cross
with each other -
just the way of things

And we part with a hug,
hilarity,
a glance of blue-white sky,
and both feeling
unaccountably
cheered


Thursday, 7 February 2013

encounters 4

She arrives late,
White-blond hair awry
Mascara streaked with her distress

'I'm so sorry'
There was a smash..
Oh it was horrible,
The little car was mashed
in the ditch!'
Tears follow each other down her young face

I comfort and calm
And we turn to the day.
As we load up, I point out goldfinches,
 bright and unheeding,
in the tree She smiles..

Then back along the same road
to crawl, police-directed
past the concertinaed wreckage.
I shudder to think it could have been
her young, untried life
wasted in the ditch.

And later, the song from how-long back
runs through my head
'Goodbye my friends, it's hard to die
when all the birds are singing in the sky...'

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

encounters 3

Young, fit and always with a smile,
 she encourages our endeavours -

'Now look down and make
sure your feet are
on the end of your legs'

 - and Pilates dissolves into helpless gales of
equally theraputic laughter

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

encounters 2

They occupy the bench out of the wind
in the ice-blue sunshine of the park this morning
and we pass the time of day

'Tinnies' in hand they are warm and philosophical,
gnarled, chapped fingers scrunch my terrier's fur
as we touch upon the weather, the newly-planted saplings,
the litter and the passing of time...

Their concerns are much the same as mine

Monday, 4 February 2013

encounters 1

She paused in the sunshiny-yellow park
We touched the chocolatey sticky-buds
and reminisced about childhood
nature-tables

She greeted my returning terrier
And introduced me to her trusty bicycle
Ah 'my my my Delilah!'

Hours later I'm still smiling and humming Tom Jones

Sunday, 3 February 2013

smallstone for Filipa - unpolished

Curled like a cat on the hearth in the dusk
beneath the trees
Brown eyes gleaming and hair
reflecting the firelight -

'I have a pocketful of meetings'
she laughed
'but no appointment with myself'

So from what deep well do you draw
 your refreshment
 of creativity, beauty, lightness and dance,
to grace us all?

Friday, 1 February 2013

smallstone 1 February

A new month, spring MUST be on its way...

She chooses "Here come
the Sun", I dance homage
throughout the kitchen
and glance outside
in anticipation

For Aung San Suu Kyi

Thursday, 31 January 2013

smallstones 31

Clouds obscure the hills
below which we laid you
Sudden tears on my windscreen
and a faint rainbow

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

smallstone 30

delicate birds buffeted
above the motorway
unaware of my journey

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

smallstones 29

Battered blue camper-van flower-painted,
 in the High Street,
like the memory-scent of patchouli oil,
whispers of other ways

Monday, 28 January 2013

snallstones 28

Flat grey Monday
In the hedgerows hints
of smiling spring 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

smallstones 27

In the park five snowmen
still stand sentinel
in the wet grass, reminding
me of the stone circles
of my childhood
landscape.

I am glad the memory-
stones of those years
hold no terrors
for me

Friday, 25 January 2013

smallstone 25

What shall I build with
the pile of dry stones that is
my heart today?

A keep-out wall along my boundaries?

A monument to the folly
of thinking anything good?

Or a 'broch' - a round tower,
to hold fast what is most precious
against the black night storm
Until the fresh blue dawn?


Thursday, 24 January 2013

smallstones 24

A longer walk today has resulted in a longer than usual stone:

More time today,  and the earth frozen helps me decide to rediscover the way over the hill.

Scrambling like a schoolboy over the fence, I negotiate the brambles and we mount the first slope to reach the field.
No human foot has passed this way since the snowfall; tracks of deer, fox, hare and rabbits criss-cross a spiral-dance in the midnight's white.
Rounding the corner we meet a set of boottracks, coming from the regular path, and decide to follow them - though they go one way only which is slightly worrying!
Musing on Scott and his Polar exploits we trudge on up into the ice-whiteness.

You disappear after a group of hares who have the temerity to sit in the middle of the field - all my calling and your training is wasted in the face of instinct; hunter and hunted are alike to my eyes, black specks diminishing against the dazzling white distance, until you wheel around and chunter back across the chest-deep snow to loll, grinning at my feet.
Oh  Braveheart, small happy huntress!

We reach the woods. A flurry of soft grey feathers and a smudge of red in the snow remind me not all escape their pursuers. You remind a couple of bemused labradors whose woods these are; but I have promises to keep and we turn for home.

Retracing our steps over the hill, wearier now, I wonder if tomorrow someone will mark our way over the hill, or whether a fresh fall of snow overnight will obliterate all our small stories



Wednesday, 23 January 2013

smallstones 23

Innocently at first, they drift
 like feathers earthwards,
 smiling at our
naivety

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

smallstones 22

Suddenly sunshine
and the gloomy grey landscape of my driving
is transformed, briefly,
into the sparkling winter wonderland
they would have me believe..

Monday, 21 January 2013

smallstones 21

Dog stands astonished
at the door,
viewing the pristine, white, new
world

Sunday, 20 January 2013

smallstones 20

Quiet house and silent
snow falling beyond my window.
Left alone to nurse my cold,
I grind good coffee, fire up the breadmaker
And contemplate the tired vegetables
in the fridge.

Soup

Saturday, 19 January 2013

smallstones 19

Candlelight on crisp old linen
Two oranges in a white china bowl
Ease my soul

Friday, 18 January 2013

smallstones 18

So this is me..

Today I have:
Not much snow
A warm, dry house
Food in the fridge
Money in the bank

A loving partner
A lovely son
Health... strength
And a dog

Yet I feel AWFUL
A black cloud has sat on my shoulder all day
(Is that ok?)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

smallstones 17

Fingers of gold filtering through the branches
lightly caress the ice-white twigs with flame
A blessing

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

smallstones 16

By chance
the five power lines are in a row,
 as a stave against the sky
And the birds black perching,
 notes about to fly

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

smallstones 15

Ode to my Breadmaker

None but you
Greet me with such scented warmth,
Returning cold, tired and hungry
From the bleak, mud-clinging midwinter
 streets...




Monday, 14 January 2013

smallstones 14

Inky-black sky
Ice-white fields
Only the halo-cast of the yellow streetlight
Warms my early-morning ride
Today

Sunday, 13 January 2013

day 13

Black, smoky scent of Lapsang hits me
as I open the cupboard.
Bought, on a whim because 'we used to like it...'
I find I cannot drink it now
Alive or dead!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

smallstones 12

A small stone for odd-sock day

Way back when, I mixed two pairs of toe-socks -
Ten different-coloured toes to wiggle,
From my seat on the floor,
At the sombre-looking boys in the bible-class

And so today I wonder
Have they all forgotten
me, or is there
a vicar somewhere who tomorrow
will think of me and
smile as he hides his odd socks beneath his cassock...

Friday, 11 January 2013

smallstones 11

He lines them up along the giftshop floor
Identical blue and red plastic boats from a bucket
And ponders for a moment before:
'That one's mine'
 he chooses.

Returning to uni at the weekend
Stones from the beach on Christmas Day
Lined up, emptied from my pocket:
'That one's mine'
 he chooses.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

10 January 2013

Mindful of our older limbs
We'll ease back into dance today.

Joint effort

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

9 January 2013

Taken in by the sun streaming through my windows this morning
 I 'travelled forth without my cloak'.

In the sharp, blue breeze
Dog in her fur coat turned
to me and laughed.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

8 January 2013

Snatch of conversation on the car radio, caught my attention
'I write so that I do not sleepwalk my way through my life'

Is that why I feel SO alive, SO awake this week
And tingle
right down to my fingertips?

Monday, 7 January 2013

7 January 2013

In the silent hour
My new pashmina across my knees in a patch of sunlight.
Riot of fuschia, orange, turquoise, yellow, indigo

And grey, because I'm an unassuming sort of person
Really

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sunday 6 January 2013

Foggy morning
Across the country we are packing
cars to return all our sons and daughters.

Cases, coats, backpacks...
we slip our hearts in somewhere
unnoticed

And try to keep our hopes and dreams back,
not to over-burden them

Saturday, 5 January 2013

5 January 2013

Birds chirruping as I hopped on my bike
This mild, almost spring-like early morning.
Sun-up streaked the sky like Manderley alight.

Crisper tonight as I set-off wearily home
Stars looking down
And a frostier catch in the air

Friday, 4 January 2013

4 January 2013

This morning I used your scissors.
 Not long ago you said to me, 'Do you remember these? My father gave them to me when I was a young man. "Look after these" he said "and they'll last you a lifetime" And  they have'
Of course I remember them. When we were kids, even if the kitchen scissors were blunt and Mum's sewing pair had mysteriously disappeared, we weren't allowed to raid your drawer for them.
" Look after these" he said, "and they'll last you a lifetime"And they did.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

3 January 2013

Early morning sky. Iridescent blue and gold between the silver-grey clouds. On the motorway below we scurry as ants, unheeding.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2 January 2013

 I stop to listen and am aware there is no silence. In the misty dusk a plane droning overhead, the ever-present traffic and a dog barking in the distance. The phone rings..

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

1 January 2013

The clock struck midnight
 - on cue for once -
 and I raised a silent thought to you..