Thursday, 31 December 2015

Thought for the day...

Musings whilst clearing rubbish from the strandline in the ten minutes before the next high tide:
"the human spirit is indestructible; so is polystyrene packaging..."

Tuesday, 22 December 2015


Long in my mind's eye
rosy-fingered evenings stretch
across a June sky

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Saturday morning

Slicked-back rain-wet coaltit on my birdfeeder...loving the 'teddyboy' look...

Monday, 7 December 2015

So...6. neighbours

we talked walking art
transgender issues, floods and
cabbages and kings..

Saturday, 5 December 2015


that kind of day, grey
and the mists of memory
whisper in the wind...

Friday, 4 December 2015


summoned by the blue
scrap of hope between the clouds,
unaccountable heart

Thursday, 3 December 2015

So 3 - A child's tale

Blackened leather shoe
the sea gives up its stories
begging to be told

So 2

Imaginary fears
5am abandoned dreams
for the real world

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


grey december day
colouring in kandinsky
children's bright crayons

Monday, 9 November 2015

White Poppy Day

In silence
in sorrow
behind the white flowers
behind the red 

behind the uniforms and flags

through the rainy streets we walked
to the windswept hill -
a raggle-taggle crowd
of hopeless optimists

Monday, 2 November 2015

2 November

What can be said
that has not been uttered -

just a late and unexpected
pouring its blessing
on our unaccustomed

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Something for Simon

Welcoming the bones
grounded in mortality
we number our days

Soup recipe haiku

Whatever ya got
at whatever speed ya need..
Cook. Blend. Taste. Enjoy


From the moment I entered the wood this morning, i felt watched. More appraised than in any malevolent way, if you understand me. Unnerving, nevertheless...

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


We tide-hopped along the beach this morning, the wild waves threatening our every step,
collecting rubbish and treasure
with almost equal
pleasure ...
including a carrier bag -
gold-dust in our house,
where I can put it to far better use
than can the hungry sea...

and this -
a friend enlightened me as to its use...
swore he had never inhaled

Friday, 16 October 2015


i will hold your pain
the silence between the words
is weeping enough

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Yellow Boots

We are
on your settee
I lift first one foot
then the other,
admiring my new yellow boots..

The veil shivers, shifts..

A small boy in a buggy
lifts first one foot,
then the other, 
admiring his new first shoes..

"Soos, Mummy, soos!"

We turn and smile conspiratorially,
sharing the same
insanely pleased grin..

Monday, 14 September 2015

Death of a Pigeon

With tears she wrapped my hurting feathers, gentled me to a quiet bed of grass and laid me there with soft farewell words. And now it is dark and my covering is ruffled in the night breeze. I hear the fox approach and open my eyes one last time to welcome the rain and my sweet death..

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Anniversary Poem

(In response to RSThomas' poem 'Anniversary')

This mystic, lovely land
has bid us welcome,
bleached as driftwood
upon its stranger shores

We breathe
its salty, fern-drenched air,
and wash our tired eyes
in its gentling rain,
grateful for the sweet colours
drifting down its valleys
to the sea

We sleep enfolded,
our older bodies familiar
as breath and bone
and, morning-waking,
smile around each other
in the kitchen

'The one child' is grown,
seeking his own
hungry dragons,
elsewhere across th' unfolding universe

It is as it is.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

'Come friendly bombs...'

Please don't bomb Devizes -
There's hearts of different sizes
there, like everywhere..
And if you bomb without a care,
You might
delete a wheat and spare a tare!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Orchard Welcome

Ginger tea and figs,
meadowsweet and chamomile-
conversations smile

Friday, 7 August 2015

Travels with 'Hilda'

This week I have driven a looong round-about route to meet family in my home-town of Devizes and then home to Aber via a lovely yurt-friend in deepest Herefordshire.

My increasing age means my long and short sight will no longer accomodate both driving and looking at maps or instructions. So I'm a prime candidate for sat-nav and with great trepidation I set off plugged-in to my mobile version in action...

We get on all right, Hilda and I and at least she is someone to talk to when the dog has been left at home..

BUT she sulked in silence all the way south through Wales yesterday and only deigned to help out when we were nearly at Newport and she realised I actually meant it when I said we were leaving Wales for a couple of days...

Furthermore I do honestly believe Hilda was having a laugh at my expense when we were bowling along a single-track road called something like Jake's Ditch this afternoon, and expected to hear a cackle of mirth when we met a tractor coming the other way....

To be honest we met nothing and I have to admit this one was probably my mistake. I swear I detected a catch in Hilda's voice and a sigh of relief when she was finally able to direct me to 'turn left onto the A44'

'Hilda' you ask? Ah...Rumpole of the Bailey ;-)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Loitering with intent

Seeking treasure, I,
following each side-stepped view,
tread the wind-wild way

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Holding Space

" I've never been given a clear definition of what it means to 'hold space', but intuitively I know what it means" (David Dear).

Holding space is hard enough to maintain with those we like, know a little or meet for the first time, and on meeting  recognise a kindred spirit, a sympathiser or just curiosity. We meet and can keep an open heart, allowing them to be where they are, giving them a safe and non-judgmental space while they have opportunity to heal - or not, move closer to us - or not. Trusting the silence, we give them respect...

It's a bit harder to hold space for those we dislike or distrust. But we do need to give them the same respect, cut them the same slack as the others - we might find it easier to do this if we can surround ourselves with the same space,  trust ourselves and keep our own integrity.

Holding space for those we love and have invested in is hardest of all..
As a grown child we first discover our parents are mortal (enough shock in itself) and later discover they are fallible (such a betrayal it seems of our questioning and unquestioning!). From this point on we can choose to hold space for them in the same way - attending to them, offering them the respect of silence and trust, while their lives and ours, and our relationship, shifts, rebalances and shifts again - constantly in a liminal state, potentially delicious if we hold them lightly..
And then our children - oh how hard it is to hold space for them - harder than for our parents and our friends. For we have invested in them - physically, emotionally, mentally (and fianancially!). But we do well to offer them that same space again, and here it is crucial to respect the silence, keeping it in mind that is is not actually about us..
Ah and others - both our closest friends and those with whom we fall 'in love'. All these catagories are rolled together here and, unsurprisingly, all the same conditions apply - keeping an open heart,  allowing the Beloved the same space to be where they are and grow through  their lives - or not - as they must; healing, non-judgmental space, trusting them and ourselves with the gift of silence and, in spite of our involvement, keeping in mind that it is not entirely about us...
And I speak as much to myself as to you..

Monday, 22 June 2015


Dancing thru' the dark/ and light each other's lives still/ and deep the waters

Sunday, 21 June 2015


sweetest walking day
angels tend your every need
celestial company

Saturday, 20 June 2015


Message in a bottle -
I send your parcel knowing
I will never know

Home alone

Slow summer rain-day,
old songs on the radio
dance the stillness blues

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Listening to Prufrock

Driving along the coast, a bit apprehensive about my day, listening to Jeremy Irons read The Love-Song of J Alfred Prufrock at the start of a radio programme about TS Eliot...

She moved through the fair-
well, my lovely, do I dare
disturb the universe?

Sunday, 17 May 2015


"The seal-people dance to music unheard'  George Mackay Brown

Hoot of the owl
of the wolf
eyes in the night -

We are those who inhabit,
the almost-edges of your senses -
dwell in the spaces,
the imagined places
between perception and reality

shedding supposition
like a skin,
from your grasp
and vanish
where the sky silver-meets
the sea

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Me and my Comfort Zone

"Why should I want to leave my comfort zone? It's called that for a reason!"

I'm with the inimitable Sheldon Cooper on this one, but I was called to account recently. Though it was said in jest that I was in need of being dragged from my comfort zone, I was unaccountably rattled -  and wondered why.

I might appear self-confident and sociable (probably irritatingly so), but it's no secret that I prefer to sleep in my own bed. Indeed I admit that after any social occasion I am exhausted and seriously in need of space and silence. Why?

I've given it considerable thought - or what passes for thought - over the next weeks... I mentioned the matter to the dog, who looked suitably inscrutable. I gave it more thought..

In the night came a revelation and it has helped a lot - it came to me that everything I have done in recent times has been a step, or sometimes a stumble out of my comfort zone: the events leading to our move here are well-known and need no repetition - but events they were and each was a leap in the dark. The move here was, as many moves are to a vaguely-known town and a house seen twice.

And everything I have done since has been a step out of my comfort zone; every new venture I have tried -  some successfully, some less -  has been an often terrifying leap into the unknown. After a foray into yet another roomful of strangers who all seem to know one another, it's no wonder, I think that I crave a retreat to the silence of my little stone house and my only familiar relationships..

So please cut me a little slack, as I intend to do for myself - I may be sparky and bright, I may be silent and evasive...give me time

Friday, 8 May 2015

'Rosemary for Remembrance'

One dismal November day in 1997 my Dad collected sprigs of various shrubs from his garden for my Mum's coffin.. 'There's rosemary, that's for remembrance'...

Years later I cut a branch from the same bush, though it had been moved to a dryer side of the garden, the bleak January day my sister and I locked up the house for the last time and took the key to the estate agent.

The rosemary survived a couple of cold days in the car; I cut sprigs and rooted them in pots of water in Cambridge. A few survived my indifferent potting-up skills, that chaotic spring and summer and one survived the move to the west coast...

... and survived drought, westerly salt winds and neglect... I'm proud and not a little amazed, to see growth and flowers on the little shrub this week.

And, in the early hours, I reflect - rosemary is a tenacious little shrub I muse, and will survive the worst that the salt winds can chuck at us. Remembrance will survive the worst life will throw our way - outlast loss and loss of memories and life itself ..

Friday, 1 May 2015

Global Warning

Accolades abound
and rightly so...yet the sound
of time ebbing away

'Divided by a common language'

(to be read aloud at varying speeds)
Oceans apart -
Shout scream sweat swear stare
rave write writhe reach...
out, stay...
Remember remind restore
repair rebuild
re-enact re-enchant
rewild redeem..

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Spring Confusion

Sunshine melts my bones
listen in the waiting stream
of birdsong taking flight

Monday, 16 March 2015


Unable to make sense,I
resort to cushions,curtains and connections.
And hay. While the sun shines...

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Untitled life

here as I am
on this stranger shore
noting the moments of the tides
I dance the rhythms
of my flotsam and jetsam life -

fluid bones flowing
with the ice-white stream,
chattering with the clattering pebbles
as the waves retreat,
tumbling through the chaos
of the raging storms
into the lyric song of the night

and the rhythm of stillness,
beautiful and wild,
heartsharp and sweet
with might-have beens
and skyblue smiles

Friday, 23 January 2015

Cold January morning

Leaving the house, I start to stamp my way up the hill. The cacophony of my thoughts begins to still as I become aware of the sounds around me... the shrubs are alive with the local garden birds, making the best of the daylight hours  - robins, sparrows, finches, tits... squabbling and chirruping. The stream is gurgling in the valley and making my way up the road, I become aware of the taller trees and the bigger birds among the susserance of the leaves and twigs - 'corvids' I'm learning to call them; if I name them - crows, rooks, ravens - someone will put me right...

I'm aware of my breathing, the rhythm of my warming joints and muscles, my place in the universe . We stop to greet the donkeys and goats in the field. As I reach the top of the hill, the inblowing wind catches me and a kite is overhead. Inland today the mountains are hidden, but turning the corner I can see down the bay and across the valley

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Hours

The tall clock
ticks away the seconds,
marks the minutes
and erratically
strikes the hours

up and down the stairs
even the radios refuse
to agree about the 'pips'


across the house
the ticktock-less timekeepers
and make a mockery of time

we smile around each other
in the kitchen

Monday, 12 January 2015


I have a history of finding long-lost items, from an earring in a gutter, which had been missing for six months or more to my hillwalking stick, which has been lost and found three times (so far) in the last year..
I lose gloves (mobile, glasses...) on a regular basis, so it was nothing unusual yesterday to be setting out with two left-hand gloves - a grey one on my left hand and a brown one,upsidedown, on my right.
Imagine my glee then when I spied a grey twin on the track over the hill 'Yay, must have dropped it a couple of weeks ago!'
But no, it turned out to be another left hand... Ho hum, someone out there -

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Winter Dusk

Streets of silver
and headlights in the mist,
We, like the starlings,
flying in to roost

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Morning walk above home

The bluest sea
and sky today
and slate washed silver-
clean by last night's
silken strands of rain