Thursday, 31 May 2012

Cows staring at dogs

As we walked past the field, the whole herd appeared, intrigued as always by the dogs. Its fascinating, how fascinated cows are by dogs. And these twenty or more cows and young bulls had such a conversation about it!

Such lowing and bowing up and down of heads. Such following us with their eyes. Such deep ancient calls. What do they remember of dogs that makes them always race to the fence and stare? What ancient affinity or antipathy? As evening draws in, and night starts to fall.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Harbour Mouth


> Safe harbour. What we dream of. Yet so hard to find.
> I'd like to imagine that I'm just outside the harbour mouth, not adrift in a vast ocean. That these choppy waves all around are caused just by the rhythm of the sea catching against stone harbour walls, close by. Walls put there deliberately to create a safe still space.
> I'd like to imagine being guided in by the lighthouse beam; and finding a still berth against a sunlit harbour wall. Resting my hands against the sun-warmed stone. Resting my face. Lying back, and knowing I'd reached safe harbour.


The cuckoo is calling from somewhere nearby as I hang out the washing. Another hot day. A blessing of a day.

I challenge myself. To savour the day. To savour the moment. The careful pegging of washing. The cuckoo's gentle call. My bare feet in the cut grass. Sunshine on my shoulders. Before I race towards my obligations and the complexity of busy lives.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Sitting by the sea

Sitting watching waves break over the rocks. Just sitting, looking at the water. Listening to eternity break on the shore.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Listening and not listening

("Searching for the Centre" acrylic on paper)

Eyes closed, listening, and not listening, in the heat of this summer evening. Close by, small birds chirrup outside the window, and further away, a cuckoo gently repeats itself. Closer by, at the other end of the house, children squabble and muddle along. In the far distance, a mower, and in the room, a fly buzzing against the glass. Ever now and then, a car from far away, comes nearer, passes by and disappears again. Occasional cows making evening calls, and high above, a plane passes over. The dog next door barks. Its starting to cool as I lie here, listening, and not listening.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Wicklow Sunset

A Wicklow Sunset (acrylic on paper)

and imagine now, in the heat of the day, in the bright, hard sunshine with its crisp shadow and clear definition....imagine the blurring of colours that comes as day becomes night and things pass from one state to another.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Eight Black Crows

Eight black crows fly up startled
Out of the hedgerow beside us
And wheel, in a perfect arc
Down the narrow lane ahead.

A little further along, perfect
Semi grown trees flop their
Branches towards me, lazily
Over the wall.

A little sun and suddenly
The world shouts out "Notice me!"
These portents all around
Offering secret meaning.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Rowing and rowing, pulling hard on
those oars, pulling hard against
stubborn water, rowing up stream,
inching forward, still being pulled
to the rapids. Inching forward,
hoping there'll be a pool of still
water to rest my aching arms.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Chequer Plate Floor

The load so
dancing on top,
shaking his fists
stamping his
furious feet -
angry little man.
In front a
chequer plate floor.
Destination unknown.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Still Standing

Still standing
Staring back
At the wreckage
Behind me
Still standing
Still standing
Looking back

Still standing
Old shipwrecks
Old wreckage
Old feelings
Still standing
Still standing
Looking back

Friday, 18 May 2012

Feeling like a survivor

Afloat on a big big ocean, with no land in sight. My job to keep it afloat and avoid shipwreck. No other boats around, just pirates waiting in the coves. And I'm only pretending to be the captain. Not feeling like a captain, but feeling like a survivor of some old shipwreck, washed up ashore with aching limbs and no direction home. Threats in every direction. Weary beyond belief, still, I can't rest. I must stay vigilent. Feeling like a survivor.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Unbalanced Whole

(oil pastel sketch)

Who's that big person, pretending to be in charge? And the little one, feeling abandoned?

Yin and yang, certainly, but not in balance. The dark big person scolding, chastising, pushing, expecting, demanding. The bright little person shouting silently "let me rest! Let me play! Stop being so mean to me!"

Together, making an unbalanced whole.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Caged Orange

Last night I had strange dreams.

About an orange that was trapped in a box.

About my friend growing old. Walking into a room and seeing my friend as he might be in twenty years time.

And about driving down the road in the dark, wind howling, a storm raging; turning a corner to find the road full of leaves to the height of the car windows. Before I have time to react and decide what to do, how to not lose control, I'm knocked unconscious by a falling branch. Coming back to barely conscious, I know my young passenger is helpless, is trying to call for help on a phone that won't work. Dry brown leaves blowing all around in the dark, visible in the headlights of the stalled car. My head hurts and I wonder that I'm still alive.

Meanwhile, somewhere, there's an orange trapped in a cage as the years go on and my friends grow old.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Somehow ~ Flowering

Clinging to the rock, despite the salt sea, despite the waves, despite the lack of soil, and somehow ~ flowering

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Children's voices far away

Peering through to grey skies
Like an earthquake survivor,
Or someone who's been through
A landslide. Bruised and shell-shocked
Fragile, stretched too far. Needing
Gentle. Needing patient. Needing
A quiet seat in a garden, soft wind
Blowing gently, children's voices
Far away.

Saturday, 12 May 2012


(beach art)

Surprising Rathdrum

Instead of our usual walk in the woods or the hills with the dog, Andrew wanted to go to the park in Rathdrum. The park in Rathdrum, I thought? There's nothing in the park in Rathdrum.

As we pulled up to this small park on the edge of a small village, I challenged him and myself to see what could be found.

 Here's what we found



Lots to find, after all.........................

Friday, 11 May 2012

As Old as Stone

Exhausted beyond reason, still
Pushing and pushing to get through.
Through relentless days that are busy,
And nights where sleep does come, then
Dissapears at 3am to another realm.

Houses full of people lying awake
And worrying; about money, about health,
Relationships, children, parents. Meanwhile,
In counterpoint, the stone sits in the garden.
Perfect circle of space in ancient granite.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Be ware. Be wary. Be watchful
And cautious. Beware.
Beware of the dark, and of
Things that go bump in the night, and
Mysterious, yellow black stripes that
Go bzzzz bzzz bzzz bzzz in your
Ear. Beware. Beware of the
Bright yellow traps and the
Deep yellow holes with the
Bottomless black and the
Dark clinging forms that
Appear in the dark and hold
Tight. Beware. Beware.

Too Much

Even these few stolen minutes, used to write these words;

Peering from the sidelines of my life,
The life I've made, this life.

Too much to do, too much to be,
And somewhere on the sidelines, me.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Empty Room

There is an empty room
floating in space.

Four walls, a floor, a window,
nothing more. Nothing else required.

Untethered. Space within space.
All else left behind.

Space within space.