Monday, 30 July 2012

A quiet lane

It's early Monday morning on a quiet lane in Wicklow near my home.

The sky is all grey cloud and blue, there's no knowing what kind of a day it will be.

A cow pops it's curious head over the hedge.

It's much too cold for late July.

Early summer morning in a quiet lane.

 I'm in a quiet lane and wishing I could stay in the slow lane, as the fast lane of Monday to Friday hurtles towards me minute by minute.

I'm awake since 5.30 after a night of strange dreams. In my dreams, I'm a prisoner with five others, under escort to incarceration. I'm carrying a large, square battery - we all are. We get into small cars, more like golf buggies; three prisoners, two policemen to each buggy. The policeman is kind. The boy next to me is kind. The bad boys are in the other car. I feel safe.
I could weave a thousand meanings into these dreams. Carrying our power outside ourselves. Feeling safe. Protection. Masculine power. Feeling imprisoned.

Or perhaps they are just random images arriving in the night.

Monday is here. Time to move into the fast lane. As the clouds hang low over distant hills, and the wind blows a cool breeze, and patches of blue promise sunshine.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Like a stone

Like a stone
It weighs her down
Like a stone
Somewhere deep
It lands
Down her throat
She lets it
She just lets it
Slide down
The slippery
and down
This vortex..

(wanting to shout,
waiting to shout,
somewhere inside
there's a voice)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Above the plains

> Small tents in the distance and vague shapes of people, and above the plains, she hovers.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Greystones Art & Photography Exhibition (GRAPE)

This Sunday will be the fourth Greystones Art and Photography exhibition. From the glimmer of an idea, it looks like this will and is becoming a real feature of summer in Wicklow and in Greystones. Its growing to include craft and they hope to have some live music over the bank holiday weekend. Its a lovely event. Come take a look, any Sunday afternoon, at the harbour in Greystones.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

St Declan's Well

Standing here since the 5th century, this holy well, this spring of fresh water believed to heal. I haven't been here for six years or more. The well is remote, off the beaten track - yet much visited by local people. Much visited for fifteen centuries. Is there power in water? Can in heal? There is power in belief, that's clear. Some years ago, in a dark place in my life, I rebaptised myself here, late one summer evening, on my own. Just me and the well. Cleansed myself and let go.
I like this place.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Whatever's left

Andrew was painting today with Ruth I painted this with the left over paint

Wet grass burning

In the night time place, I'm standing in a garden looking out at wet fields all around me. Wet fields full of long wet grass. It's raining, and the grass has been flattened, and all is as wet as can be. All of a sudden, without warning, I catch a glimmer, a flicker of flame to my left, almost outside my vision. I look closer, and I know it's not really there, wet grass can't burn, yet there it is again, a burst, a glimmer of yellow. Another flicker over there, and another, then a yellow flame licks up towards the sky. Fear, disbelief, awe. Wet grass can't burn. I watch as everything turns to flame in all directions. And as everyone else in the garden runs around in blind panic, I stand before a giant canvas, and cover it in white and blue.

Monday, 23 July 2012


I'm seven and I'm going delivering with you. You went to my school and you asked them, in your ponderous, old style way, if I could, and they said yes, and i'm on my way to go delivering with you. We sit in the front of the Zephyr, the big white Zephyr, the back seat full of parcels, and I'm beside you on the bench seat in the front. You're driving, I'm navigating, the map open in my lap. And the hedges are high either side of the road, and the sky is blue, and life is good.

In St Ives, you talk to your client, and I wander off to the beach. I slip on the rocks and fall into a rock pool, my feet are wet and my trousers are wet, but I know it will be ok, I'm not scared, I'm with you. You don't scream, you don't shout, you don't hit me. You take my wet shoes and wet socks and wet trousers, and you wind down the windows, and wind them back up, then we drive down the lanes, with them flapping beside us, the socks and the shoes and the trousers, like flags, like emblems, drying in the wind.

And the world is safe, as we drive the narrow lanes, and life is good, and there's nothing to fear.

Another view from a Dublin roof

Looking out towards Clontarf and Bull Island from a roof at East Point. I'm very lucky to get the opportunity to see the city and the world around me from these rooftop angles.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Cold morning in July

It's cold this morning. Colder than
It should be in July. More like an
October morning, with winter
Hanging just around the corner.

They're cutting trees on the Rathdrum Road.
The smell of resin fills the air.
A view I've never seen before
Is there now, new and fresh.

The cold feels good. Feels right.
And my puppy grows bigger.
And my children grow older.
And all life is change.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Strange girl with your
Silent tears and choking back,
Strange girl with your brave face.
Good actor. Walking through life playing a part.
and the voice inside calls:
“Just you, weirdo, odd one, strange girl with the strange clothes and voice,
Strange girl with no real belonging,
Just you with your words and your music and distance,
Just you with a tear trickling down your face,
and a stone wrapped in cotton wool lodged in your chest”

Foolish child
This is the albatross here to remind you
It sits in your chest, wings outspread
It sits and waits to swallow you if it can catch you unawares
It flaps its wings inside you when you’re alone

Sometimes it feels as if it’s the only thing that holds you together.
And you say:
“I have a THING lodged in my chest. It feels as heavy as a stone made of lead. It’s edges are fuzzy, like cotton wool. When I stop, it is there, just under my collar bone. It sometimes connects with the lump in my throat. It sometimes connects with the sharp pain in my belly, the pain that makes me want to curl up into a small ball. It defies label. It is my albatross”

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


My colour is orange,
My sky is blue,
A universe supports me,
As I stand on a thin layer of trust.

I hold my jubilence
Softly and silently.
The trust is thin.
The crust might break.

No audience required.
Cradling this feeling inside.
Strong wind could blow it out.
Protect it. Hold it safe.

No audience, just this
Precious thing and me.
I dance silently

(spring 2011)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Being Right

You cling to your rightness, and
Actually, your rightness is wrong.
No, not wrong. That's unfair.
You walk in all tight and stiff,
Ready to close off, ready to
Defend against an unseen attack.
Your protection starts
With being right.

Friday, 13 July 2012

The life you have made

(Foxglove in the rain, Co Wicklow, Ireland in the early evening on Friday 13th, 2012)

The Life You Have Made

You take the bits you're given, and make what you can with them. Then, one day, you turn around, and find you've made a life.

Not perfect. But a life. YOUR life. The one you are living. Step by step, it has come into being. Piece by random piece.

It could have been different. If you'd taken that job instead of this. If this person had stayed longer. If that person had left sooner. Yet still, here it is, just so, the life you have made.

Take it now, and spread it out in front of you. Look at it. Taste it. Smell it. Check out it's textures and contours. Pull the edges straight so you can see the full picture. Read it. Listen to it. Watch the colour and shape. Hear its sounds. Your life.

Lay yourself down now on top of it. Arms stretched wide. Embrace it. Embrace your life. Then claim it.

The life you have made.

At peace at the lakes

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

In the early hours

In the early hours, somewhere between sleep and waking, I saw a strange tree against a black night sky and in front of a white wall. The tree turned into something less certain. Full of golden fire.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Foxgloves ~ late evening

Out walking the dogs this evening, enjoying a brief respite of sun after a day heavy with showers, I caught sight of the foxgloves silhouetted against the setting sun. Heavy cloud overhead, yet the sun as it sinks is catching the underside of the clouds just perfectly.


Here's something I wrote a couple of years ago. It came to mind as I woke this morning, and somehow feels appropriate.


The child holds the book.
"Birds of Coast and Sea".
She reads the descriptions,
Works hard to find the birds.

There are sections here called "Bird Notes".
She's not sure what to put there.
She leaves it blank for now.
Maybe one day, she'll know.

She believes this information has
Meaning. That if she
Stores it away, one day
The world will make sense.

She BELIEVES this. No one
Told her so. But she feels
There must be some pattern
That makes it all make sense.

So, earnestly, bird by bird
She works to fill the gaps,
To understand it.
Make order out of chaos.

She's got to Kittiwake.
She thinks she saw one once.
She can't be sure though.
Kittiwake. She likes the word.

It all gets mixed up though.
She feels as if unless she
Gets it right, gets it all straight,
She'll NEVER understand.

Watching the world,
Watching the people,
She knows the secret must lie
In KNOWING these things.

So she carries on. Walking
Alone with her book,
Looking at the birds.
"Kittiwake. Kittiwake"

(sept '10)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Black Castle at Sunset

Hanging out washing

Sometimes, its good just to hang out washing, on your own. Slowly, methodically, item by item, as the breeze blows gently, and the swallows swoop overhead, and occasional bursts of laughter break the silence, escaping through open windows next door.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Foxgloves at their height

Walking this morning, I noticed how tall the foxgloves have become. Towering, now, above me beside the road. At their height.


Wicklow Harbour at nightfall, midsummer
(oil pastel on paper)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Sunshine and Eagles

Out walking this morning, I heard an unusual bird noise overhead. Loooking up, a large white tailed bird was circling above the road. It flew off to hover over the field, and can just be seen as a blaxk speck on the horizon.

I recognised it as an eagle, but didn't know what kind. I've just looked it up and I believe it was a white tailed eagle. Once common, became extinct, recently a reintroduction programme has been attempted.

It was beautiful, and I felt priviliged to have this sighting.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Black Castle at Sunset

In Wicklow, there is a place called The Black Castle. There are, indeed the ruins of a castle on the cliffs. Unprotected, perching on the edge of the cliffs, I've feared the loss of various children and animals here.

It's also a spot for young people to gather and drink. Lots of teenage stories belonging to my kids around this space.

Yeaterday evening, it was just me and the dog. Who found something disgusting to roll in. I tried wiping here down with tissues, until the smell overwhelmed me. Finally, I brought her back to the sea. Got my feet soaked. Bue bye ten year old mocassins. She still stank.

Got her to swim in the harbour. Asked thean hosing his boat to hose Maisie. She still stank.

Drove home with the windows wide open at 10pm. Shampooed her on the deck at 10.15.

Still. What a glorious sunset.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Old Anchors

Old things that hold us in place,
Keep us fastened while the seas
Heave and toss us around.
Old things.
Holding us in place.
Old Anchors.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Late Sun reflecting on Vartry Lakes

Driving home yesterday evening, I was not in good form. After my early start, I was extremely tired and grumpy. We'd been to the harbour to check out the pitches for the exhibition today. We'd walked the new pier and the harbour beach with the dog and the pup. We'd been to the old fashioned sweet shop, and the pet shop, and the dvd shop. We'd been to the garage, and collected my daughter and her friend from her friend's house in Kilcoole, and called in to pick up and laminate the price list. We still had to drive to Roundwood to collect the final bits, and I was tired, tired, tired.

Then I rounded the bend, and there's Vartry lakes in front of me, sunlight peeping over the tops of the clouds, and spreading across the surface of the water.