Wednesday, 31 October 2012

At Halloween

the layers between the worlds are thin.
And all those who are gone reach back with thin fingers, and whisper in our ears "feel me, feel me". And even children sense their presence, and grow afraid to enter rooms in the dark by themselves. Thin tendrils of past being touch us, and remind us both that we are mortal and life is short, and that nothing is completely lost.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Freedom to play

Memory of a dream

"Creativity ~ the freedom to play, with no end result in mind."

Pale Blue Egg

A large, pale blue egg, flecked with small pale brown specks, sits in the palm of one hand. Each night, this other world; arriving back each morning in this world. Sometimes arriving quickly, sometimes waking slowly, coming back gently.

There is beauty and truth in the other world.

There is beauty and truth in this world.

There is a sitting quietly on my own. The blue egg. The blue egg. The blue egg. The blue egg.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Tail end

Tail end of the day ~ and what a day,
midsummer in late October. As evening falls, the rescue helicopter hovers overhead. Tail ends all around. And meanwhile, the sun quietly says goodnight and disappears over the horizon. Tail end of the day.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Letter from my 80 year old self

You'll be here in thirty years.

It will happen quicker than you think, quicker than a blink. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Enjoy getting up and walking down the corridor to your own kitchen in the half dark, the dogs ready to greet you as you flick the kettle on and start on the lunches. Enjoy that little body tucked in next to yours at night, and telling you he loves you every hour.

Enjoy all these things you take for granted now. Enjoy the food, enjoy the work, enjoy all you are capable of. The day will come when you can't have a bath. The day will come when you can't drive a car. The day will come when instead of everyone wanting a piece of you, your days will be your own, and maybe far too long.

Enjoy. Be in your days, and find joy in your days, as step by step by step, you move towards the gradual disintegration of form.

Enjoy the world



Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Flibberty jib

Cat in the clouds
Cloudy cloudy cloudy.
Let go.
Flip flip flip
Flibberty jib

Curly curly goes the path,
Curly curly curly.
Take it slowly
Stay as long as,
As long as you need.
Flibberty jib

Take it.
Till the mists clear
Till the mists clear

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Half moon, Sunday Night

Night fall in the mountains
Half moon. Sky fades to pale orange and grey. Small bubbles of mist appear with my breath and a low mist hangs over the field above the crossroads. A distant rumble of occasional cars carrying people home to Sunday night. And as I arrive home, a scatter of pale stars hang in the blue black sky. The fading of another day.

Largely untouched by death

I who have been largely untouched by death, carrying these deaths with me through my life; the abruptness of death; and grief grows expotentially.

Listing the losses, the dates and places unknown, Mama's Tata, her Mama, the twins, Heniek, Tata's Tata, all lost and circling me, reaching out their arms, and grief grows exponentially, as Heniek lies in his newly found grave in Pahlevi waiting for me to come and claim him, as Babunia dreams of her handsome officer husband, waiting for her in the cafe in the park, and she's carrying a bunch of lilacs through the ancient city, smiling to herself in her happiness. She lies now in the grave with Oled, tiny baby, less than twelve hours old with his mis-shapen head, the baby Mama never saw, the baby Tata carried alone to the grave, placing him to rest in the grave where fifteen years later he'd place his mother.

All these dead people, here with me still, Mama's Mama standing at the end of the long hospital corridor, shawl wrapped around her thin face, waving her goodbye to the children she'd never see again, she stands endlessly inside me, waving and waving with one hand as she clutches the shawl tightly.

And the twins, somewhere in Kazakhstan, lying in their lonely separate graves, calling "find us, find us".

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The pause to draw breath

Late afternoon grey;

Dogs bounding through shallow water,
the thin strip of sand littered with shells.

A young man on a bike stops and stares out to sea for a while.

It's another world, as behind us cars pass in a continuous stream, the Friday night city exodus.

Phone pressed to my ear, the news of hospitals and procedures feels far, far away, as I call the dogs back from the road.

Back at the car, as I towel the dogs dry, a small, strangely dressed woman with a foriegn accent asks if she can give them a treat. They sit and Maisie sits on after munching the biscuit, hoping for more, as the pup leaps and races around.

These minutes are my treat; the pause to draw breath.

Monday, 15 October 2012


by ghosts of

lost decades

sitting at my


walking hospital


lying in woodsheds


looking for


Saturday, 13 October 2012

small white box

In the photo, my father's standing tall and handsome, young still, dark haired, clean shaven. He's wearing a suit. He looks down towards the ground. One arm holds a tiny white coffin on his shoulder. The other lifts to steady it. He's walking, one foot is in front of the other.

I know the place - Oscott Cemetery. I know the walk from the car park, under the trees, along the gravel path, then between the rows of graves.

I imagine his lonely walk to the open grave - the new grave, bought for this day - lonely steps. Shouldering his grief.

The year, I think, is 1957, maybe '58. My father would have been in his twenties - maybe 27. My mother was still in hospital, unconscious for days after the birth. My oldest brother just two years old.

It's years since I last saw the old black and white photo, but it came to me in a rush tonight. Feeling his steps. All that is lost carried in a small white box.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Wild with stars

The sky is wild with stars tonight, and the wind gusts and heaves, leaving a lone crab apple tree to throw its black silhouhette this way and that against the distant orange glow of city lights. As my face grows chill in the darkness of the lane, I dream that we're home and settling in for the night, a fire lit, tea and toast, and the push and pull of the day fading away. As I drag the bins down to the gate for the binmen tommorow, and open the door to the next ten tasks, the wild starry sky looks on.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Nature's bounty in the rain

A walk in the rain is as good for the dogs as a walk in the sunshine. Maybe better even - fresh scents, and puddles to splash through. And among the wet leaves, what looks like flowers blossoming. But is in fact, seeds, frits, fallen from the tree and opening in the rain. Nature's bounty.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

As morning arrives

Another morning arrives. As I
lie in my bed, listening to the
first bird calling, aware of the
first light making an opaque
rectangle at the window, I feel
the steady beating of my heart,
and am thankful for it.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

nothing much makes sense

There are days
that are just like other days
except that on these days
nothing much makes sense.

And there are nights
that are just like other nights
except that on these nights
nothing much makes sense.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

these edges

These edges where we live; blindly believing the edge is TO something.
Thinking that some day soon, the pieces will slip into place and we'll experience "aha!"? (aha!)

Edge as existence. Stand firm. Know the edge, and balance (balance) as you always have. Tommorow is another day, (another) and living at (not on) the edge is not the worst place to be.

Living (aha!) at the edge (balance)....

Friday, 5 October 2012

no dominion

I've been thinking a little about death, and what comes after death. I woke up this morning with Dylan Thomas' poem "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" running through my head (link here:

"Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the moon and the west wind".

I read this poem a lot when I was in my late teens, and death was far away and not part of my universe, and yet; a stream of small deaths seemed to be happening all the time, and those who had died and been lost formed a constant backdrop of sorrow.

"they shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad, they shall be sane"

(If you'd like hear the poem, with some interesting, but disturbing imagery, clickk on this link:

Thursday, 4 October 2012

New beginnings

Walk through the open gate, into the field, and on towards the distant peaks. Walk as the sun sets. Trust that tommorow it will rise again. New beginnings. Over and over. New beginnings

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Sun coming up

Its 7.15 and the sun's coming up on another day. This view, this particular combination of colour and light, will be gone in five minutes. Meanwhile, the demands of the day rush towards me, and I feel the anxiety rising, and those old voices inside shouting their old messages.

The sun's coming up on a new day.