Sunday, 31 March 2013

Can I be
Someone who holds
The reins of life
Can I watch
The sun rise
Over the mountains,
Then go to work,
And do
What needs to be done
Without grumbling?

Can my heart sing?

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Baby Dragon

There's a baby dragon asleep
at the foot of my bed. He's
harmless for the most part,
but you need to be careful.
If roused too quickly, he can
snap, with his small mouth,
and his two rows of small,
sharp teeth. He got into
a tussle with the dog, and
took the dog's ear clean off.
He's a pale, silver-blue grey,
and tucked up asleep looks
sweet and quiet. Who'd keep
a pet dragon? We would,

Friday, 29 March 2013


Hundreds and hundreds of years.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of people. People inhabit the walls and the stones, people who's lives we can't even begin to imagine. City states at war with each other, century after century, marching their tired armies over the same vineyards and olive groves, over and over again. Mighty buildings, five, six storeys high, built maybe five, six, maybe seven hundred years ago; still standing. Still lived in. And half of Siena's magnificent cathedral, uncomplete since the middle ages, construction halted at the recession brought on by the arrival of the bubonic plague. Half built walls still standing, now a tourist feature in their own right.
And how tiny a pinprick in all this history are we?

Monday, 25 March 2013

To not think

Permission. To NOT think.
To not send my thoughts
racing and darting,
now this way, now that.
To not cover all angles,
not see all risks,
to not pull a world
safely together.
And again,
to NOT think,
instead sink
into sweet

Saturday, 23 March 2013

FIREWORKS (acrylic on canvas)

Plateau, platypus, peace

What's constant?

Pressure. Activity. Stress.

What's rare?


Spit spot.

Chasing the money.

Spit spot.

Irritation. Exhaustion.

Feels like war.

Spit spot.

Here's a plateau.

Spit spot.

( no reserves )

Plateau, platypus,


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Stone. Water. Reflection.

Less than half an hour from where I grew up, yet I didn't know Baddesley Clinton existed until I stumbled upon it on a country drive, in my early 20's.

Then I forgot it all over again.

Nearly thirty years since I last visited, I saw, by chance, a sign for Baddesley Clinton, as I drove with my mom, heading for lunch on her day out.

Walls and a moat that have been standing for hundreds of years. Seeing power rise and fall, seeing people come and go. Seeing money come and go.

Is there life in inanimate objects? Do buildings carry memory? These buildings certainly FEEL as if they do.

And the message I heard?

After the turmoil, this still remains. Stone. Water. Reflection.

A drake rises out of the moat and lands on the path beside us. The bookseller sets out his stall. We walk slowly, part way round the moat, and then back. It's far enough.

Stone. Water. Reflection.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Travelling through the void
Dreams of birth. Dreams of death.
We travelled at the speed of light through a void, colours and white, swirling. All bright - no darkness.

We arrived back in a world just like the one we'd left, except that all trace of our existence had disappeared. Is there a mistake? I asked death. No mistake. I want to go back, I told death.

So he (and it was a he) took me back, to a world full of snow and danger. A world where I had to be wily to escape danger, on a dark night, in a dark place, in the wilderness.

Death and birth. Birth and death.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Knots in a handkerchief

Tales told, stories carried,
carried in the folds
of a handkerchief,
pushed deep
into a pocket.
Carried in the knots
tied into the hanky.
One knot
for each thing
to be remembered.
Pulling out the hanky,
fingering the knots.

Friday, 15 March 2013


After midnight
Each time we reach out to hold - a person, an animal, a situation - we are in turn held ourselves. Held by something bigger than we are ourselves.
And holding becomes the gift we bring.
And holding becomes the prison we bring. So we must learn to hold loosely, with the door wide open. And in turn, to experience being held not as a prison, but as a liberation

Thursday, 14 March 2013

for want of connection
he walks beside a
bluepink ocean,
dark moon hanging
in the sky. for
want of connection he
follows his blue path
and gazes
with hungry eyes
at the world.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

In my house on the right bank

After I've crossed the stepping stones,
(boulders more like),
and crossed a river in full flow;
after I've jumped fast
over the last rock,
(which is fully submerged),
and walked uphill
across the meadow
to the house on the right bank,
I find the little niche where I left it,
just to the left of the entrance door.
My object of pure potential.
My small, smooth, white, round stone.

Entering the house,
(and after washing myself
clean of all anxiety)
I find a staircase
that wasn't there before.
It's unassuming,
a simple, straight stair.
The landing runs in two
directions, and I move towards
the back of the house.
Here's a door. Open it.
A big empty room,
an uncarpeted timber floor.
In the space, two things
A wooden sideboard,
and a wardrobe, with a veneered
wooden door. Which holds the answer?

I open the wardrobe door.
At the back, a flight of
granite steps lead me
up a long dark tunnel.
There's light at the top.
I come out into a sunlit pasture,
with big trees, (oaks and chesnuts,) swaying around the edges.
And I laugh to know
the answer is so simple.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Nearly gone

The light of today is nearly gone, though a last bright glimmer remains. Time to reflect. Time to atone.

Atone: For all the wrongs I've done in these brief few hours since I woke (losing my temper, shouting at the kids before school.....and the rest...) - and then the wrongs I've done to myself - (working straight through lunch, beating myself up over all the things I haven't finished.... and the rest....)

And reflect; - how strange that all the technology is responding to the stress and strain in the air around us. Strange technology glitches all around for the last few days. Things inexplicably not working. Bizarre delays and the disappearance of functions.
Big thanks to the man who listened to my complaint, brought up a big bag of goodies to the house "for my trouble". Big thanks to a world that is throwing work my way, notwithstanding the challenges it brings.

The last glimmer of day is gone now. All dark. Time to rest. Time to repair.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Years passing

Tangled branches


Not wiser

Friday, 8 March 2013

Reluctant to rise

It's grey today, and cold, and windy, weather that makes me reluctant to get out of bed. I'd much prefer to stay snuggled under my warm quilt, and forget my Friday workload.

But I'm remembering the series of beautiful sunrises a couple of weeks ago. And I'm remembering to be grateful that I CAN get out of bed.

To be grateful I have children to prepare for school. To be grateful I have animals to care for. To be grateful I have work to go do, and clients who will pay me for that work.

To be grateful I have breath.

Imagining a bright sunrise, I reluctantly rise to Friday.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Yesterday evening, I attended a wonderful beginner's silversmith course, run by Adam King ( ).

I felt dreadful on the way there. I've been sick for a couple of weeks with a low grade chest infection, and the thought of heading out in the fog and rain to a "class" was NOT enticing!

The three hour workshop flew by, and was great fun. Everyone finished a practice piece in copper and a small silver locket. Adam's style was gentle and unpatronising. I was interested to hear of his career shifts, from surveying, to architectural model making, to construction to jewellery making.

Surprisingly, I arrived home less tired than I left, and slept soundly and well.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

More than enough

I have at least six pairs of boots. Really. What on earth do I have
to complain about? In my wardrobe
enough clothes to last me until
my last breath on this earth. So much
plentitude, and still we cry "not enough!
not enough!" More than enough.

Snow Hill Station

I hated Snow Hill Station.

It's where I had to go, endlessly it seemed, with my dad and his parcels. Where was Snow Hill Station, anyway? Somewhere past Rackhams, and heading downhill. It was gloomy. It was victorian.

I'd be sent in with a pile of parcels and a list of instructions, while my dad stayed in the car or the van. Parcels that went by rail, I guess, although I never really thought about it at the time.

Men moving things around on handcarts.

A world that's disappeared.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Silver branches

Caught in the sunlight, these branches look almost as if they've been painted silver.

Silver branches.
Reaching to sky.
When spring comes,
tiny silver leaves,
then buds,
and finally,
tiny silver flowers.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Yearning to go home

Adam Mickiewicz
Throughout my childhood, right through into my twenties, this painting hung on the wall of the fireplace in our dining room. It shows the great polish poet and writer, Adam Mickiewicz at prayer, and the caption says "In this way, by a miracle, you will return us to our homeland". These lines are from Mickiewicz famous epic poem Pan Tadeusz.

Mickiewicz lived in exile from Poland after five years of internal exile to Russia. He lived many years in Paris, and died in Constantinople.

The house was sold after my parents divorce, sometime in the late 80's. I didn'tgive the picture a second thought. When we were clearing my dad's flat, we came across the picture again. The full significance and poignancy of the picture and the words hanging over the mantlepiece of two people taken to Siberia as children and exiled for ever from their homeland struck me with great force.

It's a powerful picture.