Monday, 21 December 2015


Last night, nature roared with wind and rain. I fell asleep with her wild voice and woke to the calm of morning and the hopeful sound of birds. I thought of the families in Calais in their jungle of mud, fear and uncertainty. May they keep hope alive and may their more permanent needs be met when our leaders remember they are human beings and not political inconveniences.

I thought of Lesvos - an island I had visited the previous year before it became a sea of discarded life-jackets and desperate passage away from the horrors of war. Lesvos then was a quiet place - an off-season haven that instilled peace and a strong sense of the sacred feminine. I am connected there still as another silent moon rises over the soft contours of a hill and gazes down at the horror we have wrought as well as the outpouring of human kindness. May the land hold; may the recovery be swift.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Tree Retires

For as long as my mother has lived in her current home, the apple tree has been the central focus of her garden. This beautiful old tree has generously given shade on sunny days, produced wondrous blossoms, surrendered so much fruit that even my mother has cried, "enough with the stewed apple."

Children have climbed her branches; birds have nested and played in her limbs; and I have appreciated her shape and her steadfastness. When I look out of the bedroom window at my mother's house, the apple tree is my measure of the season. I wonder if I took her for granted, if I assumed she would always be there and so failed to continually appreciate her many gifts.

Now she has gentle toppled - away from the house, which seems typical of her considerate nature. She has come to rest on a piece of trellis that needed replacing and on my mother's slightly neglected lawn lounger. If I had my way, she would remain there to be an elaborate bird stand, but she will most likely be sawed up and burned. Before that happens, I will talk with her, visit her, sit on her body where she lies like a woman half-sleeping her way through autumn.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Bodies and Souls

I went to see a production of Song From Far Away at the Young Vic...

Simple stage set
Grieving man


Stark beauty 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Antidote to Rain

Friends on the west coast of the US
talk of scorched earth and wildfires;
here, it is frequent rain,
damp socks, head down.

Out walking, some dogs
love the rain.
A labrador wags tail
in a downpour;
Retrievers take what comes.
One spaniel is otter slick
and jumping puddles
Another one, older, stays in bed.

Humans are much the same.
If I shed clothes
would it feel better on my skin?
Waterproofs are half the trouble
The taking on and off,
the stickiness.

One antidote is
remembering the sunny days
and waiting
for their return.

Monday, 13 July 2015

A Pause in Summer

A misty, almost-rain day
when I want to drink mugs of tea and write.
It has its own beauty;
everything softens and becomes moist.
Invitation to a poignant introspection;
relief from the full-throated thrust of summer.

I did not make a single post during May and June.
Now, on a day when the colours are muted,
I remember the glories of summer:



Sunday, 11 January 2015

A New Year

I relish the turning of the year:
the 'what is done is done'
and the simultaneous hope
for what is yet to come.

I relish the known
and the uninvented,
the gross result
and the unseen gasp of inspiration.

A year begun with sharp frost
chased away by mist;
contrast upon contrast.

Mist veils and unveils
at the same time.