Sunday, July 26, 2009


photo at:


Boxed in and pressed on all sides.
Shrouded by cloud and padded by double glazing.
Gone is the wide open blue of endless possibility.
I pace and sleep, pace and sleep,
I wait and wait, wait and wait.


It has rained unrelentlessly all morning the day before I am due to start my walking holiday in The Yorkshire Dales and I have to admit it has dampened my spirits somewhat. The clouds are so low, dark and heavy you can almost feel them smothering you. If only one could take a spear and launch it heavenward to pierce the grey and allow a chink of bright blue to to cascade down and lift one upwards. We know it is there, that is the hope for tomorrow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What to do when you find a poem you like

What to do when you find a poem you like

Read it again
And write it
Learn it by heart
Recite it
Sing it
Rave it
Paint it on a flag
And wave it
Feed it
Ride it
Climb right down inside it
Fly on its back
For a night and a day
Then pat it and kiss it
And give it away

Adrian Mitchell - don

Sabrina Mahfouz, who I met on an Arvon course ( a very talented and creative person and excellent slam poet) posted this poem on FB. I love it, especially the lines "Climb right down inside it Fly on its back For a night and a day." When a poem touches you intensely, emotionally, you want to spend time with it, cuddled under the duvet just like a good book. You get lost in it and transported away. For days and even weeks it can be there by your side, touching your thoughts, shaping you and changing you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


photo E How


You lay me down. We acquaint by gradual movements:
a stretch, a curl, a turn, through nights of
restless dreaming. Impressed

I spring to the rhythm of your lovemaking,
taut and in my prime; absorb the whispered secrets
of thrills and emissions.

The cycle of the moon bruises, your musky scent
lingers. Our lives merge undercover in the flickering
shadows of dusk.

There are days when you rarely leave me - sad, lost
hours where you cling to my sides like a frightened child.
Reluctant to wake to nature's chime

you bury your head in me and cry soft tears. You are mine
again. Salt-stained wounds dry with time,
life and laughter return.

Now weak and sagging with years, I cradle your trembling
foetal form, feel your breath rasp,
hesitate and depart.


Inspired by Jean Sprackland's 'Mattress'. This one - before the embankment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Race For Life

Well, this past weekend I finally did it - the Race For Life that is. It's over two months ago now that my friend suggested I do this race in Southampton for the cancer research charity. I jumped at the chance.I have always supported cancer research and I desperately needed to get fitter after a long period of illness. I have been training since then, gradually building up my fitness levels. I used to cross country run at high school and then rowed at Uni where running formed part of my training but since those days have done nothing - that's a lot of years to catch up on. Fortunately it has been a bit like riding a bike, I seemed to have slotted back into it quite quickly and am feeling all the better for it (more about that in another post). Have managed to raise about £200, thanks to my supporters

Southampton hosts one of the larger events. Over 9000 women of all ages, sizes, levels of fitness walking , running and jogging together. On each person's back the name or picture of the person they are running for - some past away, some in remission, some who have won the battle. Very moving experience and one you don't forget easily. Groups of young people, some in fancy dress, mothers and daughters, prams and wheelchairs, all types contributed.

I managed to complete the 5k race in 25 mins, a big achievement for me. Tired at the end but still smiling. Stiff legs now so I know I put the effort in. Well done to everyone who participated and helped raise a fantastic amount of money.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The Day I Met Cinderella

The day I met Cinderella we went shopping.

First we went to the shoe shop.
I just bought sandles but Cinderella bought
tiny golden slippers.

Next we went to the clothes shop.
I bought some jeans but Cinderella bought
a beautiful blue dress.

After that we went to the Gardening Centre.
I bought some flowers but Cinderella bought
a bright orange pumpkin.

When we had lunch Cinderella ran away.
I asked where she was going and she replied,
"It's just too late"

I asked her again the next day.
She was daydreaming and sighed,
"He's just so handsome."

Then I knew where Cinderella had gone.

CN3 Age 8yrs

My daughter loves to copy me. She is fascinated when she sees me scribbling or tapping away on my laptop. She has endless little books of poems, prayers and stories that she leaves all over the house -started but not finished (again like me). This is one of her latest poems that I promised to post for her. Then she will be really like mummy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Villanelle

This lovely late summer painting from:

After that dark and somewhat depressing villanelle of mine yesterday here is an antidote. 'Summer Villanelle' by Wendy Cope is light, breezy and sunny. This is from 'Poem for the Day One'. She wrote on a hot Saturday afternoon instead of going to do a Sainsbury's shop - a woman after my own heart! Read in the garden with a large glass of Pimms and lemonade.

Summer Villanelle

You know exactly what to do -
Your kiss your fingers, on my thigh -
I think of little else but you.

It's bliss to have a lover who,
Touching one shoulder, makes me sigh -
You know exactly what to do.

You make me happy through and through,
The way the sun lights up the sky-
I think of little else but you.

I hardly sleep - an hour or two;
I can't eat much and this is why-
You know exactly what to do.

The movie in my mind is blue -
As June runs into warm July
I think of little else but you.

But is it love? And is it true?
Who cares? This much I can't deny;
You know exactly what to do;
I think of little else but you.

Wendy Cope

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Villain Elle

Image fromLIFE

The Addict

He sits alone amid the mangled sheet,
pale corpse of himself, eyes shot red;
awake for days without the need for sleep.

Awaits the last sharp fix to come and sweep
from him the hell inside his head.
He bleeds alone amid the mangled sheet,

the tracks leave scars and the wounds run deep.
Shoots again the pain that keeps him spread
awake for days without the need for sleep.

He weeps inside the tears he can't secrete.
Syringes, puke and filth surround the bed;
he shits alone amid the mangled sheet.

No friends, no dreams venture down his street,
just endless hours and fear of that dread
awake for days without the need for sleep.

Highs, lows, rushes, shakes - incomplete
snapped life hung by a single thread.
He dies alone amid the mangled sheet,
awake for days but now its time for sleep.


My first attempt at a Villanelle or a 'Villain Elle' as Nicky in my writing class calls them (can you guess she's not a fan!). Very tricky, both in following a set form and finding suitable subject matter. Where on earth this came from I do not know - it's not from personal experience. I apologise for the depressing topic, no light little ditty's from me.