Is it strange that today I am a rabbit’s twitch 20.4.20
startled by the half moon
that hangs low in the morning sky,
that today I’m ruffled fur along
the spine of a vixen’s prowl on Dark Lane,
or that I’m in the throat of a blackbird’s
alarm call across the Tame valley?
Today I am all these horrors
as skin on my face tightens
into another Wednesday
where all normal days
from yesterday have morphed
into unknown darkness,
where curiosity is a dead theatre,
where shopping is a war zone
in supermarket aisles and cars
have stopped revving.
Today the air is clean.
Today I hear you speak into my mobile.
Today I cannot hold your hand.
Big clocks chime the stories of redemption, how light always returns to our ordinary days of waking up to a changing world. Comic books give us dreams of Superheroes. Some psychologists believe that daily news is bad for us, how it can affect the way we relate in a day that starts with hate and fear. Each minute of night and day something’s going on out there and in here, cramming our thoughts with how to fix it, how to be healthy in body and mind, get off your arses and walk, breathe in the contaminated air etc, 10,000 steps to paradise! Now they (who ever they are) tell us its precipice time, wake up, change, stop all of your commercially brainwashed days, please, please, please, all the evidence is available on every media, it’s like we’re blind or something. I’m definitely missing those dry, crisp cold days of winter, how about you?
Fish me from the deep blue, make fire
once more in an aged skull. Hook out
those days of Jacks and white chalk
on pavements, where mum’s skin
was my home of safety. Plumb anything
left from my shoreline of hope now sands
sift fast through everyday, now that she’s
a ghost, dad’s a dream. Trawl my stupid
brain, let these shadows of nothingness
becalm endless tides of trying.
I know I should have kept a diary,
so many of you told me I should.
At last something familiar enters under our skins.
At last our eyes see trees frozen in puddles.
At last the clouds come down to our feet.
At last a universe appears as ice.
At last seasons remember our love for stillness,
the icicle, the transformation outside and in.
It’s only in the last few years that I’ve felt the weight of my age, gravity having its way with me, sack of potatoes in my belly, all the signs of entropy. Mirror gazing is a problem, seeing the real you, reflection the only way to face denial of life, lucky you, all that life, blossom of you, hard rack of bones carrying on and on. How all those heartaches and tears have wriggled into your saggy skin, how all those amazing joys and laugh out loud moments have kept you sane, how all the sadness and worries of a ridiculous world of possible magic has left you on your knees praying to a phantom god or goddess. My 70th year as been a milestone. I feel that finally I’m settled into my own skin, I am not my mum or dad, I am who I always was, a part of my ancestral family and my own truth. All that searching for love and approval from others, oh my! What a weight that has been, all that beating myself up for not feeling good enough. Well, time to fly and let as much of that go, send it to the moon and sun, I can feel my new skin, a rebirth of realisations. Oh how lucky I am to finally be able to say No and not compromise my power to anyone else, how lucky am I after 70 years to be able to walk my path of beauty. Heh, I’m not saying it’s easy and how much loss that’s involved, it’s been like torture and I still pine for all my so called buddies whose hands are lost to me now. But how else would I have come to know my shadow side, how else. And let’s remember the pain body how it remembers everything. Ouch!
The last few years have been a revelation to me. Since my wizard entered my life and accepts me for everything that I am, even though we battle with our emotional baggage we hold hearts together and we are blessed with strong feet that make us tall in our true voices. Oh how lucky we are. My process has enabled me to dance like Billy Elliot, to splash paint on a canvas, to use my eyes to photograph wonders, to conjure poetry on to white space, to have them published and to stand up in front of you all and bring my truth to you all.
From my collection
image by google.
I am bereft of butterflies this summer, where there is an abundance of white wings, the orange, red, yellow, brown, black dots, swirls of peacock, admiral and fritillary are rare. The buddleia’s starflowers only ghosted by last years memory of their spindle legs and proboscis tickle. The paradise for an angel’s wing has quickly turned to brown, their tips vacant of wing beats. Summer has tumbled over with heat and dry earth, the hills at Carrbrook are black, sootdust barren from a blaze of fire. I feed goldfinch with black seeds and they come back every year. I plant blue scabious, penstemon and lavender to entice the rarest of wings and bees come back; but I am bereft of the adonis blue, clouded yellow, lulworth skipper and painted lady; they are far away from here.
The locals call it double dumpling
it makes people smile, her intense yellow
wrapped over and under her petals of desire.
She’s bigger than a buttercup
and loves the spray from the river Tees,
she’s common on the river bank but
likes the shade of hawthorn and briar.
There is something about the unexpected,
a first sighting of such an orb, the beauty.
spirit being from one world to another
hold my hand
tall thing sky reacher cloud breaker heaven seeker
fantasise my heart
giant man frog jumper lion tamer wolf howler mouse twitcher
green grass me fields of friendship
deep sea dive me blue and Indigo insights
oasis me into believing that all the
wood metal stone bone flesh can become
a diamond that sparkles
a knuckle duster that survives
a moving deity that loves that the
smallest crystal replica of sky gods and
goddesses will stay safe in my pocket
and tell me no lies
here’s a close up of Jupiter sky god home of eagles
marbled air in the brain that twists and swirls
the amber toffee apple machine the candy-floss
another planet unattainable unlike home
yet we crave it crave until we have it
over and over smash and grab it
here it is safe in history lost in reality
is there peace under this atmosphere
where just one life repeats repeats repeats
a clocks steady tick patterns we make
galloping horses versus a roller coaster
this is life again this is life someone told me
It’s all topsy turvy
poppies in January
seed heads in May
dead leaves in June
it’s about balance
pennies in the pocket
snowfall in July
but where’s the sense in
a cockeyed world
halfofusexperience hell daily
the experts tell us of warming
about hearts and weather
three’s a crowd
syndrome or fact
lies told daily
but where’s the ideology in
hurricanes and tornados
fierce oceans and
who will save us now
sandals shoes headscarves
smiles holding hands
full moon madness
who will save you now
the elephant graveyard
the green man
the goddess of stars
prayers at bedtime
knees sore with worry
who will save me now
the thread in a needle’s eye
driftwood on the shore
truth written down
at the bottom of duvets
weather is now
a momentary item
fully present daily
in our waking days
A year in reflection
most years are mixed, events and emotions, this ones been full of heartache and blessings. I’ve sadly lost contact with friends that I valued and loved very much, I hold my hands up and regret many words spoken in haste, but realise all sides of that particular coin, the dynamics etc. I cannot understand the haste of damnation or the lack of healing ventured, and so I do not look back only forward to new events on the horizon with sadness and forgiveness in my heart. Whatever discord and hurt there has been I have felt held and nurtured by my dearest friends and new ones made, which is all one can ask for. I always welcome lessons to learn about myself and others, the whole worlds view of it all. I feel valued for the essence of who I am and that is love and joy and all those nasty bits we all have! Thanks to everyone seen and unseen that have helped me to stay on the path of my truth and may you all love and live in happiness. Go well into 2018 xxxx⭐️🌟✨💫🌈🌈🌞🌞
From the outside
from the terrace
the purple brick wall
the glass window
the neon pink life
all those fine lines
find a way in
even the solitary
a fluorescent green
From the inside
trees are budding
outside the gallery
grass is waiting
to green again
time ticks loud
on town hall clocks
we are captured
in an image
at the stroke of
across the valley
will tell us all
last year has gone
and all we have
in our eyes
is something new
At this time of year
I miss my mum and dad,
the joy and good will they
brought to so many Christmas days,
maybe it was the era or just the two of them
that made it magic for me.
At this time of year
I relish the thoughts of so many
coming together around our blue planet,
every single one of us wanting love and peace.
I relish these thoughts, if only we could
hold them steady in our hearts.
At this time of year
I welcome dark days, a time to go deep inside,
to be quiet, find a still-point, where only
the now has importance, where light shows
us the shortness, a reflection of the speed of life.
At this time of year
I notice more about the dressed turkey in us all
the tinsel and fairy lights that makes us more
at ease with who we are. I contemplate
all my losses, my inner battles and focus
on forgiveness, mine and yours.
At this time of year
I call on the healing as hearts send out love
to my own family and many others,
the fortunates and unfortunates
the greedy and the starving
the peacemakers and the warmongers,
each human being I have hurt along the way
knowing we can never return to a
balanced place of trust.
At this time of year
magnets hold us together
amplify the void we tumble towards.
At this time of year
blessings, blessings to us all.
All the good bits of course
Even when life throws up all those difficulties there are always the good bits full of joy. I’ve had my quota of some of the best moments with friends and family over the last twelve months. After the hard graft of finishing my MA and digging deep into the meaning of life, you know all that heavy brain, conscience heart soul retrospective, my natural fulcrum is to smile at the world and laugh as much as I possibly can and to meditate on all that’s positive in and around me and how free I feel at my ripening age and how bloody blessed I am to be loved and liked by some wonderful people, I really couldn’t ask for more than that except wild landscapes and coastal paths, I just love them, they bring me alive in the moment and all that fresh air. I’ve danced all my life one way or another and I haven’t danced much this last year, but have gone back to it recently and it’s like riding a bike, except my joints object, so my learning curve is to be kind to my body and just slow down a tiny bit. I don’t know what I would do without my wizard, he is truly my best friend and we teach each other so much. I don’t know what I’d be without the constancy of my three sons, I’m so proud of them and only wish them a happy life. I know the new year will be mixed, they always are but I really look forward to new adventures in my final year of being sixty something.
A year of confrontations
loss of limbs, heart blood, confusion,
tinderbox emotion, rotten cabbages,
down on knees forgive me please,
sons, daughters, mothers, fathers,
such a huff and puff existence,
now you have me, now you don’t.
discomfort in the head, eyes, feet,
cosmic aura, sea salted ignorance,
listen to waves in a conch my friends,
see deeper than you can fathom,
the path finds your heart in the end.
If all be lost to me. If all be lost to me.
I own a pocket of compassion and
forgive myself, my thoughtless bad.
Dear my heart is to me and no more
can hold falsehoods the un-fastness from
you boy and you girl and you girl
and you who no nothing of my life.
focus on smallness, minutiae,
the yellow moments,
the ones who see inside,
walk outside, around me,
use my lungs and eyes,
try something new,
learn to sing my song
on and on and on.
green the sea
white the movement of whales
blue the sky
white the edges of blue
shadow black inside
where we cannot see
shore rock sand below
the jagged cliffs of mind
expanse the lighthouse
Bones, joints, every small part feels green turn to gold.
Muscles, skin, blood, inside liquid knows about change,
the shivering mechanism of you.
Preparation for the cold under-land, the phlegm,
the last rose of this year, fading pink of penstemon.
Each one of us in a northern hemisphere gathers in
a bit of fire from the copper beeches leaves, the
last stand outside the window. All they need is another
hurricane, gale, row between sisters, something
other than steadiness and we will see those barren
gardens and hills once more in December, a year
where nonsense and suffering have built a wall
between hearts and figs, tiny feet and hands.
I’m not an adventurer, I am an explorer of the smallest kind,
walking up hillsides to capture views of life below,
footing coastal paths to be at the edge of everything,
like being on the outside of a giant water bubble,
the holding on to a membrane so fragile, it has
the pop factor, gulp of unpolluted air, the wonder of
the tiniest of life getting on with itself,
the amazement of beauty in raw terms,
then there are the clouds, nimbus excetera.
Now you see it, now you don’t
this charcoal reality
how the human eye captures a scene
a flash bulb illumination
could be a guy on a bike
could be lamplight in
the illusion is grande
it could be heaven
when I saw the fog coming in
there was no vision left
the row offshore
we four landlubbers
daggers drawn to throats
no turn of tides able to wash
these tears away
When you come across a sight like this it makes you stop and think, seriously. It’s got that wow factor, don’t you think? (bless me for I have done something wrong again!) Lets face it, an almost fully eclipsing moon is going to make you stare right back at it isn’t it, and say thank you for being so alive in that moment, like freshly hot buttered toast, I mean freshly baked bread and home churned butter, you can swallow that can’t you? I couldn’t stop staring, entranced in a cliche of smallness, all life reflected back, each birth of my precious boys, that screaming joy and laughter, unbelieble creations. And how at times we suffer for our joy, one barefoot moment after another, we kid ourselves we wear shoes of leather, that the corn fields are yellow, that our moon will always shine. Be happy if you can.
Well you know where that thought got you, don’t you? Best not let that mouse gnaw into the liquidity of the brain, it sure is dark in there and a bit gooey; I mean tacky and sticky; how all those nagging worries and painful exorcisms get stuck; you know what I mean surely. Blessed be the contemplator who washes the passages clean with the inhalation of a rose’s perfume or the practise of gazing into a book, the stare into one single word where a kind of magic takes place, where a zoned out, tranced out instance within helps sort out the rubble stuff, the nonsense of it all, like after a heavy rainfall we all love the freshness on the grass and in the trees; even if we have been caught out in thunder and lightening we don’t mind getting drenched in that newness, the beginning of something unexpected, do we?
Which way will weather blow sunshine to let the tiny flowers show us their bloom. Weather Cock from The Red House knows, the old iron vane can see it from up there above the roof tiles, a home that took so long to build, took so much graft and money, it became lost to the imagination. Purple blankets on moors only come when soil is ripe, not burnt up, comes once a year if luck has its way. Ah to walk amongst the dark violets, pale purples, an envelope you can feel surround you. Soak it up I say. It is here already on Carrbrook hills and Saddleworth Moor, teasing the eye, the treasures just need the smile of the Sun, lacking this week. Blow winds blow, puff up your cheeks and make room for summer, make room for something new, other than too many clouds, too much fear and hatred, too much cut and run stuff, make room for blessed hands and feet that always have room for forgiveness.
Don’t you just hate it when you have a brilliant idea about what you are going to write about, and then you don’t write it down straight away, and then you completely forget what it was in an instant; well, that happened again today. So this blog isn’t about whatever the idea was, this is about memory, how after the age of say 60, the holes begin to appear and keep on coming, a sponge effect, it’s like fishing in vast chambers of nothing, dumbfounded. Those synapses try to fire up to no avail, well usually that’s what it’s like, but occasionally Eureka flys through the jellied brain from some hidden depths about four hours later and jump starts the lost machinery and heh presto, it’s as if you have never forgotten anything.But most of the time if you don’t write it down those Crown Jewels stay in the tower, security tight as ravens. But don’t be fooled, the helix chain of memory never forgets painful events: the ruler slap on a small child’s palm, the gas mask at the dentist, the sweet sickly oblivion, the agony of childbirth, ( some say this fades with time), the betrayal from friends, the betrayal of myself, the countless endings of love, the repetition of loss, never quite believing they have all gone, left this arena of joy. Let me never forget the joy under my white hair, my shrinking world 🌎, let me wollo in laughter, eyes that sparkle, hugs and kisses, that absolute marvel of human kindness and compassion left in the world, left in me.
You can’t always see some birds, insects or animals,
they have unique ways of hiding who they really are
unlike dogs or cats as plain as a bowl of tomato soup
drool of tongue and cunning of ears, but you and me,
all of us uprights dine daily on a feast of masks,
a batman of lies.
It’s a kind of game, dressing up from the props cupboard,
a new mr or mrs Ben, as if by magic we become another,
our roundabout of daily lives in a world of our own,
the belief that others know who we are, how we feel,
of course they do!
Each course of our meal can be layered, filo pastried,
ghosts in the fillings, deception in the salted caramel ice cream.
Take a heart, consider the soft bloodied pulp, the bruises,
the volume of noise in memory
be kind be yourself
If, what a little word, and yet it can say so much, for example this sandpit in the photo was bliss to these two children, lucky boy and girl, look there is even a wheelbarrow, the pure pleasure of sifting those fine grains of yellow grit, bliss in the security of the back yard behind all the closed doors of Burford High Street in the 1950’s. If we had been manifested in other skins, in another part of this planet, who knows what bubbles might have been blown. If for example I had started writing at an early age, I mean expressively, then my shadows may have dissapated at an earlier age, if my awareness had been fully functional, I guess. If, well we could all say if now couldn’t we. But we have only got what we see in front of us today, haven’t we. If we choose to keep picking up our suitcases of rubble, well it could be a weight on the shoulders, let alone the heart. If for example rejection hangs around in the side pockets of your rucksack, refuses to budge, well then it could take a lifetime to feel free, I guess. If during the dance, the movements of quickstep or dive-bombing or soft shoe shuffle we manage to squash or kick off that sticky tricky yucky shadow stuff, so be it, and if we do, goodness knows what we could manage to cope with in the here and now, like today if we feel all is lost, not as we would really like it, or if someone has been real mean and said hurtful words about you and yes rejected that essence of you, well who knows, how it might be in this moment, the springboard to see everything in 3D or 4D or 5D is a possibilty isn’t it?
These uniform uprights at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park remind me of conformity, button your shirt, be presentable, and yet how they capture the eye, identical identity, what do they remind you of, clones, Dr Who, school assembly, the buried Chinese army, Easter island, you may not pass! But they’re kind of sweet, hypnotic.
This is the post excerpt.
First blog post As I head towards the end of June 2017 I can’t help but feel wet, yes, dripping wet, soggy even, I recall only a few weeks ago my life was jogging along in some kind of happy supported idle. I had found after sixty odd years of searching for dare I say it LOVE and acceptance for the being that I am here and now, a mixed up bag of tricks formed by family and experiences multifold. I don’t know if our lives are written in stone or sand, but that element of swift change is always a bloody shock, the unexpected, the pole shift of consciousness if you like, that all was indeed not as you ever thought it really was. Tough, I’m sure you would agree. I’v read quite a few blogs over the last few years and some of them are really informative and entertaining, but some of them are just far too egotistical, diary diatribe, all the ins and outs of what someone has done each and every week, I don’t care if you have to wash your knickers twice, leave it out will you. So here I am at the crossroads again, not exactly sure which path I will be following next. So I will somehow be writing something about it, and I will try not to bore you folks, Ta ta for now.