Tuesday, 31 July 2012

An Auntie's Advice

Every day of life, little one,
you will learn new things,
that will make your heart
both weep and sing,
but darling, please start, knowing this:
every person you meet, you must see their best,
embrace your paths crossing, lest they mean
to show you the way, and when you feel you must go,
be brave and stay, for all moments and things,
those which bring joy
and those that will sting, happen to lead you along,
with each and every step you take, your footprint is a mark
you were supposed to make,
and even when your soul aches, be sure to keep giving
more than you take, and be strong;
for fate makes no mistakes,
and though the road may be long,
the ones you travel with and the way you are walking
can never be wrong.
To my unborn nephew or niece, the things I wish they’d said to me,
important things about the world, I wish I’d known as a little girl… With Love x 


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Hope Floats

To my mother, who through no fault of her own, was my 'savage island'
...and to learning, and being taught: it is time to be free.

I was chained
long enough
to a savage island, dreams
hanging on a rod into the sea,
caressed by odd waves
yet always tethered and tied,
they pulled hard, and longed
to be free.
I picked at the knots that held
them fast; watching other dreams
spread wings and sails;
and I tried to launch mine, when
the monsters weren't looking,
always to trip on my chains, and sharp
rocks, and fail.

I cut my hands, and skinned
my knees, the savage island insisting
I cry and bleed, for my simplest wants
and whims;
but I only tried harder, to hold out my
dreams, to the liberating winds.

Despite my chains;
my arms and my soul;
my heart;
stayed flung open wide
and I sat on the jagged, dangerous rocks,
spurning caves where
dark secrets could hide amongst demons
that crept on the beach,
slipping silently
between lines of trees,
and howling out, in empty nights
just to frighten me, as I sat,
on my precipice, alone.
I waited there, until a small boat
drew near and saw me pulling
at my ropes,
my chains,
and my anchored dreams,
it offered me a hand, and I pointed to the sand,
where the demons cackled, behind palm leaves.
I pointed to the caves
where the secrets lurked, and silently,
the boat began to work, untying every bind
and cutting me free, it reeled in the rod
and all of my dreams; and the wind through its
sail, sighed and breathed:
"it will never matter to me..."
So lighter now, I stepped aboard,
and the boat sailed out a little way,
and moored, and the demons,
they could still be heard,
on the island,
but they could do no harm,
as my open heart and my soul
and arms, threw off
the very last of the ropes,
and I sat down and scratched
two words in the deck:

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.” - Joseph Campbell
The sky's the thing
to an angel-winged moth; that
drapes its deafening, ragged, moon-cloth
along the most jagged of stars...to me the
things that pull are the scars of 'forever'
and 'might have been'; the moths
have hoped, and glistened,
and seen, their own pathway along
shining sea... For me, perhaps,
not so clear;
whatever somehow
near; always yet further
away. I could follow them
for another day, or night -
the light ones
that have
so often
led me astray,
walk with them into
uncertain waves and call
with wolves across the bay...
but more tempted am I
to stick and stay
seated on a
filtered beach...the moths here
have much to teach
me, and I to learn; so
they and I will light
a fire
and watch both our pathways


There is more than one way
to skin a cat, they say, but perhaps
I am not for skinning one
today; perhaps the light is such
to let a cat lay, and see
where that takes me instead...
But cats do not lay
in their sun-blessed beds for long
lest they are
held there by some magic;
some curse;
most cats are fickle and find
ways to search and seek their way
out. Far be it from me to be
a mouse, and let the cats play
with my tail or my head,
that said, I take pains to stay,
when I can desire no other,
and mix my elixir every which way,
no calculating witch at all, but a gentle,
honest sorceress instead.

Knowledge and Power

We were watching the moon,
and you, when
you told me
that knowledge
was power, and gave me distractions
in the starlit flowers and all their sleeping heads,
whilst in the very
same breath,
and minutes, and hours,
you were spiriting mine

Knowledge, I learned,
is a teasing game,
like all things else, something to be kept on
your highest shelf, and drawn down only
when it's safe...
Power, I learned, is not the same,
it lives in me, though weaker some days,
and holds
the magical hope of change.


Dress of lace, teasing the flame,
she hovers above, offering nameless whispers
and time ebbed
by; she dips and then offers
to the sky in a moment's relief...
I stare alone into my beach
and turn out a lingering light;
she bats her wings as though
to fight
against my letting go;
but I look her in the
eyes and know,
it is all there is left to do, only
the free
can return to you...she looks
me back in mine,
and flies into the moon.

Parents' Evening

In the quiet darkness, loveless stairs,
rang with absence of little feet,
there was a hole and space in the air,
jagged scars in the atmosfear,
silence stared from all the corners,
where the angry minotaurs would creep.

Lurking as shadows
and pouncing on innocence,
they stepped all over perceived
brilliance; exposing truth
that was more than accepting
that these were the chides that
had long been nesting in thick and
woolly days of wonder,
stopping now and then to daydream
and ponder, as they waited for spring,

a reason or two
to say or do whatever struck their mind;
not knowing that twice a year
they would be chided
and spanked for thinking or daring;
such was the abject wonder
of the bi-annual Parents' Evening.

An Almost Spring Night

Like memories bathed in starlight,
only waiting for spring;
and moths
that envy light touches
on the firefly's feathery
wings, there is careful time now
to tread.
To wait and to listen
to all that is said
and written,
and read and done,
for winter has been more than inches
too long
for the vapour trail
that rides on the wind.
It has hidden all soft and beautiful
things beneath an acrid blanket
of never, and left all souls
for a forever that will shine in the
settling dust. Silence has never
been a friend of trust, and nails can
only scrape
at rusted edges
without it.
It leaves a heart
room to wriggle and doubt it's foundations
and the words it would sing;
and the vicious wasps just enough
flesh to sting; without smile or gracious invite
...give me a pretty book and I will write
all my gentle self in, and pay
a penny
to the keeper;
take a shovel to the pit
of my stomach
and dig deeper, or plunge
an empty hand there;
touch has never been so bare and honest
as here you might find,
nor so open and near, to reach and caress,
you could run your fingers through a thousand
of the best
of my kind
and discover
there is nothing so special here,
much less the turning of a season;
ask me no questions
and I can give you no reasons
nor take any of yours to refine,
we can only take down
whatever walls hold spring back,
one crumbling brick at a time.


“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The caves you fear to enter, hold the treasure you seek.”  - Joseph Campbell
I touched on something long hidden
and although the way I laid it
bare and bleeding
was wrong in so many ways,
it left me needing to
keep it covered now, only with others
and showed me new
what treasure I have.

I had seen it before,
but never quite
like this...
Never quite
and so simple to touch.
It gave me back my
faith and trust, worn so paper thin,
in being allowed to be a
broken thing; gave me just
an inkling to believe
it would lift my wings again
and help me to fly. I

have never had such treasure
before, that saw my ugliness
and scars
and didn't turn away
but took out some magic
genie of the lamp,
and fixed me
the most important way:
If I lay my soul down in pieces,
it gives more than it takes.


I used to leave the lights on
sometimes, those days;
the days when I came home and you were gone
again, and
close my eyes to pretend
you were on your way to
bring me some comfort
or grace.

There were days when I thought I'd forgotten
your face,
or the colour
of your eyes...you'd be gone so long, I'd watch
the blue behind
the clouds of skies that grew greyer
than ever they'd been,
and I'd wonder how
far your journey might be
when the demons called you
this time.
Though you were gone, there were glimmers;
mostly at night;
when I thought I saw you in moon or star-light,
from my window,
in impossible dreams;
but they were visions only...
Whatever took you had power far stronger
than me...and I'd wonder
if you fought when it held you,
if you wanted to be free
but it wouldn't let you,
and you were much too proud
to say...

I came home and left the lights on
today...and I wondered if maybe
I'd forgotten your face,
or that knife-edge I used to sit upon...
but I noticed
I have had no earthly want of late,
of watchful walls, with eyes
of blue. And it is one thing
to notice yourself forgetting,
but quite another wanting to.

Monday, 16 July 2012

New Words

Somehow, many years since,
I fell asleep on the washing pile,
and knew not of all the dangerous miles I would tread
before I awoke. The woman spoke
to me only, in dragon’s tongues,
from that day until the end,
lending me no more
than glimmers of time
to tease my heart and tempt
me, this to remember: How can a child
love Christmas morning,
when they live in perpetual
December? With snow on their soul
and icicles,
that hang there even in June; that have never asked
for all the things
they know now, they were owed and due…due perhaps,
but not deserved;
no gentleness of tender words to teach her
how to love;
only left herself, to discover
what it means
to give, and touch in velvet gloves;
this sleeve, this shell,
some cursed, pretty angel’s
spell has always hidden the worst
and it wasn’t safe to lift them,
instead she sat
among the grains and salt to sift them
through fingers that sought to cherish,
and shoot like a lost little bird,
something to come
and claw at its door
and instruct it to speak new words, of giving,
and gentleness,
blessed it with
a much-wanted caress to share
and stall others from the same…and so, a thousand
names were whispered here,
all tender, all beautiful, all clear as
their crystal hearts,
and all of them taking little parts,
of the words
to make their worlds turn and be whole,
all of them leaving little marks,
that cleansed and freed a bound and selfish, 
unclean soul.