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Monday, August 8, 2016

Beijing 2

Just found this poem from last year. A snapshot of our brief stay in Beijing, China. It seems like a lifetime ago. It was such a good holiday. Mum, as usual was making friends everywhere and being the life and soul ... Her only complaint ? -  too much rice. 




Beijing

After breakfast at the Hotel Continental,
The orange juice cool, pure,
We venture out, arm in arm- for safety, 
Into bustling, dusty, streets.
A tsunami of noise hits us, makes us draw back.
Traffic - six lanes- hooting horns screeching- engines revving-
Making music with constant tinkling of bells  from bikes 
As they weave through disinterested people,
Who, like squawking seagulls,
Swarm along overflowing pavements...

First impressions of Beijing...


Like debris we are swept unwillingly
In this fast flowing river.
We look up - high rise, anonymous, dirty, grey structures,
Imprison ants whose hope is a fleck of blue,
Remembered.
Beside us as we hurry by, shops 
Selling tea, fans, Chinese hats,
Beckon us,
Aromatic bouquets excite our nostrils.
Finally, in a side street, we take a rest,
In a Japanese Cafe.
They tell us:  "Don't eat the food here, It's mostly dog"
We sip a beer a
nd ponder
How we'll get back to the hotel.








Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Our Garden

Our Garden           26th July 2016

Here is a picture of our statue of Mary taken through the lavender that I grew from tiny shoots and brought  with me from the other house.                                 I have four healthy plants out of the many( probably more than a hundred) that I started off at the end of the summer before last. I'm extremely proud of them.                                                                                      We sit here on these warn sunny mornings and do half an hour of meditative prayer.                                                                        The bees come and work on the lavender, and sometimes some butterflies. It's a restful start to the day. A pot of tea is placed before us which we enjoy very much . 



                                                                                 
Looking in the opposite direction we have our attractive pond, in which live,  at least four fish. Well, we've only seen four . This specimen is the largest and is quite cheeky coming up to be fed when my husband walks by on his way to his studio ( or , as all the children call it, his shed). There is a water feature in the pond that has a soporific  effect on us whilst we are quietly meditating. 

We love our garden and spend a lot of time in it when we are at home and the weather allows. 





















Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Baby

19th July

Here he is:




Chubba

Let me kiss your puffy cheeks
And dwell a while in your new smell
Before you are too many weeks
Before we hear the clock with it's bell
Stealing the moments we want 

Let me touch your chubby arms
They hold the promise of future strengths
I'll be taken in by all your charms
Go to extreme and unusual  lengths
To be beside you always




Monday, July 18, 2016

Mother and baby .



YES!! he's here at last !!!
We have a new great grandson.
I'll write about him soon
For now just pondering


18th July 2016
Today I wait  for news of the birth of second  great grandchild. 
I came across this picture which I took when at an exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London last year.  It was my favourite piece in that particular show 




Mother and Baby

You draw me close
You invite me to hear your story
I step near for a clearer look
Your head inclined to the side
In an act of pure nurture
Arms embracing, enveloping, 
Protecting
The whole of your body 
Searching for hope in 
An unknown future 
Dressed half in earth brown
You appear safe
Your green/blue skirt
Colour of vast oceans 
You are found everywhere.
I want to touch your head
Or your shoulder
To signal my support
But it's not possible.
And after all, you are simply stone
But
I feel your caress as of my own mother
I peer into your eyes and 
See your tired face 
Carrying the weight 
Of the years ahead.
It belongs to us all.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Write on the Beach


14th July 2016

Write On The Beach

A fabulous two hours this morning at
Write On The Beach workshop,
Sitting on fold up chairs, cushions
Or, for one, an arm chair
Borrowed from a salubrious living room,
Sun warming our faces
Wind cooling our backs
Nine gathered in front of 
Beach Hut 136
A blue beacon of creativity
Nestled quietly among more 
Ordinary neighbours.
With waves rhythmically keeping time 
Mysterious - moon drift
We read poems of the beach,
Write from prompts,
Share our hastily penned words.
Pebbles, warm underfoot, listen,
Listen, to our scratchy scrawlings,
Our spoken efforts
Sometimes stolen by brazon breeze.
In just a breath, juices flowing now
Time is up.
But inspiration as plentiful as
The waters before us
Is ours to take away
Reluctantly we go our separate ways
Fresh material within us .


And some words that i played with at the workshop:

Dip Your Toe In

Dip your toe in,
Yes, that's right, it's cold, it's icy,
But, you can stand it.
Go on now, Go a bit further, try
Your foot maybe? 
Colder still? Uncomfortable - for sure,
But you'll see 
Persevere, stay with it, what do you find?
Ahh, gone numb eh? 
No feeling?
Might as well take the plunge,
Jump right in .
You know you'll be ok.
And now you scream out.
It's too much pain,
It's taking too long,
But you, you carry on,
You stay with it.
You , finally , get your reward
You, you are swimming 
Totally immersed , one with the water.
It was worth it - suffering forgotten,
Waves wash away it's echo
The sun shining on you 
The warmth of this moment precious.

The prompt for the next one is the quote: " Water: no matter how much, there is still not enough". 

At each new dawn Nadia walks with her mother,
Before the sun has time to scorch their bones
Through narrow rugged paths,
Pebbles piercing sores into dusty feet,
They carry pitchers on their heads
On their way to get water for the day ahead.
They don't speak
The task is important , urgent.
Sometimes , if they finish early enough
And the day is cool
They will go out again
Take a different road and
End up by the sea.
This time the pebbles are welcoming
They creep across them to 
Sooth their sores in the cool water.
This time the water is more than enough to
Bring a smile to their brown burnt faces.
Nadia splashes her mother and 
For a few moments they
Forget that , no matter how much there is,
There is still never enough. 
Their skin glistens a fresh beginning,
And tomorrow they will go again 
To the still, small, stream,
And the day after that 
And the day after that
But , just once in a while 
They get to smile.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

250 Words


      This is an experiment that I am undertaking 
to estimate how many 
words I usually write
 in a blogpost. 
Apparently the optimum 
number of words is around 250 
and over 1000
 is way too many.

        Also the average time a visitor spends
 reading a blogpost is 
96 seconds which I 
thought was quite a long time – more than 
a minute and a half! 
So my plan is
 to see what two hundred and fifty words 
looks like on my blog
 because I 
would actually like to reach 
more people and 
to have comments from people
        that give me somewhere to go, 
you know questions for me to answer 
or maybe topics to research. 
Yes, that would be good.

So how can I get my readership 
to engage with me so that there is
 a communication between us?
     I mean, I do get a lot of comments 
but rarely are they the sort that want me to 
come back with answers or opinions, 
which is what I would like.


      Anyway, for now I am going to 
take my husband’s advice 
and post pictures and stories 
of the family and daily life.
 That seems to be the kind of writing 
that gets the most interest. 
For instance, the latest post with picture
  of my new grandson has already had 
one hundred and fifty seven views
 when normally the  first post is 
something  nearer to just fifty.
 Maybe it’s the picture of the baby.
 Well I’ll stop now as I’ve 
reached 250 words....

Number twenty two



  10th July 2016

New baby grandson born 5th July .
Each new birth is such a huge miracle -  every time.


Welcome To You
Your soft, smooth, brand new skin against my lips
Brings the future to the present and embodies the past.
Your precious, particular baby smell
Finds my nostrils remembering all the other babies 
I could drink it in all day.
Your tiny hands, although fingers long, give promise 
Of the life ahead.
And with you in my arms, cradled 
I am hypnotized by you, by your being.
Welcome to the world little man.