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Monday, December 28, 2015

Day 10- Ponderings

Ponderings

At Christmas time we often think of those not with us, whether through death or geographic distance  and looking at this poem about my Nan seems so appropriate.
The post also refers to the accolade of being poet of the day with my poem " Go This Way" which you can find back on the 3rd April.
But there is also lots of looking forward...
I look forward to seeing my new grandaughter who is one week old today..Little Molly . That brings the number up to twenty. This is my treasure .... And with a beautiful great grandchild as well,  I feel well blessed.
I look forward to a course that I want to do in January that will help with my work .
I look forward to 2016, the year my husband and I will travel ( not sure what manifestation this will take)
I look forward to my friend moving to my town and us getting to know each other better.
I look forward to lots of family get - togethers where all the generations grow to love the others more.
I look forward to hearing all the stories my children and grandchildren will bring to me to share their ups and downs...
I look forward in hope.... for all of this and more....
I look forward.....




10th April

So happy to have been chosen as the poet of the day yesterday by napowrimo.net


Day 10:  10th April, 10th poem

Yesterday I was thinking about old age, as you do. And what came to mind vividly was my relationship with my grandmother. An inspiration to me all my life. She died twenty four years ago but I am the person I am because of her. She had a huge influence on my life.




Nan

My pillar, strong, constant
There in my uncertainty
In the chaos of my wanderings
Unshakable in my instability.
With you the colour of being
Was not elusive or fleeting
With the blustery winds
Of breathing.
With you  unrest of spirit
Was calmed with the powerful
warmth of intimate confidence
With  you I learnt to savour
Those moments of
moving forward
Towards changeless
Substance.





Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wishing you all Peace and Joy



Wishing you all Peace and Joy this Christmas and always.

Will write more when I get a bit more time to myself.

XXXXX

Thursday, December 24, 2015

No Peg ( Day 9)

No Peg


Looking back at this post from April made me laugh, bringing back memories of 
grandchildren finding me so funny. The joke about the peg kept them going for days.
 That was only six months ago, but  so much has happened in their lives since then that
 I wonder if they even remember that time.

When we visited them a few days ago they were off to London to sing Carols.

Well , we no longer need a peg for the oven, having moved house and bought a new 
one. Now I have two ovens, seven burners and not a peg in sight.
During these days of Christmas it will make a huge difference to the feeding of visitors
 who might come.
I'm sure there will be a few over the twelve days.

But there won't be turkey. Well not in my house . I have to say it's not a favourite with 
the family.  It's not bad, just not that great. We do love it , when days after Christmas 
we make a brilliant curry with the left overs, but as roast meat - no, not the best.

However, I am looking forward to eating turkey on Christmas day this year when we visit
 my parents for the day and my lovely sister will cook. I'm totally sure it will be 
the best ever.
A little bit of rambling today. Not much of the poet here...
Oh well,
A very Happy Christmas to all my faithful readers...


 Day 9: 9th April, 9th poem.




This is for Daniella, my grandaughter, who wanted me to write about the fact that we have to put a peg in the oven to wedge it closed. It's rather annoying, but it works. When we move, in May hopefully, we'll be able to get a new oven. It's a bit of a joke that caused some laughter at the table. So:

 The Peg in The Oven

 Feeding twelve with sausage and beans,
And I have to put a peg in the oven.
Not enough to feed all the teens,
As I have to put a peg in the oven.

Cake, banana, that Josh has baked ,
A large one to feed the hordes.
We'll all get a piece
one at least
And he had to put a peg in the oven.
Yes, he put the peg in the oven.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day 8 / Busy

From thinking about money in the Easter season to pondering it again in this Christmas season.


Busy

People rush around shops - their thinking confused
Decorations everywhere - glittering, seducing,
Carols sapping emotions.
Socks for Uncle George, cost too much- but
The reindeer are cute
Madness-
People spending more than they can afford.




Day 8: 8th April, 8th poem


I took the prompt today from Napowrimo - to write a poem reflecting on money:


Money

Money doesn't make you happy,
that's what people say,
But to live in this world we need it,
It helps us on our way

But it shouldn't be the thing that
takes up all your heart,
It only gives material stuff,
The physical, bodily part.

It has no value of itself,
It's just a means to an end,
to bring some joy to those we love,
family and friends.

So, if you find you're lucky enough,
and have a fortune to spare,
Spend it wisely while you can
Give some away and share.

Many people are going without,
they struggle to make ends meet,
You could be there to help them along,
And put them on their feet.

So, don't be a miser ,
with your pot of gold,
make others happy,
before you're too old.


I struggled to find time to write a poem today, as we're so busy with family staying for the Easter holidays.
But the motivation to continue with the poem a day for April forced me to produce something, and in rhyme, which is not really my style.

My treasure is my family.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 7 Christmas Tree / Teapot

Christmas Tree



Day 7

Christmas Tree

Here is our Christmas Tree, up and decorated. This year it's up earlier than normal.  For a number of years now we have bought a real Christmas tree either a few days before the 25th or if earlier,  kept it in the back garden until a few days before - not wanting it to droop in the warmth of the house , loosing it's needles and being bare by the end of the Christmas season.
This year, we opted to get an artificial tree - nearly didn't get one at all as not having all of the family here and wondering if it would be worth it. Anyway, we thought we'd have enough visits over the season to make it worthwhile. And yes, we are pleased. It is the only concession we have made to the material side of this time, but we love it. With it's flashing lights reminding me first of Jesus being the light in the darkness - we all have some element of darkness within us that needs light - and then of the hope of brighter days to come as the days start lengthening again to bring us towards spring.
Then the idea of the evergreen reminding us of eternity and the hope of unbelievable happiness in heaven, while thinking of our God as the creator of the universe and all of nature.
With the beautiful decorations - for me mostly red and gold - I am reminded of the rich gifts that God gives to us always.
And how is all that a reply to the poem I wrote, "Free" , that deals with that man on death row. Well I would say that he was very aware of heaven and the many ways God gets involved in our lives.


Something else:
It seems to be becoming more popular today to have a teapot and small china cups and saucers. Just a hint as to how to clean your teapot , whether it's crock or metal. Take a 1/2 cup of washing powder - you know, the stuff you wash your clothes with . I use persil but any brand will do. Put it in the teapot and pour on boiling water right to the top. Leave for a couple of hours then wipe all the black off. If some parts are a bit resistant use a scourer. Wash, rinse and polish for a new looking , beautiful teapot.
Works every time .

And here's a little story to go with your cuppa

Morning tea.                                                          


I take the tray from the cupboard under the sink, the one mother in law passed on to us. Being precious to her, crafted in marquetry with a beautiful leaf design by her great uncle Horace around 1900, she proudly brought it out only for special guests.  
                We’ve used it habitually every morning since my husband retired, for our tea.   One tea bag is enough but it has to be PG tips, into a pot that I bought in a charity shop some years ago. I was attracted firstly by the size,  bigger than the norm, and then by the Red Rose pattern that reminded me of when we were courting. 
We like not to be disturbed, but today as I stare sleepily out of the window while waiting for the kettle to boil, the phone rings and my daughter, Kate, wants advice from mum while she walks to work. It’s her favourite time to ring.
Ten minutes later it’s back to the tea.   I cover the pot in a tea cosy that was specially made  by my daughter Emma, for our fortieth anniversary and which has pictures of our wedding day cleverly woven into it. Two cups and saucers with a similar design to the pot, but with “Ruby Wedding” written on them, sit next to a small, plain white jug.  I have lots of jugs. I get it from my Dad. He collects small jugs. He’s very fussy and they have to be bone china, as do the cups and saucers. I was teary eyed  when I visited then last week and saw that at eighty two,  he  still takes a tray of tea up to mum in the mornings. Something he’s also done since he’s been retired .
          We settle our morning bones into the welcome sofa to drink our first cuppa, with me reading the daily meditation. Half hour of peace, breathing deeply to find the place where the I becomes the we of a newfound joy for today.  There’s another interruption as my son stands tall and lanky in the doorway and asks for money for the bus.  And can Suzy come and stay. As I try to work out whether or not it would be convenient Peter has said yes and Dom is out the door like a bullet, knowing that there’s always a possibility I will override his father. Today though I breathe a sigh of relief and calmly sip my tea.




Day 7 n- 7th April

Free

For thirty years -Anthony Ray Hinton
In solitary, confined on Death Row, but
Innocent - released today.
We walk the ridge,
Chill winds numbing our brains,
Out on  the Creek
Boats sail, weaving on water - free.
Birds, Avocets,  Godwhitts, weaving on wind- free,
Children run, absorbed in games,
Worries not part of their plan, free.
But we, our minds chained -
Chained, with myriad links-
Incarcerated by,
 Our money, our children, our job,
Clearly not free.
On Death Row his joy sustained him.
No bitterness consuming him,
No attachments enclosing him
Living simply, close to God,
For thirty years he has been free.





Friday, December 18, 2015

Evergreen - ( day 6)

Ok, just to say thank you to those who are reading my blog - 47 yesterday. It would be great to have a little feedback.. or suggestions , or just random comments...
So today I look at the 6th of my Poem a Day For April and respond....

Evergreen

Birds flocking round the feeder,
New seeds - Energy for warmth.
Though frost frames the evergreen,
Still they sing at dawn -
A tune  that drifts into the  sea
Of the great Unconscious,
Where time is not, nor space,
But only being.
The strawberries of summer
And the Holly Berry of winter,
Both still red ...
Both still....








Day 6: 6th day, 6th poem            
                 

   Strawberries

Weddings- strawberry cheesecakes,
 Degree ceremonies or new babies-
Strawberries and cream-
Special family times.
Today I sit at a large table
In the sunny conservatory
Surrounded by children
Adult now , parents some,
Animated - they debate together,
While grandchildren - cousins-
In brightly coloured dressing up clothes,
 Are busy, having adventures
In "foreign lands".
On the table strawberries, plump-red -
An aroma of sweet, fruity promise.
And a knife.
 My task : to cut strawberries into four-
 Lengthways-for dipping-In chocolate.
And others, to roughly chop
For Eton Mess - a longtime favourite.
Warm rays caressing my back
Brings to mind  misty memories.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Day Five - Look Within

So, the fifth day...

Look Within

You may be confined, constrained, confused,
Shut in...
Even though you can walk where you will.
But  do not look to be freed 
As if some other can unlock 
The chains...
Instead, without fear search within, 
Deep inside, until you reach,
The core....
And there discover unknown worlds
That are your
Liberty....






Day 5: 5th day, 5th poem.
Easter Day








Out of the Darkness

We get up early, before the sun,
Bold, loving - striking out to where
We'd watched Joseph and Nicodemus.
Gather spices, fresh clothes,
Ointments to anoint His body
We walk together.
 Tears - a balm for the union of our sorrow.
Wailing we comfort each other with stories,
Personal, painful.
We ponder - who will roll the stone away?
And then,
The sun rises
Reaching the place, we stop.
Looking , without understanding ,
who has done this thing?
The tomb - empty.
Confused we stand.
Do not fear , they say.
Out of darkness - the Light ...He is Risen...
And joy ,  hope returns.
He is alive...
He is alive...
He is alive...








Sunday, December 13, 2015

4th day...Joy

Continuing my response to the "Poem A Day In April" :


JOY


I Look forward to this meeting,
Joy awaits me there,
Just need to remind myself of the route...
Joy awaits me
Mustn't get distracted by other roads - obstacles-
Joy awaits
I come to meet you in that place
That is everywhere, in the now of forever...
Joy....


Day 4: 
4th April, 4th poem

Written yesterday-Good Friday:




The Ninth Hour

Caught up in the swollen mass,
 that surges, like a river  
over spilling its banks. 
I am elbowed,
jostled , pushed, shoved,
Through dusty streets, 
The frenzied multitude,
Ringing in my ears,
I look up .
Can I see Him?
For an eternal brief moment, we are chained in a look
His eyes wedded to mine - heart embracing heart.
He staggers
I squeeze through, bumped and kicked.
I look up
Can I see Him?
Innocence before me
I take my white linen cloth
To his face-disfigured, bruised 
Blood, sweat, soak into that veil.
my treasure.
Soldiers drag me away.
I cannot watch ,
His body - cut, wounded , battered,
Struggles up the slope
staggers-falls , staggers again.
All stop. The summit.
I look up,
Can I see Him?
The place of skulls
Nailed, hung, spared nothing.
Arms open wide in embrace.
The lamb on his throne.
It is the ninth hour.


We are expecting lots of busy-ness during the next two weeks so I will have difficulty writing for the blog and keeping up with the challenge. I do intend, however to give it a shot, even if what I post isn't as good or finished as I'd like. So carry on supporting and spreading and we'll see this through together.


Today:
Did you know?

Total Lunar Eclipse or "Blood Moon", is on April 4, 2015 and will be visible in most of North America, South America, Asia and parts of Australia.

Of course we can't see it here in the UK.





Saturday, December 12, 2015

3 The Circle

My third response

The Circle

This winding road is actually a circle, 
From where you've come to where you're going,
Coming back always to the same place, 
Over and Over,
But changed.
And all the while another journey
Falling Into that deep universe, 
Slowly, slowly,
Where nothing changes






Day 3:
 3rd April 3rd poem.


Was inspired today by a walk along the coast . We took a path from the beach up a pretty winding staircase. Each turn gave a different, yet  interesting view which  made me reflect the path our lives take. Not sure I've done justice to it in this poem.


Go This Way


Go this way, by these winding steps,

                                    Up this steep slope.

                                                     Stop here, rest,

                                                                      Take in the view,

                                                                                     The castle - almost ruins

                                                                                                     Wealth mostly spent.

                                                                                     Carry on up, round another bend,

                                                              See the lake- shrouded in mist,  

                                               Past joys hidden.

            Struggle further, towards the summit,

                                                   Breathless,

                                                               The path narrows,

                                                                                Turn, see the valley

                                                                                            Deep, dark,

                                                                                  Lost moments of gloom.

                                                                                                 But now,

                                                                               Crawl on to the summit,

                                                       Lift yourself up,

                        Stand, breathe deep

     Look around,

                                      All before you takes shape



                                                             Holds together.





Monday, December 7, 2015

2nd day of response - What On Earth Comes Over Us

Day two of answering "A Poem A Day " . So, look to the end to find poem from 2nd April.
And my response:
 

What On Earth Comes Over Us

Waves of Christmas music drift through my head,
It's that time of year again - happiness, tiredness, dread
That things won't all go right.

Where's the list I wrote last night , what shall I get for Aunty Chris?
What size turkey shall we have? Or this year shall we give it a miss,
Oh, I am in a terrible plight.

But what is the whole thing really about, why do we make such a fuss?
Why is the whole world celebrating , what on earth comes over us?
It's only remembering a baby's birth and that happens every day,
But this little baby changed everything as he lay on the soft , dry hay



A poem I wrote yesterday, just for the craic:

JUST SAYING

Love is you taking the bins out,
And noticing what's behind that bout,
Of anger.
Just saying...
Attentive too to times of tiredness,
Not minding that I've not got dressed,
But languor.
Just saying...
Knowing I like a different channel to you,
Giving me my chance as well to view,
For longer
Just saying...
And when the opportunity arises and we're able,
Taking me to dinner to sit at table,
And romance me for ever,
Just saying,






Day 2 of the challenge "a poem a day in April".

                     This April Day

Look out to sea this April Day.
See the horizon curve
Across wide water.
Waves churned by wind,
Break on shores,
Sculpt  fresh  forms.
And wind turbines,
 Like catherine wheels
Turn to the tune,
Of spring.







And just to keep you going, another little story:




                               The Torch                                                      

“What’re you doing?”  Rob moaned sleepily, falling into the middle of the blow up bed, his elbows and knees hitting the cold, hard floor, as Liz stumbled over him.
“I’ve got to go to the loo,” she whispered, groping in the dark, “where’s the torch?”
Rob’s hands felt in the pocket at the side of the inner tent.
“Here,” he said, clicking on the Tesco pocket-torch and holding it up.
“Thanks,” she grabbed it, pointed it at the zipper and quickly opened it.
            She stepped quietly into the outer tent area so as not to waken the girls, whose low, rhythmic breathing assured her they were fast asleep. With the sound of rain on the canvas roof echoing in her head, Liz got on hands and knees and searched for her wellies. Next she slowly swept the torch in a circle. Now, where was her coat? Finding it on the back of a chair she shivered as she put her arms into the damp armholes, making a mental note that she must keep her clothes inside at night.
Wellies and raincoat on, she ventured outside onto the wet grass. Lifting her face to the moon, half hidden in cloud, she noticed that what she thought was rain was only drizzle. From the din inside the tent she expected a downpour.  Another sound, dull and repetitive, drifted from one of the other tents. Someone was snoring. 
Liz held the torch tightly in her clammy hands. She could see only a few yards in front of her, everything else left in unknowable darkness. She picked her way through the first of the two fields she had to get through. A feint smell of smoke from the bonfire of the previous evening wafted in the air, reminding her of the BBQ, the wine and friends singing late into the night. The only reason she’d agreed to this camping trip. 
As she continued on, the occasional sound of cracking twigs from the woods around her broke the silence and made her start.  She tried not to imagine what might be lurking in the black.  Pulling her coat tight around her shoulders she quickened her pace, grateful there was a pathway to follow and greatly relieved when the lights from the toilet block came into view.
On the way back to her tent she wondered if this would be the first and only time she went camping. What she knew for sure was that if they came again they would have to get a more powerful torch.


Now i have to put my think cap on and get writing the poem for tomorrow.

See you then.




Saturday, December 5, 2015

Below Freezing


Below Freezing

Hats, coats, scarves, gloves -
Rushing past each other,
Heads down -
Breathing clouds into freezing air
On this  crisp November night.
Actively anticipating,  warm theatre.
"Come on, hurry...   Nearly there..."
Looking around,
At first, not noticing  - quickly passing him.
Stopping, turning
Eyes searching each other's
Thinking, Knowing, agreeing
And at once in that look
Deciding .
Hunching over in his blanket,
Hands and face red- weather worn,
Looking up, telling with his eyes, his story.
We could not pass.
We could not pass...

And then we saw a kiosk selling hot drinks and food,
And decided to get him something.
Coffee with sugar, that will help warm  him
And some chips as well, with salt and vinegar.
We tentatively approached - not knowing how we'd be received.
Bending down, meeting his eye we ask,
"Would you like a hot drink, we've brought you a coffee
with sugar, for energy, ( we rambled, nervously)."
He looked up and from within brought forth a love
And thankfulness in the blanket of his smile.
"Oh ladies, thank you so much, thank you, thank you..."
Words from the depth of his heart that found my heart .
He declined the chips very delicately,
Had some earlier from another kind passer by.
We left him then ...
Forever changed...











Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanks


Thanks to all of you fans who have been consistently reading my blog .
There have been over 11000 visits now and I have had 187 comments
 on the blog itself. That is apart from the many comments that have
been posted through Facebook.
I am so pleased that so many have enjoyed my stop/start attempts. I always
 like to hear what you all think.
I don't always feel that I have anything much to say and find it takes me a while
to have the courage to post anything at all.