Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tokaido Road

26th May 2020

Five Years Ago. 

26th May 2015

Hello all my lovely followers.
Just taking a rest from all the packing and cleaning and sorting and dumping and worrying that I've been manically steeped in this last week or so. Soon we are to move, days now.
In the meantime,  let me tell you about a wonderful evening we had last Saturday at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury.
We went along with friends to a modern day opera, yes, you read that right, an opera. Not normally my thing - all those soprano voices singing in a language I don't understand.
But this was nothing like that. We were prepared for it by having a presentation evening at Beach Creative to tell us about this unique performance. The inspiration for the production was The Tokaido Road in Japan, or rather a set of prints by Hiroshige, an artist who did fifty three wood block paintings of the stations on the road.
Nancy Gaffield, a poet became inspired by the prints she discovered when on a visit to Japan and wrote poems in response to the pictures. ( Tokaido Road by Nancy Gaffield, in case you're interested.)
Putting these two elements together and joining with musicians and other creative people an opera was written.
What a wonderful experience it was, especially as we knew some of the history.
Add to that the meeting of friends and a glass of wine .... well you get the idea...
This is my response to it:

 Tokaido Road

We step into the picture,
From Nihonbashi we accompany Hiro,
Along Tokaido Road.
A road from our dreams.
We cross the bridge.,
Slowly, serenely, absorbed in the scene.
Enchanted, enraptured, we listen to music,
as it  resonates, reverberates,
In our subconscious  recesses,
a reeling rhythm of life.
Music brings joy and pain
Freedom and confinement,
Throwing us onto the way of the road.
Images present themselves,
Without being asked,
A waterfall, windy roads,
Animals  scurrying, birds in flight.
Kites held by anonymous hands,
Trees sway gently over the banks of,
The river.
The river that divides,
With fingers that spread across the plain,
That takes to itself,
That has it's story to tell.

We,  in monotonous pilgrimage,
Put one foot in front of another,
Encounter steep slopes,
And mountain pines.
At the summit,
cherry blossom fills aching lungs,
In the heat of the day.
As travelers we continue
On the way,
With Hiro,
But long for release.
The path , at times impossible,
Against us,
Wind , rain, umbrellas taking on new form.
We continue with Hiro,
To the end.
And in the end the mystery,
We are not the same,
We, like Hiro,
Are changed.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Let's Go

Our moving date has been confirmed and while we live with wardrobes, beds and other furniture in our living room, we ponder on an exciting new future. What is to be left behind, what is to be changed and what will we bring with us. I feel this is a new era in our life where we can decide to have that fresh start.

Let's Go

Out of the ground from
The dark months
Breaking through,
Now it is time for
New beginnings.
Expectation  raises its
Head above the debris
Waiting to see,
Will it be.
And somewhere inside
Plans start to bubble,
Hope returns.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Will We Ever Move.

Or are we doomed to be in limbo for the rest of our days?
The sun is shining  and the sky is a gorgeous blue. But the storms of anxiety are rolling around our castle.
So frustrating this moving. Waiting on dates and people to commit to times they've already committed to. Way up there on the stress scale they say. I didn't think that we would be that bad. I mean, after all, we have a pretty easy job to do with no small children and lots of time . But it is getting to me big time. Tears are held back, but then gush forth at the slightest upset which is in no proportion at all to the small irritation. I am a mad woman.
Will I ever get my peace back? Will we ever walk through the door of that "other" house that should become our home??
But then I remember:
St Padre Pio :  "Pray , trust and don't worry..."
Although it's easier said than done, it does help and makes a lot of sense.
God has everything in hand .
So, off I go to start the day, with head held high and a spring in my step because I know that God loves me.

Next time I'll bring you a poem.  Don't go away now...
See you soon....

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Today revised

18th May 2017

Since then, after a struggle of more than 730 days, you must be seven,
In your mid forties in time, in living only a small child with lots still to learn
But you are eager to build - to be a father, a son, a brother, a friend
And you put in the pot too the work that you do and you give it all a churn 

So, you may be seven, but your growing fast, is the best yet to be ?
Will the bud that you are, unfold some more reaching its fullest bloom?
Though the flower be the unusual sort , one that's not easy to train
Or will it be of the hardier kind, a delightful gift to brighten the room

16th May 2015

TODAY Today is special, Today is your birthday, Today you are Five, and Today , you celebrate , You celebrate by, Taking your daughter Swimming - something You both enjoy. Today, you, her father Are both older and younger Than her. She doesn't know, It's your Birthday, That , Today you are five. It's enough that you know. You were born , Out of the Death, Of your niece . You, rose up Out of her ashes. Her, a babe, Your own sweet angel, Drew you back To the womb, Gave you new life. And today , you can look back, To that other form, To that person who drank, Who was terminal, Still part of Your ancestry, But not you, No, Today you are five .
Happy Birthday.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Urn


                                       The Urn

Norma, browsed the vintage showroom nestled between Gucci and Cartier in Old Bond Street, not looking for anything in particular.  But the antique urn with its fresh butterfly design captured her imagination. She tried to walk away, knowing her husband would object. How often had she come home with an item of historical beauty, spending more than they could afford on her passion for the unusual.  Passion that her husband was convinced was an addiction.

She walked down other aisles, but the urn nagged at her and eventually, not able to shake off the feeling that it was meant for her, gave in, handing over crisp notes with shaky hands and a flutter in her heart.

She sat on the number 19 bus, stared out at the grey, crowded streets of London. A sea of umbrellas bobbed and weaved. Her arms caressed the carefully wrapped package perched proudly on her lap.
By the time she got home she was sure she had a convincing story for her husband.  She had time before he got home to unwrap it, move other treasures out of the way to give it pride of place and make herself a cup of tea while she composed and calmed herself. She got as much excitement out of finding a special place for a new object as she did  purchasing it. 

“What on earth...” staring, he walked over to the new ornament now adorning the mantelpiece. Norma sat  on the couch opposite. At her husband’s entry into the living room she put the  cup and saucer down carefully on the coffee table,  got up and walked towards him. His tone was not friendly and the tightness in his brow made his face  look ugly and contorted.

“Do you like it dear?” she proceeded cautiously, persuasively. “It looks great here...don’t you think, with the ...colour matching ...the curtains. .. I’ve been looking... for something ...like this for ages.” Her words stumbled, but she smiled encouragingly pretending not to notice the tense situation. She  took the urn down, caressed it, held  it up in front of him.

“Well, how much did you spend this time?” He sighed in accusation. He fell onto the couch. This was becoming too regular an occurrence but he was too tired to argue further.
“It wasn’t that much...”

Still holding the urn, she sat beside him. Although he was weary with her continual spending, he found that, as he gazed on the unique pattern and exquisite colour, he was, in fact quite taken with this piece. She went on:
“Anyway, It’s worth it...you know.... it’s unique... nobody else has one...”
“Yes, yes, alright,” he interrupted.

She held it lovingly for minute or so, deciding that she would give it a clean and a polish before she put it back.

She gathered cloths, antique cream and soft brushes, settled herself down to the job in hand. When she removed the lid the colour drained from her face,
Oh my goodness,” she murmured. She  stepped  away from the vase , “ oh my word, it can’t be...ashes... someone’s ashes...”

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Boiler New

4th Sept 2017

I can't believe it's September already and the children  will be back at school this week . Where on earth did the summer go? 
It will soon be October and I hope to be part of the OctPoWriMo poem a day in October. Can't see how I'm going to fit it in just now , but deadlines are always good to get me going - and finishing. And I have done it before. But for now:

Something I wrote a while ago: 

The Boiler

Sighing, she hastily pulled her dressing gown round her, hurried from bathroom to bedroom and grabbed the phone.  It was the second time in as many months that the boiler had broken down.

“Mmmmm, you’ll be needing a new boiler,”   the plumber stood, screws in grubby hands, shook his head and took a sharp intake of breath.  His West Country accent, not local, was comforting and encouraging.
“ Can you not fix it one more time? I can’t really afford a new one,”  she pleaded hoping that she wouldn't have to fork out a large sum just now.

Left alone ten months ago after her husband of thirty five years died in an accident, Rachel felt vulnerable.
“No, mam, sorry, but I can do no more for this beast.  We've some good deals just now, though,” he wiped his hands on a cloth picked out of his tool box.
“Right, ah, ok...” she moaned  vaguely not wanting to deal with this now. She followed him downstairs putting an arm across her chest to hide the coffee stains, suddenly aware that her hair resembled a willow tree gone wild.

“Well, I’ll have to think about it,” she nudged him towards the door, knowing that she had to be out of the house in ten minutes. She'd have to leave this for later.

“ I could drop you in a brochure, if y’like..”
“Yes, do that, do that, thank you... ” slamming the door she ran upstairs. How on earth could she afford a new boiler, she thought, dressing anxiously, without washing. She brushed her hair, wondering who the woman was in the mirror looking back at her. How quickly the wrinkles multiply.  Briefly, she tried a false smile but that just confirmed that she had aged at least ten years in ten months.

The train for London, delayed by twenty minutes had standing room only.
“Due to over-capacity first class seating will be declassified.”  Rachel slouched in the gangway, gazing at fields, the monotone voice from the tannoy washing over her.
“First class seating is now available for all passengers,” the anonymous voice repeated.

She stood all the way to Victoria, deciding to walk, as usual, to the Evelina children’s hospital, part of St Thomas’s.  Although she had done this journey daily for months, she still found she needed that walking time to build herself up, increase her strength and bury, for the moment the poisonous guilt she felt.  After all, her daughter needed her. She had to be the pillar, she had to keep going through the muddy fog of ordinary. Yes, to visit was costing more money than she had, but what could she do? She had no choice.

Rachel stopped outside the door, drew herself up and took a deep breath before entering the room.
“Hi honey,” she hugged  her daughter. She  then bent over the bed to kiss her granddaughter, who was in a coma since that day when she and her granddad had decided to go shopping to  get a card for her grandmother’s birthday. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tubs Of Ice Cream

My grandaughter got interested in writing poetry when I went to visit.
She posted this to me today:

Tubs Of Ice Cream

Tubs of ice cream
You can Buy:
Chocolate Chip
And many other tubs,
Ice creams are

I told her it was great. What do you think?

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Favourite Thing About May

Hi  everyone and thank you all so much for following my blog throughout the month of April for Napowrimo. I found the challenge both exhausting and stimulating, so now it's the
1st May -  my official not writing a poem day  -  well, here's a few words that just spilled out:

               My Favourite Thing About May

My favourite thing about May,
Is the light that increases each day.
When the 31st has come,
Till nine we'll have fun,
And know summer is on it's way.
I suppose I must be addicted. I'll have to go to rehab:

                                         Ring friends for a chat,
                                            Eat out with hubby,
                                               Have conversations and
                                           Answer correctly,
                                        Bake yummy cakes

                                        That should sort me out.