Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bacon and Cabbage

27th April 2016

Well , this day last year I wrote the poem "Hungry" for the poem a day challenge.
It's interesting looking back . Today, I'm going to talk about food. In particular Bacon and cabbage.

We had bacon and cabbage for dinner today, with
Potatoes and butter and creamy white sauce.
As the steam filled my kitchen I was momentarily  brought
To my grandmother's cottage in Thurles.
Nan in her apron waddles about the kitchen,
legs little sticks holding her round frame.

Black range cooker,  pots sitting on top
One with the bacon bubbling away-cabbage added later
Another with potatoes, always the floury kind.
Peat fire, bacon, oil from Casey's yard
I breath it in slowly.

As butter melts into my potatoes,
I remember my own mother too, making the ritual  meal
 "Kerrygold", the only buter for her.
The cabbage water she'd always save for dad
"That's where all the goodness is"

My bacon tastes of family-  history made
Future stories to come , for
Even the grandchildren look forward to,
Grandma's Bacon and Cabbage.

You can see we didn't go hungry today...

Day 27:  27th April, 27th Poem

We can be hungry in so many ways. I have not done justice to my original idea, but:
Oh, and by the way, notice that each line starts with H or F .. Any thoughts ???


How hungry suffers, he's
Hungry for food, but also
Hungry for a roof, for clothes to wear
For warmth, good health and friendship
For self esteem, for work,
For education, appreciation, he's
Hungry to be needed,  to belong,
Hungry for a smile, a touch, he's
Hungry for love, for the sun,  for the spirit,
Hungry to be free, to be normal,
Hungry for love.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Response to "Hole in my Shoe"

26th April 2016

Hello everyone,

I was hoping to do the poem a day for April but have been unable to focus in the aftermath of the deaths of both my mother and father in the last couple of months.  I believe that  I will see them again and for that reason I am at peace, but emotional feelings overwhelm me along with a debilitating tiredness  and vagueness. 
Most days I would like to stay in bed and pull the covers up around my head and not move, not get up. I do get up and I do get on with life, I'm just saying what it is I feel like doing.

So here I am playing around on my blog.
Looking back at this day last year I find I've written a quick fun poem about a true situation. My shoe did actually have a hole in it. Since then I've inherited my mothers shoes - some of which I like and others I like less.  So I have enough for now. 

By the way, I threw those ones out, the ones with the hole in...

Day 26:  26th April, 26th Poem - 2015

I was just thinking about having nothing to write about and this just tumbled out.    So, for better or worse: 

Hole In My Shoe

Stuck for something to write about
I search on the web for a clue
And  finding nothing that interests me
I can only think of my shoe

There's been a hole for some time now
In the sole of my favourite pair
And buying  new being out of the question,
I'll have to do a repair

So what do I do, where do I start
It's all a mystery to me
I've got some glue, but not the right sort
Time for a cup of tea

I remember what grandma used to do
To make her shoes last longer
She took some card and put it inside
It made them that little bit stronger

For a while,
Till the rain got in

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sitting on the Beach

23rd April.
Good morning everyone.
Yesterday we put new grass down in our front garden. It's made a big impact. Later I intend to go and plant my lavender.
Today we remember Shakespeare and also my husbands lovely mother, Win, who's birthday is today. Although she died twenty odd years ago she has left a lasting and deep impression on the family whom she loved so much. We often say things like:   " Mum always did it this way,"  "mum would be proud of that," "that 's the song mum used to sing in the kitchen,"  " nan would love this." and many more. She was always there for us even though she didn't always understand our reasons for doing things. I was very fond of her and learnt a lot from her that I carry on doing today.

Click for Options

Sitting on the Beach

Scarcely a ripple - like glass- blue, grey blue, green blue,
In horizontal strips from East to West.
A few moments to spare, we sit on the pebbles,
Drinking in the healing air.
There are others on the beach
But they don't know,
How can they, 
Why should they.
We look up to clear sky,
Then out to white sails, in the distance,
Yachts moving, but going nowhere.
Later they'll be back at the club.
Silence sits well with us,
We watch as gulls squabble and squawk 
Over bits of fish found, just in front of us.
This now, couched between the living of life,
Is life - for us.
This present moment our home, our security,
Protecting from the cruelty of time.
But now too, it is over.
We get up, reluctantly,
And walk back down the beach.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

21/4/16 The River

21st April 2016

Just pondering on how things are never really gone only changed.

  The River

All things change , matter takes on new form.
The river winds, bubbles, meanders
Round bends , this way, then that,
Bound for the sea
High up waterfalls drop fiercely
Still, slow moving pools,
Stealing,  picking up  loose attachments,
Absorbing the colour of porous stone,
Until, eventually,
It opens out to the ocean
It is not gone,  it has been transformed.

Day 21:   21st April,  21st poem
The sun is shining, the sea is like a millpond - a springlike morning.

Just to follow the prompt I have given my poem a title that has a truth that cannot be refuted ( up to you). I had fun with this today. Thought it was a bit Joyce Grenville-ish. It's a bit tame in comparison to some of the times when I tried to gather my own children together, but...

Children Are Sometimes Irritating

Ah here's the book
Right let's sit down 
I'll tell you a story.
Need the loo mum ...
OK, Sam, 
Hurry up then...
No... you guys
Stay here
Keep still, 
He won't be long.
Here you are...
Come on.. sit , sit...
Now where were we??
No, you can't ..
Sit next to me,
It's Georgie's turn today,
But mum,
I can't see 
the book,
Well look,
Come sit on my lap

This wonderful story...
Yes, I see you've 
Cut your finger Chris, 
Oh dear, oh dear,
I'll get a plaster
When we're done...
OK, Alex, get Chris a plaster
Would you love!
Quickly mind!
No, don't cry,
No, I'm not angry..
Let's snuggle together...
Ok, everyone ready  ???
Let's begin...
Once upon a time...
Brrring... brrring...brrring,
Bloody phone!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Click for Options

16th April. 2016.

Along with the robin, the blue tits, the many sparrows and the two collared doves, which are an absolute delight,  we now have goldfinches gracing us with their presence in the garden.  My husband says we need finer birdseed for them, to encourage them to keep coming. Of course, I'd love that.
And did you see the programme about the brain and how to keep it healthy, in particular to combat the onset of dementia. Apparently we need to eat lots of purple fruit and veg - they mentioned blueberries, red cabbage and aubergines. The study they did , also found that exercise, especially walking briskly for two one hour sessions a week can be enormously beneficial. It is just the motivation I need to get up and get going. So today I will go for a long , brisk walk. Oh, and maybe buy some red cabbage.


Let me explain about the thread,
No, actually
Let me explain about the many
The thread of my grandmothers tongue,
Falling from my mouth
On to baby birds
Those young ones waiting
To learn how to fly -
They look eagerly for wings
To flap,
To take to open skies.
They watch ones gone before,
Stretch the threads that hold them
A little further each time.
One by one
I cut them loose
They fly
Far from the nest
I fly too
Till finally
A last snip
And up
I go
Where nothing holds me down
There is soaring
And freedom
And new horizons
Waiting for me.
Until, I realise , I need to find
Another thread
To make sense of who I am,
To know where I might be going.
I will look now.
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Friday, April 15, 2016

15th April

15th April 2016

Looking back at my blog for this day last year, I see that it was a warm sunny day, very different to the one we've just had.
When I traveled  into Canterbury for the Writing for Wellbeing workshop , it was pouring with rain and I arrived a bit sodden, as did others.
I saw no white sails today, no ice creams, no children throwing stones into the sea.


Instead, shoppers hurrying
To get where they are going,
Out of the grey wet,
Hoods up, Heads down ,
Some carrying umbrellas.
Visiting students, standing in groups,
Trying to write on damp paper
The answers to "important"
School children, uncaring
Ambling, white shirts stuck to skin,
Ties waving,
A world of indifference.

What shall I  write about today?

Day 15: 15th April, 15th poem.

Yesterday, we went for a walk in the sun along the coast near our home.

White Sails

The sea a shimmering sheet of glitter,
Sails - white, pointing  skywards,
Formed like swallows returning
Home after the winter.
Watch-Children -
Throwing stones,
Ice creams dripping,
Screaming with delight as
they paddle in freezing water.
Watch -Couples- young,
Embraced  in happy dreams,
Caressed by warm rays..
Breathe in  North Sea health
And- Fish and chips.
Glorious summers day
In April

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Dash

Sorry for posting twice today, but just found this poem by Linda Ellis which I thought was beautiful. Do you know it ???
The Dash
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her casket from beginning to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard; Are there things you would like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real
and always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

A Year On

14th April 2016
I was going to do the napowrimo challenge again this year but having lost my dad suddenly two weeks ago, I just haven't  been able to  concentrate . So today, with the warmth from the sun on my shoulder and a small  gap in the clouds of my grief, I thought I'd just take a look back at my blog for this day last year and see if I wanted to say anything in response to it.
I remember that day. We had had a very busy weekend . Lots of family had come for the baptism of little Rose.
We shopped and filled the cupboards , got all the bedding out  and undid some boxes that had kitchen stuff in as we'd been preparing to move and had a lot of things packed away.
The table was overflowing for days, the kettle was continually being filled for the endless cups of tea, the shower seemed to be constantly in use and it was difficult to find a space to sit down. But we loved every minute of it. The conversations with teenage grandchildren the ad hoc poetry sessions with the younger grandaughters  and time spent chatting and debating as only our family can.
We have moved house since then and are no longer just in front of the sea. A year has passed . The new house is a lot smaller, but we are waiting to have the place filled with that life once more.
Rose and her mum and dad have moved  away and now live in Shropshire. Although we wish them well , we miss them a lot.

Day 14: 14th April, 14th poem

Not being able to create a philosophical thought today I will just ponder on the quiet after the busy dance of the last week, which has been enormously enjoyable, albeit a little tiring.

Since You Left

The house is lonely -  the silence so loud.
The shower ,  its constant hum of running water,
Now stands quiet
The baby -early morning cries - a call to live.
Teenage girls spraying perfume- feint hints still  in air,
Talking - echoes of their laughter-  falls  
like timeless ghosts embedded in walls.
Toddler - wandering, following, constant questions 
Table overflowing, bursting , bubbling with chatter.
Singing boys and girls at kitchen sink- never ending dishes to clean.
Every room, every space  full, Fridge tightly packed.
All empty now - all vast , all hollow.
 the silence so loud - the house is empty

Photo of grandparents and great grandparents, with Ryan (Dad) Lucy (Mum) and of course, the star of the show, Baby Rose.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

3 rd April

3rd April

A week has gone by since my last post.
And a lifetime...
I have such sad, sad,  sad news that I can't write coherently
But must just get some thoughts out from the full brain
That wants to explode.
Now an orphan and mind in a muddle
A cloud of thick fog comes in , envelopes.
Mum and dad both gone now , to a better place and at peace
But the ones that are left have nightmares that won't cease.
After Mum's death on the 7th February, we were all trying to move on
When with sudden , unexpected , shock dad died last tuesday 29th March
So sad - we thought he would have a longer time.

Here he is...
Wonderful , warm, welcoming smile.  My daddy...

That's all for now.
Maybe the next time I write it'll be understandable
But for the moment ....