Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Walk By ?

27th Nov 2017

I'm joining the six sentence story challenge this week, for want of any inspiration.
 The word we've been given  is "mate":

Walk By ?

"Got any change mate?" he pushed his hand forward in front of you and you noticed that the creases in it were lined with black grime, a sign that he'd been sleeping rough for some time.
You went to move away, to avoid contact, your heart rate rising, your stomach turning cartwheels, but something kept you rooted to the spot, even though everything was telling you to just brush past him.
You were about to say "sorry" and walk on when you looked up and caught his gaze, pleading , sad , honest, so instead you said, "hang on a minute," while you rummaged in your pocket and pulled out a fiver.
"Thank you sir, thank you so much," he took the money and kept bowing,  "I'll use it wisely, promise."
As he walked away, bent over with the burden of his belongings in a sack on his back , you tried to compose yourself, to get back to what you were doing, to catch your train, but you were disturbed.
You wondered what had brought him to this point, so instead of catching your train that day you turned around and went in search of him, in search of the man who got under your skin, to hear his story and maybe do a little more to help.

I know it's another one about the homeless. It's just that it's winter and I hate the thought of anyone not having a home and some food to keep them well.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

No Going Back

26th Nov 2017

The temperature recorded just above  freezing in the car this morning.
 I shivered.
That can't be right. It must be at least a little below freezing point.
But I've always been a cold mortal. I turned the heating up high hoping it would
 soon kick in and warm my nose and my fingertips.

Anyway, later, on this bright winter morning, home at last,
wrapped up in layers, drinking warm coffee, I tune in to radio 4.
 They're telling the  story of a homeless man.
 I sit up, listen more carefully, look out at the grey skies.
Is there snow on the way?

Apparently this man  finds a ladies handbag in the centre of Bolton.
 Now, you might be tempted to think  think he counted his blessings
 and  rifled through the bag to find anything that he might be able to use.
For sure he could make his life a bit more comfortable even
if only for today. Keep the cold out with a pair of gloves.
At least buy some hot soup.
I mean, it fell into is path, so to speak.

But no, our man decides  he wants to find the owner and return it to her.
He thinks she'd be upset,  be missing it. It's got her bankcards in there, after all.
Maybe she'll be going without food herself. She needs her her purse.
No, he'll find her.
For two days he gradually makes his way, mostly walking, 
in the direction of the address he finds on her driving  licence.

When he thinks he must be in the vicinity he begins to ask  people
 if they know the  place. He shows them the licence.
Eventually he stops  a young woman, tall, dark hair, knee length  black skirt
under a three quarter red coat. He steps in front of her when she tries to pass
him by without making eye contact.
She looks at the licence he holds
Forced to look, she her eyes dart back to the little card.
Turns out she knows this girl, we don't find out her name,
and messages her on facebook.  She pulls her phone from
 her coat pocket,
begins messaging, arranges a meeting between the two
in the coffee shop just around the corner.

 The young twenty year old is delighted to get her handbag back,
all the  money, cards and sentimental, personal belongings still in place.
She was touched, surprised. Our homeless friend didn't take anything.

They kept in touch.
She went on to create a crowd fund site to help him get off the streets.

Such a heartwarming tale on this bitter morning

A poem:

No Going Back

Determined to save your sanity
You left
On that crisp, cold December morning
You left
With nothing but the clothes 
On your back
And the whole of your world in a
Very small sack.
You had no idea where
You might go
You just kept on walking
Hoping you'd know

That was over a year 
Ago now
You've got used to the road
Got some 
Know how
Wrapped in your blanket
You're there 
Outside the  Station
Sloane Square
Creases in your hands
Deep set in grime
Hair molded against brow
matted with time.

The cup at your feet waits
Waits for passers by
To see
But they all rush past
Without a glance though some will throw 
Ten pee
You left that day and 
Though it's hard this way
There's no going back 
No going back 
For you
You left

Image result for picture of homeless person

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bastille Day

23rd Nov 2017

On these cold days coming towards the end of the year, in my mind I dream of the wonderful  summer we 

spent traveling through France and Spain. 

The fireworks in November in the dark, damp cold evenings with warm bonfires take  me back to Bastille

Day in France. Celebrated on 14th July, it is an important date in French History, marking the storming of the

Bastille in 1789, during the French revolution. They mark the memory with parades, festivities and huge

celebrations, which cause the whole country to come to a standstill . Much of the revelry is broadcast on 

major television stations.

When we came off the main road to look for an Aire in which to stop for the night, little did we know that 

we would end up being caught up in the Bastille Day celebrations of the town of St Germaine. 

People waiting for the fireworks 

Stalls like we'd have at a funfair.

The day was hot and during the afternoon we had a cool lemonade at a bar which looked over the square where we could see the action was going to be. We watched as equipment was brought in but after a while went for a walk and then back to the camper to have something to eat .
Coming back later we were delighted to be entertained by a group of drummers - absolutely mesmerizing. Also there was a communal tent where they were serving  local homemade  alcohol, made with apples ( no, not cider) . It was delicious, almost a liquor and the best of all they were giving it to us for free. Yes, I did have a few and it drew us into the atmosphere of the occasion.
More entertainment with a group of little girls dressed in pink tops and swinging pom poms. They danced their hearts out. It was so moving .
The buzz about the place was amazing. The restaurant where we had our lemonade was full to overflowing to the extent that they brought extra tables (from somewhere) and put them out all over the square . It was a beautiful evening to be eating outside.
And then, at last, the fireworks. And wow, what a show! I mean, we have lots of events here in our seaside town and there are numerous occasions when we have fireworks displays, but, I can honestly say that I've never seen the likes of what we experienced that night . The sky was lit up with the Bastille colours of gold , red , white and blue . The noise was just like a battlefield ( I imagine) . It was just another of the many brilliant days of our adventures in the camper. Can't wait for more...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Paint has Dried all Blue

9th Nov 2017

Prompt from six sentence stories :


The Paint has Dried all Blue

Lily fell backwards and turned her face away to avoid the hot air as she opened the oven door.
"Be careful," called her father from the living room where he sat, surrounded by papers, old photos and  plates and cups with food congealed hard into them.
She carried the tray with a tea towel, stepping between all the debris and stood in front of him, her fair hair falling in wispy waves down her red face.
"Look dad, the paint has dried all blue," she frowned as put the figures that she'd baked on the floor in front of him and knelt beside them.
"They're lovely, hun and mum would be so proud of you carrying on her tradition," he stroked her head with one hand whilst wiping away a tear with the other.
Lily's mum had died of cancer eight months before at the age of thirty seven and Lily struggled to do everything she thought her mother would have liked , including making crib figures out of salt dough, which was an activity they normally did together.
Image result for free pictures of dough crib figures

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Work Ethic

5th Nov 2017

I have found a list of poetry prompts for November so I thought I'd give it a go.. It'll keep me going as I don't seem to have much inspiration of my own.
Today's prompt is "Work Ethic", which is very timely as I've just discovered a book I want to read entitled "Deep Work" by Carl Newport. ( Rules for focused success in a distracted world.)  Has anybody out there read it? It's a bit expensive to buy, only having been released last year . I think I might see if the library will get it for me.

Work Ethic

Having a real job would be easier
than sitting here trying to motivate myself
to do the work I must.
With no boss to answer to or oversee me
I procrastinate and use avoidance techniques
do anything but the thing
I should be doing.
Come on now, get to it, focus
you've got this
you can do this
OK a cup of coffee forst
then I'll start.

What do You Carry?

24th January

Everywhere seems to have snow today ,but here in Herne Bay we just have grey skies and cold...

A poem from a few years ago. 

5th Nov 2017 

It's so cold today. I've got four layers on but my fingers and feet are still like polar ice.

What are we carrying ? Do we feel it to be burdensome? Could we let go of some things,  rearrange others ? Are we weighed down and would we like to feel somewhat lighter? These are some of the questions that came to my mind with a particular poem we pondered at the Poetry for Wellbeing workshop that I attended last week.

It was interesting what came up . I remembered a time when I had all the children at home. I was always chasing my tail trying to keep up with everything and had an enormous pile of ironing which , no matter how hard I worked, I never seemed to get to the end of .
So this poem came out of that:

The Ironing

And the whole pile is slipping,
it'll end up on the floor
it'll get all dirty 
and I'll have to do more
My husbands shirts
ten or twelve
my four son's school uniform
trousers - cotton
the girls skirts - pleated.
It's the first thing I see
when I enter the room,
this mighty monster
prophet of doom
looking at me,
goading me
daring me
I'm not going anywhere
until you make
time to get round to me
I'll keep you awake
But today I've decided
I'll not do it anymore
for all I care,
It can fall on the floor
Ah no, that's no good
let's fold it neatly
 put it away
get rid of the bully 
yes, that's the way.
Right, clear the table
and away we go,
a pile for each person
they'll never know
And before I know it 
the jobs all done.
Now, time for a cuppa
and a currant bun

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

All Saints

1st Nov 2017

All Saints Day

I wonder how many children, or adults for that matter, celebrated Halloween yesterday evening. We saw some children trick or treating and later adults all dressed up in rather ghoulish costumes, no doubt on their way to parties to have lots of fun.
Well that's great,  but will any of them know what Halloween means?

The word Halloween literally means the evening before All Hallows Day or All Saints Day which is celebrated on the 1st November ( today).
There are varied sources for the reason for the traditions that have grown up around Halloween and you can easily search them on google.
I just want, today, to focus on saints. What is a saint?
In the Catholic Church we have many canonised saints held up to us to inspire us to get closer to God ourselves. Who are these people and can any of us be one of them? Wouldn't we need to be praying all day in a convent to be worthy of the title, saint. Wouldn't it be impossible in my busy profession, in my hectic family life to reach the heights of sanctity.

Well, no. St Josemaria, a modern day saint,  canonised as recently as 2002, called by Pope John Paul 11, the "Saint of Ordinary Life"  said:
"God wants us to be saints.  You and I belong to Christs family, for he himself has chosen us before the foundation of the world, to be saints, to be blameless in his sight, for love of him, having predestined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ according  to the purpose of his will. We have been chosen gratuitously by Our Lord. His choice of us sets us a clear goal. Our goal is personal sanctity, as St Paul insistently reminds us, haec est voluntas Dei: santificatio vestra, "this is the will of God: your sanctification". Let us not forget, then, that we are in our masters sheepfold in order to achieve that goal. "      ( Friends of God)

Each one has their own path- the scientist , the shop worker, the mother at home looking after her small children - all are called to the same life of holiness through their work, turning everything they do into prayer and love for God.  It is at the same time both the easiest and the hardest thing.
But it's also a great adventure .

Today, we don't just celebrate those saints who've made it to the altars but the many more ordinary , holy people, who are living their lives and giving Glory to God. You might know some .

Image result for picture of all saints

Octpowrimo 31 Water

1st Nov 2017

So, we come to the end of October and the end of the octpowrimo challenge. I have enjoyed ot so much and looking back on the month I can see that some of my random words might be worthy of a revisit , so that'll keep me busy.

So here is my last offering

My theme for these two poems


I am the river
sometimes strong, fierce,
sometimes a trickle, almost
I am the river,
wide, winding,  full
then rushing, gushing,
down from the
I am the river
many lives depend on me
I am the river

Clouds, close can almost touch
white wisps blotting blue
or, slate grey and green.
Down the scree a waterfall steps
depositing pools in plateaus
dropping in sheets - six,
seven metres
filling the air with whooshing
background sound
Along valley floor
flows the water
it snakes its way more slowly till
departing, disappearing behind
A mountain

Cascade d'Ars