Friday, April 30, 2021

Haiku to end

 30th April 2021

    Because I have limited time, I end the 30 day challenge with NaPoWriMo with a simple Haiku. The form for a  Haiku is, traditionally, three lines of 5, 7 5, syllables. There are other aesthetic considerations which I haven't necessarily followed here. The form is enough today.

Coming to The End

Thirty days have passed,

the pilgrimage ends, yet new 

words call me onward  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Looking Through The Window

29th April 2021

This poem just came very quickly with the prompt this morning and it took all of ten minutes to pen. There are probably plenty of errors, but I'm posting anyway. The prompt was to imagine looking through a window and describe what you see.

Looking Through the Window

There she goes, off to the book launch.

It's the fourth time but she still finds it unreal,

like it's happening to someone else.

The car has come for her, a black limo.

Slowly, elegantly she  steps in, her little red shoes 

just visible under the long multicoloured dress,

her hair, which on normal days she ties back 

with an elastic band, 

now arranged in a beautiful bun, with ringlets 

framing her wrinkled yet youthful face.

She didn't dare dream of these moments 

when, ten years ago, at sixty five,

she began to write.

She waves from the window, majestically,

enjoying her moment.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A Beautiful Future

 28th April 2021

 Continuing with NaPoWriMo, which is nearly finished. I haven't made every day, but I've done a fair bit of the month.

Now there are only two days left. let's see if I can get to the end with two more poems to finish.

I have to attribute the first line of the poem to the poet Simon Armitage. I thank him for the inspiration. 

Once, the  future was a beautiful place


 the future was a place of beauty,

A place where, getting old together, 

you and I would 

Walk by the sea, kick up the stones,

 laugh loudly,

While a gentle  breeze breathes    

through  our hair.

Where, we softly stroll 

among fresh,

 fields of daffodils,

Yellow flowers, greeting 

 the spring,

perhaps you pick one,

 tickle me under my chin,

do you still like butter?

  as if you don't know.

A familiar, fresh, warmth  

caresses our bodies.

Then, when  evenings comes,  

you  shut the curtains,

you offer me a glass of red,

 you sit beside me.

We could share a poem together,

remember fondly, when 

the  children were young,

shed tears of gratitude

For each other, for all the blessings 

 For the life we’d had, together.

But now, that beautiful place,

 that future

has been stolen away

 ripped from my hands,

By your fading,  

your weakening, day after day,

by memories of 

sitting by your hospital bed,

 Of holding your hand, as,

so silently,  you slipped away.

The future has become 

 an empty place - dark, cold,

I’d rather not go there.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

He Had A Lovely Smile

24th April 2021

For NaPoWriMo today, I'm going to try to write a sonnet - a first for me.

Playing with the form.

He Had A Lovely Smile

Nothing could prepare me for that day,

When I first saw him looking straight at me.

It was on the beach we first began to play,

And both of us dashed in and out the sea.

He had the most attractive sort of smile,

It captured me and drew me in for sure.

He looked at me with longing all the while

His intentions I convinced myself were pure.

We spent the summer months on golden sands

Walking , talking dreaming, holding hands.

Yet at summers close it all came to an end

I discovered that our love was all pretend .

Thursday, April 22, 2021

No Chicken

 22nd April 

Oh look, it looks like I didn't post this:

1st April

Napowrimo Again - a poem a day in April

Day 1

No Chicken

You sit,
Hunched over,
cold pavement beneath you, 
colourful sleeping bag
pulled up under your chin,
yet chill air gets in, 
chill air gets in, 
this crisp March morning,

Strategically, carefully 
 you chose your spot,
beside the steps
 leading to the the doors,
of St Benedict's  Church.

You reach out your hand,
 gnarled, greasy, gritted with the road,
Your eyes search mine, hopefully,
finding their way to a  corner
of my soul

"Are you hungry?
Can I get you a sandwich?"
"Yes, thanks..."
Is that an Albanian accent?
"What kind would you like?"
I leave  you that dignity,
won't presume to choose.

"Chicken please..."
"No chicken left, 
what about
 ham and cheese?"
"That's fine, Thank you"
polite, refined, 
what brought you here?

You take my hand.
I wish I could take you home.
I find myself sitting beside you,
I listen as you tell your story,
You smile, for a while, 
I leave,
go back  to my,
centrally heated house,
you,  forever a part of me.

Coffee with Friend

 22nd April 2021

NaPoWriMo day 22.

Now that we can meet and get a take away coffee, I've been catching up with friends.

I find that we're so eager to tell each other what's been happening, I mean, even with the Lockdown we seem to have an abundance of stories and news, that we end up interrupting and rushing our words.

I think it's something we have to ease back into. It might take a while. 

Coffee Outside 

with Friend

"Why was I telling you that?"

"Sorry, I interrupted you, again. But..."

"So, go back to your story,

where were you?"

"That reminds me..."

"No, go on... I'm listening..."

"So, you were saying..."

"What were you saying?"

"Why was I telling you that?"

"Oh, would you look at the sparrows,

they're coming so close..."

"Sorry, I interrupted again...

this cake is good...

are you cold, you're shivering..."

"It was so good to see you...

Shall we go?"

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

What About Us

 21st April 2021

And another day at NaPoWriMo. 

Let's go.

Where are the words?

What About Us

This morning I see lambs

 in a field,

woolly, soft, sitting

in spots of spring


or wobbling weakly,


on thin legs.

the air still cool.

Silent trees, 

heavy with blossom. 

Abundant future, 

hidden on each branch.

A breath of breeze 

gifts me scent

of a long ago  day.

And along the lane 

crocuses, daffodils,


beckon me forwards,


that day.

And what about, us

the two of us, 

 what about us...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

My Life

 20th April 2021

Welcome to day 20 of NaPoWriMo. I have no clue what to write today.

 Something might come to me.

Ok, I'll just go with some words that came to me from todays Gospel reading:

John 6 : 30-35. One of my favourites.

                                           My Life

"I am the bread of life"

The people ask Jesus for a sign. 

Are we still asking for signs. 

Are there not enough,

in scripture,

in our daily lives,

 for us to ponder on, 

not enough to help us believe.

It's true isn't it , 

that for those who believe

no sign is needed,

 but for those without belief,

no sign is enough. 

Jesus tells them,

He is the bread of life.

To me that means

 He is my sustenance,

all I need. 

Jesus is everything 

I need,

my life. 

Monday, April 19, 2021


 19th April 2021

Continuing to attempt NaPoWriMo. 

 here's my response 

to the  prompt to write a poem in answer

 to one of the "chpaters from Susan G.

 Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words" 

 I  chose - "listening to ourselves" 

How are You?

How are you? 

                                          A simple greeting,                           SIMPLE

most of us use it.

What does it mean? 

Is it really asking 

the question, 

                                            or is it code                                  CODE

to be deciphered.

Does it require 

an answer?

The Irish will say,

expecting it 

                                                 mirrored back,                               MIRROR

"How'r ya..." 

which , translated,

means, hello, hi there, or good day.

So often, "how are you?"

is short for,

                                             hello, nice to see you,                      HELLO           

but please don't 

actually tell me,

I don't want to know,

 how you are,

I haven't got time 

to listen to you today. 

But occasionally,

with upspeak tone,

and a soft pause,

 we hear the question 

                                                   and know someone                             ANYONE?

 will listen.

Seriously though,

tell me now, 

I've plenty

                                 of time,                        TIME

How are you? 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Into The Shadows

17th April 2021

Continuing with NaPoWriMo. 

 Into The Shadows

I don't know how I feel about it .
We'd  almost signed the lawyer's writ, 
When, those who were selling to us
Made the most unfortunate fuss
And pulled out. 

Our move, only days away,
almost there, on our way.
Now, though the sun shines overhead,
The moon beckons me, and I am led
into the shadows.

My dream  stolen,  taken from me
Yet still it continues in memory to be,
A complete reality.

I sit in the garden in this sun,
grandchildren, picnics, lots of fun.
Enjoy the plants,  colours so bright,
Drink wine, with friends, late into the night,
But it's not to be.

Something better round the corner
 they say,
A new adventure for another day.
It wasn't meant to be this time, oh no.
We'll just have to have another go,
At searching.

I'm sorry I've bored you all with my rhyme
Not very good and way out of time
Maybe I'll have some better news soon,
If it's the right phase of the moon,

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Jim o the Mill

 15th April

Day 15 of NaPoWriMo

For a dear friend who died last year

Jim O The Mill

You are with me, this morning

 in my mediation,

You, dressed in purple, pink and red, 

fire flames dance daintily or your face.

Diamond stars sparkle below your ears.

Your smile, warm, welcome, a comforting, 

good to see you, dear friend . 

"tell me more," you whisper 

"about the Ireland trip, 

More about trad evenings." 

You have a soft spot for all things Celtic.
Fine, let me tell you of  Jim o the Mill,

An old farmhouse cottage, thatched, hidden,

in Upperchurch,

along a boreen, way up the mountains

Outside the house- balloons, lanterns, lights,

Colourful, like Christmas.

Cars line the lanes, fill the fields. 

Musicians gather, carry instruments, eager to play

you'd  like that, with your love of music,

Shall I go on? 

Crowds greet, hug,  like it’s a family affair.

 But many are travellers who’ve come from afar

Africa, America, Germany, even Bulgaria. 
World renowned is farmer Jim.

 A  micro bar, 

 size of a tiny parlour,
open only Thursdays

Serves Guinness,  Cola,  Irish whiskey.

We’re fond of a Guinness,

silky,  smooth  goodness

The evening begins,

 music, storytelling, poetry,

 fill three small rooms. 

Bodies squeeze together,
sit on benches,  dirt floor,  perch on stairs. 

We are in the room with my cousin,

Kathleen, with her fiddle. 

A lad , maybe  ten, with accordion, 

and a head of curly, red hair,

An American with his guitar. 

 One begins to play a tune,

 others join in, 

even if they’ve never heard it.

 This is an Irish  ramble,

 all welcome.

Anyone can play their instrument,

 sing, recite poetry,  or tell a story.

 I look around,  savour the atmosphere,

You’d love it,  

 the fire in the open hearth 

gives off a soft glow,

lifts the spirit, 

far away places imagined

 in burning sods. 

On shelves, antique looking tea pots,

 family photos, crock jugs, books.

On walls, fiddles, art work done long ago

 by children now with grandchildren of their own,

 and is that a pitch fork, and beside it a hoe?  yes. 

We’re encouraged to join in with songs we know.

 In my mind I'm a teenager sat in another farmhouse
singing Irish folk songs, quite the rebel.

My cousin sings for me – Tipperary Far Away

 I swallow back a river.

The  old Irish balled, haunting,
hits a hollow deep inside-  I’m off again.

 I imagine you with us dear friend, 

shutting your eyes as you do

 when you listen with intent.

 We leave at 1.30 in the morning, 

no sign of the night ending.
Apparently, you’ll like this,

 if you’re there in the morning, 

when the sun comes up,

 they’ll cook sausages and bacon,

ask you to stay for breakfast.

Thanks for listening, 

until we meet again, 

so long,  dear friend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

More Shells

14th April 2021

Day 14 of NaPoWriMo.


"What about this one
"Wow, love that.
 Put it here, in the bag."
Rosie runs on the beach,
 looks for more shells,
 for a few seconds, 
to be sad.
Her soft hair 
Wafts in the wind. 

Waves rush in. 
Within me oceans rise up,
to meet them.
With my sleeve, I
Wipe tears from my eyes.
Musn't let her see me cry.
 Only three, not aware. 
The seriousness, 
the sadness, 
the significance, 
of  the morning's events,
Wash over her.
Just for  these moments, 
 she is free.

She run's towards me.
"Gram's, I'm cold. 
Can we go home now?"
I pick her up, hold her close,
 bury  my face in her coat.
Can we?
I wonder.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

You and Me

 12th April

Day 12 of NaPoWriMo

Taking a prompt from a few days ago to write a letter to yourself and answer it.

In Haiku form

You and Me

Much disturbs the mind

fills it with fear, discontent,

the future is dark

Look beyond yourself,

give yourself to those in need,

clam your soul with love

Friday, April 9, 2021

Covid on Easter Sunday 2020

 9th April 2021

As it's the season of Easter I am reminded how I spent Easter Sunday Last year: 

From my journal:

12th  April 2020 - Easter Sunday.

I am stuck in the little bedroom, isolating from everyone. I've had a dry cough, a sore chest, an achy body for four days now.

Could it be Covid 19.

I don't feel too bad this morning but I'm following  advice, staying  in.

It's the second week since hubby's cancer op. He seems more settled and his meds are under control. 

Me? I'm exhausted. To be truthful, looking after him has been a 24 hour job. Managing his pain is the worst. But now,  I've abdicated my responsibilities.  My daughter is stepping in, not only with hubby's care, but, ironically, also mine, as well as doing all the cooking for the four of us living in the house.  

The way I  feel, I'm not bothered whether dinner gets cooked or not, or whether anybody eats or not. Those who know me will say "she must be really ill". 

We keep to the rules, None of us will go out for fourteen days. All of us find this the most difficult.  I'll miss my walks and going to the shops. We try to book supermarket delivery spots, but there's none to be had. Our son says he'll do it for us and drop off on his way home. This irritates me.  I don't trust anyone else to do my shopping. 

I'm hoping what I have doesn't progress and that dear hubby doesn't get it. He's suffered enough. 

Being Easter Sunday I "go to" Mass  at Haddenham Church. With all the churches closed, there's  are a lot online now. We get to choose where to go. Anywhere in the world - quite exciting.  Not the same as the real thing, of course and I can't wait for the churches to reopen. 

The tension is getting to us all, especially my son, who doesn't like being cooped up in the house with us. 

But hey, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and I spend half an hour in the garden, social distancing, obviously.

It's boring staying in the bedroom by myself. An Easter aroma drifts up the stairs, tells me the lamb is cooking. through my nose I take a deep breath of memory, of mystery, of magic. Here comes dinner. I might try some, for the ritual, to be part of the uniting. 

Did anyone get Easter eggs? It doesn't seem to be important.

It's a strange Easter Sunday celebration.

Usually we see the rest of the family, but this year, it's just the four of us.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Taken too Soon

 8th April 2021

NaPoWriMo day 8, following prompt.

Taken too Soon

I wasn’t meant to be here yet,

In this cold grave.

But circumstances,


Made it so.

I’m not saying it was a happy life,

But neither was it unhappy.


 to be cut off in my prime,

And wouldn’t you say forty-nine

Is pretty young,

Forty nine!

To be taken at that age…

Well, it didn’t seem fair.

You see, cancer came for me,

He said,

“You’re coming with me.”

And within a month

He had his way.

I had so much to look forward to

The children, three of them,

Growing up,

Leaving home.

More time for me,

For my dreams.

The novel,

The travelling,

And finally, saying yes

To his secret advances.

I regret that the most.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


6th April 2021

My day five offering, even though it's day six. I promise to try to catch up.


Slowly, the  butterfly 

emerges from its cocoon, 

opens wide it's wings, 

reds, yellows, blues, 

all hues, 

sparkle in the sunlight. 

Now it  takes flight, 

You, like the butterfly, 

you also, have gone 

 through many changes, 

you also, have had 

 a long  journey. 

Now, you also 

are beautiful, 

you also, are free. 

Fly little butterfly, 


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sixth Century Oratory.

3rd April 2021

Day 3 of NaPoWriMo

Sixth Century Oratory

Like entering the tomb,

I step from grassy hill

through an outer, modern, brick wall,

down, into this  small, dark space.

There, feet in two inches of 

muddy water, my eyes try to focus

in the dim light.

A whiff of ancient ancestors,

still held in these old stones.

Jangling, clinking 

 rosaries,  haunt

the ruined altar. 

I expect an apparition of St Piran, 

in brown habit, halo round his head,

to shimmer past.

I stand in sweet silence,

prayer rises from 

my soul,

fills me with 

 new life.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Good Friday

2nd April 2021.

So, we come to the second day.  Don't forget, you can join in too. Just go to . 

Good Friday.

Death, dear friend, I have no fear of your coming,

For it will be just an instant,

from one short breath to no breath.

But what frightens me more

is what might come before,

the how of approaching the end. 

Those imaginings  sometimes swirl

around in my mind, like a tornado,

when least expected.

Today, Love dies, 

and part of me, the part that yearns,

wants to join him,


Yet, I question if I am ready,

ready to leave behind, 

those other loves.

Not for me, you understand,

but for them.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Holy Thursday

 1st April 2021

And so it begins, NaPoWriMo -  National Poetry Writing Month. Poets and others ( I'm probably one of the others) post a poem a day for the whole month of April. Check it out here if you're interested in taking part. 

And here's my first one. 

Holy Thursday

I creep into the upper room,

sit quietly in the corner.

With every slow breath

I inhale a promise 

of the feast,

lamb roasting,

bitter herbs,

everything ready.

Outside, rushing feet 

on cobbles, 

laughter, shouting,

the streets a throng 

for Passover.

Now, I hear louder steps

 on the stairs.

You enter the room 

with your twelve friends.

they jostle and jab each other

to get near you.

John sidles up by your side, 

brave, bold, burning 

with love. 

Stories, jokes, memories,


a family gathering,


During the  meal,

you become serious, 

a silence descends

All wait.

You take bread, 

bless it, break it,

"This is my Body..."

Share it

You take the cup,

"This is my blood,

shed for you..."

Share it.

What does it mean?

I want this too...

Why this longing?

Judas leaves,

your eyes follow him


Other things happen,

you wash their feet, 

you give them - me,

a new commandment,

"Love on another,

as I have loved you..."

When you go out,

I touch the cup 

that you held,

put it to my lips,

follow you.