All morning the sky hasn’t budged despite my search for signs of change

the trees are silent, smudged dove grey

it looks like rain but nothing comes.


It seems I’m the only one alive again, until the jackdaws drop into focus

landing in the spruce, unsettling a cone which might fall forever.

Twelve the last time I counted-


this year’s brood cradled in the chimney, chackling me awake on lighter mornings

but I didn’t mind, it was reassuring to hear life and death outside.

All the half- feathered songbird chicks, born for this.


Now they eye me from thin needled twigs, a slick flick of wing, a sideways wink.

Don’t feed the jackdaws, my husband said, but he’s not here

and my pockets are ripe with fruit and seeds.



When it ends I hope they insist that I take one. Red geraniums –

not white, pink or even a mix. I wonder who chose them, so vibrant

against the pale blue crockery? The village chinks its presence in

the three o’ clock sunshine, and we’re lucky with the weather this

year, so very lucky, and as I never do anything useful with my time

I know how to make the most of it, I really do. But it is good that

I’ve stayed at home with the children. Yes – see how tall they’ve

grown on maternal attention, and polite too, despite the obvious,

you know… such a good job. Maybe they could manage another

slab of cake or some squash? The Victoria sponge looks lovely

and Shirley makes the jam herself, at her age! I don’t bake, no,

I’m all about preserving really, like Shirley I suppose, but mostly

just my sanity. I’m not sure how many balloons are in the Bentley

and frankly I don’t care – besides, several balloons have burst in

the heat so it’s not really a level playing field, so to say, I mean

will deflated remains be counted at the end of the day, or only those

still buoyant? The rules aren’t clear. And we don’t even win the car?

I suggest that next year we stick to sweets in the jar… But the red

geraniums are lovely, so vibrant against the pale blue crockery.






I hoped yellow things might save me

bought tulips and freesias, tied a ribbon to my

bed frame. I plucked the hearts from daisies and tucked them

in my pillow slip, drew the curtains wide and waited for full moons

and sunshine. I lost contact with my knees first, and then my

hips. Didn’t know a body could fall silent. The doctor prescribed

dandelions – fields full, ticking with thrips and hover flies

and when I found one I stayed for days, but more parts of me

fell away –knuckles, wrists. Memories began to fade. Perhaps

it was too late. The X-rays suggested I was whole, but

disconnecting, and I knew I should’ve welcomed yellow back

before, because it was my first love, and I left it,

and it transpires that yellow is vital.


(& on a more lighthearted note…)


Poems can ruin your sleep

rattling round inside your head

throwing parties on your pillow

chattering underneath your bed…


When you’re trying to nod off

poems may decide it’s time

to send your brain off searching

for a Wow! word or a rhyme.


If in the dark you hear a frantic

banging at the door

don’t be surprised to find

a simile or metaphor.


So if you hope to sleep well

have less bother overnight

trap your poems down on paper

and lock them out of sight.



It’s World Poetry Day – hurrah for poems! Even though they may drive you crazy…




I wish you could see my daughter.

She is svelte, lithe, lissom. She is

lots of words you’d have to look up.

Put her in your crossword puzzle

under graceful. She’d be the house

prize at bingo. All the dreams you had

led to her. She’d love your trifle –

has a thing for cream, but you couldn’t

tell, not from looking. She’s a cat

and you liked cats. At night she plays the

violin and dances. Loves a full moon.

She’s like me but better. Not so well built.

Beautiful.  Don’t ask her if she has a

boyfriend yet – not ever. She is so clever,

I expect she gets it from her Dad.

So I stayed at school too long, lost myself

in books, but look where I’ve sent your

DNA – you wouldn’t actually believe it.