Meditation on a conker


Alien in form

Clinging, gnarled and spiked, to the tree-branch

Deep softness of silk within

We looked inside when you were just a teardrop seed

Now your skin is hardened, polished


Smooth and cold in our palms

Treasure of autumn slipped into our pockets




The first day

The first day you curled your fingers around mine

I knew I would go to the ends of the earth for you

Instead I glimpsed heaven

Before descending to the bottom of the sea

The dark salty water pressed in, shipwrecks beckoned

But your fingers still curled around mine

Your blue eyes told me that the sky was above

I saw a flash of mermaid’s tail

Kicked the tangled seaweed from my feet

And swam with all my strength towards the sun

We stood together on the shore

You curled your fingers around mine and took your first step


Wild horses

Wild horses

Flared nostrils, galloping through the night

Hooves pounding out a heartbeat

I can’t catch them

I’m just a foal

Shy on my spindly legs

Find me like a shadow by my mother’s side

It’s not my time to run

Sea swimming

Today I choose

Rock shoes, bikini and towel

Down jacket ready to shield me from the wind

Pack a bag, set my mind to it

Choose to awaken the senses

Watch the waves in their sets of three

Feel the stones tumbling in the breakers

Push out beyond

A perfect few minutes in the wild

Peace beyond the crashing shoreline

Rise up on a wave

Scramble back to shore

Choose to feel alive again


Roll away the stone from my heart

Let me meet you and clasp your hands in the garden

I won’t let go of hope

Your story follows deepest sorrow with unending joy

Let it be my story too

I believe it will be my story too

I’ve been part of two Easter services today.  Standing around the bonfire, I looked out to see the clouds split and the sea giltter in return, just for a moment.  This evening, a picture of a magnolia tree in flower reminded us that while life can feel cold and bleak summer will come.

My faith often feels like longing.  Today I will rest in knowing that there are many seasons of life, but summer will indeed come.


The seagull and the lily

A peace lily sits on an unfamiliar windowsill

The room is agonisingly bare

Beneath my spine the plastic undersheet wrinkles

Where are You?

Outside in the courtyard a mosaic seagull soars

I send messages in his beak to my baby girls

I look in the mirror while I sip the elderflower cordial

And say to my unbelieving face, “you are Loved”

An arum lily sits on my dressing table

Framed by my Mother’s Day cards

I can hold you both and I can tell you, “you are Loved”

Outside the seagulls call to each other

And soar above the clouds

Maybe You are there

I’ve written this poem in honour of World Bipolar Day 2015.  Strength for today and hope for tomorrow.


I love the hope and longing encapsulated in Noah and The Whale’s First Days of Spring.  With my own story in mind I love the song’s answer to the feeling that we all have one chance to f*** up our lives; Like a cut down tree, I will rise again
I’ll be bigger, and stronger than ever before.

The first day of Spring.  Someone’s turned up the brightness on the colours today.  Acid yellow daffodils, a slick of cobalt across the turquoise of the sea.  Burnt sienna and bright orange on the back of the tiny crab we find in the rockpools.  On days like this all feels right with the world, and the colour is turned up in my heart.

Eldest wrote this poem which sums up our day beautifully:

To feel the sand between my toes, and see the sea as it goes

Barnacles, anemones and sea snails plenty

A couple of ice cream cones empty

Little sisters having fun, playing in the golden sun

Driving home to see a fox, hiding in amongst the rocks

How I love going rockpooling

Reality bites (and we bite back)

Monday, heavy lids and limbs start the day

Screams and thrashing as I change your clothes

The windscreen is dotted with teardrops

The sky is cloaked in grey

You spill your milk, I rush my coffee

I’m not giving up on today

Mahler on the radio, I catch sight of you making ballerinas with your hands in the air

We venture to your dance class

Your joyfulness lifts me like the chiffon scarves twirling around your arms

We bite into gyoza

You shout “YO!” at the top of your voice, and everyone breaks into a smile

We’re not giving up on today