First Public Reading
In the meeting room at the back of the busy library,
a sunny September morning,
I rejected the first few –
three older men arriving for their astronomy class,
a woman carrying a child seeking story-time.
my audience came.
A round dozen, five known,
In two rows in front of me,
facing the framed photo of us in the garden,
and my mug without a handle,
the title of my bereavement collection.
I loved it,
didn’t cry, though
Animated talk in the break,
warm Q and A session at the end.
we would never have known”.
Going home on the bus,
I would do it again.
Flourishing Inside, July 2018
I hate this heatwave.
Honeysuckle drying to crisp golden nuggets,
blackcurrants dropping off low branches,
My plants do their best,
bravely reaching down deep,
even flowering briefly.
Against the odds, my huge pink hydrangea
fizzes by my front door,
saved by washing up bowl sloshings.
(Surprising how many times I rinse my hands).
Its happy glow mirrors the blossoming within,
as I write, select, edit,
mixing colours, heights, textures, tones,
for my new poetry website,
another flower border to tend.
Grief and Poetry
After you died, my life force was strong,
driving me out into the world,
back to yoga, dance, choir, work,
pushing on with allotment, garden.
Lots of solitude at home,
much needed time to sit with grief.
Friends, family, going away to visit.
The impacts of my loss, how I felt,
not even consciously known to me.
Lived and experienced deeply,
day by day,
many solitary tears,
not able to be described, shared.
Felt good, natural, my work to do.
Eighteen months on,
the first poem arrived.
At last words to express, capture.
I could understand, see my journey.
each birthing greeted with tears of joy,
early mornings of delight, empowerment.
Energy freeing up at last.
Now I could share.
Neat and Tidy
My poems mop up my feelings,
tidily hold in their lavish juices.
So I can mingle safely in the world,
my excesses left neatly at home.
Solitary Worker, Summer 2018
In this season
In this drought
I park my bike against the shed,
move the pallet gate,
straight to the tending.
Courgettes to cut, potatoes to dig,
dahlias to dead-head, weeds to hand-pull.
Blackcurrants, redcurrants, white currants,
pink dessert gooseberries, tayberries,
the first ripe plums.
panniers are loaded.
Picking over, cleaning to be done.
Early mornings, late evenings,
the slosh of water.
Four cans in the wheelbarrow,
dipping in the galvanised tank,
arranging to minimise splash.
Shoulders back, the bumpy ride to my plot,
poems to be harvested,
hundreds to pick over, clean.
Early mornings in bed,
the slosh of fresh words
gathered on paper,
arranged with care,
carried to my laptop,
a few words spilling out on the way.
Emptying on to the blank screen,
drinking in everything I give it.
Back and forth many times,
Joy in my crops.