Day 39: Quarry ghosts

There is an old quarry down the way

we walk to it most days

it is now filled to the brim with wild garlic

ash and beech

and ghosts






It is older than our house

I asked the kids if they could imagine

what it would have been like

an eight and eleven year old

shovelling rock

being shouted at

sweat and blood








the rock face is bare

all around us is overburden

discarded Earth

not wanted and worthless

piles and piles of orphaned planet






One child stood and sucked her thumb

the other said

Can you feel the memories?

I can feel the people

and also the trees. It’s not so

bad here, mum

They must have known that

the trees and the wild garlic would grow one day?






I wonder:

did they know?

Did the backache and the tears and the

sweat and pain

pass like wisps of wind

through branches yet to grow

across the faces of the children

so that my house could be built?






Our gratitude

spans lifetimes;

Their descendents we probably know

Day 38: Yoni

An old friend video-called me yesterday

we spoke about rawness and poverty

how can a woman bleed safely

when she has no money for comfort between her legs?




We spoke about our yonis

those magical doorways into pleasure

and out into beinghood

and we women all have one

so what can be more equal than that?




What if I could not bleed in safety?

Or in peace?

What if I had shame, fear, resentment, horror

mixed up with

all the rest of what it means to bleed?






Later, a call came about


the raging energy

the power of the moment

turned inwards

and outwards





Why is this still on our minds?

Haven’t we evolved to know?





A yoni,

so small and so seemingly under control

is a raging,





explosive deity

and I have one between my legs


Day 37: the open road

For a month now

My computer has autocorrected

Everything I write

Into french







I never made it across the border but it has


How an inanimate object

Turned French

When it was meant to be me

Perhaps I’ll never know










I can feel escape calling







This home

So solid and secure

So reliable and loving

I will never forget










Yesterday I went into the van

To find something, I think

I stooped in her low-roofed belly,

A sob caught in my throat

And I said

One day we will hit the road together


Us five

Out there









Lockdown is ending


Keep the faith






I was really saying that to myself





Day 36: An old friend or two

Oh no!


Write something before you sleep

And fulfil your ridiculous task

You are no Hercules

But one busy


Mummy figure

Who fears that the day goes by

And there was nothing to write about

I played farms with the toddler today

Building fences and stocking fields

With pigs and sheep and calves

Made of plastic

I finished the third book since lockdown

And made new friends on Facebook

I made pancakes

Yesterday I made bread with yeast

Three years’ out of date

Not even the chickens would eat it

I have chosen an old teenage favourite to read

I am tired of books that tell me what to do

I need an old friend sometimes

So I have chosen Merlin




To see if by the umpteenth reading they chose a different path

Day 35: Some underground agreement

Last autumn I picked a juicy apple

And I planted Its core in a pot

And I waited for something to happen

And of course nothing happened

Until this Spring

By then I had forgotten

About this hidden potential,

When suddenly I saw

Three tiny beings

Poking up in my kitchen

Oh! How I was glad!

Such surprise and such joy!

A coreful of pips,

Waiting in the dark until they knew

By some magic trick of light and air

That Spring had begun

They Now was the Time

Yet now

I see one seedling is failing

One seedling is stunted

One seedling grows tall and determined

By subterranean agreement

Down in the realm of darkness

Where agreements with Hades,

Ereshkigal or

Arawn whose sacred land this Apple grew in

In whose soil they have made their agreement

How would it have gone, such an agreement?

I am the greater!

No, it is I who should thrive!

What about me? Should I not flourish, at a your expense?

Perhaps there is even one pip who never awoke at all

Down there,


Cells returned back to Arawn’s soul

To return once more as another being

I have not forgotten:

Before I was in this middle-world

I too made an underground agreement

With Arawn in His world

To thrive at some expense;

Let me not shy from this truth,

I am not here unfettered by such a tally

Lives of countless given,

For me to thrive:




I have taken others’ air and soil and land and water,

I have stood on the shoulders of many

And I have thrived

Such agreements exact high price

To live is to be held account

To make such an agreement

Means this to be true

Yet that is not the whole story:

For when I leave this world

I will become sacrifice for another’s agreement

And so the Circle is complete

The apple seedlings grow

Enacting their underground truth

I am merely the gardener

Day 34: This observant one

Why oh why

Mummy, oh wise one,

please tell me this:

the animals I see

all around us are having babies

in the bright abundance of Spring

and we humans can have them

any day we want.

why, oh wise one?

Because, oh observant one,

there is food for mother

and baby in Spring so that

the gods of the future are satisfied,

the worm is sacrificed for the blackbird

See! His beak is full

lamb and bird,

badger and hedgehog

No, it’s ok to be sad to see

how the worm wriggles and strains

in the grasp of impending death


but it is all preordained;

that is what Spring is all about

some die so others live

But humans-

to answer your question,

we learned long ago to harness more than Spring’s bounty and

so we could take food

and preserve it

like mummies and bog bodies

for us to satiate our earthly needs

now we grow or fly

what we want from

where we want

any day of the week

Our fecundity knows no

human limitation but our

cycles of moon days and

this power has terrified us

generation by generation

so we make it Spring whenever our offspring births

for terror of starvation

So mummy, oh wise one,

when we cannot fly raspberries from chile

nor potatoes from Russia

will then all babies be born in April,

like the lambs and the chicks?

And all our dead still die in the Spring?

She sees some depths in this time of story and meaning,

This observant one

Day 33: Camp fire cooking

This is the time of their lives

when the business of growing up,

of thriving and forging ahead

is straightforward,


The fear grips

in my mind as I watch them

I see

their future is suddenly


although I have known that deep within

for some time

An eight year old wouldn’t think much is different

how could she?

She lives in and swims in the amniotic fluid of

childhood innocence;

Now is It and so it should be

and the birthing sac has yet to be ruptured

The elder sister


her world was torn asunder last year,

we worked hard to stitch her wounded future self

back together, so that

her eyes did not always see


“Climate anxiety” came to roost here

she was beaten


swallowed by the ground with her sorrow buried deep within

the Earth kept her in darkness

while beautiful, wise, loving human souls

brought her back from the depth of somewhere I could not reach

to somewhere brave

and true

So now, these sisters sit side by side

swinging on a hammock and

eating campfire-cooked tea

and they laugh at the fun

like young kids should

I observe,

thinking grateful thoughts for those who helped

stitch by stitch

to heal my daughter and

I wait

for this next wave,


to rupture the sac.

but not yet

not yet

Day 32: Earth Day

I awoke after dreaming,

early, in my limestone house,

hoo-hoo of the wood pigeons

my alarm call,

light diffused through the upstairs windows

speaks of dawn gone by an hour, maybe


I breathed

in and out







I had been sleeping Earth Day away

lounging in cotton bedsheets

in cotton t-shirt;

that will not do, I thought,

so  I had a drink of crystal clear water,

swung my legs out of bed,

draped my cotton bath robe around me,

feet onto the wooden floor

and I went down the stairs


Across the wool carpeted living room

and onto the bamboo floor kitchen

I walked

To the kettle and turned to fill it up with more

crystal clear water,

then I put coffee in the pot and

a teabag in the cup

and waited



Electricity sparked

and heated and delivered

hot, perfect water

and I walked back up the stairs

to my loved one and my boistrous child,

I opened the curtains and watched

the tree creeper in the silver birch across the road

and the pair of jackdaws in the conifer


We breathed in

and out

some more

while we sipped



Tendrils of spider webs shimmered across the window

and the breeze waved them like the fingers

on Her hands



-“Happy Earth day”

-“How will you mark it?”

By tiny little thank yous

one breath at a time,

perhaps draw Teasel

The gratitude I feel is so close to sorrow

right now

so perhaps

when the Earth catches my tears

She will taste the gratitude in the salty tang



What else could I give Her

when She has given me my life?









Day 31: Cherry keeps telling me

Cherry keeps on speaking

Of blossom and birds and the seasons as they turn

She tells me that this year will be a fruitful one

For her and for her kind




There is a majesty in her patience

Rooted and growing

Cherry plays her part so well

Never alone, she gathers her beings

To cloak her and bless her

They live as one



Lichens on her north side

Ivy among her roots

Beetles and butterflies

So many scolding blackbirds

It is easy to lose count

Except now I know them by sight



Young, noisy males

Tired, loving females

One year she grew five babies

Taken in their first night by the magpie

She sat alone on an empty nest

As my heart broke



The Old Man of the tree

Brightest billed blackbird

Knows the score and keeps his domain

For now

From his rivals




I am housing flies for when the swallows arrive

she says

I cannot wait

To witness the murder

Day 30: The White and Black thorns

Come through the whitethorn

But stay awhile and look

Look at the petals and

Look at the thorns

Look closer at the spindly branches

For there is a story tangled up in there







I bloom before the leaves are ready

To catch the first Spring’s sunlight gift

From our Sun god star

Before anyone else

I am ready






Look closer

See the blackthorn grows enmeshed in me

To step between the white and black thorns

Is to step into the Otherworld

Peopled with faeries and elves and goblins and trolls

And spirit animals and ancestors and the blueprint of ourselves

Each journey begins with a single step

So make it a beginning of worth

Humble and sacred

Beautiful and fearful

See what the pathway brings to you

As you journey through the black and white

Thorn and blossom, both







Returning from someplace is a great mystery

We have stepped into the Otherworld


We want to come home

But the Initiate knows there is no home

Once the black and white thorns have been passed through

We look instead for belonging

To know when the journey has turned full circle