Day 18: Never too young

Never too young to see the birds

Through binoculars,

To learn their names

And learn how to track the sound

Of their call

 

 

Here! A blackbird has seen you

How do you know?

Can’t you hear it scolding?

The Robin, see, he’s sitting

High in the pine tree

Surveying his realm

 

 

Look! Look properly,

Patiently

With eyes and ears and soul and that part of you,

Akin to intuition,

That muscle needs flexing

It need unfurling

Like a frond of bracken

In the bright Spring air

 

 

Take up the task of learning who else shares this village

With you

Me and

The other Humans who we do not see

 

 

The jackdaws

Pigeons

The Tawny owl

Whose terrible jet-lag makes us laugh

The deer

Whose prints we find in the soft morning mud

 

 

The hares

And the shrews

Badger scrapes the lawn

 

 

Go

Now you’re big and trustworthy

The world is not so scary

And the world is

Liminal

 

 

 

Day 17: Hair and skin

I keep dreaming of hairdressers

Turn back the clock!

At least,

Look at what you are doing

Or not doing

A year now

I have chosen to

Accept

Greys

Another dream

Said “your age is trying to speak to you

How can you hear if you keep hiding it?”

My tattoo

My 40th birthday present

Sits now on slowly wrinking wrist

Some days

I have hands just like

Grandmother’s

Wisdom is speaking

To me,

Not anyone else

My body

My timeline

My story

I haven’t read a story this good

For many

Many

Years

And I am learning to listen

Day 16: Over the railway track

I walk with the girls this time

We leave the boys behind

Safe in the house

And we go once again

Just us

Like it was a long time ago

Springtime memories of the first

Tentative

Beginnings of single motherhood

He left at Christmas

By when the first buds began to open

We were a coven

My little Coven of women

Ready to step out

Into the bright

Bare

Bold 

Beautiful 

World

And see what was out there

Nearly two years

Two cycles of the Sun

Around our sacred Earth

We played and learned

And sang and ran

Me and my girls

And my dog

Now the abundant wild garlic 

Empowers us 

I remember

Perhaps they do not

They were very young

Innocent and unknowing

Its scent and sharpness

takes me back to the glade

Lost between fields

Where we grew up in safety

Me and my girls

We had an Ash

Whose trunk was a saddle

The Oak

Whose body was Grandfather

The meandering

Raging beck

Whose bed was rarely the same from one month

To the next

Over the railway track

And into the dappled Grove

We ran

And Sang

And picked wild garlic

And waited for Summer

Day 15: Allow the day to pass

Slump

It’s ok to want to sit

Sofa-ridden and soft

Cups of tea

Gentle thoughts

A book to read

Moving outside I sit

On the old hard chair

In the sun

The sun!

Bursting through clouds

Beams land on my upturned face

Today is a soft day

Of peace

The growing is happening

Outside of me

A bird egg

Hatched

Lies discarded on the ground

Softly

I allow the day to pass

Day 14: Big Bother is Watching You

Exercising dogs for government-approved hour today
From my home
On open public footpath
Dogs on lead and under control
Not a soul around
Pick-up truck
Slows
Stops on road and watches me as I walk towards it
Staring man

My mind goes nuts
Have I done something wrong?
Am I breaking some rule?

I keep going
And going
Fear grabs and will not let me breathe

He slowly drives away

Intimidating me
Pretending to be in control of me
Making me doubt myself
Making me hide

Fear
Is
Not
Going
To
Win

Day 13: Piano

“Play what you wrote, mummy!”

I start to play

Falter to a stop by chord eight

Phrases like ghosts

At the edge of memory

 

Who are you to tell me what to do

It’s my life

It’s my life

 

Teenage angst still there,

Sparked by music

Taken back in time to the days when

I was stuck inside my burgeoning body

Nowhere to put those emotions

But into the music

 

Kindly let me grow up wanting

My own thing

 

Middlest child sits

Finally

At the keys and learns with a concentration

She rarely shows

 

 

Let the music lessons begin

And let her be held by it

Forever

Day 12: The Sherd

We walk to a ruined corn mill on the river

Mole hills everywhere and I resist the urge to look

Children chattering

Sunlight warming my face

The water roaring through a squeeze in the limestone

Time offers us the gifts of Spring

 

 

A small white flash catches my eye

It is a piece of pottery

Sticking out of the dirt.

Not one for anything so new

I nearly disregard it

But then

A bridge

A cloud and a roof top

Appear as I rub the mud away

 

Step into this

 

 

Hermits and Taoist monks

Palaces of gold and red

Bridges, ornate and magical

Cold, crisp mountain air

For this is above that cloud

High, high into mountains

 

 

I hear the mountain birds and somewhere somehow my mind confuses this

With Aslan’s Country

Flashes of blues and streaming tail feathers

And sparkling streams

So high, there in the Utter East that

Nothing should be growing

Except Enlightenment

 

 

 

 

It is a small picture on the edge of a tea cup

Delicate and once,

Perhaps, for the wealthy and educated

To sip their tea as they oversaw

The miller at his work

 

 

The river roars,

Squeezed through the limestone gap

While the walls crumble and

The tea cup has shattered

And Time has moved on

Yet the bridge remains

 

 

Day 11: Oh, the cold!

Balmy days turn flat on their face

A blistering wind

But is it? Perhaps I’ve gone soft with the warm sun’s promises

Wind from the north blows ice and snow under my neck

And I retreat indoors

And layer up

 

 

 

Dogs can wait for walks

Because Springtime-Me

Has been activated and won’t

Turn

Back to the cold

 

 

 

The sun warms my most secret of desires

Awoken by the smell

Of new Apple buds and

Hawthorn leaves that taste of

Spicy sugar

 

 

Pheromones of horny birds

Have stirred my being

And no!

I will not go back

Day 10: Too much

Today I will hide

From the pain of fearing what will happen once this reaches the camps

And the slums

And I don’t know if my heart can take the fear

 

 

 

While at the same time, we laughed

So freely we laughed and laughed

For what we laughed at left us free from all constraints and

We couldn’t help ourself if we wanted to

 

 

Both are true and

Both truths need holding

Cherishing

So close to my heart as to be swallowing it whole

 

 

 

To despair and to laugh in equal,

Free abandon:

Perhaps now I realise what it is to be human

 

Day 9: Sentimental

A new born lamb- for slaughter

Or the brass box my great uncle made

Her wedding dress

Flints in a molehill

And the last photos of the dying son

 

 

 

Each turns us from ourselves

Into the deepest, most broken

Grief-filled

Heart-wrenched

Breathless

Sadness

That can change the course of who we once thought we were

 

 

 

Sentimental value?

Sentimental-

A word so confused,

Banded about like an insult

Or a hold-all for that which rips us apart

The word should be discarded by civilised people

Who claim to know

How this feels