Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Finding the Right Words


on the beach
I watch moonlight
liquid silver
on the waves

Altjiranga mitjina

the eternal ocean of dreams


sea breezes carry away
the last pain of
an impossible love


I will treasure this moment
perfect it in my memory.

Gumusservi (Turkish) moonlight shining on water

Altjiranga mitjina (Aranda, Australia) the timeless dimensions of dreams

Razblyuto (Russian) The feeling for someone once but no longer loved

Ichigo-ichie (Japanese) the practice of treasuring each moment and trying to make it perfect.

Originally posted in October 2006 for Poetry Thursday - theme - Be Inspired by newspapers.

I wrote this poem in response to the article: Lost in Translation G2, Guardian, 9 October 2006. The words from other languages and their definititions are taken from the article.

An earlier poem on this blog was also written in response to a newspaper article - Tarragona Widow. 

And over on Crafty Green Poe4t, I've reposted another old poem, you can read it here

Monday, May 13, 2019

Some photos of Haddington, East Lothian

Haddington is a lovely town just outside Edinburgh. We visited there yesterday with my Dad who was visiting us for the weekend.

We had lovely weather and here are some photos of the town, photos of the park and river will be on my Crafty Green Poet blog tomorrow

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Art House

Visionary works edged in a haze
I can all too readily relate to.

I think of the near collisions
of your life with mine

the labyrinthine possibilities
never explored, the fact that

put us in any two squares of a chessboard
and we would recognise each other


But the world outside is so big and bad
it is selfish to obsess on the very small

so let the Technicolor wide-screen of dreams
collapse in on itself to a mobile phone

that one day I can carelessly lose.

previously published in Iota and inspired by a cinema advert for mobile phones. 

First posted on this blog in June 2007

Friday, March 08, 2019

International Women's Day - Girl, Lady, Woman

Happy International Women's Day! To mark the occasion I'm reposting my thoughts (again) about the use of the words girl and woman from a year or so back.


I'm a woman and resent being referred to as a girl.

In my mind a girl is a female under 16, a young girl is a girl under 12 and a little girl is a girl under 5 or a girl under 12 of particularly small stature.

Some people say calling adult women girls doesn't matter, but think about it, would you call a male work colleague a boy? If you would then maybe it's fair enough to call your female work colleagues girls, but I'm guessing that most people refer to their male work colleagues as men (or possibly guys) and so should refer to their female work colleagues as women. I've only ever met one man who has ever referred to his male colleages as boys.

There's a time and a place of course to use the word girls - 'Girl's night out' for example, but in that case it's a choice made by a group of women to refer to themselves as girls and is directly equivalent to the use of 'Boy's Night Out'.

Using the word girl to refer to adult women is just another symptom of the increasing sexism of today's society and it tends to infantalise women. The word 'Girlpower' is an attempt to reclaim the word girl from it's infantalising useage.

Sometimes I think focussing on the use of words can detract from the issues. For example news articles sometimes obsessively analyse a politician's use of one word or phrase on one occasion while the issue behind the words isn't touched. However, the use of 'girls' to refer to women is still so persistant I feel it undermines a lot of the work done by feminism to move towards the equality of women and men.


You may also be interested in my blogpost about women's health 'Our Ovaries Ourselves'. 


It's great to see Poetry24 devoting the whole day to poetry for International Women's Day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


You travelled alone
posting pieces of time
in sea-views and lines -
rewording your life.

My only map
a patchwork of postcards
with scribbled notes.


Salt on my tongue,
I taste the tidemark
of your travels,
explore you back from absence.

Abandon distance. 

Originally published in Envoi magazine and first posted on this blog in 2007. 

My poem Home Town is now up on the Crafty Green Poet blog, you can read it here.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Tarragona Widow

Sixty years inseparable love, I knew you perfectly,
read the maps of your mind and body unerringly,
rejoiced in your company.

Our love was strong and sure, multi-layered, a symphony
with melodies and harmonies in balance, perfection.
Passion entwined our bodies in dance,
hearts beating in time, part of each other.

Sixty years inseparable love, childless and contented,
Your long lean body cold to touch,
your laughing eyes dead and glassy now,
your loving lips pale, still and grey,
your passion, your humour and vitality
all have drained away.

This empty husk is you,
is all that’s left of you,
is all I have of you.

They can’t take you away from me,
I will hide you away from them,
I’ll keep you safe in a secret place,
you’re mine for eternity.

I don’t want to lose you.

The pungent, rich sweetness of you,
like incense, hangs in the air,
rises with your soul like a prayer,
fills the room with heady aroma.

I breathe you in.
You are part of me once more. 


This poem is based on a true story. 

(Previously published in Quantum Leap poetry magazine and first posted on this blog in 2006) 

I also reposted an old poem on Crafty Green Poet today, you can read it here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019


She gave me cheap carnations,
petals falling too soon
in the cold room.

I said flowers weren’t the point.

She brought more anyway,
their pale presence
filling the silence.

It was easier than talking.

Originally posted on this blog in 2008 for Totally Optional Prompts

First published in Raindog

I've also reposted an old poem over on Crafty Green Poet, you can read it here

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Three Christmas Films

We saw Gremlins again last night, one of my all time favourite Christmas films with its anti-consumerist message which was undermined by the merchandising campaign that went with it when it was first released.

I also recently watched the DVD of The Christmas Choir which is a lovely, moving, feel good film with a very strong social message. It was originally a TV movie and is based on a true story.

Plus of course no Christmas would be complete without It's A Wonderful Life which every independent cinema seems to show repeatedly at this time of the year.

What are your favourite Christmas films?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


I self-consciously pocketed
the image of cowbells
as a text-book ‘poetic moment’
to add authentic colour.

Now, looking back
I dwell on the disintegration
of our friendship
that began that day.

And the endless melancholy of cowbells.

originally posted on this blog in 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Taking a blog break

One candle burning by itself becomes
a glitter-ball of warm beauty

but festive lights lined up in banks
on every city centre building are a nightmare
of visual overstimulation
when added to the glare
of bright rainbows and extra lights
round every traffic light,
every car headlight
and every street light. 


I'm having cataract surgery tomorrow and will then be taking two and a half weeks off from blogging and social media to rest my eyes. Though my Etsy shops will remain open. 

Meanwhile a cataract inspired haibun I wrote is now up on The Other Bunny, you can read it here