Prosperity please…

I just don’t get it.
I’m sure until that until some time over the last 5 years the word ‘austerity’ had mostly been used to refer to Dickensian novels, The Depression and post WW2 eastern Europe. Now it seems to be something to drown us with on a daily basis….. A great tsunami tidal wave of bankers debt and privatisation impacts heading towards those of us still living on the ground.
But it’s not a tsunami. It’s not drought, nor an earthquake, a famine or a flood. It’s money. Just money. Money. We created it, invented the whole ‘cabbages and kings’ thing, to consolidate power, control and hierarchy.
So…..why does it rule us? Fire, water, earth and air, they are realities to contend with but money is not ruled by the forces of nature so if we have the real resources of knowledge, skill and ability within health, education and social care to look after the social, emotional, educational and physical well-being of each other why is this being so threatened, restricted and ruled by money???? Austerity??Call me simple but I just don’t get it…

Prosperity please
That we might breathe.
debt collectors’ dirty boots,
Filthy, fowl footwear,
Bearing down,
Crushing rib and muscle
Above tightly buckled belt.
Contract the inner core,
Pull up the pelvic floor,
Still they weigh down
Forcing fear and loathing
Pushing hope
And we reach only for our own drop down oxygen mask.
Let us breathe.


Fire: too hot for tweed

A glimpse,
A glimmer
Of gold
Lights up our souls,
Lifts heavy hanging heads.
The rarity of fiery hours
With faultless blue above,
Sends us rushing from
Double glazed
Thermal insulation
Into open air,
We eat it up greedily,
Spinning out hours
Beyond sunset,
Firebrick warm beneath the feet.
We sleep soundly,
With underlying expectation
Of tomorrow’s grey.

Yet, another day begins
Beaming through the slatted blinds and
We are gifted with gilt once more.
We are drenched in sunlight:
Burnt out.

A staple diet of
Grey clouds and drizzle
Is no preparation for
This all inclusive,
Pepper pot banquet,
This endless hog roasting BBQ.
We need relief,
Release from this bondage
To bathe and bare all
Beyond tolerance.

We are a nation of tweed,
Log burners
And whiskey,
Flying towards the fire
On budget airlines
Then home again,
To warm tea and custard creams.

But we are trapped like moths
Circling a candle flame
Singed wings, weary from the beating.
Oh to complain of rain…..



Rooted to this spot,
I am forced to tend the garden with selective
Intensive care,
Or neglect.

Where I can reach,
I sift the soil through fingers,
Until fine,
rubbing fat into flour,
Well nourished, nurtured patches
Mingle with wild crops of
nettle, vetch and ragwort,
And downy dandelion seed heads
Taunt me with their
Parachuting time-telling bombs,
Threatening invasion,
Widespread propagation.

I narrow my focus,
Force near-sighted vision,
And plant short, neat rows
Of peas, beans and rocket
Within arm span,
Amongst the individual grains of sandy earth.
And I hope for growth,
I hope for green,
I hope to stand
To stretch,
To smile
and pick those beans….



Having written a piece entitled ‘air’ the other day, well, the other late night/early morning, I had an idea I wanted to create something from the other elements to reflect this travelogue of broken limbo. So, seven weeks in plaster, just over one more to go…


I am holding my breath under water

No longer
in deep down darkness,
Trawling my injuries clumsily
along jagged rocks
amongst the algae and anemones.
I am rising towards blue
Spiralling upwards,
Despite anchor weight and pull.

No longer
Forcing unsettled waves
Against this aquatic captivity.
I have spent such energy
And now rock gently
Back and forth
In the ripples of its wake

Thin fingers of light filter through
And find me floating,
Just below the surface,

Holding my breath under water


Written after the Oklahoma hurricane on 21st May
A soft breeze filters through Spring leaves,
In the garden
On a westerly journey,
out across the mud coloured Solway.
It’s mood; light and chirpy,
Whistling through marram grass and heather.
Tripping over waves, turning tips into froth,
As if stroking a cat backwards.

Where does the mood change?
When does a breeze become a bluster,
Wild wind a gale
With force to blow out so many candles?
How angry does a squall become
Before it is a raging,

Air is air,
There is no vacuum separating draft from hurricane
They are distant cousins,
but they are holding hands across the oceans.
And I am thankful that the wind in my children’s hair
Has been so very gentle.