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.


I never invited them in…

Head a stick stirred wasps nest
I try to keep them in
Not sting

Wet towels on the floor:

Hungry cat:

Who used the last fucking toilet roll?
That’s it.
There I sit
Out they fly,
Bastard shitting little twats
Egalitarian in distribution
generous in delivery.

Head, an empty nest.
I sigh,
consider offers of calamine comfort,
But the tube is a little over squeezed
And just out of reach…
Not my fault…
I never invited them in!

Blow ins

Late night bar in Kinvara, County Galway, talking to ‘locals’ who reveal their status as ‘blow ins’, brought there by navigational instinct and kept there by an intuitive sense of belonging.
How much more welcoming a term is that than the Cumbrian ‘off-comers’? (
Made me think of Joanne Harris’ book/film Chocolat…

Blown in
On the wind
I envy you
The rise and fall of breath
in fresh new air,
The tingle of discovery,
The sense that this glass slipper of a place fits.

Born here,
It is stale
Over familiar.
I see the flakes in the paint
You call it quaint,
The jerk in the corner of the bar,
Your local character…
My cousin.

Lend me your eyes that I might see
This town without hostility.


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…..


The return

To return
To a place
I felt not in but out of,
From a sense of obligation
And commitment.
Sets of rules and strategies
I had no part in setting,
Goalposts I have no interest in aiming for…

My heart is heavy
I can feel its weight sinking down,
Lead poisoned,
into my stomach.

Life is short
And good health a privilege,
A bonus
Not to be taken for granted
Squandered or misused.

Talent is a perishable gift
With a best before date.
Needing nurture and nourishment
Not neglect.

Duty will make me return
To post.
To the lift of mind and spirit
At the rhythm of word and sound,
Tune and tone,
Will steer me away.

If I listen to the rise and fall
Of my breath
On an air or a reel,
My pulse will match the pace
Which I could follow….
If I listen…

‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?

Marianne Williamson


One thousand miles….

I’ve probably had it before, but cracking open a fortune cookie in a Chinese restaurant last week and reading the aphorism “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, seemed amusingly apt.
I began to wonder, if I wore a constant pedometer from the day I was allowed to place my newly repaired leg on the ground and take step number one, where those thousand miles would take me……..

There is an awesome resonance
To the words
Which ring of epic
And grand, but
Must a journey of a thousand miles
Traverse great, grey walls,
Blinding scapes of ice and snow,
Or sand duned deserts;
History oozing between the toes
At every step,
Echoing the footfall of
Fearless warriors,
Tracing the paths of
Tireless trekkers,
Or dauntless discoverers?

My victorious trip
from fridge to sofa
Carrying my trophy treasure
May not sound like
A suitable place to start
A round the world walk
Of momentous measure
Worthy of mention,
Nor the crutch aided
Limp up the garden path
To the compost bin and back
With banana skins and tea bags,
High risk cargo for the unstable
Lone ranger.

Yet I am a long distance traveller,
But I am following my own footsteps.

What lies beneath…?

Eight weeks and three days:
Two months gestation period of whatever hideousness is lurking beneath this bandage chrysalis cast.
I have glimpsed reptilian features in the blink of an eye between cast transitions and I am fearful for the birth, the revelation.

Eight weeks and five days:
I have an illogical sense of bereavement for my old, unbroken, skin and bone leg, as if it were now a survivor of violation, of abuse, of incarceration and I wish I had taken more care of it, as in the passing on of a neglected old friend.
Yet it has not gone, only hidden away from view, from touch, but mysteries gather momentum with time….

Eight weeks and six days:
Freeeedom! Release! Relief! It’s just a leg…

Blinking it’s way into daylight,
The reborn limb appears;
A hostage released into the world,
Marked by captivity,
Unwashed, bearded,

And I rush to meet its needs
Like a doting wife,
Who has waited
Expecting the worst,
Never daring to imagine this day would come.

I touch, tenderly
In disbelief of the return
Back into my care
To nourish and nurture,
In a way I never had before.

I bathe
and sooth
and pamper.

It reaches for the ground,
For it’s roots.
And I place it
We are home.