The Balance of Nature

A stork, stone still,
Balances in serenity on one solitary limb,
The other tucked neatly away
beneath warm feathers

Yet I flounder gracelessly,
Waving my purple leg in the air,
With the balance of a ballerina
On an oil slick,
A kangaroo on ice.



A flake, a flint, a feather
Between the two

A balanced mind:
And it tips over into madness

A balanced economy:
And the walls fall down

A balanced vision:
And an eye is blinded.

The holy grail of scales,
The perfect alignment
For 21st century storks:
The balance of work
and of life:

A ballerina on an oil slick,
A kangaroo on ice.



The sun is shining.

I want to be outside.

To be up and out,
Down and out
Out and about,
I don’t care…
Just get me out!

Throw me out,
Cast me out,
Knock me out,
I won’t mind…
Just get me out!

Fall out,
Look out
Take out
Stake out
I’m not fussy…
Just let me out!

Out on my ear,
Out on the town,
Out of the ordinary
Out of order
Out of line
Out of kilter
Out of breath
Out of Africa
Out of my mind..

I am going

Me, me, me,
Out! Out! Out!


To listen
To really listen
Is to hear the silent t.

To sense the unspoken,
the unphrased,
The disjointed, unwanted inbetween

Not to judge
Nor to tremble,
But to reveal the understanding
with skill and the subtlety
Of a silent b

Just one Malteaser?

The electronic doorbell of ‘you’ve got mail’
leads to an open window
onto the Scottish Ballet’s latest festival of fleet feet
and airborne candy floss covered torsos
in flight,
tighter than tight,
emptier than a whiskey bottle in The Meadows

Now fractured on the dusty floor boards are the final fragile bones of my dreams of pirouettes and pas de bourree,
Chasse, Chasse, Jete, Jete,
Of elegant long limbed expressions of grace and beauty…

What incentive now to eat just one Malteaser?
To exchange rogan josh for rice cake?

So to consolidate my current position,
To firmly establish realistic boundaries and risk assessed conditions
I will suffer myself to eat all the pies,
And like the Tiger who came to Tea
I will not rest until the house is fully drained of food and drink,
And then…..
I will hang up my satin shoes.


Confidential stranger part 2

Bed 22 said that this temporary vulnerability we shared was like being trapped in a lift.
And it is.
So we should think about what we’ll do when the doors slide open into the shiny corridor of capacity.
I will wear a pair of socks and walk up Skiddaw.
I will stand up in the shower and travel the world.
I will lie in bed and feel the skin of my calves pressed together and run a marathon.
I will climb the stairs: left, right, left, right and learn to paraglide.
I will tred barefoot in the soft brown sand of the Solway and watch the sludgy bits seep between 10 toes and sail the seven seas.
I will place my Wellington booted foot on the rim of a spade and sense it sinking deep into the Summer garden soil and dig all the way to Australia.

I will
step in
and back out
of my VW camper van,
in silence,
with my eyes wide open,
close the sliding door,
climb on my bike
and ride
“There and back
To see how far it is”

Hidden Needs

Independence, despite a definition of ‘freedom from the control, influence, support, aid of others’, has the word ‘need’ hidden within it twice.

I basked in the warm security of my infallibility and self containment.
Happy in the company of others,
I felt no tendency to lean,
To rest,
To settle upon.

Content to support and control,
To lend a hand
To share a burden,
To offer help

To push and pull,
To lift and carry,
To open and close…..

How hard it is to flip the coin
And reveal the vulnerable underbelly of dependence,
Which lies there,
Right there,
All the time.
And I am a snail upended on its roof,
A flailing terrapin,
A dung beetle with its world turned wrong round way.

And I must lean and rest and settle upon whatever hand is offered…
Or I will fall,
I must be pushed, lifted and carried
Through opened doors that are closed behind me….
…not forever….
I know that it is
Not forever.

I will never again see independence without hidden needs.

‘I want’ never gets

I am a spoilt, petulant child,
Too used to my own way,
Sulking on the naughty step,
Refusing to take my medicine or tidy up.

Where is she?
Where is my Mary Poppins?
I want rum punch,
I want a spoonful of sugar,
I want warm woollen mittens,
I want a drop of golden sun,
I want a long, long way to run…

To run…

But I want never gets.