Archive for the ‘Autobiography’ Category

I was delighted and amazed that this poem was highly commended in the ‘Fire River Poets’ poetry competition. I’ve been invited to read it, plus some others, at a ‘Winners Evening’ in May. It’s very exciting but also quite daunting.
Here’s the poem…(it’s a villanelle by the way)

Wordless Dream

I dreamt that you were with us all today,
so vivid and so real you seemed to be,
you smiled, you never spoke, just turned away.

You buttered toast, and laid the breakfast tray.
You boiled the old range kettle, made the tea.
I dreamt that you were with us all today.

You never stopped, nor saw the children play.
Instead you polished all the cutlery.
You smiled, I never spoke. I turned away.

Your face was drawn, your features gaunt and grey,
but still you cleaned and worked on endlessly.
I dreamt that you were with us all today.

I begged you please to stop, to rest, to stay.
You placed your age-worn hand upon my knee,
We smiled, we never spoke, we turned away.

A tear slid down your face, I saw you sway.
I wanted you to stop. Stay here with me.
I dreamt that you were with us all today,
you smiled, you never spoke and turned away.

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My heart shifted

It made a room for you,

never to be empty.


I held you- soft and warm,

a tiny bundle,

bald and bawling.


How in a moment

did this bond bubble up

between us?


So strong –

I would kill

to keep you





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Who am I?

I am before and after,
and somewhere in-between.
A dream on a sleepless night.
A long bitter struggling fight.


I am a changing name
spoken or sung
by those who love me, and I love,
who sing my name in varied song.


I am Mother, Daughter, Sister, Lover,

Listener, Healer, Joker, Speaker,
Watcher, Gardener,

Writer, Friend.


I am here to tend,
to mend,
to reach out.
To hug the world with words.


I spring from tragedy to hope.
I spring from death to cope.
I spring from the sky, the sea, the fire,
the stubborn grit of stone.


My father is the land, the seed, the grass.
The deep rooted tree.
My mother is a singing bird, a bard,
A lilting melody.


Many are greater than I.
They mould the world with
money, power, guns.
But I
with a sigh,
a word,
a trembling caress,
may cause a ripple across
its breathe.

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A very short, plump…festively plump, lady comes pootling down the lane. Hanging on to her and chattering incoherently and incessantly are two small boys,

‘Auntie Anne! Auntie Anne! I think I saw the dragon over there’


‘Over there! Look you can see it’s fire’

‘Oh my goodness boys, Have you got your swords ready? Are we ready to do battle?’

‘I got mine, it’s really really sharp and it’s got a shoot ray’

‘Wow! Come on then, let’s go…hang on tight!

Auntie Anne’s age is a fluctuating reality.  Today she is four and a half, full of energy and fighting dragons, tomorrow she could well be ninety-nine, tired, run down, struggling to stand, dependant and in pain! Her Nintendo tells her she’s twenty-six, and in her heart that’s how old she is; however as Elizabeth Bennett would say with regard to her age ‘your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it’… with two grown daughters  neither can Anne! However in reality she’s about halfway between her two extremes, and is comfortable with that.

One incident divides her life between ‘before’ and ‘after’, one crazy incident nine years ago, when a wannabe racer lost control of his car at speed and crashed into hers; exploding life as she knew it. Crushing, fracturing, splintering legs and knees; her ‘before’ incarnations of Psychiatric Occupational Therapist and Adult Education Tutor torn away in a few short seconds.

After the bleak, battling, struggling years that followed, a simple life is what she wants. She lives this rural ‘idyll’ in the house she and her husband built twenty years ago, they would not be allowed to now, this patch of Somerset has been designated ‘an area of outstanding natural beauty’.

Here are her roots, in this small hamlet she grew up, on the farm down the lane. Here she tends the garden she loves, especially the vegetable plot, which produces an abundant harvest that is pickled or preserved or given away in the summer and autumn.

Here she reads avidly, the classics, contemporary, childrens fiction, fantasy, poetry, anything!

Here she loves to paint, cook, sew, and make; recently two hobby horses made from broomsticks and socks, with button eyes, embroidered bridles and woollen manes, Christmas presents for the two little dragon slayers!

Here with the people she loves most in the all the world, her husband Tom and two beautiful daughters she lives.

Here Tom works as well, a master craftsman, making exquisite furniture and teaching others his skills. Here she supports him; and he her.

The house is full of folk coming and going, friends, family, hoards of youngsters, students having lunch, visitors from far afield, all with their stories to tell.

The home help who spends the year finding little bits and bobs at fêtes, coffee morning and jumble sales to fill Stockings which she takes, on Christmas Eve, to all her clients who live alone.

The Tesco online delivery man who came home from Africa, where he was running a childrens’ charity, to visit his mother, whilst here she had a stroke and now he can’t leave her.

The customer who inhabits a world of high finance, whose wife has left him, and the wood work student who is fighting his dependence on alcohol and drugs.

Then there are the dinners, the lunches, the parties, bar-b-ques and bonfires, film nights, tea and scandal, coffee and cake!

People interest Auntie Anne, She likes them!

Ironically since the accident she has travelled more, she wishes she’d done it in the ‘before’ years, when she was not confined to a wheelchair and elbow crutches, and leaving the safe zone was never daunting or worrying, but purely exciting and wonderful. She misses a lot of things…mostly dancing, but she’s discovered more in herself than she’s lost. One recent discovery is writing! A course embarked on for fun, leading to an amazing and shocking discovery that she might be able to write and even more amazing, some people might want to read what she’s written!

No time for that at the moment though, She has a dragon to slay and treasure to find!

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