Monday, 30 January 2012

far away family
perfect holiday on lakeside
aunt's cabin provides them peace
postcards bring joy to mothers of sons

delicious colour

painter covers the board with a rich light blue
covers it in emerald green
scrapes some away
adds reds and yellows and dark colours
scrapes away
leaving layers of sumptuous colour
scraped and scratched and hidden
and mouthwatering

Catching up

what sailor threw you overboard?
which seabed did you lie on to become encrusted?
soft green glass
what strong liquor did you hold?
I could hold you for ever and stroke your surface, smooth and rough.

pine cone

tri lobal gronds between segments
it opens in the unnatural heat

(picked from ground at Sandford St Martin cricket ground)


hens companionably chatter
garden birds think it's spring
a small plane joins in - sound harmony

Friday, 27 January 2012

Stones 6, 7, 8 of 16

By the end of today I will catch up with the blockage in my river and it will be gone. These three were written while we were 'netless'.

Monday 16 Jan - mindfully looking

A single leaf, probably holly, on the stone seat in the garden. Tiny petals of frost, like the seeds of my variegated honesty lie on one half in perfect, layered geometry. The edge of each frost petal is serrated. They have formed perfectly, as frost and snow will.

Another day - not sure when - mindfully listening

The hiss of the wind in the dry beech leaves. It is a friendly, chatty sound. They twitch and wriggle, then rest when the wind drops for a moment. Does it sounds like water over stones? They will stay there, making their presence felt until the new growth. How generous and what fine colour in the dull winter light.

 The joy of sunset

The sun bleeds into the coming night. Layers of colour stretch across the distant wolds. Mists are  rising in the valley. The bush establishes the foreground. We need that stability in the face of such awe.

Friday 13th's stone

Mindfully eating a kiwi fruit

Overripe, gold kiwi fruit - furry skin, green under brown. The stalk, crumpled in a symetrical circle. Remember, the fruit is a seed pod of an unknown (to me) flower. Tiny stamens just visible at the pinched end.
Dissected now - an inner circle of thousands of tiny black seeds, white star like fronds out towards the skin. Inside the ring of seeds is an ovular ring linking stalk and tip.

It smells of the sun, fresh life and good health. Scooping out a spoonful, rolling it round my mouth it feels smooth, soft, sharp, sweet. It slips down my throat easily.

A cluster of four stones

First stone

Windows weep. Moisture gathers at the bottom of panes. Small patches of clear glass show where the air seeps in through our old windows. The glorious blue sky and sun light the beech hedge stop me weeping in sympathy.

Second stone (no picture here - it is not pretty enough)
My bank statement glares at me, and evokes feelings of anger, worry and futility. A tiny fraction of a banker's bonus would put things right. I do silly things too, but don't get paid for it.

Third stone

En route for Aynho, a large dead tree is centre stage, backed by delicate mists and trees with hoar frost. A demanding presence, like a soliloquy in a Shakespearean tragedy.

Fourth stone
Unseasonal ladybird has come in to shelter from the weather. Flexes her wings under the 7 spots. Crawls over my hands preferring the warmth to the draughty floor.The tiny feet tickle me palm. But is she a she? Why do we always think of them as female?

A dam in my river

For the last couple of weeks we have been without broadband, due to thieves stealing copper wires. I still wrote, but for lots of reasons it has been hard. So today I am going to publish lots of little stones, mostly as a mindfulness exercise. I need that.

It feels as though there has been a blockage in the stream, and obstructions in my brain. So many things have gone wrong in that time, but today is for sunshine.

The picture is a river entering the harbour at Robin Hood's Bay, on the north-east coast.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Bristol blue

Sun through blue glass, Chartres Cathedral? No, but as lovely in its small way. It glows blue and reflects on the wall, distorted and paler. Its design is balanced and soothing. An Aegean blue, the one they use on doors, but from Bristol, where they still make glass by hand which shows in the reflection.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

hints of spring

pairs of shivering catkins,
like green caterpillars
or new lambs' tails

dusty pollen drops onto the female red tufted bud

Monday, 9 January 2012

Venetian memories

Closely observing my photo of Venice years ago (March)
- quality of the wooden stakes showing the change in water level at base - limpid jade lagoon with terracotta and white of iconic buildings
- icy blue sky and 'bora', wind from the Dolomites

Remembering the early morning walk when this was taken. Magical time.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


Holes like a sponge, ooze butter and Marmite. Crumpets - a winter treat. Memories of toasting on an open fire, as a child.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Britannia Yarmouth

Britannia Yarmouth painted under glass paperweight - a family treasure.
Was it a souvenir? 
How elegant the old jetty was.
Crinoline clad ladies saunter before it. 
Herrings and Nelson made Yarmouth great.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Broad hog hair brush, pristine, unused
Afraid to expose to clumsy paint.
Begging to be used
It’s been so long
Hold me, use me, create.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Virginal heads droop, stoically ignoring the wind and cold. Hopegivers - snowdrops don't mind the weather.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

cashew nut (unsalted)

Naked cashew turns up its tail
creamy, creased, tiny stalk
where are you from? how did you grow?
who picked you for my pleasure?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Torrential rain

the thatch drips on the path below, surprising startled passers by.

Monday, 2 January 2012


slim, speckled brown feather
thin curved quill
now dead, for sport
then, picked for wedding joy

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year's Day stone

Holly leaves are darkest green in front, and light green behind. The holly berries cluster in bunches like small grapes of carmine red, reflecting the waning light. Ivy berries black as juniper. No need to improve on these classic Christmas colours.