Monday, 7 April 2014


Kept a catapult on the kitchen window cill, to fire pebbles at stray cats in the garden. Played harmonica, and piano, and violin. Played accordian, taught at Saturday School, and at Montgomery Street Infants and Juniors. Took me to Remembrance Parades each year, and to mass on Sunday, and after church, we'd walk through the half finished shopping centre, then on to Lyons Corner House for tea and toasted buns. Married once for love, and once for hope. Wore furs and stockings, and carefully cut her second husband out of every photo. Taking an extra moment to cut herself down a size or two. Baked a green cake at Christmas, to a secret recipe from home. Kept hyacinth bulbs in the dark cupboard at the foot of the stairs.
Nurse, mother, teacher, grandmother, wife - survivor.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


(Oil pastel on paper)
Two tiny eggs in a nest,
deep in the compost bin.
Woodlice in the woodpile.
Fat worms in the soil.
Dense buds on the cherry tree.
Time to plant seeds.
Time to turn soil.

Friday, 28 March 2014

A Day

Snow on waking.
Sepia tinted world.
Rushing through the day.
Buzz buzz buzzing.
Home. Food.
Sleepy bed.
A day.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Weston 1969

Waves break, ferocious on the sand,
and you brave the waves,
pushing steadfastly through the surf,
to the calm water beyond.
Tucked under the dunes, I sit and watch,
until you re-appear, stout in your heavy black costume,
shaking off seawater, then towelling yourself dry.
Marram grass, and a thin sliver of sand.
Early in the morning, we walk to the dairy,
and collect jugs of warm milk.
And in the late evening sun, you bathe me
in a deep porcelain sink. Through the window,
the empty street below,
and a wide expanse of ocean beyond.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Burnt out

Burnt out, and as the flames still
lick the ceiling, leaving behind
ugly streaks and trails of soot,
with flames still tonguing the air,
the embers turn grey and cold,
and my eyelids close, to mark
an ending.