Thursday, 25 September 2014


Window shopping in Farnham.
Walking down the high street
on a warm autumn day
in lace vest and mini skirt.
A woman in purdah blocks my path.
"Hi," I smile at her.
But her eyes - all I can see of her -
are filled with scorn, hatred even,
as if I am something sub human:
an abomination that should be
stoned - or better still, doused in petrol
and burned alive.

Hostile black eyes continue
to pierce me from head to toe,
projecting the desire to erase
this demon, this canker
from the face of an Earth
exclusively Allah's.
When she finally speaks
in broken English, her words
are spat at me:
"You disgusting!
Where you from?"
"Here," I reply. "This is my country."

Friday, 19 September 2014


A village school in rural Yorkshire:
a classroom in September 1961.
Chalk dust on the wooden floor beneath a blackboard.
Copper-gold sycamore leaves
falling past high - set window panes like giant
discoloured snowflakes...and the sounds
of morning assembly echoing around the empty room:
young voices singing hymns and chanting prayers.

A bell rings.
In silence, the children file in behind their teacher.
Then boring constants. All those
questions to be answered, that try as she might,
Jane simply cannot grasp:
the word for door in French;
the formula for sodium chloride in chemistry;
the date of the Roman invasion of Britain in history...
oh such bland dullness!

Bored eyes wandering
to that high window and the wind-tossed
leaves beyond. A young heart dearly wishing
to catch one as it passes, like a bus,
and ride away to freedom.
All those questions she really wants the answers to:
Who am I?
How did I get here?
Why am I here?
Why do I feel so different?
What is love - what does it look like?
The mental image of something warm and golden,
glowing brightly, protective and indestructible
that links everything in perfect harmony rises up
before her inner eye.
But no one knows for sure.
The only certainty is the smell of new paint
and milk warming on the radiators;
the deafening voices of other children, overexcited
at the prospect of another day's lessons...
so why does she feel as if she is serving
a never-ending prison sentence?

Peculiarities of home: Alsatian hairs everywhere,
and biscuit crumbs trapped between carpet edge
and skirting board that must have been
lucky escapees from mother's vacuum cleaner.
The smells of beef stew cooking and warm
leather sofa and chairs.
After dinner, family still at the table, sharing anecdotes:
attempted bullying at 'big' school - but her brother's
confident, firm resistance winning the day:
a valuable lesson for her, no doubt.
all this chit chat - who really cares?
Yet this is their family story.
Doesn't it bind them together?
Perhaps this togetherness is an aspect of love.
So, how come there is still such a powerful sense of isolation
deep inside her?

Her bedroom: her sanctuary.
Pebbles and delicate bird skulls
collected from Balnakiel beach,
all carefully wrapped in tissue paper
and kept in a cardboard shoe box.
A photograph of the grandparents she never knew,
smiling for the lens (anticipating
the arrival of their future granddaughter perhaps?).
They are trapped forever in their time
of austerity, of the Great War...whereas
she lives now, when the massive guns are silent
and each evening the quiet village fades:
church steeple and grey slate roofs slipping
gently into the deepening shadows of nightfall, oaks
and weeping willows merging into dusk.
Hours spent just gazing from bedroom window,
watching this fascinating transformation.

By morning there is a different world outside,
the colours much richer now in the low-lying morning sun.
Dew rises from garden fences like smoke
in this beautiful golden landscape, and the hedges
are adorned with water-diamonds and rainbow birds.
A sudden realisation that she has lived forever:
there was nothing before her...
so why, oh why does she have to go to school?

That miserable daily hike to school: a
procession of laughing children.
Painfully shy and introverted, she does not fit in.
The drone of a car engine passing by.
Awareness narrows to a single point
that follows the sound, and her body is desperate to follow.
A footpath beside the parish church:
small feet running for freedom,
crossing the bridge over the stream,
now traversing the wooded hollow of Beck's Hole -
such a delightful place, like heaven
in comparison to the confinement of school.

Soon, the station comes into view.
Sitting on the hill, she watches the trains below
billowing steam into the open windows
of the platform cafe.
Life appears so laid back down there.
Oh to be an adult and have the choice
of how to spend her days!
There is such peace and tranquillity here -
a stark difference to the world she daily inhabits.
Clouds seem to kiss the earth, like Gods, in a pure love
no longer just golden, but now also white, green and brown
with flashes of azure blue.
Oh the bliss of discovering that love and life
are a multi-coloured interconnectedness - so beautiful
like this.

And it keeps getting bigger, this feeling inside her,
with the realisation that everything
as far as the eye can see and beyond, is her -
just as she is it.
She had always believed herself lost,
but now Truth has finally found her.
A knowing way beyond the scope
of those dusty dry books lies here
beneath her in this leaf mould.
She instinctively plunges a hand
deep into it's damp earthiness...
again...and again...
and she keeps coming up with silvery threads
of a slime that dissolves back into Nature's cycle
as soon as it is exposed to the air.
It appears to be composed of the
same material as the faint tracery of pale blue
she can see on the inside of her wrists.
A sudden impulse prompts her to dig deeper and deeper.
Then she stops to closely examine the rich brown mass.
The entire Universe is there in that one small handful...
and she is in there somewhere too...
or perhaps a higher version of herself, one who is connected
to all those who have lived before
and all those who have yet to be born.
She is a single molecule of pure Spirit
who came here to breathe Love and Light
into the darkness of matter
through these delicate fern-like fronds
of the Creator's DNA.

Jane has no more questions now...
only infinite answers.

Saturday, 13 September 2014


Flying in towards Heathrow,
passing over our street.

From high up here in Hampshire airspace,
the distant landscape below

is carved by hedgerows and motorways
into a patchwork of fields

with miniature homesteads dotted
here and there, as if created

by Vincent's finest brush and pallet
on one of his less manic days.

Most of these are invisible by road.
Even the small towns, like Petersfield

and Liss, look so different from here -
more sprawling, less contained.

And I know you're down there somewhere.
Checking my watch, I realise

you'll be on your way to work by now.
So I strain my eyes for a glimpse

of your BMW speeding along the A3
among all those other tiny dots

snaking their way to London
to begin another day in the office

with it's deadline stresses that hourly shorten life.
And I wish you were here with me instead,

and we were young again and just married.
I could fly then, you know, without the need

for this huge silver bird to transport me to paradise.
It lived in my heart then,

when we held hands and gazed
into each others eyes...unlike today,

when my sole purpose for coming home
is to sign our final divorce papers.

Friday, 5 September 2014


Two dimensional, through to fourth
I slipped.
Reality...or awakened dreaming?
Spiralling faster than time
through fictional territories discovered
within the printed word.
His name animated
by merging with the deductive brain
of Inspector Morse.

Well, I found him beneath
Oxford's dreaming spires.
One would have considered me
too old to ride on fairy tales.
Yet here I was: an obscure note
of Stravinsky that possessed his mind.
And Dexter thought he'd imagined it all...
my symphony hummed through John Thaw's lips
and the glint in his eye that betrayed a second Soul.

I will be away until next hope you all have a truly great week!
Will "see" you soon. xxx