Thursday, 18 April 2019

Beach combing

This small shell
Washed by waves 
That ebb and roll in timed rotation
Wearing away ridges
Smoothing sharp angles
This delicate fan
Half buried under grainy sand
Fits tight in my palm
Leaving the echo of salt on skin
And sunbaked afternoons

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Barber shop chorus

The barbers has a rhythm all its own
Muted news, soft soul tunes 
  clipper hum 
and faint scratch of razor on strop
This  emporium of masculine grooming
tolerates my presence as I sit 
enfolded in soft leather sofa

breathing in sandalwood and eucalyptus

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Slipping on the sixth step

There is a cat on the stairs, who stands and stares 
as I slip on the sixth step; 
my joints as stiff as his smile. 
I slip, he topples, dents and bruises bloom;
 whilst in the downstairs room the TV mutters,
masking my tumble . 
These darkening days of Winter,
 that pleat skies with heavy cloud, 
and breathe river mists over garden walls; 
slow all motion.
The numbing cold and damp transforms me 
into a stumbling creature,
 graceless and disjointed;
swathed in wools and cashmeres 
to ward off the slowly creeping stiffness 
that seeps deep into bone 
and lingers like rust on a gently rotting hull.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

The witching hour

This is the witching hour; the time before dawn where a faint glow low on the horizon filters through dark skies, shepherding in a new day. 
A time of small songs, when crickets sing  oblivious as water dragons wake from sleep, warmed by lamps, eager to eat
This is the time of cats, uncurled from slumber; who pad on soft paws to scratch at doors, demanding to be let free to roam once more along high walls and down amongst the toppled stones of quiet graveyards.

This is my time; with steaming mug in hand and glasses perilously perched on nose; wrapped in words that whirl from thought to page whilst the house breathes quietly on.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

rainy days and Sundays

Grey day.Steady rain slicks patio paving, and pools in empty planting pots.  Cats clamour to go out, then stand beneath scant shelter, fur ruffled by damp droplets, before scrabbling to be let back inside.
Days like these require different rhythms ; long slow breaths and the quiet rustle of turning pages. Time slows to the spatter of rain on window panes and the bubble of soup simmering on the stove......... and we dream the hours away,waiting for a gap between clouds, and a glimpse of the pale winter sun.

Friday, 18 August 2017


Market stall apricots, warmed in August sunshine; blushing pink with ripened promise as they tumble from scales into a waiting  paper bag. This is the start of a ritual long remembered from childhood summers, when fruit would fall from bag to table; to be transformed over an afternoon into jewelled jars of apricot  jam.

 Juice slowly drips from blade to bowl, as each fruit is split ready to slow cook in lidded pot.  Scales groan under a weight of sugar, and lemons are squeezed of their juices. This is the science; a fine balance to create the alchemy of sweet amber delight.

Jam making is an art; I merely an apprentice following my mother's calm directions as I  assemble ingredients in the pan; feeling sugar, gritty under a stirring spoon, as heat begins to dissolve each granule, whilst apricots slowly slide and bubble.

Now the wait, as thermometer line creeps ever upward, and occasional slow stir keeps thickening juices from sticking. Here is the skill; an ever watchful eye, waiting for that magical moment when fruit, juice and sugar combine into the perfect consistency, to hang from spoon edge; or wrinkle on chilled saucer. This is the revelation, the secret passed from mother to daughter, to finally capture the familiar taste of childhood in a simple glass jar.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Deja vue

The slow dance begins once more;
this time my mother's pas de deux......
and we,
weary from past duets,
recall each stumbling step of this strange ballet
crafted from DNA's complex choreography.
From the wings, the poise and elegance
with which she glides across the floor;
Seems effortless
So we remain in the shadows
silently awaiting our cue.........
a stalwart corps de ballet.