TREE

I

Watched you

At sunset

Standing serene

Against rosy skies

Holding out your branches

Offering yourself as home

To rooks seeking a place to rest

Suddenly the black cloud descended

From blood red skies to a new place of peace

HERE I STAND

I WROTE THIS POEM WAY BACK IN 2016 WHEN I WAS DUE TO HAVE SURGERY WITH A POSSIBILITY OF GETTING MY EYESIGHT BACK. The surgery would have been quite dangerous, as I am only meant to have an anaesthetic if I am going to die and suegery might save me. Anaesthetics are that dangerous to me. It was not possible to do the surgery under a local anaesthetic. However, in the end, the surgery was cancelled as they did deem it too dangeroys for me. But for a while, I lived with the thiught that I might get my eyesight back again, but that I might die on the operating table. I had to make my mind up whether I would take the risk or not. I wrote a LOT of poems and Reflections at that time, which I may post again in the coming days. Here is one of them:-

And so now here I stand
On the edge of light
Waiting to know my fate
Will the glorious day dawn when I’ll see once again?

Which way will It go now?
I wait in silence
Deep in the heart of God
The mystery is held, I listen for its beat

Soon it will be revealed
On that day i’ll know
In dark or light I’ll stand
But wherever I fall I’ll know light eternal

SHEEP

Through the mullioned windows I saw the sheep,
Illuminated by the sun,
As I gazed at them my spirit danced,
Then they disappeared behind the hill,
Now, again, all seemed dark,
I waited, hoping that they would come back.

To my delight they soon came back,
Huge was this flock of sheep,
When they returned it was no longer dark,
Again I could see the sun,
But they went again, behind the hill,
So I got on my feet and danced.

I remembered another dark day when I’d danced,
Though I knew he was not coming back,
With him I climbed that enormous hill,
Rugged, just as it was for the sheep,
I longed for him to see the sun,
So his journey would not be so dark.

I danced at his bedside that day in the dark,
Holding hands, we danced,
Many days we had spent in the sun,
But now I knew he was not coming back,
So my heart danced as I saw the sheep,
Coming out from behind the hill.

He once climbed that enormous hill,
Sometimes in the sun, sometimes in the dark,
I thought of him when I saw the sheep,
And remembered how we had danced,
Soon, none of us will be coming back,
May we always see the sun.

Even when in the dark we remember the sun,
Letting it guide us up the hill,
The one thing we know, we can never turn back,
Be forever in the dark,
All that will matter is how we danced,
May we take our cue from the sheep.

Sheep climb safely up the hill,
Whether in the sun or the dark,
I remember how on a dark day I danced, never looking back

FLYING

One day I found that I was flying,
Soaring in the sky, exhilarated,
I used to think that I was dying.

Many desperate hours spent crying,
Blossomed into joy, elated,
One day I found that I was flying.

My voice came back and now I’m singing,
I kiss the clouds, I am not fated,
I used to think that I was dying.

I’m living now, death defying,
My zest for life cannot be sated,
One day I found that I was flying.

The time has now long gone for sighing,
Those dreaded times that I so hated,
I used to think that I was dying.

Life picked me up while I was trying
To take Hope’s hand, I’m emancipated,
I used to think that I was dying,
One day I found that I was flying

A CHEESY STORY – a bit of humour

It was just an ordinary day- or so Cheryl thought. Not much interesting had happened to her in a long time, and today looked like being just the same as always. Shopping at Cheeseburys, followed by the trek home to start the daily chores: washing, cooking, hoovering, ironing. So many times
she had thought, “If only something would happen to break this monotony.” With a sigh, she grabbed a trolley, and started the hike round the store. First, the fruit and veg aisle. Nothing much interesting there – just the same boring old carrots, potatoes, onions, broccoli, cauliflowers. The only brightness seemed to be the red, yellow and green peppers. NOTHING seemed to say “Eat me.”

She continued on her way, passing through the bread and cakes aisle, idly picking up a small white loaf as she went along.

“Ping pong” went the tannoy as she placed the loaf in her trolley.

“Good morning shoppers. Today we have some very special offers. Blood oranges are on offer at six for a pound. We also have a very special selection of regional cheeses at our Delicatessen.”

The voice penetrated Cheryl’s boredom.

“Ooh, something different,” she thought. With a series of quick left and right turns, she made her way to the Delicatessen counter. Positioning herself in the middle, at the front of it, she found herself looking at a vast array of cheeses – all different shapes and colours. Some were smoked, and some were covered in herbs. But there, in the middle, she saw it.
“What on earth….”
“Blue Lincolnshire” the label said.
“What’s THAT?” she exclaimed.
The assistant replied, “Don’t know. It’s only just come in”. “Never heard of THAT before,” said Cheryl.

Cheryl peered at the cheese. It looked as white as milk, with a whole series of delicate blue lines lacing their way across its surface, forming an intricate but beautiful pattern. As she continued to look at it, it almost seemed to be winking at her. The lines started to dance around in a lithesome manner. She had never seen anything so alluring before. Coquettishly the blue lines seemed to wiggle and jive in front of her. They entranced her, even seeming to beckon her. Everything about this spectacle said, “Eat me.” Instantly she was hooked. She HAD to have some.
“I’ll take a pound,” she said to the assistant. With great precision the assistant wrapped the cheese up and handed it to Cheryl.

With the blue cheese safely in her trolley she wandered round the store almost in a daze. She could not stop thinking about the cheese. Entranced, she had been mesmerised by it. So strongly did it pull her, that she almost could not stop herself stopping to open it and take a bite. She could almost hear it calling her name: “Cheryl, Cheryl”. Bravely she fought off the urge, until she had got through the checkout. The urge to eat the cheese was so strong that there was only one thing for it: get into the instore Chostas, and purchase a coffee. Once safely located at a corner table, Cheryl surreptitiously but eagerly lifted the cheese out of the carrier bag. She undressed it, taking off its wrappers. She looked at it lovingly. Her nimble fingers slowly broke off a piece, enjoying every precious moment. Placing a morsel into her mouth, Cheryl felt it explode across her taste buds. Her brain cells quivered at the sudden rush of flavour, and everything seemed to fire in her head. Every nerve ending felt the heat. The warmth spread across her whole body. She felt as if she was on fire. Everything seemed to be ringing in her ears. Suddenly she became aware of confusion all around her, and she realisedo, when confronted by angry member of staff saying,
“Why did you set off the fire alarm?” that the ringing in her ears had nothing to do with the explosion that had occurred within her. It was rather with her having fallen in a frenzy onto the fire alarm call button. She spluttered in confusion, “I……I….”, but she was cut short by the sound of approaching sirens.

Five minutes later, a policeman and a fire officer stood in front of her. “Why did you do it? they asked her curtly. “What did you think you were playing at? There are four fire engines outside. Not to mention three ambulances, and a PCSO on a push bike. That’s the normal turnout for here. It’s a major store don’t you know.”

“I was just eating a bit of cheese,” she stammered. The policeman eyed her suspiciously.
“What day is it luv?” he asked. Desperately she tried to think.
“Don’t know,” she muttered. “They’re all the same to me.”
More than a little concerned, the policeman tried another question: “Do you know who the Prime Minister is?”
“Dunno,” she replied. “They’re all the same to me.”
“Hmmm”, said the policeman. “Do you live alone?”
“Well apart from the budgie and four cats, yes,” she replied.
“ Is that all?” the policeman asked.
“Jack’s still with me. His ashes are on the sideboard. And apart from a few beetles and maybe one or two mice, yes, that’s it.”
“I still don’t understand why you did it,” the policeman said, noting that her face was very red and flushed. She seemed almost to be. In a trance .
“Well, I don’t really know myself. All I know is I was eating this bit of cheese, and fi reworks went off in my head.”
The policeman looked a bit sceptical.
“What sort of cheese was that?” he intoned.
Slowly he walked away scratching his head.
Cheryl looked inquiringly at the rest of the cheese, and she was sure she saw it winking at her. Whatever it was, she knew that she must return to the cheese counter and buy some more. After all, she had to have something to liven up her days after this.

STARS IN THE DESERT

It occurred to me today that even in the desert you can still see the stars. Such a hard, unyielding place does not blot out the stars, or their light.

The desert can be an actual, physical place, or it can be in inner, spiritual place. Most of us cannot avoid being, at some time in our lives, in the desert. Times of grief. Times of bereavement. Times of rejection. Times of abandonment. Times of sickness. Sometimes we choose to be in the desert, that place of solitude where we can just sit with ourselves and wrestle with ourselves or whatever presents itself to us. And sometimes it just comes upon us uninvited. In the desert we may cry out. In the desert we may wilt. We may face the dark night of our soul. But ALWAYS, there are the stars. ALWAYS, they twinkle away in the sky, as if to smile at us, saying, “All shall be well.” The desert is a place we have to be in at some point, nd it is there, in the dark night of the soul, that we grow. Parched though we feel, we grow. And there, in the desert, something beautiful and wonderful happens. And at the end of it. The stars still twinkle away at us, as if to say, “I told you so.”

#FOWC – Chemical

FOWC with Fandango — Chemical

A Big Bang filled the air and the house shook and plaster fell off the ceiling. John and Carol were sitting in the living room with their friends Barbara and Eddie. It had been just an ordinary summers day – the first day of June.

“It’s Nypro,” John exclaimed, with fear in his eyes. He was due to go on night shift that night, but he had mates at work in the laboratory at the time. Not waiting for anyone to say anything he rushed out of the door, putting his crash hat on as he ran, before throwing himself onto his motor bike.

Everyone sat in silence. John was soon back, white faced and crying.

“It’s GONE” he cried. “Nypro has gone. My mates are in there.”

John had changed had been due to work a double shift, which meant that he would have been there that afternoon.

“I’ve got to go and see if I can help,” he sobbed.

Barbara and Eddie and I did not know what to do. We opted for praying. It felt useless but there seemed to be nothing else that we COULD do. No one wanted any tea. We just had to sit and wait for John’s return.

That night John and Carol hardly slept. John could not stop thinking about the mates whom he had lost in the explosion at this prominent CHEMICAL works.

Life was never the same again after that. Some of John’s mates were found dead still sitting at the controls in the control room. Every single man in the control room died that afternoon. Amazingly, some, from the laboratory, where John worked as a chemist, survived – by breaking the rules and running the wrong way in order to escape the burning building. They had been trained to go in the opposite direction in an energency, but the shift leader yelled at them to go in the opposite direction. Some dud hobthe way they had been trained to go, and lost their lives.

John was not the same person that he had been before the explodion. He was required to go to work as normal to help in the clearing up operation, and one day he returned home shaking and as white as a sheet.

“I smelt this smell” he said. “I was on a mound of earth and the smell nearly knocked me out. I was standing on the body of one of my mates.”

Every summer, on June 1st. John remembers what was the biggest peace time explosion, and grieves for his mates.

(This is a true story of what happened to my husband and myself on June 1st, 1974)

DUSK

The sun was dying in the sky,
Reflecting on the water,
The trees turned golden in the light,
On the banks of the river’s mouth,
Everything this night was calm,
As the water ran out to the sea.

So often I’d looked at the waves of the sea,
Thrashing in the darkening sky,
My spirit then was not calm,
I was drawn towards the water,
I sensed the salt taste in my mouth,
At the dying of the light.

But now as night comes I can see light,
Calm now is the sea,
A sweeter taste is in my mouth,
A brilliance in the sky,
I am at peace looking at the water,
Within me a mystical calm.

The way I have walked has not been calm,
Deep pain obscured the light,
For so long I floundered on the rough water,
Tossed around on the sea,
Loud thundering in the sky,
A bitter taste in my mouth.

But then I tasted sweet Bread in my mouth,
All was still and calm,
Heavenly Hosts filled the sky,
All I could see was light,
I was no longer tossed on the sea,
I floated on the water.

Once from Your wounded side flowed water,
Lovesongs fell from Your mouth,
So often You’d walked beside the sea,
Made rough waters calm,
Suddenly all around was light,
Dark turned to radiance in the sky.

As the sky brightened songs were in my mouth,
The waters of the earth were calm,
The Universe was filled with light, glassy was the sea.

BITTERSWEET

Goodbye
Past world of light
Hello new world of dark
Where do I find the light in you?
Deep in
My heart
The light still shines, twinkling, winking
For still there is laughter
Still I can dance
Inside
Singing
I remember
All the joys I have known
Memories that gyrate and sway
Bitter
Yet sweet
I live in a world of contrasts
Today I laugh and cry
And dream my dreams
Aching

ISOLATION

How do I know You love me when so far
Are you remote from us beyond the stars?
How can I ever know You as You are
While here on earth held by my prison bars?
Here in my loneliness I cry to You
Knowing from traces that You are the Light
I need Your Light to touch me, see me through
Get me through the darkness of this long night
If only You would come to earth to dwell
That we could see Your face and know Your smile
Oh that we could know that all is well
If only for a very little while
And then I heard You gently telling me
“I came one day to earth to set you free.”

GREY TO GOLD

See now, the grey turn to silver
Threads in dark winter’s night,
The promise of golden days ahead
When summer’s sun my soul will warm

Threads in dark winter’s night
Paint a picture in the trees
When summer’s sun my soul will warm
The picture will come to life

Paint a picture in the trees
Though winter’s cold my soul does chill
The picture will come to life
As the earth moves round to face the sun

Though winter’s cold my soul does chill
Soon the thickening ice will melt
As the earth moves round to face the sun
The picture becomes complete

Soon the thickening ice will melt
And I will dance in summer’s sun
The picture becoming complete
As grey turns to silver then to gold

#FOWC – Parody

FOWC with Fandango — Parody
Sarah sat caressing the words written on the inside cover of a small English dictionary.

“Charles Hillyard Script Writer.”

The letters were written boldly and in an exaggerated kind of a way, as if done with a flourish. Around them was a design, as if to draw attention to the importance of the statement that they made.

It was ten years since he had died, and her life had never been the same since. Her mother had never truly cared for her, but her father had always defended her. It was not an exaggeration to say that her life had never been ‘normal’. Never in the same place for very long, she seemed to live her life in removal vans. She was always “the new girl” at school, and her mother blamed her father’s escapades for that. He had always been interested in the stage, but her mother had tried to downplay it. But that was how her mother was – downplaying everyone’s talents and achievements. Sarah had taught herself to play the recorder at the age of four, encouraged at first by her father. By the time she was five she was proficient at it, and was invited to play a solo in school assembly p, but her mother made nothing of it. Just as she made nothing of it when Sarah succeeded in gaining a First Class Oxford Honours degree, refusing even to go to the degree ceremony. It was her father who accompanied her. Sarah always remembered that, and as she fingered and caressed the words inside the dictionary, her gaze went to the photograph on the sideboard of her and her father standing together at the degree ceremony. It was her favourite photograph.

For a time, they had lived in Blackpool, where many famous people came to perform. Her father was often to be seen at the stage door, waiting to get an autograph for her. Her mother was non too pleased, but Sarah was impressed.

Their lives had been quite tumultuous, her father always having itchy feet. Ever since he had been in the army, where he had been in Ralph Reeder’s Gang Shows, he had been besotted with the idea of going permanently on the stage. Indeed, when Sarah was only a baby he had run off to join the army again, simply to pursue his passion as an actor come comedian. It had almost led to a divorce, but eventually they were back to being a family again.

And so it was that at the age of ten, Sarah found herself singing and acting in shows that her father wrote the Scripts for and produced. He became a very popular man in the town where they lived.

One day, her father showed her a Script of something he was going to Produce. It was hilarious, but in a very odd kind of a way. It was nothing like the shows he had ever done before.

“What’s this Dad?” she said.

“It’s called a PARODY,” he replied proudly.

“Oh,” she said.

She had no idea what a Parody was but it looked very interesting.

In time, her father stopped writing and Producing shows. But it seemed to be in his blood. Even on his death bed he was ever the actor. And as he was dying, Sarah got hold of his hand, and began to dance at the side of his bed, saying,

“Do you remember this Dad?”

He flickered his eyelids and gave a feint smile, and suddenly a tear formed, and rolled down his cheek. In a moment he had died.

“Goodbye Dad,” Sarah said. “I love you.”

#FOWC – Advanced

FOWC with Fandango — Advanced

Katie felt in her handbag for the treacle tin as she turned into the long narrow lane just beyond the hill that rose out of the village. The night was dark and silent, with just the stars twinkling in the sky. A tad different to where she had just been in the village.

Straight opposite to the farm where Katie was headed was an airfield where American airmen were based. It was a Friday night, and everyone had been hell bent on having a good time. The noise in the pub was almost deafening, as the beer flowed, and men’s voices filled the air, singing bawdy songs. Loud laughter was ringing out from some of the tables, as some of the airmen eyed up the girls, who were all giggling and flashing flirty smiles at them.

Friday nights were always good at the village pub, and Katie always looked forward to them, after a week of hard graft at the factory where she worked, in the nearest town.

On this night, she had no one to escort her home, and it was almost midnight. Ever since being a child, Katie had carried a tin of treacle in her handbag, after her grandmother had held her hand walking back to the isolated farm, after picking up some groceries in the village. and upon suddenly hearing a strange noise, had said to Katie,

“Don’t worry. If anyone attacks us from out of the bushes, I’ll hit them with this treacle tin.”

Katie was quite taken up with the idea. It could be quite eerie at nights, walking up that hill and down the long lane to the farm. The treacle tin made her feel a bit safer.

On this night, as she walked down the lane, Katie suddenly heard what she thought were footsteps rustling in the grass in the field on the other side of the high hedge. Feeling a bit rattled, she slowed down to see what happened. The footsteps slowed down. Alarmed by now, she quickened her footsteps, only to hear the footsteps on the other side of the hedge quicken too. In a panic she got the treacle tin out of her handbag and held it at the ready. She could not get to the end of the lane quick enough, but as she speeded up, the footsteps ADVANCED, and Katie felt her heart would burst.

Soon, she reached the end of the lane, wondering what on earth was going to happen to her. She lifted the treacle tin up in the air, ready to smash it down on whoever was following her at the other side of the hedge, when she found herself confronted by a cow. It was one of her father’s prize cows. Katie started, thinking,

“Oh my God, I nearly smashed in the head of one of Dad’s best cows.”

And as she made her way to the farmhouse door, she could have sworn she heard the cow singing,

“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.”

AS I WAIT

As I wait the light dies
I say goodbye to precious things
There is no time for “Whys”

Now it’s winter, my dream lies
On the cold hard pavement, sings
As I wait the light dies

I cannot see now with my eyes
But my dream has spread its wings
There is no time for “Whys”

The dream on the pavement flies,
Rises up to heaven, shines,
As I wait the light dies

Someone Somewhere heard my cries
Knew there could be better things
There is no time for “Whys”

This dream is of enormous size
Fit for queens and kings
As I wait the light dies
There is no time for “Whys”

TESTED

I HAVE POSTED THIS ONE BEFORE BUT WANT TO POST IT AGAIN

Never ending
The path that we tread
Beset with perils,
Darkest nights
We lose our bearings,
Stretch out our hands,
Feel our way,
Terror strikes us,
In fear we fall,
But there on the ground we find
Bright gems,
Shining,
Again we rise,
Like gold,
Tested,
Tried,
Proved,
In the fires of life

FOUNTAIN

Today the fountain sprang
From deep within the earth
Singing its unique song to me
Uniting with the mountain streams of my past
Each with its own harmonies
Not confined to time or space
Singing a song forever new
Forever old
Bringing to birth a fresh song
Springing like the fountain
From the depths of my being
A song of joy that never
Did I sing before

WILD WORDS

Sometimes words wobble, and fly in the air,
Then fall down on the ground in a big heap,
People passing by stop and start to stare,
And as they watch the words begin to leap,
No one seems able to catch the wild words,
They have a mind of their own, and want fun,
They start to soar in the sky just like birds,
Watching all the people starting to run,
Telling everyone that words have gone wild,
Wondering what on earth will happen now,
What excitement for every gasping child,
As the adults start to furrow their brow,
But as words fall they create a new space,
Where meaning is made for us to embrace.

#FOWP – DISRUPT

FOWC with Fandango — Disrupt

“I only came in for a bloody cup of tea” he spat out, his eyes blazing.

She’d heard about this white anger, from his wife, but she’d never seen it before. He was banging a cup down onto a saucer to the extent that it was a wonder they did not break. The famous “Indian Tree” cup and saucer. All the pots matched in that house. Bought by his wife from the local market. She always found it odd that someone of such means and such stature should purchase her pottery from a market. Some of them were a little misshapen and the cups did not quite fit the saucers properly and so the cup wobbled around whilst tea was being poured into it. But then there were many odd things about this place. Like the way he strode down the hallway from the Study to the kitchen, announcing loudly to his wife,

“We’ve decided that having affairs is O.K.”

“Oh, have you darling,” his wife replied from the kitchen.

They had decided no such thing. They had had a conversation in his Study in which he had put forward forcefully his opinion that having an affair could save a marriage because it kept it fresh. She had kept quiet on the subject. He took this as acquiescence.

His anger rose as he boiled the kettle and made the tea. His wife, Diana, sat there at the kitchen table silently and calmly peeling an apple, cutting it into pieces and putting them one by one into her mouth. Her eyes were expressionless. She knew her place. She looked almost like a little girl.

Suddenly, he marched across to Sally, eyes still blazing, pointed his finger repeatedly at her, bawling, “I AM UNDER PRESSURE. I AM UNDER PRESSURE,” emphasising each word as he said it. Followed by,

“So NOW YOU KNOW.”

Sally was startled. He had always been kind and gentle to her before, as she had talked to him about her father’s death, and the grief that she felt. In fact he had encouraged her to join them and become almost part of the family, telling her that this would help to assuage her grief. New to the area, and with a husband who was never there, Sally was easily drawn in.

As he pointed his finger aggressively at her, she felt a stab of fear. She thought he was going to hit her. She reached out to him with her hand, and put it into his saying, “Stephen, Stephen,” in an effort to calm him. He withdrew his hand roughly, and walked quickly to the patio windows in the dining room, and stood looking out at the garden. His eyes were still wild. Sally had followed him into the dining room, and suddenly she heard the chilling words, “I dug a grave once, out there amongst the trees.”

He swung round, looked her straight in the eye and spat out,

“How dare you come here and DISRUPT our lives.”

He started to pull at the strip of white piety around his neck, saying, “I’ve got to go and write my Sermon for tomorrow. It’s Good Friday.”

WILD PLACE

THERE’S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT WILD PLACES

Wild place
You minister
To me, washing away
the soil Of vain accusations
Lashing
My face
Like the surgeon’s knife cutting out
The diseased parts that sting
From the harsh words
Spoken

The wind
Blues gently now
Soothing the raw places
Opening up the way for tears
Salty
Healing
I bathe in theur pool, my wounds cleansed
Vulnerable I sit
My soul open
To grief

WHY DO WE WRITE?

I have been thinking a lot! Ooops – red warning signs lol. I have been wondering why we write and if any of you would be prepared to share your reasons here.

WordPress has been an eye opener for me (errm, sorry folks cos as you know, I am blind – pun not intended lol). There is just so much variety in here. And I never expected it to end up as a Community, and to form friendships. That is real nice. When I signed up I did not even realise (silly me) that people could Like or leave comments! But it was a pleasant surprise.

Originally I simply wanted a place to display my poetry. I had self published books, but it was getting a bit too difficult to deal with doing that, so I got the idea of doing it as a Blog. It has been SO worthwhile.

My idea was not to write as therapy for myself, though maybe sometimes it does work out like that. My idea was simply to write poetry. I love to write in Form, and enjoy the challenge of writing different forms of poetry. I like to write dark poetry, poetry about light, happy poetry, funny poetry, and poetry about my own experiences. And of course, limericks. Since coming to WordPress though, I have written a few stories, some funny and some serious.

I could not get through my life now, without writing, as there is very little left that I can still do, due to my health condition. It has been a lifesaver for me.

I wonder why you write? I would love to know, if you would be prepared to share.

Much love to you all.
lorraine x

#FOWP -Trace

FOWC with Fandango — Trace

It was just an ordinary day. Or so it seemed. Kathy was driving around the countryside, re-acquainting herself with her home county, having just moved back there, when she saw a signpost in her left pointing down a narrow country road. In fact it looked more like a rough track than a road. But Kathy had started as she read the sign, and she knew that she had to go and see this place. Nothing could have stopped her following her desire.

As she drove along, with fiekds at either side of her, she began to wonder if she had got it right. She seemed to be going for ever, with no sign of any habitation at all. She almost wanted to turn back and see the signpost again, to make sure she had read it right. Maybe it was not pointing down this road at all, yet she could not think where else it had been pointing, since this was the only road going off the minor road that she had been on. Still, it was odd. However, being unable to turn round in the narrow road, she kept going. She had the distinct feeling that she was going to end up in a field.

Suddenly, in front of her, there appeared a row of tiny cottages. “Ah, habitation,” she thought to herself. But she could not work out where the road went. It seemed to swing sharply to the right, but she could see only what appeared to be a farmyard ahead of her. Tall trees lined each side of the road – if indeed it could be called a road. But then it happened – an ancient stone building could just be glimpsed through the trees. Once at the end of the trees, Kathy could see clearly the building on her right hand side, standing, indeed, in the middle of a farmyard!

A thrill crept deliciously through Kathy’s body. She just knew that this place was going to have the wow factor! As she parked her car, and then almost skipped along the path up to the building, her excitement grew. What on earth was going to greet her as she entered the building? Soon, she was at a red wooden door, and she opened it slowly, breathing heavily and wondering what was going to be beyond it. The door was heavy, but as it opened she was startled by the darkness of the interior. Everything in this place seemed dark, from the dark oak of the wooden pews to the domineering oaken rood loft and rood screen at the entrance to the chancel. Kathy felt rather oppressed by all this darkness and the sheer power of the rood loft that dominated the tiny Church. It seemed to dominate everything. The one thing this place certainly was, was old! But the darkness stunned Kathy. She had not expected this.

After gazing around for a few moments, in awe, Kathy discerned, in the darkness, a stand upon which were to be found various pictures, and leaflets about this incredible place. She went to pick some up, and upon reading one of them, her gaze was directed to the very top left of the rood loft. There, shining out from the very dark wood was a halo. It could be seen clearly, and provided a welcome contrast to the surrounding, overwhelming darkness. As Kathy looked at it, it seemed mystical. It went right into her soul. The leaflet informed her that this was the halo of the Virgin Mary, the remains of the painting that had originally been on the tympanum at the back of the rood loft way back in pre-Reformation times. Miraculously, it had escaped the ravages of the Reformation, and there it was, shining out into the darkness like some kind of beacon.

Kathy fell to her knees. She could do no other before this awesome sight. Nothing had been able to erase this halo. It spoke to her of eternity, and things eternal. She was at a particularly dark time of her life, and she needed to find some light, and some understanding. How had her life come to be as it was? Her faith in many things had been tested to the uttermost, and yet here she was, drawn to this small, yet powerful shining light within the Church. Could it possibly be true that all that she had been taught was real?

As Kathy knelt there she addressed Whoever or Whatever was there, with a plea to be shown the Truth. About her life, and about everything. What she was looking at was so powerful, and yet it was just a TRACE of past times. Times when things were so different. Kathy wanted to KNOW about those past times. Indeed, as she knelt there, it seemed as if there were souls living in these ancient walls. She sensed that if she listened carefully, she would be able to hear their voices, and know what they were saying to her. She longed to hear their stories, for, in hearing theirs, she might gain some understanding of her own.

What had started out as an ordinary day for Kathy turned out to be extraordinary, and she knew, without a doubt, that she would return to that place again and again.

To be continued.

NOT WAVING BUT DROWNING by Stevie Smith Copyright 1972

JUST WANTED TO SHARE THIS POEM WITH YOU BY THIS AMAZING POET

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

SHINE SHINE DARK EYES

Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see,
Bright gems of light blazing in anguished soul,
Not even blindness can put out the light in me.

How many times from prison bars did you break free?
Living though dying, this always was your goal,
Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see.

Whatever life could throw, you fought to be
Victorious over even death bell’s deafening toll
Not even blindness can put out the light in me.

These eyes so dark now, just like ebony,
That sickness from them once the blinding light stole
Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see.

Come with Your light eternal, Lord, that we
Might walk together, towards that glorious goal
Not even blindness can put out the light in me.

Together as we walk we’ll make the darkness flee
Nothing can ever quench the light, we can be whole,
Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see

HOW FAR CAN I RUN?

How far can I run?
The hole deepens
Full of so much garbage
The weight of the world
That I inhabit
One day I will melt
Into the earth
In dust
Light as light
In darkness
Featherlight
Is all an illusion?
“I think
Therefore I am”
But am I?
Tell me my friend
Who are you?

#FOWP – DANGER

FOWC with Fandango — Danger

“She’s a good ally,” he said.

“Even if I committed a crime she would cover for me.”

I should have realized then, that something wasn’t right. But I didn’t. In fact, there were lots of pointers to something not being right in that place. Like the night he got me half drunk, then sent me out to my car to drive myself home, saying, with the wave of an arm,

“The police went THAT-a- way.”

And like the time he told me a lie about the year he had come to live in that particular place. A murder had taken place in the September of twenty years ago, and the murderer had never been found, but the case had just been re-opened. It was what everyone was talking about in this small market town. I asked him if he remembered what it was like in the town when the murder occurred, and he said he didn’t know because he was not there then. It was a stupid lie because it was on open record that he had moved to the town just before the murder.

It was re-affirmed also that the police at the time had been looking for a particular vehicle that had been seen near to the scene of the crime – the town’s cemetery. It was a Morris Traveller. Quite nonchalantly one day, he told me that at the time of moving to that place he had bought his first car – a Morris Traveller. Little did he realise what he was telling me.

There was so much that was strange in that house. Everything was incongruous. One day he told me about his anger as a young man. A violent, raging anger. He had lived and worked with somebody who was his Superior and so riled was he by this man that he took a scythe and took his anger out on the long grass and the bushes surrounding the large house. He told me that he did not get angry very often but that when he did it was white anger.

I had shown him a photograph of me on my wedding day, standing there on my own in my wedding dress holding not flowers but a simple white Bible in gloved hands. My hair was long and dark and my skin olive, just like hers. And the wedding dress and the head dress were exactly the same. I had shown him this long before the photo of her in her wedding dress appeared in the local newspaper.

I remember him saying to me one day, “In the midst of life we are in death.” He had a strange, faraway look in his eyes.

Death. That was what had brought me to him. My father had just died. Four weeks after his death we had moved to that place, we, being myself and my husband. He worked all the hours God sent, and I was left alone in this strange place. I needed to talk about death. And what better person than him? We clicked immediately. He called me refreshing, and I found him intriguing. He and his wife seemed to live the high life, and so, when I was invited to join them for Sunday lunch, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to know how the higher echelons of society lived. What were they REALLY like.

And so it was that I joined them for lunch that very next Sunday. Along with a man who had been a journalist in London but had now retired and returned home to that place, and a solicitor. The topic of conversation of course, was the murder. The local newspaper had been carrying the story since the case had been re-opened. At the time, a man had been arrested and convicted and put in prison, but after almost twenty years, it had been decided that he should never have gone to prison because there had been insufficient evidence. He had now been released, and had returned to the town to live.

“It was said that he had been found with the girl but he did not murder her. He was just sexually curious.” This, from our host.

“Well I’m sexually curious,” remarked the ex journalist. As if to say that HE did not go round murdering women.

The atmosphere around the dinner table that day was very odd. Our host, because of his position in the town, had been given the latest police reports, and he knew the exact timings of everything.

“He could have done it,” he announced. There was time. At this there was consternation around the dinner table.

The conversation then moved swiftly on. As did my relationship with the couple. I became a regular visitor, and ultimately it became my second home, my husband being away working so much. I had got my wish. I was getting to know intimately the workings of the upper echelons of society. And it was not at all how I had imagined it.

I had my own bedroom in the house, and it was almost as if I was part of the family now.

One day, he suddenly got up from the dinner table, saying, “I’m going out. “I’ll be gone for a while.” I sat in the huge kitchen with his wife, watching her doing the ironing. “Oh, I’ll not look too closely at that,” she would say as she found some mark or other on his shirt that had escaped the wash, flashing her very expensive looking engagement ring at me that she wore all the time.

Eventually he came back.

“I’ve been down the motorway and had fish and chips,” he announced. This was met with,

“Oh have you darling.”

This was how life, for me, continued for some time. For some reason, I was drawn to this place like a magnet. Until one day.

It had been arranged that they were to go to visit their son, wife and little granddaughter about a couple of hours drive away. I was invited to go with them, but I declined, saying I would remain in the house and read. This was not well received. They wanted to take me with them. However, I continued to refuse. In the end, they left without me, telling me NOT to leave the house.

“Whyever not?’ I thought.

Time passed and they returned, and for no logical reason, I suddenly got a red light flashing in my head, and the word “DANGER” banging loudly in my brain. It made no sense, but I knew immediately that I had to get out of this place. I told them I was going home. Realising that something was wrong, I darted to the kitchen door which by now was blocked by the wife. He had been caught off his guard however, by my charging at the back door, and he had gone to the patio doors leading out into the garden. I took my chance, and headed for the front door, which, unusually was unlocked. I dashed to my car, opened the door with trembling hands, sat in the driver’s seat, and started up the engine, then drove at top speed down the long, twisty driveway. Never in my life had I been so glad to get away from somewhere.

The next morning it was on the News. A woman’s body had been found near to the motorway. The killer was being searched for.

It was nine o’clock in the morning. He would just be giving out Communion in the Church at the 8.30. a.m. Eucharist.

#FOWC – Fandango’s Word Challenge

FOWC with Fandango — Repress

THE WORD IS “REPRESS”. (Don’t know how to do the pingback)

“You’ve got to cut the umbilical cord,’ he said to her.

No, she was not in a dire position , having just given birth in a car in the middle of a snowstorm. Nor was she on her own at home with a bawling newborn baby on the floor. In fact, she was sitting comfortably in a chair in a psychiatrist’s room.

She did not know why, but she felt horribly uncomfortable inside, despite the lovely warm comfort of the room that she found herself in. She was 19 years old, and training to teach at a nearby College. Of late, she had been struggling with feelings of guilt when in lectures about child development. It was as if she should not be there, and so she had learned to dissociate from what was being said, and what was going on around her. She knew, deep within her, that she could never be around children, never mind teach them. Most of the time she did not know what she was doing at a Teacher Training College anyway. She had had a good job offer upon finishing her final exams at school. In fact, she had had two. One was in a library, and one was being articled to a solicitor, with a view to becoming a solucitor herself. Why the hell she had taken this option, she had no idea.

As she sat there in the psychiatrist’s chair, she began to squirm. It was almost as if it had all been her fault. She almost felt dirty at hearing his words. It was as if she was the baby herself, when it was her mother who had brought her up to believe that babies were dirty. In fact, many had been the times when, with a little child’s delight, she had gone up to babies’ prams in the street, to look at the bsby, only to be pulled roughly away by her mother with the words,

“Come away from there. Babies are dirty.”

Why did everyone try to make her feel guilty? It was as if she could never do anything right. Everyone wanted something different from her – her headmaster, her grandmother, her mother, her tutors at College. She felt helpless, small, and guilty. She knew that if she did not obey the psychiatrist, she would be guilty yet again.

So it was that she found herself on a train just before Christmas going down to Sussex to join her friend from College and her family for Christmas. She was doing the unspeakable – not being home for Christmas. The umbilucal cord had been broken. And boy, how guilty she felt. She almost could not bear what she had done.

Years later, she found herself pregnant. How could she continue with the pregnancy? Her guilt almost drove her mad. No way could this come to its final fruition. She had had to repress every natural instinct within her. Now, there was no baby. And never would be.

The 70 year old woman looked back on her life. She was alone. No children. No grandchildren. And guilt her closest companion.

SURRENDERING

Surrendering to the darkness I sit,
Letting its arms wrap around me, rock me,
For by no other is my dark life lit,
Only in the dark can I truly see,
Waves of peace wash over my aching soul,
Soothing, calming my ever raging storm,
For I have tried so long to reach a goal
Not of my own making, how I was torn,
I knew that in the dark there was more light,
For in the dark I see with different eyes,
The eyes that walk by faith and not by sight,
And in the darkness now my spirits rise,
The light deceives false comfort offers me,
Embracing dark I can be truly free.

THE FARMHOUSE

There were lilac trees at the back of the farmhouse,
In many different hues of purple,
The scent was heady, in the summer’s air,
I will never forget those days,
A child could not have been happier,
The farmhouse now is gone.

Why should such wonderful things be gone?
Nothing was like the farmhouse,
No other place could I have been happier,
I remember the beautiful purple,
And all those heady days,
In the lilac scented air.

I breathed deeply in the intoxicating air,
But now those days are gone,
To be filled with sadder days,
No longer can I visit the farmhouse,
Or feast my eyes on hues of purple,
Can I ever be happier?

Maybe one day I’ll be happier,
And breathe a fresher air,
Air filled with reminders of purple
Flowers that are not gone
Just like those at the back of the farmhouse,
I will await those days.

Maybe soon there’ll be days
That make me feel much happier,
Though now there is no farmhouse,
There still can be scented air,
These are the things that can never be gone,
Days filled with memories of purple.

Now the sky looks purple,
Heralding the return of the days
That cannot ever truly be gone,
I could not now be happier,
My lungs fill with the scented air,
Reminiscent of the farmhouse

The farmhouse smiled in the summer days, when I stayed,
I played beneath the purple lilac never happier,
Swathes of blossom swayed in the air, such memories will never be gone.

THERE’S ALWAYS THE BLOSSOM

I WROTE THIS SOME TIME AGO BUT WANTED TO POST IT THIS MORNING

Last year my heart was broken
And then I saw the blossom
A canopy of purest pink,
Bathing in its beauty, peace
Swept into my soul,
And crept right through my body

Diseased and limpid was my body,
It seemed my life was broken,
I did not know how to save my soul,
But there it was, the beautiful blossom,
Once again I knew deep peace
As I feasted on its deepest pink

Since cancer had hit me I!d always worn pink
Feeling a ransom to my body
Boldly trying to find my peace
Through disease my life was broken
How could my life ever now blossom
Or healing come to my soul?

I craved the healing of my soul
My skin pallid, never pink
Blindly, I squinted at the blossom
Fighting with my body
How many lives had cancer broken?
I thirsted this day for peace

My thirst was quenched I found my peace
The deepest desire of my soul
Gathered were the pieces broken
By the gentle arms of the pink
A healing balm coursed through my body
Coming from the blossom

And the words in my heart said, “There’s always the blossom,”
Remember me and you’ll always have peace
While you have to live in your body
Colouring your very soul,
This day I was healed by the purest pink
Never again will my heart be broken

Though my world now feels so broken, I am filled with peace,
Knowing that there’s always the blossom, waiting to heal my soul,
Colouring my life with deepest pink, soothing the pain in my body

TAKE ME TO THE GREEN PASTURES

Take my hand
Lay me down in the green grass
Where Love flows eternal
Kissed by falling rain
Warmed by the rays of the sun
Beyond the Gate into the unknown
Where souls are at rest
And bones hurt no more
Where the lame walk
And blind eyes see
And where sorrow has shed its skin
Leaving just an open heart
Oh let me lie there
Feel the ancient touch
That heals all woes
Give life to bodies wracked with pain
Where the sweet singing of the birds
Echoes the voices of the angels in heaven
Oh let me lie let me lie
With You my Lord, my Love
With all who have gone before
Take my hand
Lead me to those green pastures

MARY

Woman
Are you silent now,
Pondering things in your heart?
It is the way of things,
Carrying so much,
Not just the child,
But all that is to be born from you,
As you stand waiting,
In silence,
There is within a fluttering,
That turns into a Dance,
Yet your silence knows
That one day will be born
A child with a Cross in His hands,
Too heavy in time to carry,
You watch Him stumble and fall,
And only you
Can help Him to carry it now,
Within your womb,
Knowing that even as
He is placed on that Cross,
His Spirit will dance
Through His suffering
Transforming the pain
Of the whole wide world

DANCING FLAMES

I see a fluttering on the wall
Flames dancing in the dark
Sunlight making lacy patterns
Frolicking in the grey light
Landing on the corner of the altar
Pure sacrifice of light
Tongues of fire that give me speech
Though sight has gone
I hear the dancing of the light
As outside the wind moves heaven and earth
In the joy of the dance

CATCH UP

I have been finding lots of lovely comments from people on my poems etc and realised I had not acknowledged them. So sorry to anyone whom I failed to reply to. I have had some bad spells and don’t always see things properly. But I AM catching up now. Hope I don’t miss anyone out. You are all such lovely,vwarm and encouraging people. Thankyou so much for all your kindness xx