I RETURN TODAY

I return today to the fruiting rowan
Where once I was brought as firstfruits
And offered to the world
In body and in name
And yet possessed
Never to be free
But held in chains
And in the very giving
Was the possessing
For you it was who bore me
Just as the rowan bears its berries
You it was who created me
Named me
You it was who brought me to birth
And now
Do you bear me still?
Soon you are to die
Bearing what?
Confusion reigns
Oh how we are tied
For in me you wish to live
In me you wish to die
I am not my own
And you are not your own
For we are tied by blood
And on the feisty rowan tree
The blood red berries scream
Of the Sacrifice of One
Who gave His life for All
And to Him I am tied for ever

HOLES

TRYING TO JOG MYSELF OUT OF MY SADNESS

I want to drop down a hole,
You know…….
A really BIG one
I am searching for that hole
And all over,
There are holes
In roads
In pavements
Massive ones with men in yellow hats looking down them
Scratching heads
Five or six of them
Peering
Bending over
What is IN those holes?
They breed
These holes
Soon our town will be one big hole
Which is no good for me
Because I want to be in a hole all on my own
Does anyone know of any good holes?

SAD

I have just read some things, and had some experiences that have made me very sad. Nay, they have made me cry.

I have lost SO MUCH.

I am a shell. A shadow of my former self. Something just reminded me of it.

I am not just blind. I am not just not able to walk. No I am not just in pain constantly. I have not only lost the use of my legs, but my hands too are badly affected. My right hand is bound up at the moment. My hands are clumsy. I cannot grip things. I cannot hold things. If I attempt t take a glass (or rather, paper cup in my case as I cannot bear the weight of a proper mug) of water off my bedside cabinet I cannot aim my hand properly and miss it or knock it off onto the floor. I cannot wash easily. I cannot do my teeth easily. I cannot play my beloved piano. I cannot see my dog’s face. I cannot cook. I am totally dependent. And it stinks.

Some things have just reminded me of all this, and made me cry. I don’t normally cry. I try to remain upbeat. And I am. But today something has been stirred inside me.

I don’t even write really good poetry – not like other people. I am an amateur. But I try. I do it because I can’t do anything else.

I have lost EVERYTHING of my former self. When I think of what I used to be and do. I cannot see my beloved birds any more.

This is a self indulgent post. Some won’t like it. I can’t even manage to make poetry out of it. I feel lost. Apologies for this self indulgence. It is just how I feel now that things have been stirred within me again.

I MET HIM WHILE DOWN ON THE GROUND

I met Him while down on the ground,
We both spoke the same language,
It was the language of hearts,
Not the language of power
Where hearts have turned to stone,
It was a language of tears.

The world despises tears,
As it pushes us onto the ground,
But we are not like stone,
Pain and hurt forms our language,
Tears form their own power,
The power to heal hearts.

We all have sacred hearts,
When we can cry tears,
Not from a position of power,
But from way down on the ground,
It’s a universal language,
When our hearts are not stone.

It’s easier to be stone,
Nothing touches our hearts,
We speak our own language,
We cannot cry tears,
Unless we fall on the ground,
Losing all our power.

It’s frightening to lose our power,
To be kicked, like a stone,
Pushed further r onto the ground,
By many hardened hearts,
Come, cry with us your tears,
Come and speak our language.

For you it is a new language,
Now you’ve given up your power,
You may be frightened by your tears,
Now you haven’t a heart of stone,
Together, let’s join our hearts,
As we both lie on the ground.

When we’re on the ground we lose our power,
Our language can’t come from hearts of stone,
But from hearts empowered by tears.

THE EVENING CAME

The evening came and the sun had died
I sat by the fields and almost cried
The day had brought with it so much pain
Yet still I knew there was life to gain

Light and dark held hands inside
My heart was still, yet open wide
Something was touching the love that was lain
The evening came

Darkness could never walk by my side
While light held its hand to be my guide
Both were equal within the frame
That life defined for the blind and the lame
Now Love’s strong hand on me would remain
The evening came

WE STOPPED TODAY

We stopped today under the motorway bridge,
Traffic roared above our heads,
Birdsong rose above the roar,
Clear and pure in summer’s air.

Traffic roared above our heads,
Unexpected was the sound,
Clear and pure in summer’s air,
Piercing oyr hearts exquisitely.

Unexpected was the sound,
Birds sing in strange places,
Piercing our hearts exquisitely,
Nature deafening teaffic’s roar.

Birds sing in strange places,
Under concrete, tar and steel,
Nature defeating traffic’s roar,
Nothing can ever silence them.

Under concrete, tar and steel,
Sounds and senses mix and throb,
Nothing can ever silence them,
We stopped today under the motorway bridge.

“THIN SPACE”

Last night we did not go sunset chasing, but yesterday afternoon we DID return to Wildsworth, the small village on the bank of the River Trent, where I first saw that amazing bright red orb in the sky, one evening.

I became very interested in this village because I have an idea that some places quite naturally give themselves to such happenings and experiences. Some people call them “thin space.” I wanted to know more about the village, its history and its people.

For some reason I had always had a kind of “feeling” when I went through this village in a car, even way back in time. I just loved it, and as you go out of the village towards the town of Gainsborough, which in itself is very historic, you pass a very small graveyard that has some old graves in it, but then a newer part. It is only a very small graveyard however. It always did intrigue me, standing in the place that it does. No church or anything nearby.

However, upon doing a bit of digging, I discovered that there HAD been a church there at one time, built in the 1830s. Prior to that, there had been a Chapel of Ease there.

Of course, this fired my imagination, as they say! Then, after a bit more digging, I found a photograph of that church on the internet. My husband was able to describe it to me. It was another very tiny one that seated only 100 people. From the description, it sounded to have been a very beautiful place.

Yesterday afternoon, we paid it a visit again, and stopped right by the graveyard. When my husband looked, he could see the remains of a wall of the church, and also some steps. The steps looked to be the steps that led up into the Sanctuary where the altar was.

Of course, immediately, I wanted to go and stand on those Sanctuary steps, but you have to walk across some rough ground and tall grass to get there. So, with my walking disability it was not possible. One day I will, however.

As I dug, I discovered a LOT about the whole area, and of how in times past, before the flood bank was built, the river would flood, and cover a large area of the surrounding land – including our town of Scunthorpe – in itself a Roman settlement originally. Many Roman implements, pots, etc. have been flund in and around our town, and also Viking pottery, weapons, boats, etc.

It seemed strange to think that at one time this big river would have at times come to the bottom of the road we live on!

The whole area surrounding Wildsworth is very desolate. Just the kind of place that I love, however. Apparently there are ghosts roaming around at night time. Often to be come across on the roads! The most that WE have ever come across is a deer!

It certainly does feel to be a “thin space” area at Wildsworth, and we shall return again and again no doubt, just to be still and meditate.

BY DAY, BY NIGHT

By day I am effervescent, outgoing, and as busy as my body will allow me to be.

By night, I am a petrified paralysed wreck. It is as if during the day I put away, right at the back of my mind, the realities of my situation. I have to, in order to live any kind of life at all. But then, during the night, when I awake from sleep, I am dragged into nausea, paralysing fear, and the claustrophobia of the darkness. I am alone.

I know what my future is, though I try to put it out of my mind. I have no real family. My friends are more acquaintances than friends, since we had just moved here when I got cancer. I had not had time to form friendships. It is now impossible to make friends.

When I wake in the night, it is impossible then to get back to sleep. I wait for the first bird to start singing, and then I am not so alone. As day begins to break, I feel a little better. But always, there is going to be another night, and the darkness, the darkness, the darkness.

GO WITHIN

And when you can not go without
Go within
For there is no safer place to be
The cocoon of your true self
Which will always love you
And set you free
Without is full of illusions
Delusions
Deceptions myriad
But within
You will find truth

THE PRIZE

I just saw death you know
Staring me in the face
Eyes like fire
I stared back
Defiant
Stood my ground
Who was going to run first?

I waited
Watched
Fixing my eyes on its gaze
Knowing that
I was stronger
Life was longer
I would not linger

It looked and knew
That I was strong
It was an unequal fight
And soon its powers dwindled
Shrivelled
In the fierce force of my light
Death had lost its power
I won the prize

SUNSET

I don’t know what is happening between the sun and the sky lately. If you read my experience of the other evening, you will know of this huge ball of red light and the fiery sky that hit me with such force.

Last night we went for another evening drive. We took a different route to the one we normally take. It took us past my grandparents’ farm. The old farmhouse has been pulled down by its new owners, and a ranch style bungalow built in its place. Sad, because the old farmhouse was the Grange of a monastery, and was absolutely solid, and very very beautiful. However, progress…………well, you know! But many of the trees are still there, and when we go past the lane end where my grandmother and I used to stand many a night just looking at the stars and talking about where God was, i remember so much. Beautiful memories. But I feel sad too, because it is all gone now. My grandmother gave me the only security I ever had as a child. I certainly did not have that from my parents! So this place is very special to me.

Last night, as we went past the lane end the sun was on fire again. As was the sky around it, but not as much sky as the other evening. The sun was so bright that I could not look at it – unlike the other evening when I could, for some reason, look at it.

We stopped, for a while, and watched the sun go down. And that last moment when the sun finally disappears comes so fast. I thought, the other day, of how fast my life is going now. I find it frightening. When you are a kid you think that death is so very very far away. But it isn’t now. And it is scary to me. Okd age scares me. The dwindling of my body scares me. The passing of my life scares me. All very human feelings, if we are honest. I do not like decay. But it happens. As I think these thoughts, I am reminded of a line of a hymn that is often sung here:
“Change and decay in all around I see, Oh Thou Who changest not, abide with me.” And that is all I can hope for as my body deteriorates.

But for now………….we have poetry, we have limericks, and naughty fleas, and humour. So we go on. In hope. In acceptance. In defiance. In determination. Despite everything. As long as we have life in our bodies, we go on.

THE DAY THAT HAS GONE

What shall I do now this fine day has gone,
Has everything died that lived in its span?
Or do I carry within me its long
Hours that throbbed strongly with life and began
A story that only it could create?
Though a story that’s real, touching my heart,
How long now must I hold myself and wait,
To see its effect and what it might start?
Though it seems it has died I can’t forget
The song it has sung and the tears it’s cried,
It touched my soul and my soul dances yet,
With all that it held that I hold inside,
This day is eternal, there is no time,
Down the long years it forever will shine.

VALLEY OF DRY BONES

A REPOST

One day the darkness overcame her
The earth covered her
The dampness ate into her,
Stifled, she tried to scream
But there was no breath in her body
Lifeless she lay there
This could not be it
Her soul still lived
This could not be her final breath
Slowly she began to move her fingers
Stiffened by the dank earth
They struggled to move
The resistance of the earth
Held them
She remembered she was dust
But in the dust
The Valley of dry bones
Life lived again
Her fingers curled around a tiny stone
She felt its sharp edges
And knew she was not dead
And that life could live again
And suddenly her scream was born
And in the screaming
She was brought to life again
The darkness pierced
Shattered

STRANGE EXPERIENCE WITH THE SUN

A strange thing happened to me the other night. We were travelling along in the car at dusk. We often go for a drive in the evening to watch the sunset. Sunsets are something that I can still see. It gives me great joy to be able to actually see something.

On this particular evening it looked as if there was going to be no sunset. The clouds were heavy and everything was very dull and grey. The clouds were obscuring the sun.

We enjoyed our drive nevertheless and we went along an isolated road alongside the River Trent. As you drive along it you go through the various little villages. All these villages are quite isolated and they have a character all of their own. We drove to a place called Wildsworth, which is exactly as the name says – very wild. There appeared to be no sunset and we decided to turn back at this point and start driving home. We drove through the tiny village and just at the very end of the village on the left hand side where some trees. As we drove past the trees I was looking through the car window and saw through the trees that the sky was suddenly turning pink. Then it seemed to turn a fiery red. It was all very sudden and very unexpected. Then, just as we got past the trees suddenly I found myself looking at a huge orb, which was red, yet which was emitting bright light. Although the light was so bright, I could still look at it with my naked eye. It was a heart stopping moment, because it felt as though I was looking at it and it was looking at me. It felt as though it was there just for ME, and that it could see right through me and into me. It knew EVERYTHING about me. But it did not judge me. It saw the bad and the good in me, but accepted all without blame.

I almost felt as if the bright orb, which was, of course, the sun, was saying to me, “I’m here.” It was as if it knew I was coming, and was waiting for me.

I have seen many sunsets in my time, many of them so beautiful that words cannot describe them. But this was just something else. I am trying my best to describe it in words but it is impossible. All that I can say is that it had a huge impact on me. I felt as if it were all consuming. The sky around the sun was suddenly on fire. And all this came from nothing. It was so sudden and it was almost shocking. It sucked both me and my husband. He told me to look away because he feared for my eyes, and he himself got blotches in front of hus eyes after glancing at it. I looked for longer than him, and got no blotches or ill effects at all.

The experience was such that I felt taken up into the sun and that the sun was taken up into me. It was one of the strangest experiences of my whole life. It’s only lasted for about five or six seconds. But it will stay with me for ever. I knew with a certainty that even the bad things in my life were not being subject to judgement.

We returned to that spot last night, and it was quite ordinary. The sun was beginning to set, but nothing spectacular.

I remain amazed by this experience, and thankful for it.

IS ANYONE ELSE HAVING THIS TROUBLE?

Hi all.

I have realised that when I reply to someone’s Comment, my reply does not a,ways then a
Oear at the bottom of my posting. I don’t know why. Is a yone else having this trouble? Sometimes I reply on my i
Ad (I can’t use a laptop or a desktop) and sometimes I press the Word “Reply” on my iPhone. Just interested if this is some kind of glitch.

BEHIND AGAIN

Real sorry folks. I am aware that many of you have made lovely comments. I couldn’t reply at the moment I read them, but many of them were so moving. Realky sorry, as I wanted to reply. Trying to catch up but finding it hard because they have gone pastwhere it says “End” on the list of comnents. Am trying to catch up though. Thankyou so much forall of your kind words and interactions with me ❤️❤️❤️

TEND NOT TO THE DARKNESS

Tend not to the darkness within your soul,
Except in as much to know that it is light,
Do not let this darkness take you from your goal

It seems that oh so many afflictions roll,
Descend upon you, pleasures take their flight,
Tend not to the darkness within your soul

Darkest nights that assail you take their toll,
The pain you know so well begins to bite,
Do not let this darkness take you from your goal

Do not see the part, but know the whole,
That even darkness to your God is bright,
Tend not to the darkness within your soul

Within this state the dark your pleasures stole,
Never had you been in such a plight,
Do not let this darkness take you from your goal

Soon will come a time that ends your toil,
The prize you aimed for then will be in sight,
Tend not to the darkness within your soul
Do not let this darkness take you from your goal

A CLEARER SIGHT

I’m blind now and my world is getting dark
No longer can I see sights I cherished
The movement of the birds, their outlines stark
Against the darkening sky, it all has perished,
The blossom in the Spring that thrilled my soul
Driving winter’s night away and bringing light
Onward now but the sadness takes its toll
Knowing never again will I have sight
But there are things I do not need to see
My spirit sees much more than could my eyes
I go inside my head and then I’m free
I know that despite all I gained the prize
A clearer sight of God, the purest joy
My darkness turned to light I now enjoy.

I OPENED THE HEAVY WOODEN DOOR

The following is a poem that I wrote about the tiny ancient church that I wrote about recently. It is a kind of history of what happened there at the time of the Reformation. I hope you enjoy it, though it is not one of my best poems.

I opened the heavy wooden door,
One bright and sunny summer’s day
Not knowing what behind it I’d find,
I found eternity.

One bright and sunny summer’s day
I fell to my knees in the dark wooden pew,
I found eternity
Unexpectedly, quite by chance.

I fell to my knees in the dark wooden pew,
The ancient walls seemed full of souls,
Unexpectedly, quite by chance,
If only walls could speak.

The ancient walls seemed full of souls,
I could almost hear their chattering,
If only walls could speak,
What secrets did they hold?

I could almost hear their chattering,
Every emotion known,
What secrets do they hold?
I sought the Truth within that place.

Every emotion known,
Speaking of joy, of sorrow, of grief,
I sought the Truth in that place,
A connection with the past.

Speaking of joy, of sorrow and grief,
Ancient walls then told their tale,
A connection with the past,
My soul began to feel.

Ancient voices told their tale
The old faith under attack,
My soul began to feel
A depth of wonder and of joy.

The old faith under attack,
Defiant, strong and true,
A depth of wonder and of joy,
In Christ’s True Body and His Blood.

Defiant, strong and true,
These souls faced danger, even death,
For Christ’s True Body and His Blood,
The law of man could never win.

These souls faced danger, even death,
Protecting all that they believed,
The law of man could never win,
The Truth stood firm and strong.

Protecting all that they believed,
They risked their all so fearlessly,
The Truth stood firm and strong,
Death held no dread for them.

They risked their all so fearlessly,
Eternal life was in their sight,
Death held no dread for them,
In Christ’s True Body and His Blood.

Eternal life was in their sight,
They guarded it with their life,
Take Christ’s True Body and His Blood,
Make this your one true sacrifice.

They’d guard it with their life,
For all eternity,
Make this your one true sacrifice,
You too can live for evermore.

For all eternity,
The Truth souls sought they then could see
They too could live for evermore,
I opened the heavy wooden door.

GIFT OF ROSES

With a gift of roses you touched my world,
One where I lived in my isolation,
Cut off by blindness, my anguish unfurled,
In a silence of sore separation,
I ached for a touch that would break my pain,
Something to bring life to my hurting soul,
Of comfort there seemed not even a grain,
But your gift broke through, and made me feel whole,
In your kindness you gave a healing touch,
Joy broke through then and shattered the silence,
You gave today what I needed so much

HOPE CAME IN MAY

It was May. We had just lost Jade, my beautiful rough collie dog. She had been my best friend of all time, and I can hardly bear to write about this but the last two years of her life she hardly saw me because of my cancer.

Let us move quickly on. We did not know whether it was a good idea to have another dog or not, with my illness and my husband being in a wheelchair also. But we have always had dogs and I could not imagine life without one. We looked on the internet to see if any puppies were available as blue Merle rough collie bitches are quite rare. There were none! However, there was just one tricolour rough collie bitch available but she was miles away up in Northumberland! No way would we be able to fetch her from there!

However, we fell in love with her from her picture on the breeder’s website. We decided that if it was meant to happen it would. We rang the breeder and asked some questions and felt immediately that this dog was meant for us. She was just twelve weeks old! But how would we fetch her?

It truly must have been meant that we had her because upon telling the breeder of our difficulty she told us that she had a couple holidaying in one of her holiday cottages who were due to travel back home the next day! And yes, you guessed it, they were travelling through our town! She said she would ask them if they would mind delivering a puppy to someone on their way home.

A nail biting wait ensued! But the answer came – yes they would deliver her to us.

WOW!

So, on a beautiful warm sunny day just three years ago Hope arrived! I will never forget that moment. I was sitting out in the garden and a lovely lady carried her straight to me and put her in my lap. Right next to the lilac tree.

Hope had huge paws so we knew she was going to be a big dog, and she IS! Her idea of s toy is the dust bin (or trash can) outside! We have an empty one and she drags it EVERYWHERE! We have a bar stool type chair in the kitchen – or we used to have! We had to remove it because Hope thinks that is s toy too.

The name Hope was chosen on purpose because of my cancer, from which we thought I would die. We needed new hope in our lives and she certainly has brought it. She is a complete darling and has never forgotten being placed in my lap that day in May three years ago, she sticks to me like glue!

I will write more about Hope as time goes on. She is the best thing to have happened to me since I had cancer.

NEW SONG

A POEM THAT I WROTE COUPLE OF YEARS AGO ABOUT GOING BLIND

The days are growing shorter, darkness falls,
Wrapping its tendrils around my body,
As they tighten their grip a lone bird calls,
Piercing my heart with its stark melody,
Dead leaves crackle their life now is over,
The bird sings again its funeral song,
Like that of a dying, anguished lover,
Knowing the joy that was is now gone,
As the bird reaches its beak to the sky,
Stars start to twinkle and dance in the night,
A nightingale sings, its song rises high,
Out of the darkness has come a great light,
The spell is broken, i know I will live,
I learned in the dark a new song to give

WAYMARKS

THIS POEM WAS WRITTEN SOME TIME AGO. IT DEPICTS WHAT GOING BLIND WAS LIKE AT FIRST

Way marks
one day
The world became grey
A land of unknowing
No waymarks to be seen, except
The map
Inside
Her head full of white cotton wool
Soon, the map disappeared
Nothing was left
Just dark

MY PATH

My path
Was chosen, hard
Though it seems to many,
A path that gave me peace, darkness
Held me,
Embraced
Who and what I was, broken, blind,
Took me to its centre,
Siren voices
Stole me

“Your dark
That glows is turned
To light, bask in the light,
Cast aside the darkness, better
Is the light I offer,”
Seductive is
The word,
I take
My own path once again, find peace,
Within the cloud, unknown
Is my future,
I walk

I WALKED OVER THE BRIDGE

A few months ago I wrote quite a lot of poetry about an old wooden bridge out in the country near to the village where I was born. I had been going to this village and just sitting there in the car, trying to reconnect with my past and the happy times I had there. Those happy times were spent on my grandparents’ farm, and after all the horrible and traumatic things that have happened to me over the past five years particularly, I felt I did not know who I was any more. My life has changed so much, from being an active, effervescent and outgoing person to one who is totally dependent on others for even very basic things. So, I felt I did not know who I was now.

I had some very happy times sitting in the village with my memories, some of which have gone into my poetry. But I am still struggling to know who I am. Those who have gone through this sort of tremendous change in their lives will know exactly what I mean.

Today, we returned to the old wooden bridge again. It was a beautiful warm sunny day, and I felt very relaxed. When we had been there before, it seemed that the land beyondbthe wooden bridge was a different world, inaccessible to me. There is rough ground up to the bridge, and also beyond it.

Today, I sat there in the car, and I suddenly felt that I MUST get over the bridge. So I took my walking frame, and, holding onto it tightly, I walked across the bridge. It was made harder by being blind. But I did it. I got to the other side. I could hardly believe it. I had crossed over the bridge into that distant world that I felt I would never walk in.

It is perhaps strange to you if I tell you that to cross that bridge from one side to the other takes maybe only twenty steps. To me, that was a marathon. But I did it. Then, I had to get back again.

The far distant land is now not so far and not so distant. Maybe I will walk a little further one day, but the ground is very rough, so I am not sure. We will see!

LITTLE THINGS

Little things mean a lot to me,
Bring happiness I never knew before,
Joy that tells me I am free.

I cannot walk and I cannot see,
Life oozes out of every pore,
Little things mean a lot to me.

I live my life now by Love’s decree,
To eternal joy Love has opened the door,
Joy that tells me I am free.

Birdsong wafts from every tree,
Waves kiss every shore,
Little things mean a lot to me.

Everything has its own degree
Of potential for life within its store,
Joy that tells me I am free.

Dancing on the waves of the sea,
How could I hope to find much more?
Little things mean a lot to me,
Joy that tells me I am free.