And now,
As waters rise,
Once again I am thrown
Into a baptism
Of suffering too deep for words
I know
That arms
Will hold me as I try to swim,
Letting me feel the pain,
Letting me cry
Deep tears
This has come
Where I know the measure
Of what has gone before, and is,
I ride
The storm, let pain wash over me,
Knowing that one fine day
All my sorrow
Will fade,
I look
To stars I saw
Once in the darkest night,
Guiding me as I swim for life,
A child
Can see stars and wonder at God
Whilst falling on the ground
I was that child
Who saw
And now,
As once again
I walk through the dark night
I see the stars,
This will not go on for ever,
One day my peace will come,
And now, I am held,


Sitting outside in the dark
Under the willow tree
I hide a million woes
I need to go
But where?
Suddenly my heart has broken
Like a carrier bag
Spilling all its contents
No words could explain
The mess on the lawn
Nor can it
Be scooped up
I sit here
Torn open
A stitch in tine saves nine
They say
There was no stitch
And a cat has nine lives
But I am not a cat
And so I sit

#FOWC. False. “I learned to smile from the dog.”

FOWC with Fandango — False

“I learned to smile from the dog,” he said, as he recounted some of his life story to her.

Jenny could hardly believe what she was hearing, WHO learns to smile from a DOG?

But as he continued, things seemed even more weird. He had, as a child, lost most of his belongings when the bailiffs arrived.

“It was my mother,’ he said. “She lived above her means.”

The picture he painted of his childhood was a very strange one for someone who was very obviously high class, and who had gone to Oxford University all those years ago.

“All that drinking and smoking,” he said, of his father and mother. His father had been a vicar too, but this information left Jenny wondering. There had apparently been no love in the household. And learning to smile from the dog did not bode too well.

“I suppose you would say I was abused,” he said, thoughtfully, one day. He certainly had a great interest in abuse, as he constantly talked about it in one form or another. With great pride, he announced to Jenny that it was he who had helped his wife in the early days of their marriage, when depression had reared its ugly head.

“Your story is hers writ large,” he had said to Jenny, as he described the abuse she had known that had led to her depression.

Jenny was far from depressed, though. In fact, apart from the death, she was quite excited. A new place. A new life. Everything to live for. And meeting this vicar who was far from stereotypical, and indeed seemed outrageous added to her excitement. She had certainly never met a vicar like this before.

“Sex always had to be SO respectable,” he said of hiss wife, tugging as though irritated, at his dog collar.

He once described to her how he had been as a young vicar many years ago. Often, his anger would get the better of him, and would become a deep rage. He would go out into the huge vicarage garden in a frenzy and attack it with a scythe. He would hack and hack until his anger was spent.

Nowadays he didn’t get angry very often, according to his wife. Just the occasional kick of the heater in the church when it wouldn’t work.

“That always seems to get it going,” she had said.

But, when he DID get angry, once in a blue moon, he really DID get angry. It was a white anger, and you were best to keep out of his way when it erupted. Jenny was to witness this one day, in the vicarage kitchen. It was just before Easter. Maundy Thursday to be exact. She and Jill were sitting together at the big table, just talking, and suddenly he stomped into the kitchen, shouting and pointing his finger at Jenny. She thought he was going to hit her, as he prodded his finger almost in her eyes. She had never seen him like this before, and it scared her. After shouting and banging around for a while he left and returned to his Study. Jill seemed unconcerned, but then her drugs did render her pretty emotionless.

Jenny began to wonder about his attractive smile. The one he had learned from the dog. It was one of his best assets. But how FALSE was it? Indeed, how real was this man at all?

Jenny’s mind turned to the woman who had been murdered. She had been hacked to death in a frenzied attack. The whole town was in terror. And now, all these years later, they were talking about it again. What was this Confession that the vicar had heard that morning? What did he know that no one else knew? Whatever, his lips were sealed. They had to be. It was more than his life was worth to reveal something he had heard in Confession. Indeed, he could be defrocked for it. But he had certainly returned to the vicarage that morning with a sort of gliding movement, almost as if he was dancing.


I dream
Tonight of light
As yet unseen to shine
Into the unknown tomorrow
The gate
To a new world shining with stars
To guide us on our way
Pierce my darkness

In dark
I see more light
Of a different kind
Only visible to my soul
I see
With eyes
Wide open to another realm
A shining place to be
Alone I sing
My songs

#FOWC. CRISIS. Clean Sheets on the Bed

FOWC with Fandango — Crisis

Jenny’s phone rang.

“I’ll be a bit late meeting you today,” the vicar said. “This Confession is going to take longer than I thought. Can we make our appointment an hour later? You can let yourself in as usual with your key. Wait for me in the Study.”

Jenny had no choice. The vicar sounded to be in CRISIS.

By now she had her own key. She was almost part of the family. She even had her own bedroom upstairs, for when she stayed the night. He had spent much time working on her, trying to get her to stay the night. They had a regular routine. She would ring him up in the evenings, and he would say a prayer with her over the phone. Jenny feared the nights. So much had happened to her of late, and she was dogged by nightmares. But ALWAYS, he would say to her, after the prayer,

“Are you coming down? There’s clean sheets on the bed.”

Jenny always refused, but something inside her was fighting. She was not sure what it was, but she WANTED to go down, preposterous though it seemed. But so many things seemed preposterous nowadays. Jenny was not herself at all. She found herself doing things that she would not normally do. It was like she was living in an alternative world. Maybe the death had done that to her. Opened her up in some way. All she knew was that she WANTED to take him up on his offer. If only she could leave her old life behind, and replace it with a new one.

“I wonder if it is possible,” he had said to her one day. “Is it possible to annihilate one world and replace it with another?”

He had studied German philosophy, and was wondering if it was truly possible. The look on his face as he said it was one of a strange kind of glee. He was obviously turning it around in his mind, and toying with the idea of attempting to do it. Jenny had not cottoned on at the time, but later on she realised that he had experimented with her. She had presented him with the ideal opportunity to put thus theory to the test. The only person he would have to deal with would be her husband, and that would be easy. The marriage was already floundering anyway. Once he had got her to go down there and stay for a night, she would be hooked. And he had brought his wife in on the plan as well. Submissive as ever, she would do exactly as he wanted. Indeed, one evening, when Jenny was in deep conflict over everything, and sobbing, Jill had said to her,

“But he loves you. And I am prepared to share him with you.”

There was something about clean sheets, in Jenny’s mind. She could smell them. She could feel them. And they drew her. He had put them onto the bed himself, he had said. And so, every night, she felt the pull of the clean sheets and the waiting bed.

“But what if we meet on the landing in the middle of the night?” she had said to him.

“Hmmmm,” he had said in reply, obviously relishing the thought.

Jenny had changed so much. She really was not herself. And that morning, as she waited for him returning to his Study after the Confession, she wondered. What was happening to her? It scared her, but she felt powerless to stop it.


An old poem of mine, but I still feel its sentiments!  When I wrote it, I was thinking of  a path on the hill above a river near to where I live.  It is a very beautiful path that I used to love to walk.  Now that I an blind and in a wheelchaur, I often think of this path, and think of how we must savour each moment in our lives, for each moment passes.  I cannot walk this path now, but I can savour the memory of it, and hold it in my heart


Come with me today, feel the freshening breeze,
Walking on the hill, above the river,
Remember now, this moment only seize
For soon it may be gone, it’s not forever
I know this far to well, but now I live
In the present moment, feel its glory
All that we have is this bright day to give
To the ones we’ve stored to make our story
Take my hand, we’ll walk this path together
I’ll show you things you never saw before
That always you will want to remember
Until we reach one day that farthest shore
But let the wind blow now here as we walk
And let us hear the silence to us talk

#FOWC TANGENT. The Confession

FOWC with Fandango — Tangent

It was the talk of the town. The pubs and shops were full of it. The case had been re-opened. A murder that had happened some years previous. It was also the talk of the Sunday dinner table at the vicarage. Jenny had been invited to Sunday lunch, along with the Head of the local school and a retired journalist. There was a sexual element to the crime, and that became the focus of the conversation at the dinner table. Jenny was shocked by some of the things that she heard. She had never thought that vicars could be like that, “THAT” being she was not sure what.


Everyone was casting their minds back to the day of the murder. It had been a warm autumn day. Jenny remembered the vicar telling her during one of their regular meetings in his Study that he had not been living there at the time. He had moved there a few weeks after the murder.

Jill, his wife, was full of it. Becoming animated for once , she described the atmosphere in the town at the time. All the mothers were frightened as they were taking their children to school, as they had to pass close by where the murder had happened. They had huddled together in groups at the school gates, talking about the murder. The victim was a young woman who was well known in the town. She had had many affairs, and there were any number of men who could have had a motive for killing her. But in broad daylight? In the graveyard? Jill remembered what some of the young mums had said about her. She shuddered at the memory. Suddenly she closed down again. She ate her pudding mechanically, whilst her husband went off at a TANGENT quite out of the blue.

“I’ve got to hear a Confession tomorrow.”

Everyone at the table, except Jill, started. And of course that was exactly the effect he wanted to create. Confessions were not something he normally did. That was something that was usually in the domain of old Joe, the Catholic priest down the road . And of course, the Confession would have to remain completely confidential. The vicar’s lips would have to be sealed. He continued his lunch, eating his pudding with an air of importance.

GRANGE FARM – my childhood home

“Grange Farm.” The very words feel sacred to me. Indeed, as a child, my heart would leap inside me and fill with joy and longing. I knew such happiness there. Yet I could not be there as much as I wanted to be, for we moved often, all over the country. By we, I mean my mother and father and I. I could never do the place justice in words, and now, I am the only one carrying the memories, and indeed, the place itself, within me. For my mother is dead now. A few short weeks ago, she died. And no longer can we talk of the farm, as we used to. Towards the end, we talked of it a lot. I remarked, sadly, to her that once she had gone, I would have no one to talk to about the farm, and share the memories with. I dreaded that day coming, and now it is here, and before the memories disappear I must set them down. Although I can no longer share them with my mother, I can share them with the world.

It is strange that I found myself using the word “sacred”, because in my later years, I began researching the history of the farm. It has gone now. It has been knocked down, and a modern, ranch style bungalow built in its place. It was said that it was unsafe, and would fall down on its own if it was not knocked down, but when the sad day came, it took many blows by the huge wrecking ball, to knock it down. It just refused to go. It stood there, firmly and defiantly. My mother was always intrigued by what she called the “church windows” of the farm. “Pointy windows” she used to call them. And indeed, they were. My research threw up that it was no accident that it was called Grange Farm because it appears that it used to be a grange of Thornholme Priory. Indeed, the land on which the farm stood was owned at one time by Thornholme Priory. The Priory had been given the land by the King, way back in time. Looking at the architecture of the farmhouse, it seems to have dated from even before the 1600s. But even before that, there would have been some kind of dwelling place there, and the land would have been farmed possibly by lay brothers of Thornholme Priory.

None of this was known when I was a child, playing happily on the farm. It always seemed to be gloriously hot and sunny in those days. All that I knew then was that it was a very special place to me. A place of love. It was the place to which I would always return, right up until the time when it was knocked down. It was my home. A place that soaked up and absorbed all the fears and pains of my life. Sacred indeed. In more ways than one, though little did I know of it in my early years.

One of the last things that my mother and I talked about before she died was the “Beautiful Lady.” My Uncle, who was my mother’s younger brother, as a child, used to tell my grandmother of a “beautiful lady” who would often appear at his bedside. He felt comforted by her presence. No one tried to take this away from him. It just ran its course, though no one knew who she was or where she came from. She became an accepted part of the family. One day, when my Uncle was in his eighties, my mother, intrigued by this memory, rang him up and asked him if he remembered the “beautiful lady.” He had not spoken of her since he was a child.

“Oh YES,” he said, though he was slightly embarrassed that this should be brought up again after all these years.

He remembered her distinctly, but was unable to talk any further at that time. He told my mother he would ring back when he could talk, to tell her more about it. However, he died before he could talk to my mother, and took his secret to the grave with him.

My family was not religious, so this lady could not have come from anything that my Uncle had been taught. It is a mystery that will never be solved now, though, given the history of the place, I do find it strange that even as a small child I experienced it as being “special,” even, perhaps, “sacred,” though I would not have known that word at the time. It was just a place of peace and happiness to me, and above all, love. I hope I can do it justice in writing about it.


Within me, hope,
Giving birth to faith that
Life can flourish in the rubble
Of dreams
I stand in the ashes, aching,
Crying, how do I build
Without the bricks
I need?

I know I will
Find some different bricks
Better bricks than ever I had
Bricks that time cannot destroy
But lead to life eternal
I search and find
New life


Do I have a soul left at all?
Numb, I grieve
The loss of my soul
I see a shadow on the ground
Is it mine?
Is it my soul
Flattened crushed
Is it my soul?
I throw myself on the ground
Covering the shadow
With the weight of my body I hold it down
Claw at the ground
Till blood flows
“Where is my soul?”
“Is THIS my soul?”
Wailing, I lament
“What did you do to my soul?”
My cry rises to heaven
I stroke, caress,
love the shadow on the ground
“Oh, is it mine?
Is it mine?”
I bathe it in my love
Salving its wounds
Then gently
Pick it up
And place it
Back in my body

#FOWC. Paper.Continuation of story


FOWC with Fandango — Paper

Confusion kept her hooked. Jenny knew deep in her bones that something was not quite right. Did he REALLY brush his hand against her breast? Surely it could not be so. He was a priest for God’s sake! And Christ the King was on his study wall. But no, Jenny could not think thoughts like that. A priest would NEVER do that – and Jenny felt sinful for even thinking such things. She should wash her mind.

It was not as if they were in the house alone together. His wife was always around, either in the kitchen or the garden. And Jenny got invited into the family. He had hinted a few times that after their meeting she might stay for lunch, and Jenny was filled with excitement. Now she really WOULD see how the other half lived. She couldn’t wait.

Then came the day. It had not been planned. Well, not as far as she knew. She was to find out later that a LOT had been planned, and she had become a willing pawn in it all. She ought to have guessed when he told her one day that his wife would make a good ally, and that she was utterly loyal. She would even cover up a crime for him, he said. Jenny had felt startled at this statement, but decided to let it go. Maybe he was just fond of making outrageous statements. Indeed, he had made many that had shocked her. She was led into the massive vicarage kitchen. Surprisingly, it was nothing special. She had expected an expensive good looking wooden table, and posh crockery and cutlery. But the table, though large, was just a melamine topped one, and the crockery had come from a stall in the market. She this because his wife told her. The food itself, though quite pleasant, was nothing out of the ordinary. Just a shepherds pie made up from the remains of the Sunday roast. But they made her welcome, in a strange kind of a way. Jill was not too talkative, and seemed rather shy, but he had told her that she suffered from depression and that she took tablets every day to keep it under control. In fact Jill seemed rather like a little girl. She ate mechanically, as if being a good little child at the table. He, just the opposite, did everything in an exaggerated, almost theatrical manner. Jenny was not quite sure what to make of it all, but in a weird way it was kind of enjoyable. Her curiosity, however, was roused even more by this strange pair. Jill seemed very constrained, and Jenny felt a bit like an intruder.

When lunch was finished, he turned to his wife and said,

“I’m going up now darling. Are you coming too?”

Jill was non committal. He went up on his own, leaving Jenny and Jill together. Jill smiled, a kind of watery smile, as if she was not quite used to doing it. At the same time, however, she flashed her left hand at Jill, so that her large, expensive looking engagement ring was on full view. Jenny could not have failed to see it, and she knew instinctively that Jill was giving her a message. Jenny herself had a faltering marriage, and he must have told Jill about it, because Jill suddenly made the statement,

“I married for love.”

Jenny’s eyes went to the wooden unit at the side of her, and there she saw a piece of PAPER. On it was written “1 p.m. Jenny lunch.” So it HAD been planned.

Jenny began to get rather a strange feeling inside. So many jarring things. Him “accidentally” brushing his hand across her breast. Him saying that Jill would even cover up for him in a crime, and suggesting she would be a good ally. A good ally in WHAT? And, to top it all, the lie. There had been a murder in the small town many years previous. The case had recently been opened again, and there had been a plea for new evidence. It was the talk of the town. It was a young woman who had been murdered in the graveyard, and the killer had never been found. Jenny, new to the area, had asked him if he had been there at the time of the murder, and he had told her that he had not yet moved there. But on looking it up, Jenny discovered that he HAD been there at the time. He had moved there to take up the post as incumbent a few weeks previous to the murder. (To be continued)




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

#FOWC. Brush


FOWC with Fandango — Brush

The little pink settee in his study became a place of assignation, though it was not completely clear in the beginning that that was what it was. Jenny often wondered about the pink settee. Where had it come from? What was it doing in there? He did not seem like a man who would like pink. In fact he seemed to have rather a penchant for blue. “Pretty bluuue,” he said to her one day as he greeted her, drawing out the last vowels of the word blue. Jenny noticed this, and her intrigue about him grew. It did not seem that this settee could have been bought for this place. The study in general terms was quite nondescript. Just a large desk with a computer on it, a gas fire on the wall near to the little settee above which was a crucifix. “Christ the King,” he said to her one day, about the crucifix. A bookcase stuffed with theological books, and a couple of old photographs of priests. One of them must have been him in his younger days, Jenny thought. Dullish green curtains and a dullish green carpet to match. Jenny noticed a door behind the desk, leading off the study, but she had no idea where it went to. Later, she was to find out.

He always started off sitting behind his desk facing her, but then as the conversation became more personal he would make his way to the little settee and sit beside her. He was a large man, and was almost too large for the little settee, and Jenny attempted to move a bit and make room for him as he sat down, but they still ended up sitting very close together.

Jenny was both surprised and intrigued by this man’s actions. Surely this could not be right – and yet it seemed so natural in a strange kind of a way. He certainly was comfortable with it, and the more comfortable he was, the more comfortable she felt. Often, her gaze would go to Christ the King on the wall near to her, and she would wonder. Until one day when she felt his hand BRUSH against her breast. It was so swift that she wondered if it had really happened. Surely she must have been mistaken. Her confusion about this man grew, and yet she was hooked now. There was no way back. (To be continued)




These boots are made for walking
Is what she sang
And that’s just what
I’m gonna do
Just walk, walk, walk,
I can walk no more
Until I achieve my goal
Until I have no more anger
Until I can cry no more
Until someone listens
Until someone hears
The voiceless ones
The pain filled ones
The rejected ones
The lepers
The ones we don’t want to kiss
The ones we make fun of
The ones we have to make fun of
They remind us
Of our own vulnerability
And the old truth that
There but for the grace of God go I
I will walk
I will scream
I will cry
I will drive them out of their man mad temples
With whips and cords
Why not?
It is divinely sanctioned

And so
I drive out
The powerful enemies of the oppressed
The hypocrites
The whitewashed temples
Of the most heinous sins of humanity
Let them go,
Let them go,
These whitewashed temples,
These painted cows
These liars
These foes
Let them go
And build
A new creation
A new humanity
Walk, walk, walk
DO it

#FOWC. Permit

FOWC with Fandango — Permit


He stabbed his teaspoon violently into the jar of honey, with a look of glee mixed with determination on his face. Slowly, he twisted the spoon round in the honey, then gradually raised it up, still swizzling it round to make sure that the honey did not fall off and land in a sticky mound on his desk. Following the spoon with his eyes, he lowered it into his afternoon cup of tea, and stirred in the honey. Everything was done in an exaggerated manner, almost like some kind of act.


Jenny watched him, from where she was sitting facing him, on the little pink sofa. He was a large man, though not in girth, with greying hair, and a brilliant smile that showed off what looked like perfect teeth. With his black suit and his black thick rimmed glasses, he intrigued Jenny. He obviously had money, for everything about him was expensive, even down to his socks, which displayed labels on the outside of them.

Jenny was not quite sure what to do with herself. She was meant to be there to talk to him about a personal matter. The Indian Tree teacup distracted her. As did his whole demeanour. It was not that he was unkind. Quite the opposite in fact. It was just that he seemed right out of her class. But in a way that was what attracted her immediately. She was intrigued, and excited all at the same time. She could never live in his world nor he in hers, yet she was here to discuss one of the most personal and intimate moments of her life. A death.

Jenny hardly knew where to begin. As she watched him slurping his tea noisily down, she began to feel more comfortable. He was human after all. And as he said the words , “Would you PERMIT me to come and sit next to you,” she relaxed completely.


The mists obscured the bridge today
And dark surrounded me again
Impossible to see the way
The mists obscured the bridge today
I knew that here I could not stay
I knew not either how or when
The mists obscured the bridge today
And dark surrounded me again

Three Things Challenge #110

Not many people had a TELEVISION. It was the Coronation though, and everyone wanted one then. Black and white they were, and lots of people huddled round one set.

It was the best time of her life so far. It had, until now, been full of UNREST.  Moving every six months or so. But now they seemed more settled in this popular seaside town. Every Sunday they would walk along the promenade, often having to jump the waves as they hurtled onto the sea front. It was exhilarating. And then there was the Tower. And the ballroom where they often went to dance. And the Pleasure Beach, where every weekend they went to have waffles and jam and cream.

Then, into this scene suddenly came her sister, ten years younger than her, she was.

“I’m pregnant,” she said.


What a NERVE! Arriving out of the blue like that, and making such an announcement! Disturbing their peace!

It had been a one night stand with an American airman. Now, he was nowhere to be found.

“You’d better go home and tell Mum then,” Josie said.

Years later Geoffrey stood in her kitchen. Brought up by his grandmother on the farm, he never really knew his mother. But now, here he was, in a terrible state, having messed up his life.

“Did my mother love me?” he asked.

Josie’s heart broke.

“Yes, she loved you very much,” she replied.


Today you sat and talked to me
Of life and faith and many things
We had not ever met before
I could not see your face
I looked at you with my blind eyes
In animated stance
You said that you would not have known
That I was blind or sick
Our eyes had met
I had not known
Our souls had also met
You saw my hope
Shining right out
The bubbling within
My grief was strong my tears were real
But hope was stronger still
And faith that would my life uphold
This body just a shell
But blind eyes tell a story true
That life still lives in me
That has a use for others too
I still have value here
You left today I rose again
And knew all would be well
Through sobs that cried out grief so deep
A cleansing of my soul



Yesterday I went back
Sat once again where herons fished
And magpies, caught by the wind
Fell off wooden posts
Where once the geese arrived from foreign climes
With loud chattering announcing their arrival
And at the water’s edge mallards, dancing their own ungainly dance
And as I sat
Transported back in time
To days before cancer and blindness
Herons now gone
Symbols of resurrection
I wondered
Will I rise again
Or forever be chained to this body
And deep within me
I knew as magpies called
And swallows dived
That yes indeed
To the call of nature
I would rise again


She looked at the stars saw heaven shining

The brightest of lights in the dark night sky

Just tiny dots all twinkling and gleaming


She wondered if she could jump up that high

And catch those gems whose beauty was streaming

Down onto the earth heaven heard her sigh


With joy she danced with her young face beaming

Tears ran down her cheeks as she started to cry

Was this for real or was she just dreaming


She grasped grandma’s hand said tell me no lie

Is God right up there where love is teeming

Is that where we go when one day we die


For her young heart this was perfect timing

She looked at the stars saw heaven shining


The bridge is is old and waits for me
I too am old and we are one
Creaking joints from life so long
The bridge is old and waits for me
One day the healing mists will come
One day we both will be set free
The bridge is old and waits for me
I too am old and we are one


The earth was full of teeming,
Purple waterfalls,
Cascading down
Grey granite rock,
In lush fields of velvet.
Yellow heads danced
White poppies, paper thin,
Swayed delicately
In summer’s breeze.
Never had life seemed so full,
The barren past vanished.
Through moistened eyes I gazed,
And saw


There was a time when hills were just hills,
They had no meaning, they just were,
Until the day they became mysterious,
Sometimes dark, sometimes light,
Enticing, entrancing, beckoning,
What wonders did they hide?

Enfolded within them, I wanted to hide,
Be absorbed into those hills,
Their spirit seemed to be beckoning,
From wherever they were,
Within their darkness I knew there was light,
Something so mysterious.

Life to me was mysterious,
So often I’d wanted to hide,
Shrink back from the light,
Now I’d found the hills,
In this new place where we were,
Gently they were beckoning.

Why would they be beckoning?
This to me was mysterious,
Standing where we were,
I no longer wanted to hide,
Someone had given me the hills,
Secreting their everlasting light.

I was now drawn to that light,
As I felt it beckoning,
I knew there was glory in those hills,
A glory so mysterious,
That they never truly could hide,
It fell wherever we were.

And that was where we were,
Enfolded in their light,
Love bade us hide,
It was Love that was beckoning,
It was all so mysterious,
The glory of the hills.

One day I found the hills hiding their light,
I could see from where we were that they were beckoning,
Though it was so mysterious, in their glory I’d hide.


I sat beside your grave last night
And thought of childhood’s sun filled days
The moon that shone the stars so bright
I sat beside your grave last night
You held my hand so very tight
The farmhouse warmed by golden rays
I sat beside your grave last night
And thought of childhood’s sun filled days


I see a light shine in the sky
It comes and goes as minutes pass
I never ask the question why
I see a light shine in the sky
Dark clouds obscure as they float by
I shrink and say “Alas alas”
I see a light shine in the sky
It comes and goes as minutes pass


Do you see
What lies have done
Falling off a silvery tongue
Pure gold of life
Cutting like a knife
Do you see the blood
Falling in the mud
Where my face is stuck
I’m out of luck
Yet another time
You have crossed the line
No boundaries for you
Your scruples few
My life has gone
Killed dead in your song
While you survive
Within your lies



Why do you weep?
Because they have taken
All that I am and ever was
Lots for
My clothes that lie dormant and dead
As if to cast away
My very life
Go now

My clothes
Were colourful
Chosen especially, bright
Like the person I truly am
But now
You dress
Me in black and grey and brown, kill
The spirit within me
The life that lived
I weep

I am but who
Would ever know it? Wrapped
In these deathly shrouds that you choose
I live
And breathe and glow and know that I
Make love to the world, feel
My gracious curves
Heal me


I saw you’d gone
And everything was stripped
Bare like the empty darkest night
Your gold
And your beautiful red bow tie
And your red nose to match
No bellowing

You stood
There high and proud
Towering above shops
Announcing the coming of light
To dark
A world in need of some brightness
A few short weeks you stayed
Now you are gone
It’s dark



If you have read my recent post, “A Beginning,” or are about to read it, I want you to know that the story is going to be far from totally miserable.  There will be many humorous bits in it, some of which I have recounted before in here.

It can be a very confusing picture at times.  This is what gives rise to the many questions.   The bad thungs were very very bad, but the good things were a bit better.  You never quite knew what you were going to get with my mother!   It made life like a ride on a roller coaster.  Even today, I have been remembering some of the good things.  This really does make for confusion!

People ask me why I did not leave.  I did.  When I was 18.  It was traumatic because the police had to be got when she tried to get me back.  Then, for much of my life, I lived away from her.  But that cut me off from the rest of the family, and most importantly, from my grandmother, who loved me greatly, I believe.

Nothing  is ever simple, and it cannot be assumed that you just leave.  It really is not that easy or that simple.

I have a deep pain go through me when people ask me why I did not leave.  I hope that my book, when it s finished, will show up the complexities involved.

I am making myself very vulnerable in writing this story, so please bear with me.

Life is never simple, and mine certainly hasn’t been, but I believe I have made a pretty good fist of it so far.

So, please read, it you want to, and enjoy the good bits.

lorraine xx


“Sometimes you have to wait for the pain to subside – it never disappears completely – before you can begin to tell your story. But sometimes you wait so long the questions become unaskable, the answers you seek unknowable.”
(Cynthia Banham “A Certain Light”)


I am not sure that the pain of my mother’s death has subsided yet, but I feel compelled to tell my story now. There most certainly have been questions, but no real answers. My academic Supervisor once said to me,

“No one has a life like yours.”

I know what he meant. On looking back over my life, it seems surreal, but then everyone’s life is unique. I must admit, however, that many times I have observed other people’s lives, and wondered why mine was so different. Indeed, my questions have been many. Nothing in my life was ever really normal, or whatever passes for normal. Yet even the most terrible of things were normalised, such that I simply came to accept them. It was only as I grew older that I began to realise just how bad things had been. It was not that I did not experience pain at the time, but more that I was told that this was all okay. I learned, very early in, to be a “good girl.” Mummy and Daddy might be killing each other, but it was okay, and I must be a good girl.

Since my mother’s death, the questions have plagued my mind. However bad a person she seemed, and however great the pain she inflicted upon me, my grief has been unconsolable. Many a time I have not known how to go on. Many a time the darkness has been so great that I have felt as if I was suffocating. Images and memories have crept upon me, and invaded my everyday life. Sometimes they have marched through my conscious mind ruthlessly. There has been no let up. Every kind of image you can imagine – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Exhaustion has set in as I have attempted to keep my life, such as it is, going. Even thinking has become difficult, if not impossible. I say “life such as it is” for I am blind, wheelchair bound, and in constant physical pain. Much of my time is spent in bed, but I try, each day, to spend some time going out into the countryside. I love nature and the wild places. I seem to have a close affiliation with them. They speak to my spirit, and revive me. I am at heart, wild myself, and maybe that is why such places draw me. If indeed there are any answers to be found to my questions, I am sure that it is in the wild places that they will be found. Places where the wind can toss my hair wildly onto my face, where the ice cold rain can sting my cheeks, where the wind can roar and the trees buckle. Yes, where nature is not constrained, and where I too can no longer be constrained. Places where I can loose my chains and they can fall to the ground and I can be free. Free as never before. And in a sense that is what my mother’s death has brought to me. A certain freedom that I never had before. But I still have to grow into it, to experience it fully.

In saying this I am not saying that prior to her death I was not free. I was the one that broke away, whilst my brother and sister stayed tied to her. But that was why I was hated and despised so much. My mother could not tolerate it, and so that was why her abuse of me was so deep and relentless. Indeed, it was ruthless, only to reach its height when I had cancer. A very serious and advanced cancer. At that time I was bedridden. At my time of greatest vulnerability, my mother struck like never before. Just because she could. Now, she would get me under control again. But she reckoned without my strong spirit and my iron will. It made her angry. It made her strike out even more.

And that is the story of my life. I invaded her world as a strong, lively little personality, a “honeymoon baby” whom she never wanted, and indeed, whom she tried to get rid of. My presence in her life, even though at times very distant, drove her mad. And this IS the story of my life. A story of survival. Survival against all the odds, and all that life can throw at you.

R.I.P. Mum

After a time of deep grieving, and deep depression, I remembered many things that made me realise the grief was not worth it!

As you know, my mother died not long before Christmas. Many of you also know that she was highly abusive!

I have been on SUCH a journey since she died. A very very deep blackness that was almost impossible to bear. I tried to remember the good things about her – and there WERE some. I felt I HAD to do that. But it produced such feelings as I could not bear.

This morning, one particular memory came back to me that I had stifled. It was from when I first went into remission from my cancer in 2014. The memory was so horrible that my mind seemed to clear.

One of the main problems in grieving the loss of an abusive mother is utter confusion. I know that this is so common. It felt, to me, this morning, that my confusion cleared.

It is easy for people to see things from outside the situation that the person inside it cannot see in the same way. But the person inside it HAS to go on their own journey into understanding. It has to come from within. And it CAN be a very tortuous road. It has been for me.

I can honestly say that I have been through hell. And I can also say that I never want to go there again.

I intend, still, to write my life story. But from a particular perspective. From the perspective of survival. Life from death.

My mother has gone now. God rest her soul. I can only pray that she has peace now, from whatever was ailing her in this life that made her as she was.

I love you mum, always did and always will. Nothing can change that. You never believed it though. But now, may you Rest In Peace. I leave you in God’s care.

Under Burnt Fields


Under Burnt Fields

To the east, across the bay

The horizon is a smokey haze

To the west, across the plains

The paddocks have been smokey for days

I gaze up, towards the sun

The sky is a smokey grey

Beyond the horizon, there’s our Tasman Sea

Under the burnt fields, there awaits the seeds

Above the smokey clouds, there is a blue sky

I know the moon will bring the tide in again

I know the oceans will eventually produce rain

I know this living hell cannot last forever

I know this to be a message from mother nature

Do they hear her chasms crying

Do they understand! Stop the lying

Ivor Steven (c)  Jan 2020

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I have just been going through all the lovely comments you have been making since before Christmas, that I never responded to because of my mother dying abd other things happening.  I am sorry to be so late, but my brain has not been in gear properly and exhaustion and deoression and grief took me over.  But I hope to have replied to ALL of you soon.  You are all so goid and I love and appreciate every one of you, and your lovely comnents.  YOU are what keeps me going. Thankyou, friends ❤️❤️❤️

Fandango’s Friday Flashback:Over the Bridge

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — January 3


Shall I sit here and watch the mist rising
The old wooden bridge invites me to stay
The sun starts to shine the birds are singing
My heart feels so light as we greet the day
Over the bridge is a new world waiting
Crossing the threshold I enter the light
The darkness is gone life is a’calling
My heart is my eyes I don’t need to fight
I step on the bridge to the world beyond
Walk gently over the water beneath
Hearing it gurgle I thrill at its sound
Now I will dance in my time here so brief
Join hands with me and join in the Dance
Over the bridge we will walk happenstance


Today I found beauty in darkness. And not for the first time!

This is a Season of light. Everyone is seeking the light and the bright. It seems to me that so many feel that this is where happiness is found. And maybe it is, for some.

After a day when I could not even get out of bed for physical pain (yesterday) I managed to get out today, though still in pain. I found myself going to the little church that I have mentioned in here before. It has been a place of deep comfort for me many times. It is very isolated, way out in the depths of the Lincolnshire countryside. In fact, it is in the middle of a farmyard! As you are going down the road towards it, you think that there can be nothing there, despite the sign up on the main road that says there is!

Suddenly, it appears, from behind some trees. It is so tiny. As you enter it, you are aware, immediately, of the darkness. There are few windows, and what there are, do not allow much light into the building. It is far from glitzy! Even at this time of the year when most churches are decorated for Christmas.

I have written in here, once, of a time when I came to this place, empty and bereft, and felt the darkness itself putting its arms around me. As I entered, today, I expected nothing. I knew it would be dark. I expected just to find cold! It is very cold in there. Even a hot summer’s day does not warm it up that much. I did however expect to find peace.

In fact, I found beauty. Such beauty as only the darkness can give. Though blind, I can still see light and dark. But the dark inside that church today was exquisite. Once again, I relaxed into it, and even heard it speaking to me. I was imnediately comforted. Transported. To a place where the light could never have taken me.

I sat, for a while, and then, as I went out, the cool wind bit into my face. It was glorious. I stayed a while, in the churchyard, allowing the cool of nature to caress me.

Never,ever, despise the darkness. It can be your greatest friend.