#FOWC. Berserk


One day the little doodleberries were all resting under the tree after having had a happy time playing with the rabbits. They had just about got over their trauma of losing one of their friends but they knew they would never forget him. It was the first time that they had ever known sadness. An owl had come and perched on a tree near to them one day and told them that sometimes there is sadness, but that it would pass in time, though they would never forget their friend. He was a wise old owl.

Suddenly, as the little doodleberries rested under the tree there was such a noise came from the sky. They looked up trembling. There, in the sky, not too far above their heads was another loud machine that looked as if it was going to come down on them. All the doodleberries started to go BERSERK, fearing what was going to become of them, and suddenly they wished they were rabbits and could go and live under the ground. But the machine then disappeared, rising higher into the sky. The doodleberries were very shaken up, and they began to realise that the world was quite a fearful place and they wondered what they could do to protect themselves. At that point the wise old owl appeared and told them not to be fearful, but just to go on enjoying being doodleberries and playing with the rabbits because there were things called men inside those flying machines, and they would not want to come crashing to the ground. He told them not to be frightened of loud noises, because that was all they were, and soon it would be night time and all would be peaceful again, and that tomorrow would be another day when they could play happily with the rabbits.


I didn’t have any hair that day. It was a good job really. It saved me ‘usband from being done for going too slow! Well, that and the blow job. You know, that thing that you blow into to prove you’re not drunk. Or are, as the case may be.

But he wasn’t you see. It was just after Christmas. You know, that time when the Virgin Mary puts in an appearance. They stopped us on the High Street. The police that is.

“Would you mind getting out of your car please Sir?”

“I can’t. I can’t walk.”

Well that was a good one to BEGIN with. A dead giveaway as far as the police were concerned.

“You was going slow on that road through Laughton Common. We’ve been following you.”

Well since when was it a crime to go too slow?

“Have you seen THAT? me ‘usband said, pointing to his Disabled badge.

“And look at me ‘ead,” I chimed in. “It’s got no ‘air on it.”

The policeman peered into the car and looked at me ‘ead.

“Yer right there ,” he said.

“Chemo,” I said. “Just finished chemo. Makes you hairless. Can’t stand going fast. Not much on the road anyway. What you bothered about?”

The policeman softened a bit.

“O.K. Sir. But would you mind please blowing into this bag?”

Well, the indignity of it! He didn’t have much choice though. The policeman was already seeing red.

“A bit previous,” I thought.

Well it didn’t do ANYTHING. Not green, not red, not yellow. NADA! NOTHING!

“Well Sir, you’re not drunk,” he said. But would you mind going a bit faster in future?

“It’s the chemo,” I said. “Makes you feel a bit sick.” My face went a bit green, unlike the bag, that didn’t do anything at all.

The policeman backed away a bit.

“Are you alright Madam?” He said.

“I will be soon,” I said.

He waited a moment, for me to regain my composure.

“So where are you on your way to?” he asked.

“Oh only the other side of Gainsborough,” I said. “We’re on our way to have a chat with the Virgin Mary.”


With me
In the dark
Waiting for the light
Though it be far away
In the darkness we can grow
Soon the sap will rise up again
And life will blossom abundantly
But for now we are fed by the darkness

#FOWC. Permeate


When the little doodleberries decided to leave the safety of the forest for the first time a huge fear started to PERMEATE them. They had never seen anything like this before. All that they were used to was trees and green and lovely hiding places. Sometimes they played with the rabbits in the glade where wild flowers and fungi grew. Toadstools, red with white spots on. The rabbits didn’t seem to mind the doodleberries being there, and in fact they enjoyed playing with them. Everything was lovely and peaceful in the forest, but when the doodleberries got curious and left the forest one day they were confronted by huge machines hurtling past them on some hard grey stuff. They had never seen anything go so fast before.

One of the doodleberries wandered into the hard grey stuff and suddenly one of the huge machines came along and squashed the doodleberry. All the other doodleberries started to weep and wail, and wondered why they had ever left the forest. In fear they shot back into the forest, and hid under a tree. They didn’t even want to go and play with the rabbits any more. But the rabbits took pity on the doodleberries, and told them never to leave the forest again and they would be okay. Gradually the doodleberries got over their trauma and started to go out and play with the rabbits again, and all was at peace in the forest.


You took my heart and made it yours
I didn’t know as I sat there
That you would move me deep within
And soon I would be gone
Lost in words that glided by
Catching me in their wandering
I came to a place I didn’t know
I stumbled in uncertainty
I looked for my heart but couldn’t find
Its beating dance in silent night
I froze my eyes began to see
Through mist and haze what you had done
You’d taken me and wrung me out
And now I lie here bleeding


I see things in my memory’s eye
Like the birds that I hear singing,
For now I can only see shapes,
Colours merge into each other,
I see so clearly in my memory,
The birds that brought me life.

This dark world now is my life.
But the dark is only in my eye,
Light shines, in my memory,
My heart within is singing,@
I can say no other,
Pure light, my life shapes.

In my time I have seen so many shapes,
Some good, some bad, that determined my life,
Sometimes one, sometimes the other,
On the good I tried to focus my eye,
So that my heart could keep singing,
All these things live on in my memory.

I live now in my memory,
Things take on so many shapes,
Never can I stop singing,
Whatever happens in my life,
I see now with more than my eye,
Not with anything other.

There are so many things but nothing other
Than the light of God lives on in my memory,
It shines not only in my eye,
But into my depths, my life it shapes,
Such light brings to me eternal life,
Everything in me is singing.

Sometimes I hear the angels singing,
Louder than any other,
Bringing to birth in me new life,
That doesn’t live just in my memory,
This for me eternity shapes,
In my spirit, my only eye.

I am not reliant on my eye, but on something other
To keep me singing, but not in my memory,
Something greater my future shapes, giving me eternal life.


In this dark lane I greet my past
Looking at the sky so vast
Just as when I was a child
So innocent and undefiled

‘Twixt stars and sky such great contrast
To the sky again my eyes I cast
Such memories will always last
By the stars I was beguiled
In this dark lane

So many stars there were, amassed
It seems my childhood went so fast
Here again out in the wild
Where Love it seemed upon me smiled
Again my soul such glory grasps
In this dark lane


I do not really know why I have decided to post this bit, but I have.

Not everyone who gets cancer has a loving family behind them, to comfort and support. I didn’t and it was a daily mental battle just to get through it, ALONE.

I have mentioned God in this piece, but since then, I can honestly say that I do not really know what I think or believe about God. My subject is theology. I studied and

researched it and did it at Ph.D. level. It included a lot of philosophy as well, and I am a thinker, but on this occasion I had to believe in SOMETHING. Maybe God is our inner strength – I don’t know. But I did get through in the end, though now blind and wheelchair bound. Anyway, here is part of my book. Make what you will of it.

J The Easter of 2012 saw me helping the ladies clean the church ready for the Easter celebrations. It was a wonderful time. I knew no one, but they just accepted me as one of them, and I happily took a duster and got to work. After we had cleaned the church my husband and I were invited to one of the little cottages where one of the ladies lived. She called it her “hovel,” and we had tea and cakes, and she gave us some bantam eggs to take home with us, telling us to call any time that we visited the church. It was such a happy day, and I felt fine.

Only six weeks later I was not fine. I began showing the first symptoms of cancer, only it was to be a whole year before I knew that that was what it was. By that time I was literally at death’s door, and the fear, even from the medical profession was that I would die. My cancer was a blood cancer called Lymphoma, and it had produced large tumours all over my body, some of them in critical places and the haematologist at one point squeezed my husband on the shoulder and wished him luck, expressing his fear that “something terrible” was going to happen during the next three weeks whilst he was on holiday. When cancer hits, it hits!

It began with an itch, and what seemed like insect bites. They started off in a few places, but soon were all over my body. The spots or bites were literally oozing blood all the time. My pillow on my bed was costantly filled with blood.

We tried everything to get rid of what we decided was bites, but we didn’t know where or what they were from. We even thought it might be bed bugs at one point, having had some furniture delivered to us in a van. We had read of how even somebof the top hotels in London were plagued with bed bugs. They could be easily transmitted in furniture vans. We steam cleaned the whole house! Furniture, carpets, cushions, curtains, the lot. But all to no avail. We were getting desperate. I was starting to get weak by this time, but we just put it down to tiredness. I was starting to spend my days lying on the settee, too weak to do much at all.

At this point my mother started to call a lot, and she insisted that it was an allergy. The cause of that allergy – our dogs! We had two beautiful rough collies at that time called Jade and Asha. They were my wonderful companions. They were my babies. But my mother decided that they were the source of the problem and that they had to be put down. She would arrange it and have it done herself.

I am unable to describe my feelings, but this was the beginning of what felt like a campaign against me by my mother. It continued right the way through my cancer, culminating in her saying that I should go to Switzerland to the Dignitas clinic for assisted suicide. It was my duty to go because we were only a small family, and they could not cope. I had to think of others and not myself, she said. Even as I write this now, eight years later, I still feel tears pricking the back of my eyes. That a mother could say that! But not only that – if I refused she would bring some tablets herself and “shove them down your throat.” I could not believe I was hearing this. I was in shock. But I showed nothing. I had learned well not to show anything with my mother. I was well trained!

So, from the very beginning my mother’s deep abuse of me was coming out. She insisted that our house was dirty, and that it smelled. The smell was embedded in the walls, she said, and nothing could stop it now. She kept saying the word “Ugh,” and pursing her lips.

The fact was that our house was not dirty, and it did not smell any worse than anyone else’s house. But day after day she did that. The problem was that my husband was in a wheelchair, and could not cope on his own. He needed shopping doing, and various things like that, as he could not leave me.

At this stage in my life my mother was showing her true colours once again. It was not until the April of 2013 that I was finally diagnosed with advanced Lymphoma, by which time I could not walk at all, and my skin was oozing and the constant itch was unbearable, such that I could not wear clothes. I had a deep retching cough and difficulty in breahing. My mother was there when the news of the diagnosis was given to me at the hospital. She listened intently whilst the haematologist explained everything to me, kissing the top of my head repeatedly as he did so. She heard the words said that I may well die.

In our family we never touched. There was no kissing or hugging, and every time that I, as a child, had gone to her for comfort, or a hug, I was repelled. So it was most incongruous that she should be kissing my head now.

Right the way through my cancer my mother made sure that she upset me deeply the night before I had to go for my chemotherapy session. Indeed, sometimes she would even do it on the very morning that I had to go. I had to fight a deep mental and spiritual battle as well as a physical one all the way through.

On one occasion my mother and brother were sitting in chairs in the front room window, facing me. I was on a bed in the living room, naked because of the oozing skin and the itch. I was in agony, and in desperation I held out my arms to my mother, wanting her to come to me. She simply said, “Ugh,” and turned towards my brother, looking at him. He smiled at her in agreement. At that point in my life I was filled with the deepest emotional pain imaginable. I knew without a doubt that I had no mother. How could I deal with this, on top of my horrific cancer? I did not know. It was also at that point that I knew my God. My faith and belief in Him was stronger than it had ever been. God was all I had. I had no family. I believe that if I had not had God at that point I would have collapsed mentally. To see my brother backing my mother up was just abominable. But my God was there. I did not feel Him but I knew it.

So terrible was my cancer that at one point I was on all fours on the bed, wailing like an animal. That was my lowest point. I had sunk that low.


Beyond what is possible

Comes the impossible

Trying to go beyond

You broke today

For so long

You kept it together

But today

You let it go

And ripped your heart in two

Tried beyond bearing

And now

I have to pick you up

Off the floor

Put you together again

And see your fragility



During the last few days I have felt too exhausted to do anything, and I feel afraid as things deteriorate. I am seeking out peaceful places, where I can try and gain some strength back. I hope that soon, I will be back to my old self.


The moment soon to come
Making its way slowly
There is no escape
We amble
Carefree on our way
While the nigh is nearly upon us
To surprise
Never will we be the same again
When the nigh has come nigh


‘God’s Funeral’ still lies on a chair in the room,
His grave in your eyes, His love in the tomb,
You danced on the edge of the bound’ry of life,
Whilst knowing your game would cause anguish and strife,
You circled in close then you glided away,
Ignoring the line only wanting to play
With the thick iron box that you found in my head,
“Don’t open the lid,” i remember i said.
You didn’t much care, you wanted to know
If with skill you could melt me and make my heart grow,
For i was your toy to be pummelled and used,
Kneaded and pounded until our souls fused,
But now you are gone, and God is quite dead,
Prostrate in the box you found in my head.


Sitting as the sun died and night came
I smelled and tasted the air that spoke of times past
And once again I could see,
Feel the movement of the big swing
In the night air
Reaching to the stars in the black sky
Laughing in exhilaration
As only a child can
If I could catch a star
And hold it forever
Here, in this place where now I sat
The past lived again
Like then
I asked questions
“”Where is God?”
Seeing the vastness of the sky
I wondered
Was He beyond the stars?
Could I catch and hold Him too?
Could I even reach Him?
Small as I was then
I feel even smaller now
Blind, lame, sick,
And now I wonder just as then
“Can I catch and hold God?”
And even as I ask,
I feel once again a child’s wonderment
And know that the Kingdom of Heaven
Belongs to such as me,
And that it is not high up in the skues
Beyond my reach,
But indeed it is within me
Not dependent on time or space
But ever present
Ever a gift
Ever mine


I have always been a questioner. Curious. Interested in EVERYTHING. Wanting to delve into everything, especially places, the people in them both past and present, and whatever IS or WAS! I think my grandmother got fed up with me, as a small child, because my questions never stopped, and each question led to another one.

My main question, as a very small child, was about God. Where WAS He? My poor grandmother could never answer that question for me satisfactorily. But the search went on throughout my life.

I have written about “thin spaces” before, and it really has been true for me that some places seem to open up a different dimension for me. Wildsworth is one of them! There never seems to be any rhyme or reason as to why a particular place does this for me. But I am not going to question that one, simply accept it with gratitude. I have had some wonderful experiences in my “thin spaces” some of which I will share in my blog as time goes on. One other such place is St. Ediths Church, in the hamlet of Coates by Stow, in Lincolnshire. I have already written a little bit about that, but I intend to give the full story one day!

I truly did not know why Wildsworth had drawn me, and I still don’t know really. But it has led to me going there every day, and just meditating, and trying to think myself back into past times. I wanted to know EVERYTHING about the place. How had people lived, in the past? What had been their joys and sorrows? What had been the tragedies there? Knowing so much about the river in whose bank Wildsworth stands, I was sure that there must have been some, and indeed it my probing showed that there were.

I LOVE doing historical research, and I become very involved with the places and the people that I find. When I was doing research for my doctorate, I unearthed the story of a rapist in Hessle, near Hull, who had raped and left for dead three young women. I discovered him through looking through the Court Chaplains Book in York Library. My research was on violence against women, setting it in historical times, and with particular reference to the Church. The reference that I found in the Court Chaplains Book stated the name of a man – John William Parkinson – who had committed the crime if rape on three women, whose place of abode was Hessle. He was stated as being married, and a blacksmith. It also stated that he was Primitive Methodist, and the Court Chaplain had written the words “”Utter Hypocrite” by that entry! It was stated also that he had been given twenty years penal servitude at Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight. From that information, I started building up the story, using censuses, (the crime took place in 1899), one neswspaper story in the Hull Daily Mail for 1899, and various other records. Every day, for six months, I was in Beverley Archives, trying to piece the whole story together. Never was I happier than when I was doing this. I lived and breathed it. I had the names of his three victims by now, all Primitive Methodist girls. I pieced their stories together as well, as much as I could. He had left them for dead, and I felt much emotion about the whole story. Whilst putting it together I laughed, at some things, I cried, I got angry, and strangely, I prayed. I tried to find out what happened to his poor wife, for she was aged only 28 and was pregnant at the time of his rape of the three women, and she already had quite a few children. In the end I did it. I pieced it all together. One day, I was sitting in Beverley Archives, and, after many weeks of searching, I found his wife, and where she was buried. I let out a WHOOP in the middle of this very serious, very silent and studious place! It is a wonder that I didn’t get thrown out!

After that, I visited the grave of his wife, taking flowers. . She was buried with two of her children. The daughter had done amazingly, considering the life they all must have led following their father’s crime. She trained to be a nurse in London, and became quite high up in the hospital. A very dedicated nurse at a hospital for infectious diseases. She caught one of the diseases herself, and died from it. In my book, she was a heroine.

I then visited the grave of one of his victims, buried at South Cave, where the crime took place. I stood at her graveside and wept, then prayed. I don’t really know why I prayed, but I could do no other.

Then, finally, I visited the grave of John William Parkinson, the rapist, and jumped in anger on his grave! Maybe I should not have done that, but I did! He returned to Hull after completing 18 years of his 20 year sentence, and kept a shop in Hull.

This is how involved I get with my research and my “thin spaces”! I am sure that Wildsworth is going to be no exception, only now, I cannot visit places so much, see graves, etc. with being in a wheelchair and blind. I am curtailed in my activities. But already, I have found a murder in the next village of East Ferry (one of the mariners murdered his wife, and was hung at Lincoln Gaol.), vessels that came to grief in the river, some people being drowned, and one or two other things.

The place is not what I had thought it to be in the beginning, but it is still beautiful now, to me, nevertheless. I will be writing much more about this soon.


A Half Decent Death.

Don’t know why he had to go and do it. Die, I mean. He always did want revenge. All his life he’d been dying – then, he finally went and did it. Shocked us all, he did. Never thought he’d really do it. They were all the same in his family. Never did anything by halves – everything for maximum effect. Take his mother – woke up on Christmas morning, wished them all Happy Christmas, and then – died! Would you ever. She was another one – spent her life dying. When she did it seemed unreal – just like with him. My Dad, I mean.

Well, he just went off to the doctor’s one morning. Not for anything in particular. Never guessed he’d got this up his sleeve. It’s almost as if it was all planned. Only two days before, he’d said to me, “I’m going to die.” Well, tell us some real news, I thought. It’s just one of his games again. Stress, he said it was. Couldn’t take any more, he said. Any more of what?
I wonder how he managed to do it? I mean – it’s not easy to die to order.

The doctor wasn’t especially worried – just said he had a slight heart irregularity, so he was sending him into hospital as a precaution. Knowing my Dad I expect he was pleased as punch. The doctor told him to go home and pack a case; the ambulance would be there within the hour. I can just see him walking home with a spring in his step, dead chuffed. Bet it was the most sprightly he’d walked for years!

Packed his own things. My Mum just let him get on with it. After he’d walked into the ambulance carrying his case, my Mum rubbed her hands together. “Good,” she thought. “Now I can decorate his bedroom.” I didn’t know that until afterwards – but then she told me.

They hadn’t slept together for a long time. Right bone of contention that was. I remember taking him to the library with me one day. Had to get some books for my project on Victorian prostitutes. “I’ve not had sex since your brother was conceived,” he said. Well, my brother was forty two then. Hell of a long time to bear a grudge, I thought. Found it all a bit disgusting really. I didn’t want to know about that. I was driving my car at the time. What a way to trap somebody! I was forced to listen. I couldn’t put him out on the motorway. Motorways brought him out in a cold sweat when he was inside the car. God knows what it would have done if I’d put him outside of it. It might have killed him!

Anyway – next thing my Mum knew was that the consultant was ringing her from the hospital. “Does your husband always slur his speech?” he said.
“Well, not that I’ve noticed,” she said.
“Was he alright during the night?” he said. Well I mean – how could she answer that one? Honesty was the best policy, she thought.
“Oh I don’t know. I don’t sleep with him,” she said.

“We’ve got to do some tests,” the consultant said.
“We think he might have had a slight stroke in the ambulance.” Just like him, my Mum thought. He never could do anything by halves.

Ten days it took him to die. Took us all by surprise. I mean – he didn’t look too bad when we went to see him. Tried to write us messages. All wobbly they were, and in big letters. Wrote the same word over and over again, and then kept pointing to it. Some of the letters were missing. We had to guess what the word was.

He did try to speak – but he couldn’t. That was the first time I’d known him lost for words. He always had something to say on everything. And he always had to be right.
“They think I’ve had a stroke,” we managed to decipher. Well – it couldn’t be too bad if he could get that across.

Never thought he’d die! Silly old bugger. Why didn’t he fight a bit. But no. He’d been waiting for this chance all his life, and he wasn’t going to blow it now.

We did everything to try and make him live. Brought him food. Jam sandwiches. Those were his favourites. We should have known when he wouldn’t even eat them. And then when the Chaplain came in. I mean – my Dad was an atheist. “Don’t let no bloody parsons near me when I’m dead,” he used to say. But there’s no telling what you’ll do when you think you might be about to snuff it. You could see his eyes light up. He put his hand up to him and smiled at him. Wanted to speak to him – well, as much as he could. Maybe he was playing safe. Needed to be on the right side of God if he might be going to meet Him soon!

I’ll never forget one day. He wanted to go to the toilet. Well – what a palava. He could hardly get out of bed. The nurse came and helped him. I could tell he wasn’t really up to it. He was so weak. Why couldn’t they have got him a bedpan, I thought. Why did they force him to walk all that way? I was almost crying. You wouldn’t do that to an animal, I thought.

We sat there, silently. Then, all of a sudden, it happened. We heard a wailing and a shouting. A chill ran through me. It sounded like an animal. There was fear in the voice. And desperation. The wailing got louder. “WHAT THE……” And suddenly I knew. It was my Dad. I began to shake. What the heck is wrong? I thought. I started, as if to go to him. But suddenly there were all nurses there. He’d fallen off the toilet, and was on the floor in a corner behind the door, crying like a baby.

They got him back into bed. “We’re short-staffed,” the nurse said, brightly. “He’s alright.” My eyes looked into hers, screaming at her, “That’s my DAD. That’s my DAD.”

It was all downhill after that. Soon, they moved him into a side room. The blinds were pulled down. We had our privacy. Not that he did. He kept pulling the sheets down, exposing everything. “Eee, Eee,” he said, pointing to his nether regions.
“It’s alright,” we said. “You’ve got a bag.”
We pulled the sheets back over him – but he fought, insisting, “Eee, Eee.”

We couldn’t win. Gave up in the end. Let him lay there with it all hanging out. Wonder if it was the first time my Mum had seen it in forty two years? He started to get agitated. They came and gave him an injection. He calmed down. We knew this was it.

My Mum brought a tape recorder in. Played an Abba tape. He liked Abba. I got hold of his hand and danced at the side of the bed, and sang along. “Let’s have a party, Dad,” I said. He always did love a party.
He looked at me with a look in his eyes that said, “Yes – let’s.” It was as if, for one moment, he forgot he was dying. Seconds later, he fell into a deep sleep. Soon after that, it was all over. He died to the sounds of ‘Dancing Queen.’

My Mum still doesn’t know why he had to go and do it. “He should have fought,” she says, putting her fists up to heaven. Just like he did when she was about to go at the end of visiting time one day. And that about sums it up. They spent their whole lives fighting. Now, my Mum’s bereft. She’s got no-one to fight any more. Gone down to seven stone. Nothing to feed on. She’s fading fast. I’m waiting for the call.


The days are gone now, and so is the farmhouse. The people who gave life in that place are also gone. I alone am left. Only I carry the story of that place. Only I carry it’s goodness.

The day they tried to knock it down, it still stood there defiant.

“It’s unsafe,” they said. “It needs knocking down.”

Even my grandfather said that – Pop, we called him. He had been around the world, ending up on a cattle ranch in Argentina. On returning to England he had purchased the farm. He knew all that there was to know about cattle – beast, as he often called them. But they were more than best to him. He could be seen most evenings leaning on the gate to the field, stroking the heads of the beast as they came to him. Smoking his pipe and surveying the fields he was at peace.

A very taciturn man, he would sit by the fire in the range, that was lit every day in both summer and winter, with his beloved pipe. Occasionally he would press down the tobacco, and add more, tapping it as he did so. My grandmother and I would be sat in chairs at the side of him, my grandmother occasionally patting his leg in a gesture of affection. Every night,mdead on nine o’ clock, the News and then the all- important weather forecast would be on the wireless, as it was called in those days. Occasionally my grandmother would poke the fire, and sparks would fly up the chimney. A kettle would be on the boil, ready for supper, which always consisted of cheese sandwiches that my grandmother made on the huge wooden table, always resplendent in a starched wire cloth. Then would come the filling of the hot water bottles ready for bed.

This was how it was, every single night. Never a variation. Candles would be lit, and the oil lamp put out.

As a child, this was a wondrous place to me. It felt so firm, so solid and secure. And so, on the day that the farmhouse was pulled down, it seemed in keeping that it refused to go. It took numerous attempts with the hugecwrecking ball, to get it to fall down. In fact the men thought they were not going to get it down.

This place had become, for me my only home. This was my only solid base, to which I returned as often as I could. I. was at my happiest when I was there.


It will soon be twenty years since I met him. The thing I remember most is the teaspoon laden to overflowing with honey that he raised into the air and then with a flourish placed in his tea, stirring it round and round until he was certain it had all been stirred in. There was something in the exaggerated way that he did that that arrested me. Who and what was this man? He was not what I had expected him to be. I had expected a kindly old vicar, but this one was different. I knew it from the start.

I have no recollection of the conversation that we had that day, he sitting at his computer desk, me sitting on the little pink settee that seemed rather incongruous in a study that was essentially male. That settee was a place where I was to sit many times, deep in conversation with him. I found him fascinating from the beginning. He was so different from the norm. He lived in a world that I could never possibly inhabit. A world of the higher classes. Of money and good living. I was from a humble if tumultuous background. Though my grandparents were rich, my parents had never had money, and I was a lover of simplicity. This man lived with the best of everything and very obviously did not love simplicity. Even his socks had designer labels on them, and his sweaters were pure cashmere.

I was young then – well, youngish. If not so much in body, certainly at heart. Not that that has changed much really – the young at heart but. But the body – well that is a different story altogether. Ravaged by cancer, I am now blind and often bedfast. My body weakened by disease, I am no pretty picture. But my mind is taken back to those days when I was much more attractive. To when I loved colour, and my body was blithe and energetic. It was nothing to me in those days to swim thirty six lengths of the local swimming pool each day.

“Pretty blue,” he said to me one day as I sat before him on the little pink settee. He liked me – and I knew it. I had rather liked the blue myself. It kind of glowed. I felt good in it.

I had no idea at that time what was just around the corner.


A long time ago I knew a man who appeared kindly and to all intents and purposes “normal.” A proverbial pillar of the community. Loved by everyone. Except a few. Those few knew the truth. And the truth nearly killed them. In fact, once it did kill someone. And there he sat, with a faraway look in his eye saying,

“In the midst of life we are in death.”

I see his face and hear those words and know, with a certainty that I too could have been in my grave. In the midst of life, dying.


Last night I saw the sun
And knew that it was calling me
It saw me too
Had been waiting
Knowing that this moment would come
It was destined
Long before time began
Even before the world had been born
This place this time
Before all ages this time was waiting
And one day time shall be no more
All will have passed
Even the sun will have gone
But for this moment
The sun is
And it calls me
To the place that was waiting for me


When the world talks
There is a loud clanging
Of emptiness
Disguised as fullness
Leaving me hungry
I crave that which satisfies the soul’s longing
Which can only be found in solitude
Take me to the wild places
Oh wind
Where I can be alone with my soul
Where I can eat and drink
Of Nature’s fullness
Let the wild wind laugh
And let me laugh with it
Let us roll around in joy
Dancing with the clouds
Until the sun sets
And night comes
Then let us rest in peace
In the arms of the dark

FOWC. Nefarious


He came through the gate and down the path with a kind of dance like movement, belying the NEFARIOUS nature of his character. He was well known in the small town and everyone spoke his name with a degree of reverence. He had been known to help a lot of people in the past. People who others may not have bothered about. He seemed to be there for everyone. But no one knew what he was really like, only those whom he allowed into his intimate circle. It was quite in keeping that he wore black on the day of the murder. Pulling at his dog collar he felt that he was on a leash. But he had had his adventure and now he just waited.


Over the past week I have been working hard on my book. It has been hard, as I have had to go back some years to when we moved to a new county following my father’s death. It was an amazing and wonderful time, as I began a new life in a place I did not know at all. It was a time when I made lots of friends and met some very colourful characters. My life was full and I was very active. It was a very beautiful county, and U loved to go walking there.

I have found this to be an exercise that has brought much sadness and grief to me, and I know it is nice to have those memories, but it just emphasises the plight that I am in now and brings tears to my eyes.

We were forced to return to my hometown in 2009 as my husband had to give up work due to ill health, but it never was a happy place for me, which was why we left it in the first place.

As I look back on my life, I wonder what I achieved. I think I have learned a lot, but sadly, wish I could go back in time. I guess many others wish that too.


The wooden gates were closed today
Keeping me from the beyond
Many dragons I had to slay
Demons assailed me on the way
Many there were who would naysay
Nothing could break ole death’s strong bond
The wooden gates were closed today
Keeping me from the beyond


Looking back over her life of darkness
Questioning where it had all gone wrong
A life wasted not of much use
She grieved for what could have been
Why was she born to die?
A paralysed scream
Stuck in her throat
Too late now
To change
Caressed her
Sore grief shivered
Was this the ending
Planned for her in times past?
Could her soul now find salvation?
A voice pierced this deepest dark
“Look carefully my child
A silver ribbon
Runs through your life
Grasp it tight


This is going to be a thoroughly sad tale. Normally people look for hope and inspiration in a story, but there is none in this one. Just unremitting misery and wretchedness. It is a tale of utter woe. Indeed it is truly pitiful. It began in Nottingham, in a dingy flat where a woman became pregnant. She and her husband had no money, and the woman had to go to the nearby raliway line to pick up coal that had dropped off the trains, in order that they could have a fire.


This is going to be a thoroughly sad tale. Normally people look for hope and inspiration in a story, but there is none in this one. Just unremitting misery and wretchedness. It is a tale of utter woe. Indeed it is truly pitiful. It began in Nottingham, in a dingy flat where a woman became pregnant. She and her husband had no money, and the woman had to go to the nearby raliway line to pick up coal that had dropped off the trains, in order that they could have a fire.

If I were to look back on my life now I would see all sorts of things but know now that it has come to nought, it was as nought for it has come to nought,

The gradual whittling away of everything.mmthinking I had found something but then it failed and was as nought

It is as nought now because I have nothing left.m neither friends nor family nor life


Clothed in the scent of summer
I come to the place of my destiny
Where the breeze wafts the blooming poppies
Reminding me of my sacrifice
Too long have I acquiesced
But now it is my time
A time that was waiting
Beneath the church clock
You knew that I would be coming
From your resting place behind the wall
No one knew you were there
And only by accident did I find you
But you knew that I would
Even though I hardly knew you
You knew me
Made promises divinely sanctioned
Then brutally I was ripped away from you
And from my very self
Many years have now passed
But this is the day
Some things can never be eternally broken

A HAIBUN: A Twinkling

The night sky was black. Through the blackness there was a twinkling. Stars. The moon was a crescent of light. Stretching in front of me was a lane, long and narrow. The hedges at the sides of the lane rose up into the darkness, just discernible. Down on the ground were potholes, waiting to catch us out as we gazed at the night sky and the twinkling stars, and imagined ourselves in heaven. An owl hooted, and all was well with the world.

High up in the sky
A multitude of twinklings
Saying all is well

Author Spotlight – Lorraine Lewis

Fae Corps Inc

Lorraine is a blind Author. She writes poetry, short stories and maintains a blog. She swears that she was born holding a pen. We have had Lorraine now in two of our anthologies, Fae Dreams and Faery Playground.

Lorraine is based in the UK where she lives with her husband and a rough collie she has named hope. Wheelchair bound, Lorraine is limited to what she is capable of. What she writes is amazing. Her blog, Blindwilderness.wordpress.com is fun and enjoyable to read.

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#FOWC. Fish


I don’t know how I have managed to stay with him for so many years! My husband that is. It has been a wonder that there was any room for me in the house!

First it was FISH. Tropical ones that is. I have no idea at all where he got the idea from, but suddenly tropical fish were all the rage. For him, that was! Tank upon tank upon tank, lining the walls of the house. Not just in one room but every room! Everywhere you looked, there was a fish tank!

Then it was birds! He dispensed with the fish. Found new owners for them. Then lined the walls with cages of birds. Canaries, finches, all sorts. Can you imagine waking up every morning to THAT chorus. I bought myself some ear plugs. They weren’t only downstairs but upstairs too. And oh, the feathers!

Then it was orchids. Rare orchids. Everywhere you looked there was a tiny orchid!

I still do not know how we stayed married, but we did! I am waiting to find out what it will be next,


It’s Sod’s Law isn’t it, I spent the whole of yesterday afternoon writing a chapter of my book. This is no easy task for me, and I was aching all over when I had finished. It was one of those days when the words flowed effortlessly, and this particular chapter formed the core of the book.

Feeling exhilarated, I hit the arrow in the top left hand corner of my iPad, to Save what I had done. Two buttons came up. Save and Delete.

You know what I am going to say don’t you? Yes, I hit the Delete button!

I was devastated. No way could I remember exactly what I had written, and anyway I was too exhausted and in pain to attempt to write it again.

By about midnight there was no way that I could just let that chapter go, so I started writing again. I completed it. It was rather different from the previous one,but strangely , may be even better. I hope so!


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


I can’t remember if I posted this or not, but anyway, here goes

Step out
Of your small boat
Walk across the water
Deep and dark with your suffering
Walk on
Head high
Let not the darkness suck you down
Look ahead to the sun
Drawing you on
Pure light


As I awaken I have fear in my heart. I try to distract myself. I think of fresh green grass wet with the morning dew. I think of waking in the Lake District and the silence before everyone else wakes up. I think of the sun just rising, and the new day ahead. A day in the mountains again. I imagine myself to be young and fit again, and not bound by age, sickness and this body. Which days are the most real? Then, or now? Time is slipping by and soon my time on this earth will be done. My life is limited now, and I hardly feel alive. There is still the fresh green grass wet with the morning dew. There are still mountains waiting to be climbed. But not by me.

Once I was going to climb Everest. It sounded impossible, even as I said it. How could I climb Everest? I was being ridiculous. Yet I still entertained the thought.

I never made Everest, and now it is like climbing Everest getting to the bathroom in a morning. I listen to my husband, still fast asleep, but making strange noises. He sounds like a baby. I begin to shake inside. Is his time running out? We are alone. All our family is gone, and I fear because I do not know what is going to become of us. I long to go back – to that time when we were the masters. When we could direct our own lives. When we needed no one, and when we were not bound by the chains of age.and I wonder how free we really are. Was freedom an illusion? How much of life is an illusion?

It is not an illusion that we are going to die. And for us it will come sooner rather than later. There will be a “Goodbye.” We have already said “Goodbye” to so much. Our lives are fading. The green grass will still be green, long after we are gone, and it will still be wet with the morning dew. Little lambs will run and jump and play in the fields. But they too are doomed. They too will die. For death comes to all.

How do we say “Goodbye”? We cannot do it without help. Yet that last breath, we have to take alone. No one can do it for us. And in that moment we surrender our lives. We surrender them to the Great Unknown.


As I write, I have wondered whether the story that I want to tell should be told in fist person or third person, and I have been experimenting with both. Having just posted a chapter of my book, I know I am not satisfied with it. But I am asking myself if I would have been better to have used the third person. I would be interested to hear your views on first and third person for story telling.