Val asked us to write an abecedarian poem on the thenes of self discovery:

Ancient paths lead me
Beside the rivers of old
Chanting to me their soul songs
Dancing in the noonday sun
Etching on my heart their meanings
Flavouring my life anew
Going inwards I find a self
Holding visions and dreams
Inviting me to find the brightest
Jewels shining with new life
Kinetic rays of clarity
Lovesongs rare but true
Mansions of glory
Nights of innocence
Opulence divine
Priceless these things
Quiet in their divinity
Raising my mind to the skies
Soaring with me
To a better place
Understanding the truth of love
Visions of what I could be
Wanderings taking me deep inside
Xylophones playing out the tunes
Yellow orchids swaying
Zest for life again


Val, of ‘A Different Perspective’ is running an End of Summer Scavenger Hunt. She asks us to write a sestina on the theme of exploration. Here is my effort!

Exploring her world the child
Looked up at the silent night sky
Searching for God in the darkness
Amidst the twinkling stars
Holding onto a strong hand
If only she could fly
But she knew she was bound to this earth

Often she had played in the earth
Delving like a child
Wishing that she could fly
Just like the birds in the sky
Through the soil she trailed her hand
Waiting to see the stars

She wondered at the stars
Her feet planted on the earth
Holding out her hand
To be guided like a child
Trying to touch the sky
Watching the raptors fly

Once she believed she could fly
And touch the moon and the stars
Though darkened was the sky
Just like the things of the earth
Amazing it was to the child
Who held all things in her hand

She drew pictures with her hand
Knowing her spirit could fly
The simplicity of the child
Allowed her to touch the stars
She was not now bound to the earth
She knew she could reach the sky

So wondrous was the sky
She held it in her hand
Whilst standing on the earth
Willing her soul to fly
So many were the stars
So simple was this child

She discovered that she could fly her hand
Reached out to the sky held stars
So simple was the child her feet upon the earth


Fandango gave us the words, “I don’t think you sufficently appreciate.”

Jim sat in his leather armchair by the fire, newspaper in hands. Monica was in the kitchen wrestling with a wonky oven that wouldn’t work properly, surrounded by dirty clothes that she hadn’t had time to wash. Even the washing machine had its moments when it seemed to go on strike.

The beef that she had put into the oven what seemed hours ago just wasn’t cooking properly. And Jim was partial to a bit of nice beef – complete with roast potatoes and horseradish of course.

“When’s dinner going to be ready?” he shouted impatiently.

“Oh it won’t be too long now,” shouted back Monica. “It’s this damned oven. It won’t work properly.”

Jim sat back and lit another cigar.

Some minutes passed and Monica, feeling frustrated, decided to call it a day with the beef. He would just have to have it rare. The roast potatoes might be a bit hard, but never mind. At least the horseradish would be okay as it was out of a jar!

As she passed the pile of dirty clothes she spied one of Jim’s shirts. To her horror she saw lipstick on the collar. It certainly wasn’t hers either. She never had time to apply make up nowadays anyway. She was too busy dealing with cooking and keeping the house in order with rickety equipment. She stared at the lipstick. Whose was it?

Suddenlym she erupted.

She picked up the shirt, took it into the living room and shoved it under Jim’s nose.

“What the hell do you think this is?” she spat out at him.

Jim took another puff of his cigar and replied,

“You never were very adventurous in the sex department. I don’t think you sufficiently appreciate how much a man needs good sex. And as you were not willing to provide it, I took up on Diana’s offer.”

Monica, outraged, went into the kitchen, returned with a carving knife and stuck it in him.


She always did wear a MASK. Everyone thought she was a witch. Well, that was what she portrayed herself as. She took great delight in repulsing everyone. Most people avoided her.

It came to the end of term ball at the college. A time of great excitement and anticipation. Everyone planned how they would look on that night, for many months. It was a great occasion in the life of the college.

The evening was beginning to get into full swing, everyone dolled up to the nines. Suddenly, from behind a SCREEN, Bernie appeared. Everyone started to gasp and TREMBLE. She was beautiful. Her hair that was long and naturally blonde was flowing down her back, making its debut. Her gown was gold in colour, and her shoes matched. Her face was made up beautifully, in a delicate kind of a way. She looked soft and gentle and simply gorgeous.

Bernie was the talk of the college after that, but she soon reverted to being the witch that they knew, or that they thought they knew. But now, they treated her with a kind of reverence. Secretly, Bernie was laughing. If she had pulled that off she could pull anything off. She felt omniscient. Abd who knows – she probably was!


I sat in my wheelchair in the middle of a huge hall, in the total darkness, not knowing which way I was facing, or where the door to get out of the room was. I was alone. I was panicking. Sitting at a table at one end of the room was a group of people. I had been sitting with this group of people just a few minutes earlier, when one of them attacked me verbally and ridiculed me in front of the others. The hall was a church hall, and we were all meant to be having a friendly coffee and chat together. The attack came quite out of the blue. I had no idea who was at the table, for people never spoke to me directly, or said my name. It was impossible for me to discern voices and who was speaking at any given time. I was alone and cut off, though in company. I inhabited a different world to them. The world of a blind wheelchair user.

The person sitting next to me WAS someone whom I knew. Norma. She had had a habit of accosting me at various times, and the last time it had been because I was not smiling and waving at people when they smiled and waved at me. It was known that I was blind, but no allowance was made for that. Norma had accosted me telling me that I was stand offish and snobbish. Additionally, I was full of pride, and that was a deadly sin and I would have to go to Confession. She repeated this to everyone around the table that morning, at which I swung my wheelchair round, intending to leave the room. However, it was something that I could not do without help. Someone had guided me into the hall, but now, there was no one to guide me out. I could hear the group of people, led by Norma, continuing to talk about me, and I just sat there, right out in the middle of the huge hall, trapped and helpless. There was no way at all that I could find my way out, and the doors were double doors anyway, that someone would have to open for me. No one came to my aid.

I sat there for a while, smarting, afraid, and trapped. Unable to leave and get away from this cruelty. In time, however, the lady from the kitchen noticed my plight and came to help me and guide me out through the double doors. Norma noticed this happening, and followed us, getting in my way so that I ran over her foot. At that, she yelled loudly, so that all the others could hear,

“NOW she’s run over my bloody foot.”

My only way out of this was to ring my husband to come to the church and pick me up. I was in shreds..

The darkness inside me was impenetrable. I was blind, and through no fault of my own, was being accused of what was viewed as a terrible sin – unjustly.

There was only one place that I could go, and, once we had been home to recuperate somewhat, I asked my husband to take me to an ancient little church where I always found peace.

It was almost night time by now, and it was dark by the time we got there. I went and sat inside the little church in the total darkness. It was pitch black. As I sat, feeling like a stone, and as if nothing could reach me, quite suddenly, I had an amazing experience. It was as if the dark was putting its arms around me. I cannot to this day explain it or understand it, but all that I can say is that it happened. It felt like a mother putting her arms around me.

It was this experience that made me start thinking more about the darkness. It was not necessarily bad, or a thing to be feared. It could have a good side to it too. That day changed my life for ever.

Issue III contributors

Free Verse Revolution:

It is my pleasure to share the contributors of Issue III: hestia (hearth & home). The issue, due to be released in late September, will feature poetry, prose, photography & artwork by the following creators:

Ken Anderson

Jaya Avendel

Jude Ballard

Enrico Barigazzi

Corinna Board

Constance Bourg

Karan Chambers

Emma Conally-Barklem

Rachel Dickens

Caitlan Docherty

Brianna Flood

Karen E. Fraser

Devereaux Frazier

Rebecca Green

Morgan Hayes

Kevin Hüttenmüller

Laura Jameson

Nameera Anjum Khan


Richard LeDue

Barbara Leonhard

Lorraine Lewis


Dee Li

Charles T. Low

Sarah Beck Mather

Marisela Brazfield

Jennifer McLamb

Emily Mew

Gabriela Marie Milton

Ellie Morfou

Soph Murray

Vanessa Napolitano

Jonathan O’Farrell

Lisa Perkins

T. S. Priest

Victoria Punch

Sunra Rainz

Kristiana Reed

Poppy Revell

Rebecca Rijsdijk

Faye Alexandra Rose

Jasleen Saini

Lara Simpson

Sebastian Nguyet Snow

Ivor Steven

Diana Story

Greta Unetich

Aleksandra Vujisic

Lynn White

Robin Williams

Ingrid Wilson

Howard Young

Lori Zybala


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I remember the darkness that enfolded me as I returned home from my fortnightly chemo sessions in 2013. It was coming on the darkest part of the year – a time that I always hated. I thought the darkness would suffocate me. I couldn’t breathe. It smothered me. I longed for the light, and I longed for it even more as I faced this terrible cancer that threatened to kill me. It had invaded almost every part of my body – except my brain, which meant, sadly, that I was aware of everything. I saw things that I would rather not see. I smelled things that I would rather not smell. I touched and felt things that I would rather not feel. And I returned home, my spirit retching, to the utter darkness. This was how it was going to be for a long time to come. No respite. No mercy. No compassion. Just a cold hardness like ice to my spirit.

Oh yes, I reached for the light. But there was none there. Not in my mind anyway. Everything was a “leap of faith” anyway, according to the ward sister as she stuck innumerable things into me. She offered no real hope. And what was faith anyway? Faith that this thing would eventually kill me and get me out of this wretched world – for it had been a wretched world to me. Certainly not a place of light.

I hated this darkness. I tried to take hold of that thing called faith and leap with it. But I was not used to leaping. I never did like gymnastics and to me, trying to have faith was like trying to do mental gymnastics.

It was strange. Later, in the darkness, I thought I could fly. That was the “benefit” of one of the drugs they gave to me. I was high. Eventually. High as a kite, and I thought I could get out onto my bedroom window sill, stretch out me arms, jump, and take flight. I was going to America to see my best friend.

But soon the darkness returned. I could not fly. I could not do gymnastics, mental or otherwise. No, I was stuck in this bed, unable even to lift a spoon to my mouth. Not that I could eat anyway.

And so it went on. The darkness, the darkness. I had lost everything. Everything that made me human. Even my dignity as I laid there naked on the bed. Oozing. Repulsive. And yet, in that darkness a flame still burned inside me. Imperceptibly. Unnoticed by me. Where was it? I only know in looking back, that it was there. A flame. A strong flame. Reaching up to the heavens. Willing me to live. Reaching for life. Reaching out in the darkness.


Reaching for the light
Arms wrenched from their sockets
I try to grasp
That last little bit
As it disappears
It is for ever
No going back
No recovering
Just gone
The light forever gone
In my hands
My outstretched arms
Wrenched from their sockets
I hold
The darkness
I have no choice
I hold it
Turn it over
And over again
Lift it up to the heavens
And find
That it is good


Waking between sheets of nothingness
Knowing that never will I be found
In the darkness of the night
Where only nightingales sing
I too sing in the dark
A broken song that no one hears
Reaching out for the arms of the dark
My only comforter
What miseries what horrors
Lie in its folds
No respite can there ever be
For now I know I live
In the land of desolation



I will build my little altar
In the woods where fairies play
Where gentleness reigns
And sweet voices sing
Where playfulness is the religion
And there is no judgement
For being as children
Is the way to finding heaven
Where transparency is the path
That everyone walks
Light as a feather
No black coats
Or white plastic smiles
Whilst behind the eyes is evil
An arrogance that only power can bring
A need for position
And a cruel icy coldness
I will build my little altar
In the woods where fairies play


As a child I often sat up in bed at night, in the darkness, singing, to try and dispel the darkness. I feared what would happen in the darkness, and my experience told me that things did. I am under no illusion that my singing actually did dispel the darkness, but it helped me feel as if I had some control over it. Of course I didn’t. We can have no control over the darkness. We may think we can, and we do all kinds of things to try and dispel it, like having lights in our homes, street lights, candles, torches, and many other kinds of things. But do these things actually get rid of the darkness? Do they stop it being there? No, they do not. Underneath all of that, the darkness still remains.

So what are we to do? We have to learn to live in the darkness just as we live in the light.

JUST as we live in the light? Well no, probably not. For how can we live in the darkness in the same way as we live in the light? It is not possible. We are changed by the darkness. We become different people. And only those who have walked in the darkness can understand that.

Walking in the darkness is the loneliest place in the world to be.



This book is going to be about the darkness, written in the darkness. Most people do not like the darkness. Most people want to retain some element of the light. Some glimmer, however tiny. In most of my writing I have attempted to incorporate some sense of the light into even the darkest of subjects. Then I thought,

“What if I were to write a book with nothing but darkness in it? What if I were to write a book about the darkness, in the darkness, that is an honest representation of a life?”

I toyed with the idea, not quite knowing how it would come out, but I felt drawn to it. In fact not only did I feel drawn, but I felt it very necessary. And so, that is how this book came about.

A book about the dark, written in the dark.


The day was clear and warm was the sun
A half baked plan began to take shape
For so many days we’d filled our minds
With thoughts of joining the booted throng
The mountain called with joyful voice
We vowed one day we would reach the top

We’d pitched our tent right at the top
Of a hill lit up each day by the sun
The cows and sheep were in good voice
We looked in awe at the mountain’s shape
We mingled with the bright coated throng
With mountain climbing on our minds

We’d come to this place with much on our minds
We’d never thought of the mountain top
Until we were drawn by the growing throng
Taking their chance in the baking sun
We knew we were not really in good shape
But still we kept hearing the mountain’s voice

We’d never before heard this ringing voice
With so many problems filling our minds
Our lives had taken on such a strange shape
And now we were called by the mountain top
We lost our heads in the summer sun
And joined with glee the booted throng

We cast our lot with the booted throng
Gave in to the mountain’s insistent voice
Our bodies bathed in the morning sun
Putting all inhibitions out of our minds
We kept our focus on the top
As our eyes beheld its rugged shape

The ones around us were in good shape
But they were such a merry throng
We knew in time we would reach the top
As we climbed we kept listening to the voice
We now had nothing else on our minds
We reached the top in the evening sun

From the mountain’s shape we heard its voice
In the sun we joined the merry throng
Our minds made up we reached the top


I always wanted to sleep in a FIELD. I don’t know why, but sleeping indoors makes me feel trapped, as if I can’t breathe. I love open spaces – big open spaces.

When I was staying with my grandparents at the farm I hated night times because it meant I had to go and sleep in a bed. There I was, surrounded by all those wonderful fields and the open spaces and I had to sleep in a bed. It was sacrilege. “Look at all those good fields going to waste,” I used to think.

When I go to the little church that I have written about here often, I can sit by the tiny wooden door, and look through the trees to the open fields beyond that stretch right into the distance for miles and miles. I imagine myself in that big open space and the feeling of freedom that it would bring were I able to run into it. There is an ancient pathway to the door of the church that crosses the fields, and it would have been the one that the folks in the Middle Ages used to get to the church. How amazing to think that if I could walk that path I would be walking where people in times gone by, who lived a completely different life to ours, walked. Life for them would be ruled by the seasons and by nature. We, in our times, try to tame nature, but in those days they incorporated it into their lives fully. They lived by the land. That was all they had, and mud hut type places to live in.

Just up the road from the little church are the remains of a medieval village. You can see the layout of the village and its little pathways by looking at the mounds in the grass. It too, is now a field, but it just remains as an ancient monument. The village was wiped out at the time of the Black Death, but somehow or other it came back into being again.

I often imagine these ancient people working in the fields, stopping and bowing their heads at the sound of the Angelus bell coming from the little church, four times a day, calling people to stop what they were doing for one moment and pray the Angelus. In the firelds they would stop planting or digging up potatoes, for instance and lean on their shovels and pray. Once, I got permission from the churchwarden to ring the Angelus bell myself. It was an amazing experience.

It was the church bell that communicated everything to people. There was even a pancake bell that they rang on Shrove Tuesday to say that the pancakes were due to be made. It communicated when someone had died, too. So many rings for a male and so many for a female, and then the number of rings that told how old the person was. It rang to announce a birth too, again, so many rings for a boy and so many rings for a girl.

Part of me wishes that we still lived like that, but of course there are some good things to be said about progress. People did not live very long in those days, and you were lucky to reach the age of 50. Food was an issue and many lived in poverty. The people did not grow very tall either, and mostly they were below 5 feet tall. Doors in those days were not very high because of this. They did not need to be. Some houses today still have those low doors.

Ah, the memories and thoughts that the word “field” brings to my mind!


It was the summer of 2009 and we (we being my husband and I) had just moved back to my home county of Lincolnshire. It had been a traumatic move back, my husand having fallen in the kitchen of our old home in Derbyshire and snapped his foot off two days before the move. He was in hospital on the day of the move and so I moved alone (well, apart from my two rough collie dogs, Jade and Asha). One bright summer’s day I decided to take a drive through the Lincolnshire countryside to re-acquaint myself with it. As I drove, I suddenly came across a signpost to an ancient church, and I turned off down the tiny narrow road to go and see it.

It turned out to be an amazing place, isolated as it was with nothing but fields surrounding it. It was so tiny that it took only forty steps to get from the back to the front of it. As I pushed open the narrow arched door of the church, my first impression was of the DARK inside the church. There was just a little bit of LIGHT coming in through the long narrow windows that were very high up. It felt mysterious with its whitewashed walls and dark oak pews. The aisle was not very WIDE and, later in time I doscovered that weddings took place there and I wondered how two people side by side could walk up or down that aisle.

Such was the pull of this place that I began to research its history, and as I did so I felt I almost knew the people who had been there before, right back in the 1400s and 1500s. It had been a place of great loss, especially of babies and young children. It had been run by monks, one of whom had died in a fire there. Next to the church was what had been a bi manor, and in the 1800s the owner of the manor had been in the city of Lincoln, and, whilst walking in the Bail one day there was a rabid dog on the loose, attacking and biting children. He got all the children together and took them over to France to the Pasteur Institute where a vaccine against rabies had just been developed. All the children were given the vaccine and not one of them died. It certainly was a place of many stories.

I became very attached to the place, and even now, I often go there to enjoy the peace and quiet and to connect with souls from the past.


Stay with me until the morning
Stay until the new day’s dawning
Let me know your touch so strong
The new day won’t be very long
I close my eyes my soul is yawning

I am so tired and I am yearning
To rest in peace my world is turning
I hear kind Nature’s eternal song
Stay with me

Let sleep dispel my spirit’s churning
All things rest my flame is burning
Inward light does call me on
The light that always in me shone
A new call now I am discerning
Stay with me


Once upon a time some sillywaddlers sillywaddled into a church and pretendised to be real good peopliodes. They sittised right at the front where the priestliode could see them. Some of them even readised from the Bibliode and led some prayeries. They kneelised down and closied their eyekins. Their AMEN could be heard right through the church, and they singised real loud. They lookised proper pious.

Some peopliodes came in who were a bit raggedy, One of them was blind and in a wheeliechair. The pious sillywaddlers went and shooised them out of the church telling them that they couldn’t come in lookising like that. But the one in the wheeliechair smilised sweetly and ran over the foot of the sillywaddler. The sillywaddker yellised out so that all could hear, and shoutised,

“Look what this silly raggedy blindey idiot has done now. She ran over my bluddy foot.”

The blindey idiot then took a water pistol out of her pocketilode and squirted it at the sillywaddler. The sillywaddler yelled again and demanded that the police be sentised for. But lots of peopliodes in the congregation were ripe for a good bun fight and they got all sorts out of their handybags and pockets and started joinising in. In the end no one knew who anyone was, not even the priestliode who got his doggy collarie all skew whiff in the fight.

Then, the priestliode , after straightening his doggy collarie said,

“The Piece of the Lord,” and told everyone to exchange the Piece. They all scowlised at one another and said, “The Piece of the Lord” through clenchised teeth.

Then they all sang “Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war,” and everyone felt a bit happier.

Everyone said what a bluddy good Service it was and that they were coming again next week.



I have often wished, like probably many people have, that I could FLY.

When I was a child, we lived in Blackpool for a while. It was not, in those days, the place it is today. It was much quieter, and a walk along the promenade used to be wonderful. I do not know if this is still the case, but on the beach there was a small aeroplane that you could pay to have a ahort trip in. I always wanted to go up in it but my parents would never let me. In fact, I have never ever flown at all.

We loved living in Blackpool, and my father used to go to the back door of the theatre and get autographs for me. He loved to do that and would come home proudly when he had achieved that.

We often used to walk DOWN to the Pleasure Beach as well, and have waffles, which was a great treat. My mother was also very partial to a few prawns from the stalls on the promenade nearby. They served them in little tiny pots, and you could put vinegar on them if you wished.

Those were great days, and it was a huge WRENCH when we left Blackpool. More so as well, because I had to leave my pet rabbit, Timmy, behind. We gave him to a friend, and my mother promised me that we would go back to see Timmy. We never did though. I used to keep reminding her, years later, that she had never taken me back to see Timmy! She is dead now, so we definitely won’t be going to see Timmy now.


Ashes now to ashes you are dust
In frailty you did die with three loud cries
The earth now holds you tight within its crust

On darkest night your soul was coldly thrust
Into eternity that never ever lies
Ashes now to ashes you are dust

And we who now are left here surely must
Live in the darkness with the light that dies
The earth now holds you tight within its crust

You who with contradiction broke my trust
Now must face the truth, existence flies
Ashes now to ashes you are dust

The words you said are covered now in rust
There is no longer time for all the whys
The earth now holds you tight within its crust

Eternity has called you from life’s lust
We said today our final last goodbyes
Ashes now to ashes you are dust
The earth now holds you tight within its crust


Yesterday we went and sat by the old wooden bridge just outside my home village. . We had not been there for two years. The last time that we went was October 2019, just before my mother died.

We used to sit often, by the bridge, which goes over a kind of little river, and into the fields beyond. It is so quiet and peaceful there, though often there are some dog walkers. Yesterday there was no one, and the peace was beautiful.

I have many memories of this place. I thougt of the farm – my grandparents’ farm, which is outside the village in the opposite direction. I remembered the wonderful times that I used to have there.

Just this last week or so, the cut off from my family has become complete, making this visit necessary. I have one brother and one sister left, and they want nothing more to do with us, because we are disabled. Not that we ever had much of a relationship with them anyway. It has been a hard few weeks in which we have attempted to make a friendship with my brother and sister, but all to no avail.

My sister still has my mother’s ashes tied up in seven carrier bags, in her bedroom drawer. I would love her to release them properly, as my mother wanted, and have her scattered, but this is something she refuses to do. Yes, I know she has issues! But there you go.

As some of you know, I had a toxic, dysfunctional family, made so by my mother. There is no point in flogging a dead horse, though I had, deep inside me, hoped for some movement toward us from at least my brother. However, this is not to be!

So now, we are literally all alone in the world, and in a way, despite our own severe disabilites, that is best.

So going to sit by the bridge, remembering better days, and my grandparents’ farm, was a good thing to do.

I found my grandfather’s old walking stick yesterday too,and held it in my hands. It has a kind of shepherd’s crook on it, though he was not a shepherd. He had cows and chickens and grew wheat etc. To hold that stick gave me a much needed connection back to the farm, which I am writing quite a lot about in my book.

Not too long ago I wrote a murder mystery based in that village. It was fun to write. I think I may write another!


It looked like FROST. It felt like frost. It was frost. But it was only August. Never before had Alice seen frost in August. But then never had so much happened before. The world was a different place now, after the pandemic. But a pandemic shouldn’t have made frost come in August. No, It had to be something else.

It was DAWN. Her favourite time of the day. The leaves on the willow tree were glistening in the weak sunlight that was just beginning to appear. Everything seemed weird. Then suddenly she saw a rabbit doing a hop, SKIP and a jump out of the bushes. Did rabbits hop, skip and jump as high as this normally? She was not sure she had ever seen it quite like this before. But then nothing had ever been quite like this before. It seemed to be a topsy turvy world.

Alice went inside and picked up her newspaper. All over the world strange things were happening. No one knew why.

“Oh well,” said Alice to herself. “I’ll have another cup of tea. A cup of tea fixes everything.”


On the grass that’s filled with goobies
Fulchaes nestling in its blades
Lies my trusty snobalob
Waiting for my hand to garble
All day long it wists and wadles
Singing songs of longibotes
Flying round the bootlelegs
Hissing with their sholvikins
Sun shines down and maubles shrivel
Phew it is too hotikins
Still sits there my snobalob
Holding on until I voodle


Come to me my Love
Let me see you with eyes blinded by love
Let me put my hands onto Your wounds
Caress Your Body
With my broken body
Bruised by the world’s cruelty
And incomprehension
Let the rivers of blood and water flow
For we are already one
Our hearts beat as one
Our cries rise to heaven as one
In the abandonment of love
Pure sacrifice
Ecstatic in union
In Love You came
And with blind eyes I saw You

#FOWC. Hint

Bridget put the finishing touches to her apple pie. It was rhe best time of year as far as she was concerned. The nights were just beginning to lengthen, and there was just a HINT of cold in the night air. Sam ambled into the huge farmhouse kitchen looking pleased with himself.

“I did it,” he announced to Bridget.

“It wasn’t that hard really. He didn’t struggle too much either. He’s at the bottom of the reservoir now.”


Slowly, Ernie began to ROLL down the grassy slope, gradually gathering speed. Ellie threw her SANDWICH into the litter bin, then rubbed her hands together. There was just a slight STREAK of blood on them, from where Ernie had clawed at her as she had wrestled with him. By evening she was back home again.

“Good job done,” she said to the budgie.


It was a very dark NIGHT and she was walking along the ROUGH path to the old farmhouse. As she came to a gap in the hedge just where the old fishing pond was, the water seemed to SHIMMER. It was such a long time since she had been here, and the farmhouse was derelict now. Her memories went back a long way – to when her grandparents were still alive, and the farm was all hustle and bustle. They were happy days. But life had taken her into places that were not so happy. Tonight, however, she had an assignation.


Well, having lost two cleaners, we found ourselves in a pickle! Not sure what sort, but it was a bit sour! It wasn’t our fault, but you know what it is these days – you just can’t get the staff. So we have been trying to find a new one. Impossible!

We need them to change our bed, but they don’t want to do that! Our old cleaner did. So hubby found a quilt cover online that has a zip going round all four sides, so you don’t have to crawl inside it! Can’t wait to try it, but at least we can change the bed on our own now.

I don’t know how everyone else in the U.K. is faring but our supermarkets have quite a lot of empty shelves. Our groceries are delivered, and we wondered why we were not getting the things we ordered. I hope bog rolls are protected!

I am still busy writing my book(s). One is almost finished and the other one is started, entitled “A Walk in the Dark.”

The weather is clammy, and has been for a while now so I am fed up with being damp all the time!

I think our willow tree is about to take over our garden!

Night after the rain…

Please put your Likes and Comments on Sonder’s blog, not mine. Here is one very amazing new young poet. Please support her.

Sonder yearner

A poem based on how night feels after rain pours down — the content that comes after we stand on the terrace and feel the tranquility ofnature

Image by StockSnap fromPixabay

The night after the rain
is serene and cold.
The nature is calm and
life is on hold.

Standing on the terrace stairs,
seeing how the stars stare.
From behind the cloud curtains.
Night after the rain
is peaceful and cold.

Wind running across my hairs,
make them dance with the air.
The feeling of content in my heart.
Night after the rain
is breezy and cold.

Water dripping off the leaves
makes the heart of the ground slowly wet.
With happiness in every drop.
Night after the rain
is jovial and cold.

~Arushi Sahu

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Three Things Challenge

“They’ve run out of my TEA,” she moaned, in a despondent TONE. She began to REPEAT herself over and over again. She had never been a tea drinker before but at the age of 63 had suddenly discoverd the delights of drinking tea. Now her house was full of boxes of tea. In fact you couldn’t move for them. Rose tea, green tea, energy tea. That was the one she liked best – the energy tea. Well, she had to keep her energy up to keep going down town to buy all that tea. But now, stocks had run out and Shelley had enough tea to open up her own tea shop.


There is a Love
That will never let us go
At the heart of the Universe
Whatever sorrows may flow
The seas tossing us round
The darkness filling our hearts
Until our heads pound
And though we are lost
In uncertainty and pain
Dressed in deep agony host
To fears and doubts innumerable
Love exists, will always win through
Waiting for us to reach out
And touch the eternal always new


I have found a publisher who wants my story of going blind. This piece was written earlier in the year, but I think I might include it.

I wake every morning with a terrible feeling in my stomach. I wake to the remembrance that I am blind. I see the light coming through the window, but nothing else. The light does not illuminate anything for me. I know that this is how it is going to be for the rest of the day – and for every day from here on in. I tussle with a sense almost of disbelief and then a painful resignation to the fact. There is nothing I can do. The day stretches out in front of me. What can I do with all those hours ahead of me in which I see only a grey mist obliterating everything for me?

As I sit up in bed I am painfully aware that no one can understand my plight. That I am alone. People have expectations of me or their own ideas of what this might be like. They have their own ideas of how I should feel or tackle this. But no one can contemplate the utter blackness that I feel inside. The depression. The hopelessness. The despair. And in a way neither can I. I think that maybe it could be different. But it can’t. I am bewildered. Confused. I keep blinking, thinking that if I blink enough, I will start to see something. But I don’t.

It is a Spring day. A beautiful Spring day, of which I will see nothing. My husband tells me that the trees are all in blossom, sportng different beautiful shades – red, pink, yellow, white. The daffodils are blooming. The forsythia at our front door is am amazing bright yellow. The willow teee in our garden is coming into leaf. It is my favourite time of year – and I can see nothing of it. The only colour I can see is grey.

I experience a sudden stab of deep sadness, along with a deep aching and longing. I keep my feelings under wraps. I have cried. Oh yes I have cried. Many many tears. But to what avail? Nothing will change, and you can’t cry for ever, I am required to “accept it,” to “come to terns with it.” Whatever do those things mean anyway? Whatever they mean, I know that I fall far short of the mark.

I think back to that beautiful Spring day eight years ago – a day just like this – when all this began. On that day too, the trees were blossoming and sporting the most beautiful colours. Flowers were blooming on the roadside and in people’s gardens, and everything was coming to life again after the long hard winter. Yet this was the day on which I was told that I may be dying. A dark, dark day. I was in a dingy hospital room with the blinds pulled down so that the warm sun could not get to me. At that point I did not know that in fact I would survive the cancer that was raging like wildfire in my body, but that my days would become for ever grey. I did not envisage what I have got now.

For most blind people, there is a way of living. A way of being. Many were born blind, or went blind when they were very young. They have grown up being blind. Some have been to Blind Schools. They have learned how to live blind, in a largely sighted world. They appear to be happy. They can do the things that I cannot do. And I guess that most people see this and think that it is the same for all blind people. They manage somehow, and therefore I should too. This in itself becomes a pressure to me. As I think of it my anger rises within me, along with my sense of hopelessness. Maybe I can never be accepted in this world, as I am. I will have to change. Hide my pain, cease crying. . Smile for the camera of the world. But inside, I rebel against this. I can only be me. And yet, I feel the need to hide the real me. The Lorraine who grieves. The Lorraine who hurts. Slowly, slowly, as each day goes by, I withdraw more and more into myself. Into my world of isolation. A world that no one else can reach into, and nor would they want to. Real life awaits them, and they leave me behind. And so I lie on my bed, staring into the grey mist, feeling empty. Feeling paralysed.

I reach my hand out to the chest at the side of my bed. I am feeling for the cold drink that is there. Lemonade. I drink a lot of that nowadays. It has to be ice cold, and fizzy. The flat stuff will not do. It cannot pass muster. No, it has to be fizzy, so that I can actually feel it. I have to have that sensation in my mouth and throat – a sensation of aliveness. For in fact I have little or no sensation in my hands. And that goes for my face, legs and feet too. But with no real sensation in my hands, and no eyesight, I knock my drink onto the floor. The carpet at the side of my bed is soaked yet again. I am past crying about it. What is the point? But the crying is still deep within me. Just as it is when I look at the light coming through the window and know that I will see nothing of this day.

I remember, way back at the beginning, when I had just gone into remission from the cancer, seeing a blind Gospel singer on the television. She was playing the piano in a most amazing way, and singing in that incredible way that only accomplished Gospel singers have. To this day I do not understand what happened, but something inside me said,

“You are going to be blind too, like this woman.” I have no idea to this day where that voice or that knowledge came from. Yes, my sight was definitely not what it used to be, but certainly no one had any idea that I was going blind. The haematologist said that the drugs I had been given could make your eyesight deteriorate a little, but that I just needed some new glasses. He told me to see an optician. I was comforted by that, and thought no more of it. However, when the optician finally saw me I knew, deep inside me that something was wrong. And I had had those words come to me whilst watching the blind Gospel singer. Despite that though, I felt a kind of dread. It was proved to be well founded.

My sight has only gone gradually. At first I viewed it as a challenge. In a way I relished the idea of meeting that challenge, and did not become depressed or distressed. My distress was more at the way in which people treated me. Being unable to see them, I failed to respond to them when they waved and smiled at me. I became known as standoffish and snobbish. In fact, those things were said to my face one day. I was attacked verbally for my misdoings! I realised then that being blind was no picnic, and that relationships with people were going to be affected. On many occasions I sat around a table with people who knew I was blind, and not one of them addressed me by name so that I knew they were talking to me, in fact, actually they avoided talking to me. Their lives were so different to mine that what indeed could they talk to me about anyway. I was by this time in a wheelchair as well, unable to walk. I must have seemed like something from outer space to those people.


I, on the hill waiting for you
You, on the hill, waiting there too
How many years have passed since I left
At our sad parting I felt so bereft
So many things have we both been through

Tears fall gently in morning dew
Is there a storm beginning to brew
Now come together the warp and the weft
I, on the hill

Oh such a puzzle there is no clue
As to why we parted when skies were blue
Oh how tragic this terrible theft
Of Love that was born in a rock’s hard cleft
Now there is silence, a waiting it’s true
I, on the hill


I think that some other people have experienced a similar problem to mine but I think often it is with iPhones. I can’t “Like” or Comment on some people’s blogs. It is SO frustrating. I get something asking for my email address and user name and I fill it in, but it then tells me I am not loggedi to WordPress when I am. Then I don’t know how to deal with that. It is really making me angry. If I use my really really really old iPad then I can do it. There are no issues then, but my old iPad is giving up the ghost. Some people’s Blogs I can still comment on so I am really really sorry. I am reading blogs but then find this problem. I think it must be to do with Ios updates etc. But I don’t know.


I haven’t done a Diary Entry for some time because I am boring right now lol. I wanted to try and write something funny but couldn’t think of anything, though later I am sure I will because every day I end up laughing helplessly about something! I think my dog is the funniest thing out though. Her antics never fail to keep us amused and I swear she is a real person. She does too!

Does anyone know how old budgies live to be? Ours is the best singer I’ve ever heard. But he is 11 years old and we were going to call him Houdini because he escaped from the cage in the Garden Centre that sold him to us. He was up on the rafters of the Garden Centre for ages and they could not get him back so when they finally got him down, I said that a bird like that I just HAD to have. We were going to call him Houdini but can you imagine saying “Pretty Houdini, Pretty Houdini.” So we called him Billy. He and the dog have a love affair going on, staring at each other adoringly. Until Billy suddenly pecks the dog’s nose. I do not know whether this is a love bite or a warning bite!

Anyway, I have been having a few rough days lately, physically speaking and have sometimes had to neglect my blog a bit. Also visiting other peopl’s blogs and responding to comments on mine. I try to do a bit even on bad days, but some days I either don’t come on at all (though this is very rare) or just do very little. Apologies for that.

I have to say it is a very windy day today, though we were told we were having a heat wave! Oh well!


The wind blows away my soul
Leaving an empty space
Where once love and light
Made an appearance
Sprinkled generously with compassion
Maybe in the dancing wind
The laughter will create anew
A soul imbued with the joy of mirth
Oiling the wheels of love light and compassion


I bask in the sunset of a molten day
Sinking into vanilla sheets cooling sizzling sinews
Stretched beyond forbearance
Snapping in the lava flow
Red with intent
Is this the calm before the storm
The explosive gases of your hatred
For I have learned it well
That history repeats itself
And nothing is ever sated
Save my inner essence
That drinks of everlasting waters
Frothing from the ground

#FOWC Hopeless

Sarah stood by the river. It was one of those beautiful places that hinted at a strange kind of sadness. Sarah was inexorably drawn to that place. It had a kind of hold over her.

Most days, she drove along the narrow country road with the floodbank rising up beside her, obliterating her view. The river was big and wide and had dangerous undercurrents. Many a sailor in past times had come to grief there. Many ferries had sunk, the bodies of the dead being buried in the various churchyards along the way.

Some years ago Sarah’s best friend had drowned herself in that river. One night, in great distress Sarah stood thinking of her friend. It was HOPELESS. Her life had never been the same and would never be the same again. Her friend had been her only family really, Sarah having no family of her own.

Suddenly, as she stood, she swore she could see a hand rising up out of the water and being extended towards her. In a sudden movement she went towards the hand to take it. The waters pulled her down into them. Her body was found two days later.


Fynn felt in his pocket and pulled out an old PENNY. He wondered how long it had been there. He hadn’t worn this jacket for a long time but it brought back memories. Sal was no longer with him, having passed a few years ago, but despite life being very hard and lonely without her he still had some BOUNCE left in him. He was still quite FIT even with his advancing years. He looked at the penny and turned it over and over with his fingers. Yes, he remembered. At one time of day you could use the public conveniences for one penny. Now, it cost 20p.or more. He wondered what Sal would think of that!



The field offered its soul tonight
Raw, unadulterated,
White with the innocence of promise
Now silent after busyness
A moment of contemplation
A waiting time
When nature can be still, rest,
And in the silent peace
A family
Of Little Egrets wandered
But this was just a moment
Soon the ploughing will begin
New seeds sown
The silence broken
The cycle will begin again


Willow weeps sad tears
When autumn’s glory passes
Winter undresses

Tears turn to joy Spring
Begins to clothe the branches
Life returns again

Full summer’s heat leaves
Thick with the fullness of life
Joy in abundance

Colours glowing leaves
Filling us with the delights
That autumn brings us

Soon leaves die and fall
Becoming dust on the ground
Saying we are dust


She sat and looked at the shiny sea
Out on the road so grey
The oaks that scoffed at the willow trees
The birds with bows in their hands
The sky was kissing the sun that day
And the moon was all in a dazzle
Till the rain cane down and the gnomes ran away
And the cats made love to the rabble
Oh what a strange sight it was on the road
When the shiny sea came to stay