Tag Archives: home



I used to come, a  loving – but transient – visitor

until I came for good.

Now this place holds my pillow and my dog’s bed year round

and the flowering seeds of my child come to visit me instead

On one day in autumn when the leaves launched themselves into the wind

their orange and gold burst forth over verdant meadows that cushioned their fall

and the rain chased them into rivers and creeks

My grandson stood on the pack horse bridge

He leaned over the side and stared

as a thousand tiny boats of copper, gold and bronze

swirled and twirled upon the fast-flowing creek

As each boat disappeared under the stone arches

he waved his arm like a puppy dog’s tail

“Bye! Come again next year!”

The very same words the children used to call out to me

The sun sparkled on the water and danced in his eyes

I wonder where they’re going? he said

He looked at me then and his smile expressed the unspoken words

Just for a moment I knew we were thinking the same thing

My heart was so full I nearly cried for joy

I don’t have to wave goodbye anymore


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Filed under biographical, Poetry, Travel

Sacrifice and Silence

He was in London earning their keep,

making what he could, stashing it away

for the things they needed

while she waited, frustrated

wishing she were there, or better yet,

that he’d come home

Together was so much better

even if it did mean less

Together was more to her

It was everything

She pondered so long in the silence

that the sun slipped unnoticed

behind the hill

that space where she could sit

with enough view to be still

think and sink deep

away from the loneliness

the solitude of dreaming

and wishing his return

Heart spilled so willing into those hills

she never saw the creature’s approach

she, quiet as a stone, except for breathing

until something moved in the dusk

and walked across her feet

heavy against her toes, light and quick on his;

Two black bands, flag of his species

marked the intense white face

and thick fur, the char-grey body

brushed past in an instant

unaware of the human he trod on

knowing only himself

bull badger

Responsibility on his mind

tread out and forage for food;

bring it back to the sett

be rejoined with mate and cubs

but the diggings are better

on the other side of the hill

a night’s walk away

Leaving them behind, he went hunting

All they need is food, she thought

unlike us

In the dim evening light, her only company 

an infant nursing at her breast

She stood and stretched

pushed blood and breath into her limbs

and walked down the hill

back to their empty house

wishing it took less to be human

glad at least of her one sweet cub

and of toes, trampled by a badger

Badger Image courtesy of: http://www.borderpics.co.uk/badgerpics/images/badger_emerging_4232.jpg

Posted for One Shot Wednesday

Posted to http://onesingleimpression.blogspot.com/ Prompt 172: Long For


Filed under Non-Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized


Just a birdhouse, that’s all…

not a dream, or a well-researched plan, or even

a creative act that, labored under glaze in an American kiln,

was carried in proud maternal hands

all the way to England.

For three years it hung, ignored and empty,

on my daughter’s cottage wall, where the old

climber rose was pruned and trained to grow around it.

Just a birdhouse, that’s all… until this spring

when visiting my growing family, I sat in the sun beneath the old rose.

Above me, the sound of a baby bird from inside a hollow place, cried for attention.

Excited, expectant, we waited for days, watching the terracotta walls and listening.

Nothing happened until early one morning, a scraping flutter, and cries

that couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a bird in distress.

I rushed to get the camera and sat facing the house on the wall.

A mature Great Tit flew onto the little roof, calling to her chick inside…

Scratching and fluttering emerged in response – audible eagerness to escape the nest.

All morning I waited, watching as worried winged parents entreated and coaxed,

offering fat-grub morsels to their love-raised child – if only he’d fly.

 My daughter took the kids to school, but I sat, camera ready, steady

and still, quiet and hopeful; I wondered, did I make the hole big enough?

For hours I kept the camera aimed, while wings fought to scale the inner walls

then fell in defeated exhaustion only to try again and again.  I worried.

Hope waning, I wanted to remove the birdhouse roof and look inside – but wait –

a face appeared in the little round hole – then a body – and wooosh!

The wild winged child, freed from its clay-hidden nest, took his first flight,

landed on a nearby tree, and praised by his parents, was rewarded with grubs.

I sighed, laughed and cried with relief.


A birdhouse sits empty now on my daughter’s wall in England…

Just a plan that I scribbled in a notebook, and kneaded out of clay

then fired and glazed it, and carried it so many miles to hang beside a rose.

Just a birdhouse, that’s all


Filed under Non-Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized

Home Breath


Soon I’ll be home – for sixteen days. Now, waiting, waiting…

Exmoor keeps rising in my brain, like the boggy peat puddles that fill and spill down meadowed hills with sheep’s-bum valleys of oak and beech, and weeps into the River Barle.

There I straddled the sycamore branch, its outstretched arm reaching half way across the river, where I lay with face against rough bark and gazed upon water – liquid pewter running – reflecting the heavy sky, guarding river’s mystery and depth.

Whether bird or wind or hand of god parted the weighted clouds, I don’t know. But fingers of sun broke through, touched the river, dissolving pewter and turned it into rolling glass. Beneath – a trout hovered – facing upstream, fishing, tail swishing, side to side, waiting, waiting, shimmering in place as it hunted its dinner with patience. All the time the fish was there, but I unaware, until the sun revealed him.

Too soon, the sun slipped behind mist and lost the light; gone like a child’s fingers into a sleeve, leaving me on that tree in the dark afternoon, gazing at liquid pewter again, unable to see into depths where the trout still hunted his dinner. Only now, I knew he was there. 

Soon.  Soon, for sixteen glorious days, I will go home and breathe, breathe, breathe again.


Filed under Poetry, Uncategorized