Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Survivor of Christmas here :-D

I do love Christmas. I don't mean the over-full present-buying frenzy that takes over even the least materialistic of us. I mean the intention of relaxation, love full  days with those we cherish. And want to spend time with. For many of us duty has to take precedence of course, at least for a little while over the season and there's nothing wrong with that. After all this isn't a season which purports to be selfish. And surely often the giving of our time even to those we'd rather not is all part of the parcel, no matter how it's wrapped.

I'm lucky I do get to spend real time with lovely loving people and for that I'm very grateful. This poem came out of a beginning about being stretched thin by others' expectations and became a poem (as all mine seem to at the moment) about love. 

I was stretched, 
like gum pulled thin,
two thumbs pressed
at either end
of a chewed up piece
and pulled until a string formed
between two opposing wills.
The taut fragile line
folded up, 
slung low under a full belly
and an even fuller moon.

You pulled me apart,
snapped past my elastic limit,
in a night drenched garden
under an alcove built especially for two.

Us two, in fact -
you with your hollow rimmed edge 
and me,
exploring what your mind meant 
when it spoke of love.

For your frilly words filled a tiny pocket
in the smallest part of my heart
and as my blood pulsed through it, 
it whispered of a start.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Darkest Day

Just a quick post today as I wander out into the darkest night to enjoy some yule mulled wine on the streets of Totnes. 

Wishing you all a light filled season whatever your religious beliefs or lack thereof. All I really wish for this time of year is a ceasefire to the fighting and for us all to live in a safer, fairer more sustainable way. Here's a poem to ponder as I think, inevitably, on this darkest day of fear, illusions and shadows. 

Merry solstice to all xxx
Much love Kate x

On a pivot point
we spin, reaching
higher, eyes wider,
stretched to understand
that somehow there’s a plan,
a fundamental place
to safely land.
From the darkest well
we gaze on stars,
as the moon travels past,
taking with it night
after night, and replacing
with light, recycling
our wishes for a home in a jar.
Still we spin, silently weaving
fragile futures, placing coins
in boxes, pretending that
a prosperous spring will protect,
that all is not lost. A cynic once said
that optimism is born of fear,
in this darkest day of the year.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


So, I'm reaching the end of 2015 with clenched teeth in a permanent smile and a chest full of deliciousness. It sometimes feels that love such as is flowing through me these days is too good for me. Even though I know secretly that I'll embrace it because when I feel it I can let if flow out of me and touch everyone I connect with. If that feeling is even a tiny bit contagious then let it come...

It also means that I'm feeling everything to the max at the moment. Which is no bad thing for a poet and writer, but does mean that everyday living can be game of emotion tennis... volleying each ball as it enters my side of the court. 

Yesterday I visited my mother's house for the last time. She died 19 years ago and since then my sister and I have been kind of stuck in limbo. My mother's new husband (only a year into marriage) was allowed to live in our family home until he saw fit to leave. This year he died and the home where we grew up, became ours again. Back in June when I first entered it again, it felt like all trace of her (and my dad) who died 7 years before her, was gone. Her husband had chucked away all that was hers and had left the house an empty shell. I felt nothing but sadness that he'd treated her, in the end, with so little respect. So, fast forward six months to now, and the house sale finally going through. I stepped back in again and while standing in the kitchen I was bombarded by memories. Mostly of our family christmases when my dad was alive, that year after year we celebrated in the tiny kitchen. 

It felt good to have some glimpses again of a past which did have some happiness infused within them. It gave me, this empath, a pathway to start a different type of grieving process... Here's a poem that is the  beginning, I think, of something bigger.

They say the dead
leave fragments
but they’re wrong.
What’s left is visuals
sunk in shadows. 
Spits of sound appear and
with each slight turn of head,
glimpses of light
and the smell of bleach.
They say they leave
pain and agony
but they’re wrong.
What’s left is a room
stuffed to the rafters
with laughter infused
with the cheapest sherry,
newly papered walls
fresh and ready for Christmas.
Each year, a dusty tree
extracted from the downstairs cupboard,
silverfish shaken
from its wire branches. 
And she, bending each arm
to make a tree-like shaped thing,
covered in no time
with bits and bobs pulled out of school bags
year after year with a flourish.
They say the dead
leave fragments,
and if they mean love
that inflates like a balloon
expanding your heart
until it bursts out of your eyes,
they are half right.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Poetry Schmoetry

Busy doing stuff.
So, once a year blogposts seem to be the order of the day *ahem* year... How could I let a year go by without updating, especially as I'm pretty sure I've written about a million poems in that space of time. And probably without too much exaggeration.

Poetry as always has been a good friend to me. It's always a way for me to access, reassess and make sense of my emotions. It also helps me with getting my thoughts in order.

An old friend used to say that poetry is the merging of the technical and the emotional. That definition works for me in many ways. Not least because for me it's a process that allows me to attempt to make sense of feelings and take them to a brain level by choosing and fitting that feeling into words... Sometimes it helps. sometimes it diminishes the feeling which can be helpful in some circumstances, but mostly it puts it into another perspective which can be really helpful.

In September I embarked on a Facebook challenge to post a poem a day onto a challenge page. I didn't miss too many days - even if I did cheat a bit by occasionally posting an edited version of an old poem (so spank me)....

Here's a couple of the new non-cheating ones:

Simplicity, he said,
Makes deeper seas
In which we can swim.
Complexity, she said,
Warms the water,
Wards off goosebumps.
Clarity, he said,
Means bigger fish
Follow the boat.
Obscurity, she said,
Makes them swim
Right into the net.

You can borrow my body
I have no need of her today.
Landscaped lawns
Preened and weeded
With a little wild corner 
Set aside for the fairies.
Sunshine makes shadows 
As readily as trees.
You can have me today 
From my ears to my knees.

Swallows circle
in autumn air
as thin as gossamer 
and yet as swollen
as this gilded lily
who awaits your command.
They will fly south soon
as sure as this next hour
will swoop into another, 
bringing me back
to circle over
this ploughed field. 
You let me go
and therefore
I came back. 

I think it might be time for another poetry challenge... any ideas?