I’m grateful for amazing friends.

I don’t know what I did to deserve them; my best friends in the world are just the most wonderful, solid people, from whom I have learnt, and continue to learn, much about love, life, loyalty, survival, friendship, beauty, courage and wisdom. Thank you, Universe/Life, for my BFFs, one of the foundation stones of my life, without whom life would mean much less.

I recently wrote this for one of my best friends (you know who you are!), who has allowed me to put it up here:

You are shiny pastel powder-coated steel
from the forges (fuelled by broken love and wings)
that turn to ash the petty weaknesses and peel
back the gauzy childhood layers to reveal
rare liquid diamond crazy-angel heart-strings.

Yet Life glazed you with a heart upon your sleeve
and set you on such winding, wondrous paths
which you tread with an ancient grace and ease–
and yours was such a complicated weave!–
with no bitterness or helplessness or wrath.

Old soul, you bring a light into the lives you touch;
generous of spirit to a fault, and gentler
than those spoilt by more, beaten by less– such
defines your unshakeable core. You give so much
love, time, and trust; you own the things that matter.

I’m grateful for joy.

we drink so deeply of our Sadness
but are never as indulgent with our Joy
whether fleeting or hard-won
we fear that the return of darkness
will seem darker
after revelling in the sun

but it’s in our revels that we gather
growing lungfuls of light-filled air
that clear the cobwebs or damp
so when the darkness comes
again, we treasure
the space that we can spare

Moments of connectedness.


Strip us all down to our bare copper wires
And we buzz with the same electricity
That runs through all our bones;
Those of all who live and who ever lived.

We are the distillation of the stars;
A swirling million billion voices,
Soup of stats and numbers, glowing
Dots on green and blue and white.

We are vessels, channels, catalysts
For the collective wisdom of
The infinite well of experience
Beyond and before the time and space
That we drew and named.

Each lifetime contains this rainbow fizz,
This primal essence that is given,
Or bestowed
Or impelled
Or bequeathed
Or wrapped
And tied with paper and pencil.

Picture attribution: Tranquil by Hugh BellAttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by HTB. Photo has been cropped. Copyright belongs to the creator. Use of this picture in no way indicates an affiliation with the creator of the image, nor does it indicate that the creator shares the views reflected by the text.

Long summer days.


Summer is life and warm, open hearts
lying on lawns and brand new starts
Summer is laughter and shorts and cotton
tops. And the grey and cold and dark forgotten.
Human beings are solar-powered; we run on sun
in daylight hours; come undone, un-spun,
in its long absence. We are thermal-powered,
we seek the heat of beach and sand, and flowered,
flourished in the glow of fire and of lush lazy days.

The things I love.

In this life, this little life
You must find the things you love
that make you laugh
that seize your heart
that hold your mind
Steady and true
And you must fight or find the time
To do them, over and over again
And be present for them, sit with them
Hold them in as high regard
and as much importance
and as tightly
and jealously
As you would what gives you life
Puts food in your belly
And presents you to the world
As worthy.
It is the thing that will
help your heart beat
your feet lift and lower
lift and lower
your mind calm and
your spirit believe
When the darkness comes
As it always, always does.
For in this life, this little life
People leave or die or abandon
And things fade or rot or wither
But love lives in the ruins
Of the most broken places
As long as we remember
How to ignite it in our souls
Always and again and forever.

I’m grateful that I’ve been given much space and time in this little life to find and do and sometimes even to become good at the things I love, and to have met people throughout my life who have inspired me. And to have read poems by people who inspired me.

I’m grateful for sabbaticals.

We’re not immortal, not pneumatic worker ants;
But it’s the world; nobody owes you a living.
We thought we conquered the wild, but no.
We took the unfairness of survival
The coldness of natural cruelty
The calculated manipulation
The brutality of cave-dinner hunts
And all those raw-meat emotions:
Fear, helplessness, insecurity…
And we wrapped them in pants-suits
And we baptised them with unholy hours
And we sat them at cursed tables
Imbued with the power to buy and sell.
It’s all so much effort, you see;
And while we weren’t looking
While we were consuming…
The fire in our bellies died.
We lost the fire to electric stoves
And mills that run on human misery.

This is for Thursday, 15 May 2014.

I’m grateful for a growing heart.


Growing a heart is painful, as the new-adults will tell you
A real one, with new surly feelings and burly
Opinions, filled with more spiky force than truth.
Not the heart you’re born with that pumps blood,
But one that feels and reels and runs around
Arms spinning like windmills and chasing butterflies,
Chasing affection, approval, cursive, curly complications;
Staring in mirrors, fascinated and appalled
At its own newness, touching its new hearty face,
Saying NO, triumphant, because everyone knows
That saying NO and YES means you solidify and
Become real. It means you’ve grown a heart.


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Goodbyes are sometimes good…

Yes, I’m one day late…

Today, as befits the final poem of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a poem of farewell. It doesn’t have to be goodbye forever — like I said, NaPoWriMo will be back again next year. If you need a little inspiration, you might find some in perusing this selection of goodbye-and-good-luck poems from the Poetry Foundation website.

Saying goodbye is such an art.
It leaves
an empty hollow
thick silence
a heavy absence
It leaves
the moment you tap
to dial a number
and realise he’s gone
It leaves
the quiet wait for your commute
the empty train seat next to you
louder rumbles on the tracks
It leaves eternally missed moments.
But goodbyes can sometimes
To breathe
For new surprises
New ways to walk
And dream
And see the mundane
They can
teach us to gracefully
let go.

I’m grateful for questions…

… for the search for the right questions is the first important task, or we’d never get to the best answers for ourselves. I owe two entries! But I don’t want to miss out on the grand finale fun so, I’ll have to write two then. NaPoWriMo to the rescue again (I know these are a little dated, but I’m having fun with them):

Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is a little something I’m calling “Twenty Questions.” The idea is to write a poem in which every sentence, except for the last one, is in the form of a question. That’s it! It can be as long or short as you like. The questions can be deep and philosophical (‘what is the meaning of life?’) or routine and practical (‘are you going to eat that?’). Or both!

Have you ever wondered if you were really capable of love?
Are we simply born with different sized hearts?
Why did we build a world where vulnerability = exploitability?
How did kindness become a weakness, and love a liability?
What happens to the tired and the broken?
How does love find the shy and soft-spoken?
Why is it that those who need love the most, starve most for it?
Why is it that those who have everything simply get more of it?
How do we know when we’re ready for anything?
But, “if you’re not ready for love, how can you be ready for life?”
For the un-twinned souls, what does tomorrow bring?
When did we split our bodies from our hearts?
When we change “too much”, at what point do we part?
Why is it so bad to want to die?
Who does the judging– the wretched left to cry?
Where is meaning found in a fleeting existence?
How did we manage to complicate this world this much?
Why do we rip fish out of the sea and stick them into walls of cans?
How do we make such elaborate things but starve of love in the dark?
It’s ironic that the thing we need most can kill us and leave no mark.

I’m grateful for all the chances I’ve had to love.

From Day Nine of NaPoWriMo, because I’ve finally started gaining confidence and momentum! It’s late, I know, April’s almost over, but it’s been such fun.

Today’s prompt was suggested by Bruce Niedt. Here’s Bruce’s explanation: take any random song play list (from your iPod, CD player, favorite radio station, Pandora or Spotify , etc.) and use the next five song titles on that randomized list in a poem.

My list
Safe & Sound (Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars)
We Might Be Dead Tomorrow (SoKo)
Once Upon a Dream (from “Maleficent”) (Lana Del Rey)
When the Darkness Comes (Colbie Caillart)
Lost It All (Black Veil Brides)

When the darkness comes,
Don’t fret, it will be swift.
Shh, I’ll hold your hand, and
We’ll be safe and sound.
We’ve lost it all before
And nothing can touch us now.
Once upon a dream, we believed
In fairytales: good for the good;
No rest for the wicked.
So love with all your heart
When you have the rare chance,
For we might be dead tomorrow.