inner life

may days

though your dress conforms, your manners comport, though the offences you give, may be measured at naught, though in society’s net, you are inevitably caught, may your garlic wild heart, question all that it’s taught   though your surface be steady, placid and still, may your lungs stretch to bursting, may you feel your own fill, and when dubious duties beset and make fraught, may your star-burst heart drive waves of sharp thought   may your days be full of […]

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be the light

You take out the rubbish, the news still playing in your head. You hold back threats of war, famine, disease, ignorance, murder, hate – the daily plurality of disasters that threaten, diminish, and kill our world.  And then there’s interest rates, that disconnection notice, the real risk of redundancies. And you’re not getting any younger. You think of the young girl, who quietened her fear of missiles by painting, by creating her own dream life, to be like her father, […]

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darling be home soon

And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth. – Raymond Carver   On our journey, we visit so many places, live so many lives. We each set out to find, that place that lays inside. All the world plays through us, this electric hectic mind. Til we become us, find arrival, upon own our arriving tide.   A […]

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our empty rooms

  At around 3:00pm each day, 5 year old Thomasina gathered her dolls, a small blanket, her tea set and laid them down, among the daisies, in the increasingly overgrown garden. Her small hands moved with a large confidence.  Each of her treasures had their precise place, which she innately knew. Thomasina poured the tea – ‘just how he likes it’ – tucked ‘Handsome’, her large stuffed cat, under her arm, and waited. Thomasina waited. She waited. And waited. It […]

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in praise of cadaveric cottages

They had emerged from their past non-lives, certain of one thing. They were meant. Two in 7 billion. They were always meant to be together, to be one. And they had no doubt. The velvet petals, the skipping hearts, the whispered words, the eternal dance – all of the promise of all the world, moved and grew, inside them. But they had to be real. On any measure, money was tight. ‘Aye, well – there’s the old McGlynn place. It’s […]

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once we were villages

  We are no longer countries, no longer villages, no longer tribes. All of our fates, are running into one. We are disfigured by a pandemic that has lasted a millennia – of believing ourselves entitled to desecrate our only home, of insulting our common human soul. We are one village now. All of our futures hang together on a few fine threads. We are all this desert woman, apprehending unspeakable dangers ahead. But we have wisdoms. We have strengths. […]

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the nature of moments

This image would make teachers of photography courses, warm inside. There is, it appears, a skilled eye and hand at work. The image composition has structure’s strong bones.  Its exposure is perfect, though taken long before automatic cameras and editing software. The scene has a distinct line in, texture, layered interest, rich deep colours, recurring patterns, converging lines, foreground interest, shadow detail, and on and on.  In short, the image is a photographic  masterclass. But it is likely that the […]

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standing alone

  We are programmed to reach for a person who makes us feel safe, loved, affirmed. This is human. Instinctual. Universal. It is in a toddler’s reaching arms. It powers decisions which we make deep into adulthood. During our years, this yearning will lead us into situations that can feel the most damaging of our lives. That can feel as if they are the end of us. Demolished. Standing alone. Then, we are forced to reach into ourselves. To consider […]

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Polly and Cliff

Polly dealt with the news of her husband’s illness as she had dealt with most things that threatened to blow her life off course. She did not think of her ship sinking. Just that the voyage had become more challenging.  She knew that it was too late to avoid this storm, and hugging her knees, rocking in tears in the small hull of her life’s boat would not help, either. She must draw further strengths from that hidden place inside […]

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it might have been us

The people in this photograph are neither me nor my mother. My mother was diagnosed with cyclothymia. All the family was dragged along in cycles of depression and fits of anger whose heights could last for days. The disease lasted years and its cycles too. I learnt the pain of objects which break on the skin, the sound of body against body, the fear of slammed doors and obscene words. I understood that life had to be the hard way​, the […]

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