Finding Time

There hasn’t been much time to spare recently, but the book From the Mountains to the Sea is selling steadily, the launch went well and I’m now arranging readings in 2020. Combining poems with photographs seems to work well. I now have to consider a follow up which means when we go walking Les needs to be aware of sights that are inspiring me so that he can take an appropriate photograph.

A dear friend of mine died recently and I will be reading the following at her funeral – two poems that were chosen by her. Appropriately they are on friendship and love.


Life is nothing without friendship.

A listening ear can be a lifeline,

an anchor and a means of hope.


Without friendship, life is diminished

desiccated. When found, that special

relationship restores, inspires.


Holding another’s life in mind with care

and understanding, makes for

a strong friendship, valued and rare.


Cherish all loving friendships now

and forever, with much love, hope

for them lasting many years to come.


Love Endures

Questions remain,

faith suspended,

doubt always there,

belief upended.



of what lies ahead,

what faces us beyond

that final curtain.


When we face the end,

will we see and know

beyond that cloud

of unknowing?


Live for the now.

Of the present we are sure.

Though our lives will end,

love will endure.

A death at this time of the year always seems even more poignant. Possibly because it’s a time when we hope to get together with family and friends so losing one seems particularly hard.

Losing someone we are close to makes us more conscious of the importance of living every day to the full and valuing all friendships and relationships rather than taking them for granted. Valuing too the ability to do whatever we can – however trivial that might seem. Taking a walk through a wood and seeing beauty in fungi for instance …
















Difficult Times

At times like this when the political situation is totally depressing and the gap between the haves and have nots is ever widening, I tend to turn to my books of quotations for something that will lift the spirits.

I found the following in Anam Cara by John Donohue written in 1997

Beannacht (for Josie)

On the day when

the weight deadens

and you stumble,

may the day dance

to balance you.

And when your eyes

freeze behind

the grey window

and the ghost of loss

gets into you,

may a flock of colours,

indigo, red, green

and azure blue

come to awaken in you

a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays

in the curach of thought

and a stain of ocean

blackens beneath you,

may there come across the waters

a path of yellow moonlight

to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

may the clarity of light be yours,

may the fluency of the ocean be yours,

may the protection of the ancestors be  yours.

And so may a slow

wind work these words

of love around you,

an invisible cloak

to mind your life.

Walking, just soaking up the beauties of the natural world is another good way to start looking more positively about things. We need to focus on the natural world and think what we can do to preserve it.


Bridges not Walls


There is far too much talk about walls – especially from a certain person. We should surely be thinking about and working towards building bridges between nations, between our communities and between all age groups.

Some bridges aren’t built for transport, they’re rather trickier to construct…


Barriers of hate

walls of prejudice, racism

exacerbate rot.


Extending kindness

sympathy, friendship and  love

build bridges of hope.

If I Could Still theWind

I was reading Michael Woronko’s blog post today ‘Silencing the Wind – Creating moments of veneration for life and claiming stillness for ourselves.’ Thank you  – it got me thinking. He wrote about the deep silence we can find in the woods. On a walk recently, we were following a rushing stream and the roar of the waterfalls stayed with us for some time. But, as we turned away and walked deeper into the wood, the silence fell like a curtain with a soothing music of nothing.  Words would have broken the spell. We don’t experience moments like this every day, but when we do, they stay as rich memories; a feeling of love of not just for people but also our amazing natural world. A world where we can at times, in stillness, experience that feeling of oneness.

The thought of trying to still the wind came to my mind when I was writing a poem some years ago – this is one of the versions …

If I Could Still the Wind

If I could still the wind, I would

and surround you with a gentle breeze.


If I could control the sun, I would

and protect you from its blazing rays.


If I could master the moon, I would

and shed silver beams round your head.


If I could charm the seas, I would

and drift with you to foreign shores.


If I could measure my love, I would

and tell you I couldn’t love you more.


Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich was a C14th anchoress, yet her writings contain so much  that has meaning for us in the C21st.

Perhaps she is best known for the following

‘All will be well, and all will be well and all manner of thing will be well.’ The translations from Middle English vary slightly, but the message is essentially the same.

We find this quotation in numerous texts – TS Eliot used it twice in part III of Little Gidding, the last of the Four Quartets,  and again in part V

‘All shall be well, and

All manner of thing shall be well.’

In Norwich cathedral there is a statue of Julian of Norwich holding her  book Revelations of Divine Love. In chapter 86, we read ‘ …I had often wanted to know what was our Lord’s meaning … Love was his meaning.’

From another source, written in the 1960s and sung all over the world, we read ‘All you need is love.’

Father Christopher Wood, rector of St Julian’s church in Norwich which includes Julian’s cell is quoted* as saying ‘Her gift to the world is the message that things go wrong, stuff happens, that we might make mistakes and bad decisions, but there is a bigger picture, there is hope even if it is beyond the horizon.’

Sometimes ‘stuff happens’ that is not a result of our bad decision making or our mistakes made, but hope and love are essential to acceptance.

*Eastern Daily Press 13 August 2017 – (found on the web.)