My neighbours…

My current neighbours are the worst I’ve ever had, they moved in this March and they have already upset the sheltered housing community that is behind my garden.

They cut back all the bird cover and now no birds come into my garden. My bird feeders are still full after two weeks – they used to be empty after a few hours. I’m heartbroken. I have strived to make my garden a haven for birds and bees, butterflies, and other insects.

They also hung windchimes, which are so high pitched that they cause my damaged nervous system agony. I have to live in my bedroom, as that’s the only place I normally don’t hear them. I had headache for two weeks, my neck hurts with nerve pain. My arms and legs twitch with nerve pain. I take painkillers every day, even though they don’t work. When I go out my back door, I cry out in pain. I can’t enjoy my home or garden.

Quay Living, their letting agent, couldn’t care less. Or my neighbours, They have been written to by the council and refuse to move them. I don’t understand such an attitude at all. I once hung bamboo windchimes but where there were no windows, so that my neighbours weren’t affected. My choices shouldn’t affect others.

What are your neighbours like?

Tired but happy…

Today I planned to get away for the day on the bus. On my way to get on a bus, I started getting texts from someone I’m friendly with telling me he was being harassed because of a review I wrote about another shop. Yes that’s weird isn’t it? So I tried to delete my review which didn’t delete and in the end I had to mark the shop as ‘no longer there’. I went to speak to security and was given an email address for the person who is responsible for tenancy etc of shops in the mall. I emailed her to raise concerns. Then I set out for the bus again.

Two hours had passed. I was no longer going to have time to get to where I wanted to go. So I went to Bournemouth. I had intended to go to the Square where there are musicians throughout August. However I was distracted by a department store, and mooched around it for a while. I went to the Pleasure Gardens and enjoyed the green grass, plants and trees. I wanted to go as far as the pier, but realised time was against me, so started to go back along the way I came, and then my bus appeared so I got on.

I got towards home and got off the bus early so I could go through the park, it was so beautiful and bought back happy memories of some of my daughter’s birthday parties. There was a cricket match playing, so I watched for a while.

It’s now Tuesday lunch time. I had planned to go out with friends last night, but decided that I was too tired and cried off. I had a fairly relaxing evening. I drank some rum with juice to alleviate pain in my neck which becomes almost intolerable. For quite a few years now I have used alcohol as a supplement to painkillers. I don’t recommend this, as it is very easy to become alcohol dependent. I am always just as happy to not drink alcohol as I am to enjoy it. I am not dependent and know the type of pain that conventional medicine doesn’t touch. I prefer natural painkillers like good sex, massage, hemp, and an alcoholic drink. Heat is very good too for back and neck pain.

Sharing this poem…

  • My Mother and Lucille Clifton Have Tea Parneshia Jones When I get to where I’m going
    I want the death of my children explained to me.

                                                 —Lucille Clifton

    They meet over tea and potato chips.
    Brown and buttermilk women,
    hipped and hardened,
    legs uncrossed but proper
    still in their smiles;
    smiles that carry a sadness in faint creases.
    A sadness they will never be without.

    One asks the other,
    “What do they call a woman who has lost a child?”

    The other sighs between sips of lukewarm tea.
    There is no name for us.

    “No name? But there has to be a name for us.
    We must have something to call ourselves.”

    Surely, history by now and all the women
    who carry their babies’ ghosts on their backs,
    mothers who wake up screaming,
    women wide awake in their nightmares,
    mothers still expected to be mothers and human,
    women who stand under hot showers weeping,
    mothers who wish they could drown standing up,
    women who can still smell them—hear them,
    the scent and symphony of their children,
    deep down in the good earth.

    “Surely, history has not forgotten to name us?”

    No woman wants to bear
    whatever could be the name for this grief.
    Even if she must bear the grief for all her days,
    it would be far too painful to be called by that name.


    “I’ve lost two, you know.”
    Me too.
    “I was angry at God, you know.”
    Me too.
    “I stopped praying but only for a little while,
    and then I had no choice. I had to pray again.
    I had to call out to something that was no longer there.
    I had to believe God knew where it was.”

    “I fear death no longer. It has taken everything.
    But should I be? Should I be afraid of what death has taken?
    That it took and left no name?”

    The other who sighs between sips of lukewarm tea
    leans over and kisses the cheek of the one still with questions.
    She whispers…

    No, you don’t have to be afraid.
    Death is no more scary than the lives we have lived
    without our babies, bound to this grief
    with no name.
           Copyright © 2019 Parneshia Jones.

I am sharing this poem as a mother. I taught my daughter to be independent, to not allow anyone to touch her in a way that makes her feel uncomfortable, to tell someone if a conversation makes her uncomfortable. I taught her how to use public transport, to go to school and other places on her bicycle, I taught her how to drive. She used to ride her bike with friends to a jetty and spent summer days jumping into the sea, they rode bikes in woods, they did water sports. My daughter did two Duke of Edinburgh Awards and excelled in them.

I knew I was teaching her to live with danger, and did my utmost to equip her for danger. My worst fear is to be told of her death, or serious injury. The is no name for a parent whose child has died.

I once wrote a poem about the non existent rooms in a courthouse. There are Ladies and Mens Rooms but no room named Raped, Husband Murdered, Child Killed, and other descriptions of unspeakable pain.

The now waning moon…

Look for the now waning moon in the morning this weekend. I know I’m late with my invite to the party, but this gives me such joy.

I lost an entire poem today. I had spent ages crafting it, and had tried and failed to turn it into a Word doc. Then I realised the draft has disappeared.

My head has been aching from the sound of my neighbours high pitched wind chimes. They refuse point blank to move them, and if only they were a lower pitch.

Great news is that my doctor has prescribed a smaller dose of the medicine that helps my breathing so much. I had to come off it because I was getting the rare side effects. A smaller dose will be ok. I’m trusting that.

So the good outweighs the not so good, and the absolutely awful. I try to look for joy in everyday things, and I find it. It makes life so much happier. Today I wrote about how a bee had landed on my skirt, and I discovered it as I sat down in a coffee house in Bournemouth. I found such pleasure in watching it, before it flew off and found it’s wiggly way through the door back out to the polluted air, and I wondered where it has been living.

Feeling achey…

Full moon at an observatory in Australia. Photo credit unknown.

Yesterday I had an appointment in Bournemouth, which is not very far away. I took the bus, and I returned by bus. I always leave my home by my back door, which has now become a terrible ordeal for me. My neighbours on that side seem to be very unpleasant people. They have trespassed in my garden, shouted at me that they rent the land behind their rear gates. They hung windchimes, which are as close to my kitchen window as mine. I can hear these windchimes all over my house apart from my bedroom. I thank God that my study is in my bedroom.

These windchimes are a very high pitch, and they cause me indescribable pain. I have acute hearing, rarely go the cinema, and avoid certain music. There are sounds which leave me curled up in pain. And my neighbours windchimes leave me exhausted from nerve pain, and they refuse to take them down,

So after my appointment in Bournemouth, I met up with a slam poet. I thought she would be around thirty or more, and when she arrived she looked about 25 but turned out to be 18. We chatted, she had looked up some of my published poetry and articles. She was impressed. I asked her to read some hers, and it was good. She won’t come to poetry evenings because they are in places that serve alcohol. She chooses to wear a hijab, which I respect, but I asked her why she made this choice. She told me why and I thought we had a discussion of equals, and she certainly gave no indication of being upset. Later on, in the evening, I answered a phone call I thought was from her. It was the girl’s mother attacking me for – well I don’t know what really. When the mother took a breath, I told her she had no business with me, but only her daughter had. I ended the call, and felt very upset. First that the girl had been upset (II still don’t know.), but mainly because she had gone behind my back. She had talked about a private conversation and permitted her mother to use her phone in order to make me think I knew the caller. I was devastated.

First, I am not in the habit of trying to upset other people. Second, this girl seeks to be treated like an adult, which she is, but then goes home and apparently behaves like a child. Then she allowed her mother to deceive me. If this young woman had at all indicated that she was uncomfortable with our conversation I would have stopped immediately and asked her forgiveness. I cannot bear to hurt or offend others.

So I feel achey today. My editing suite is not happy with ‘achey‘ but offers no solutions. My head and body ache from the very tiring journey home in stop start traffic jams, combined with the sound of the windchimes.

Tell me, how is your day going?

@purbeckpoet Instagram

Today in brief…

Today was my daughter’s 21st birthday. I gave her some very simple silver jewelry, a collar made in one piece of silver which comes to a point about 3.5inches below her neck, and a matching cuff bracelet that can be gently squeezed to fit her slender wrist.

We are going for a meal somewhere tomorrow.

On Saturday I received notification that one of my poems has been accepted by the Alzheimer’s Society for their anthology Memories. I am thrilled about this as this awful disease has touched my life. My Dad had it and I used to care for him.

 
This is a message from an editing suite that I use, and I’m always pleased that I employ more unique words than 97% of other users.
 
  AUGUST 05 – AUGUST 11   Your Weekly Writing Update  You chose such great words last week that you set new personal records in both vocabulary and productivity! Way to boost your skills! Keep up the great work. 

My daughter, with one of her close friends who she met at dance class when she was seven.

Entertaining Angels…

Yesterday, through a complicated story that I won’t tell here, I became involved with a lady on a website who was looking for someone to clear and weed her garden. I ‘offered her a solution’ by recommending someone to her, and because I clicked on the ‘solution’ icon I was told by the website that I would get her money that she had set as payment. I was puzzled by her confusion as she seemed to think I would be doing her garden. This confusion persisted while we were exchanging texts so I tried to call her but her phone doesn’t take calls. But we arranged to meet, and it turns out she is deaf.

So I took a notebook and my mostly forgotten British Sign Language, and she arrived with her husband and toddler who are also deaf. They are a lovely family. The husband told me his father and grandfather were deaf. I asked if they would have cochlear implants for their child. The father replied no, because the hearing world should learn sign language. I have known for a long time that many deaf people feel this way, but to look at a tiny child and know he will never hear anything is a shock. They were very nice to me, thanked me for my recommendations and help, but made it clear that don’t want to teach me more BSL or become friends because I am not deaf, and don’t belong in their world. In a while, though, I will ask again if they will teach more sign language. I learnt quite a bit of ASL when I lived in the States, as the youngest daughter of a family I lived with had a speech impediment so she would sign, and we all signed with her too, as well as speaking.

On my way to meet this family, I ran into difficulties with my mobility scooter. A young man asked if he could help me. He pushed me to an ATM, and then to the café so I could meet the family. He said he had to get some shopping and he would come for me after 45min. This was perfect. So he came back and brought me home and wondered why my battery had not charged. I keep my ‘trolley’ as I call it in my lean to porch, but there is no door, so I said to him about making a door from a shower curtain to pull across. Later while I was doing stuff, I realised I’ve been given several sheets of wood. So I messaged him the idea of making a gate. He already said he would come back, so he said we can discuss ideas then.

I am so full of gratitude. I was able to make recommendations to this family. I met this very kind young man, and his partner is expecting a baby so I shall have a lovely little tiny human to buy cute things for.

Recovering…

I happen to know of someone who isn’t respected or appreciated. It is said of him, ‘It doesn’t matter. It’s his money’ ‘He’s a complete idiot.’ I was really shocked. To have a difficult time in a relationship is one thing, to let others know there is no respect, no regard, no appreciation is quite another.

I am recovering from the side effects of the ‘magic’ pill that so helped my breathing. My skin has cleared up, I no longer feel depressed or anxious, I am sleeping well and able to rise early. I no longer feel nervous about going somewhere on my own. This is good!

I feel good again. I feel content. I am going to celebrate my daughter’s twenty first birthday with her tonight. I bought her main present a long while ago, and yesterday I got her a mug which says Flawless, a big scented candle which was on sale, an eco bamboo cup with a lid which will fit into her cup holder in her Audi, a bar of chocolate wrapped in pink saying To Someone Special, and a small teddy holding a 21 sign. And a helium balloon.

So no one tell her until she gets here please!

I love buying my daughter gifts. It’s one of the ways both she and I receive love. Both my daughter and I respond to touch and acts of kindness. There are five ways that people perceive love. I can’t remember all of them just now, but we all feel love in those different ways.

Last Tuesday I went to Bournemouth for an open mic poetry evening. I felt ok but I knew my breathing would more problematic for recording, which a poet friend in California had requested. I had reason to go to Bournemouth yesterday and today I feel just slightly achey. In fact I’m desperate for a nap.

I sure wish people would leave comments…