Talking To My Heart

My heart has made a journey, within my body
as well as a journey filled with love

I soothe my heart with pleasant memories
with the words of love spoken to me

Over many years, many voices in many places
some are beautiful, some are really not

I have sat in gutter with addicts, giving them truth
dined with the wealthy, slightly out of place

My heart does overtime, in my body, and also
with my loved ones, and the needy

I talk to my heart because I know it well
I ask it to take rest, and also do more

Published in KnowThelf,Heal Thyself


My poem, Silken Ribbons, got an award…

I always pretend to hear whispers of our world,
yet my mind always drifts towards that open void,
reflecting on kisses that undress the ache of my scars,

unfurling sorrows as if silken ribbons.
These will never wither,
but will be absorbed by you
when low moments come to mock.

And as time settles into evening,
your shadow will hang itself from my core.
And with sighs quivering between my lips –
my spirit will wrap itself around warmth of your body.
And when you stroke your fingers through my hair –
you will feel each aching breath of me.

Published in The Lark Written 2005


The Two Of Us

When we loved
It was so good with us
Harmonious, knowing
What the other wanted

When you brooded
It changed everything
No lovemaking
No secret glances

I would laugh
When you bought me a double
Knew the sensuality
Brought fulfilment
I loved it

When so relaxed
You would pull me across
Putty in your hands

I had to tell you to go
Jealousy was a choking jail
Second to your money
It became allowed too long

Published in KnowThyself, Heal Thyself

Silken Ribbons

I always pretend to hear whispers of our world,
yet my mind always drifts towards that open void,
reflecting on kisses that undress the ache of my scars,

unfurling sorrows as if silken ribbons.
These will never wither,
but will be absorbed by you
when low moments come to mock.

And as time settles into evening,
your shadow will hang itself from my core.
And with sighs quivering between my lips –
my spirit will wrap itself around warmth of your body.
And when you stroke your fingers through my hair –
you will feel each aching breath of me.

Published in The Lark Written 2005


Yesterday was trying…

A lot of people have been nasty to me. Some neighbours, and people who believe the lies told by Mr Jackson on His lies are incredible but people fall for the them without even considering there is another side to the story. The police are on it. I have received calls from quite a few numbers that are not contacts. This is harassment.

All this is no reflection on me. Two very lovely police officers spoke with me yesterday. I send updates as they occur.

Yesterday, I asked a neighbour to return a bag which I had used to take some books for their children. I had asked them to use the back as that is so much easier for me. They did not see my text until quite a long time later, when they arrived at their study session. Then I got a reply that it was outside my front door.

I was alarmed, as I fear theft. So I hurried downstairs but could not open it. So I rushed to back and used my trolley to go around and to my front door. Returning to my back garden, I somehow tore my favourite skirt, the bag fell down and I have only just retrieved it this morning when I went to water some newly planted plants.

My skirt is irreparable. I can’t even make a patch for it.

Meanwhile, I have been waiting for two weeks for my lead at SWAST to inform me of something. I have reminded them four times. I have made my boss aware. Finally, I emailed him and had tears.

My lead then provided what I needed, but with qualification. I read no further but thanked her.

All of this conspired to affect my breathing. Mainly my neighbour. Paramedics attended and nebulised me, and noted that my blood oxygen was varying according to how I sat. I had noticed this before. Fortunately, I work at my laptop lying on my tummy. So that is good for my breathing. And oxygen levels.


Healing Is In Gardening

’The gardener digs in another time, without past or future, beginning or end….here is an Amen beyond a prayer’’ Derek Jarman

Gardening is in my family. My mother gardened, my Dad did too. My grandparents gardened, uncles on both sides of my family garden.

I believe that gardening is innate within us; it just takes a spark to unloose the desire to nurture plants. I watched my parents garden for years, vegetables, fruit trees, flowers. I asked my mother if I might have patch of my own but she said no. I may have fared better if I had made the request to my Dad.

The first opportunity to garden was when I was student in California. My residence had some plants so I removed weeds and sowed some seeds. It gave me pleasure in a pressured time and sustained me when I wanted to give up.

I later shared a house with two other people. I planted many spring bulbs, and perennial flowers. I don’t do annuals. The work is not rewarded for me.

My first garden that was mine brought me immense joy. Part of it was walled on two sides. Climbing roses, honeysuckle, clematis, all found home on those walls. I planted wild primroses from a friend in glorious disarray with other flowers. My planting was deliberately undisciplined. Nature knows nothing of straight lines. Imagine my horror when my mother came and put them all in lines. I was devastated.

‘’Besom lings and teasel burrs ‘’ John Clare

The soil has good bacteria and as we disturb it, we inhale them. Our immune system benefits greatly, and the scent is healing to our soul. The venture of gardening is therapy for stress, recovery after life changing events, and people with learning difficulties are given gardening to learn a skill. They flourish at it.

John Clare, the poet, was a keen gardener and he struck a close friendship with a head gardener of an estate. Their letters speak of many plants. Clare was an amateur botanist who used botanical descriptors.

We are soothed and calmed in a garden. We take in the scent of flowers, the serenity of green, the peace of it’s being. A garden is. It simply needs care. Consider this as you garden, or sit in a park.

Ling is an old word for heather, the plant. It grows wild here

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself


Love’s Condition

by Frank Mundo

Love’s Condition (2015) 
for Nancy

Do us both a favor:

forget our old and tired traditions.

Please don’t love me

without conditions.

Challenge me.


Expect more from me and of me


or don’t assume I’ll be kind

or always make the right decisions.

Please don’t ask for my permission

or put either of us in that position.

Love is editing and revision,

like a poem


this poem


a first edition.

It only holds value

In mint condition.

Forget those good book phrases

and the ideal good a good world praises.

Challenge me.


make me earn it


because doubt is an unfit benefit to give

because you’re in the presence of a fool

without exception

without worlds of knowledge

without knowledge of the world.

Life is improvisation and imagination,

like a book


this book


a signed, first edition.

Its only value 

is superstition.

By Frank Mundo

Frank is a buddy of mine who lives in the ‘burb where I lived in California, just north of L.A. He has written poetry that is so beautiful. He has books out Touched by an Anglo, Different, and others. He is so generous that he mailed them all to me here in the UK. He has encouraged my writing, and listened to some of my audio on SoundCloud. He remarked that his poetry should be read with an English accent. I love him to bits.


Skeletal Skin

From Defenestration of Prague By Susan Howe

Skeletal kin

italic lunacy

long illness of little difference

Seventy memories

singing and piping
to be

(half words)
beginning and begetting 


The beauty in my life…

Photo by Belgium Tourism

I am so grateful for the beauty in my life. My daughter, my garden, my home, my friends. The smile of strangers that I pass. I always give my smile to people. It may be the only one they get that day.

I am in a wonderful community of writers. They give me support as well. It is hard to deal with inauthentic people, who use stock phrases glibly. I ignore it and it has no effect after the initial disappointment.

People ask if I feel the cold, as I’m wearing summer skirts. I try to explain that I need sensation in order to live well. In my garden it is sheltered and warm. The wind is cold outside my garden on my warm body. It exhilarates me and makes me glad to be alive. I do have my limits. Last evening I put a sweater over as it was cold.

I am serene and content. Oramorph helps with the pain. It is hard to describe the pain. Neuro pain is a category of it own. It is far worse than the pain caused by windchimes, and that was agonising.


Like A Cat He Stretches AS I Tickle

As if commanding me to touch other parts

Or to get out the comb and tidy his hair.

He lies in the sun, fluid in his movements

Lazing, owning all he sees, surveying his land

Before drowsing, absorbing heat and sleeping

He has expectations as if he is my master

This my dog, O’Driscoll, not a man or cat!

He is the most catlike dog I’ve ever met

He cleans his paws regularly and toys with his prey

O’Driscoll is far to sexy for his fur and poses

On the rocks gazing out to sea, chest out

And that, oh that really makes me laugh

Some of the time he remembers he’s a dog

And is innocently earnest in all that he does

And of course every thing is his favourite thing.

Food — his favourite, walks — his favourite

Bones — nothing better, sleep — the best!

And naturally he does them all with diligence

He can look game to play with you anytime

Look disdainful if you get cross, or crestfallen

He looks embarrassed if you catch him doing bad things

Why can’t he lie on my newly washed clothes?

Or sneak out my lingerie to his lair?

He loves his mummy and wants her clothes!

So where would we be without O’Driscoll?

He gives us much laughter and sometimes tears

And we love to do with him his favourite thing

That means every single idea he has

His devotion is unwavering, loyal always

He lies at the door when I am out, waiting

Visiting my teen daughter regularly -duty

He will not eat anything until I return

He rolls on deceased creatures of the sea

Chases birds for fun, barks at cats with hate

He runs for a ball, but runs past me to score

A try for Ireland rugby team for which he was named

Published in Contemplate


Earth Day…

Photo by Valentin Antonucci on

Yesterday, my garden was finished. I have such gratitude for my garden. It is peaceful even though one can hear children playing, the occasional lorry at the roundabout 200 yards away.

So my garden celebrates Earth Day with me. I rejoice in nature as it reminds me of the splendour of God. All those intricate patterns on leaves. On flowers. On the birds that feed at my feeders and seek worms in the soil.

It is magical to me. I take rest there. I snooze there. I read there. A garden is healing to the soul like a drink is refreshing to the body.

I hope you have enjoyed Earth Day and find ways to lighten your tread upon this planet.



I have no memory of learning to read. My first memory of reading was sitting on the floor in front of my Dad while he read the Sunday newspaper. When he changed to another section, I read the back of that.

Anything with words were read by me. I went through my Dad’s book shelf, my sister’s text books. Her homework. I read just about every book in my classroom.

The topic was irrelevant. Whether a story, a recipe, a DIY manual. I am grateful that I never came across pornography or erotica.

When my parents had a boot room added to the home, I watched every move. The foundations, right through to the roofing. Used bricks were chosen so that it would blend with the rest. I know because I asked.

My parents renovated the house themselves, only paying for skills they did not have. The lights would go on and off at will, until my parents could afford to have the house rewired. I learned the best placed to put electric sockets.

I can paint a room perfectly because I watched my parents. I have painted many of the places I have lived in. I know how to hang wallpaper, though I have never desired to do so.

I watched my parents build a garage. I know about plumb lines, how to place each brick, how to knock a brick in half. I have never used this knowledge; the only walls I’ve built are for flower beds which I don’t want to look perfect.

I know how to maintain the exterior of a house. This I use infrequently as I live in a terraced cottage.

My mother could not teach me to knit as I am left handed. So taught myself and later my mother gave me a very rare compliment on how good my knitting is. My mother lacked any patience, it was her way or no way. My daughter learned to knit from me. She is also left handed, but I allowed her method to be whatever worked for her. She made some scarves, and quit. It is not cool to knit.

Education is not filling an empty mind but igniting a fire

My knowledge extends to greasing joints, changing spark plugs, choosing a good used car.

My great love is gardening. I guess I got this from my mother and my Dad. I don’t do straight lines like my mother, however. I like to see flowers jostling together, in unruly fashion.

My passion is also to teach. I loved teaching my daughter as she asked to learn. I also used incidences to teach her. Like when she heated nail varnish in a pan on the stove. I was alerted by her screams and then, running downstairs, the smoke alarm. I threw a wet dishcloth over it, not understanding her refusal to wet one (I wanted to change places with her so she would not get burnt). Then she told me she had added water and it got worse. We chatted about putting out fires.

Learning is not just academic. There are so many practical skills to learn. I admire practical skills so much. I admire carpentry in particular. My Opa was a cabinet maker and made beautiful furniture and objects of nature. The remaining ones are in my home as my mother destroyed so many.

Published in KnowThyself, Heal Thyself