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Do You Respect Your Employee?

In recent years I have found the need to employ a cleaner because of several changes in my life. I’ve gone through a few. Changes and employees. Some stopped coming because the parking is difficult — a boat would be able to moor nearer. Some stopped coming because I would chat with them. I had to let a few go because they were not doing an effective clean.

My cleaner now is a man who did some work in my bathroom and garden. He had seen my advertisement for a cleaner at a certain price. He had come to do a job moving some heavy stuff in my garden, and because he had finished early we had a cup of tea.

He said that he would like to be my cleaner. I responded that I could not afford his hourly fee every week. In reply he said that cleaning for me at the pay I had advertised would guarantee two more hours of income each week, and that because I had recommended him to others for various tasks, it would be of mutual benefit.

This kind of thinking is very pleasing. I only found it odd to adjust to having a man in my home. Not because I think it is a woman’s job, but because it involves my laundry. I have never before had a man who was not a lover handle my laundered clothing or strip my bedlinen.

This guy works really hard. He cleans very well. He is far more efficient and thorough than any previous cleaner. Sometimes, he arrives and I can see that he is tired. I try to chat with him for a couple of minutes so that he can recuperate. Other times, he has finished all the cleaning early and if I don’t have another chore for him, I tell him to go home and have a cup of tea.

Of course, there are times I notice something could do with a wipe. I am not helpless, so these things I do without complaint. Other times, I might mention it if it’s something out of my reach.

I believe there are several types of cleaning; spring cleaning, maintenance cleaning, and focused cleaning.

Focused cleaning is the cleaning of things that don’t need weekly cleaning. So we have a Week A and Week B but fluidity reigns. Sometimes I ask him to clean for one hour and help in the garden for the second. The second hour is then paid at his normal fee.

Because I know that some people give him very labor intensive jobs without thinking about his need to stay hydrated, I generally ask if he needs a drink. He carries water with him. At this time of pandemic, he often asks to use my bathroom, as other people are terrified they will catch Covid-19 from him and won’t let him inside. This is fair enough. I know he is careful, washes his hands and wears a mask, and keeps a distance.

Today, I asked him to schedule two hours of gardening work for me. I have raised beds to clear for growing tomatoes, plants to be planted, and a shrub that needs to go back into a pot. I also need to clear the finished Evening Primroses that have seeded all around my footpath. They are lovely, and will come back in the summer.

I know he will have two hours of work that is good for his mental health, satisfying, and companionship. Soon he will construct my new swing seat which I got in a sale.

Published in Contemplate

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Protest

We unfurl

Day by day

From our birth

Learn to touch

Want to smile

And we laugh

So we grow

World expands

See the sky

Why what how

Start to ask

And we trust

Won’t you shout out loud with me

Why is that, what’s it do

How do you know it’s true

We feel pain

Someone hurts

It’s unfair

We see life

Differently

No more trust

So won’t you scream out loud with me

Why is this world unfair

Why are there rich and poor

Why are some crushed when I am free

We want change

We want light

Equality

So just please shout out loud with me

Let’s revolutionize how it works

Let us all be free

No more poverty

So come and scream with me

Give us equality

We bring peace

Published by Comtemplate

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Waking

Joyously I see buds unfurl their bloom
color pops up around my garden
summer plants renew their growth
slumber has ceased, all is waking.

I smile at each new discovery in turndelight in return for tending each one
bees drift between petaled pots of pollen
their hum, mingled with birdsong, is peace.

Published by The Lark

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Sweet You

Entering my life unasked, uninvited
kind but boring I had thought
not this earnest, sweet, intrusion
in the night while I was sleeping


Protestations were met with pleading
so frank, so innocent I agreed to
meet you downstairs to hear you out
became amused by your sincerity

That you were in blackout I was unaware
drinking, yes, I knew how you do
but that reveals the person you hide
sweet, gentle, thoughtful, kind


Not boring, not wordless, not obedient
laughter, talking, shared moments of fun
communicating deeper thoughts, cares
intimate hours, sweet gifts you gave


I did not fall in love until in secret
you returned, to this day I don’t know how
that was my undoing, my trip headlong
into wanting you, loving you, sweetest you


There were so many misdemeanors on your part
I withdrew the one made in statement, mistake
as I still pay for your sweet night time invasion
sabotaged by the jealous ones, angry ones, cruel

Published by The Lark


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When It Seems Hope Is Lost

They say to travel hopefully is better than arriving
though the path to a friend’s house is never long
the miles I’ve trod, the continents crossed
and I omitted to ensure I had an enduring love.

My journey is almost near completion, no hand in mine
Forgetting to look after myself, transient love
or love made impossible by lawsI still carry hope in my heart and soul.

Hope comes with the light at daybreak
in the laughter of a baby, the song of a bird

springtime brings new life, flowers, chicks, new leaves
the warmth of the sun promises outdoor living.

The hope I have comes from above, my God
redeemer, healer, gracious, his grace empowers
my life is not my own, I live in a temporary body
which, when I am done with living, will leave behind.

I omitted to ensure someone would love me to the end
but friends are near, my daughter close,
the hand to hold in dark of night is missed
but my soul has peace, loves, and knows what love is.

Published by The Lark

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Megan Markle’s Claims

We have heard various claims made and argued about since the infamous interview Oprah Winfrey gave to Megan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry.

In it Megan said that her role in the royal family had never been discussed, it was never part of the conversation.

Yet, when Mishal Hussein interviewed the couple on the occasion of their engagement, Prince Harry said how much he had explained to her how difficult it is to be such a public figure, that she would be scrutinised, criticised, and judged.

Megan told Oprah Winfrey that she had grown up completely unaware of how the royal family worked. That she was never been advised, she was naive of many things.

Both these statements are on visual media. The contradiction cannot be missed.

Maybe Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, found it easier to fit in. After all, she and Prince William had a ten year relationship before they married. Perhaps having a commitment phobe as her boyfriend gave her lots of time to observe and notice how to conduct herself.

Whenever I have been in a setting new to me, I tend to wait and watch others so that I don’t offend and fit in comfortably.

Apparently, Megan spoke over her husband several times and also tapped his hand to silence him during the interview with Oprah Winfrey. Body language says far more than words. I used to love how Megan looked at Prince Harry with a smile in her eyes, even when he was talking to someone else, or looking away watching sport or another event.

I was so happy that Prince Harry was loved by such an accomplished and beautiful woman. The royal family welcomed her as they have any other wife to be. The Queen even invited Megan to attend engagements with her. This is unusual, but their happy friendship was clear to see.

Are black people too afraid to admit that Megan’s story has changed? That her words now oppose what was said a few years ago?

What has happened to Prince Harry’s voice? He gave up everything he valued when they moved to California. His father paid for many things on their behalf. I dislike Prince Charles, but he has been a good father since the Princess of Wales died so tragically.

Comments made during the recent interview have seriously undermined the work that Prince William and Katherine do for mental health. It was an issue for Diana, a commoner, and her older sister. It became an issue for both William and Harry.

Prince Harry’s grandfather, with whom he was close, has now had heart surgery after one month in hospital. His one hundredth birthday will not be the occasion it was meant to be, it seems. This had been intended to be a family celebration.

In July, there was to be an event to mark what would have been Diana’s sixtieth birthday. It hard to envision both brothers being there now.

No one is perfect whatever their skin color. Please don’t be too fragile to admit that.

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Waking

Joyously I see buds unfurl their bloom
color pops up around my garden
summer plants renew their growth
slumber has ceased, all is waking.

I smile at each new discovery in turndelight in return for tending each one
bees drift between petaled pots of pollen
their hum, mingled with birdsong, is peace.

Published by The Lark

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Sun, You Tease Too Much

Sun, you tease too much
you came with warmth
I felt renewed, with hope

energised, bees bumbling,
the kiss of warmth gentle
on my face has gone away


like a moody lover, a child
put out at the word no
clouds hide you, as if

playing a game, wanting a cloak
I would not mind had you
not been gone so long

Be more like the Moon please
take a faithful journey,
he does not fail me, not fey


no teasing, just the gentle kiss

Published by Woodworkers of The World Unite

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For My Dad

Transparent skin on your long fingered hands I didn’t notice before the same hands as mine and I belong Not in slipping sands, alone, but from you, made by you And I realise your flesh is less and veins blue are seen Under the beauty of your frame and so I realise with tears We are the same

Each day that I don’t see you there is a fear I won’t again And that is too much pain for me to bear because of death Visiting me long ago and I pushed my face against your neck No letting go, wanting life, wanting you to never let me fall You carried me

Your eyes still smile at me and humour from all my life is near I make you laugh despite my fear and swallow the rising wail Of grief untold, not yet borne, but dreaded though I steal the time That still is left to us to share. I hold my breath and do not dare To go far from you. I hold your hand often cold and want be told Death is not near

I’ve known you young and middle years you never changed Or spoke untruths. You walked and walked for search of solitude But now I will not let you alone I will not leave you to the world That in your head baffles you and yesterday is forever gone If I could bear it in your stead you know my love for you understood And I am still your little girl sat on your knee

Chrissie Morris Brady

Published 2014

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The Path Less Travelled

Poem published.

The paths less traveled
Are full of roots to trip on
Stones not smoothed by footsteps
Cobweb webs hang from trees
Like dewey curtains, thick
The grass is long, staining your feet
And branches will whip your face
Or scalp as wild birds call
And sing, unused to humans

Don’t take your horse for a while
Find the rabbit holes and loose roots
Spare him falling and breaking his knees
Or losing a shoe, cast stones aside
Lead him, talking the while to stop him
Spooking, and if he should be spooked
Go back and tie him to graze

This path is not for everyone, only brave
And courageous who are willing to learn
A different way to live and give
It is for those who have nothing to lose
Who stand true and strong in self
Knowing their wit and agility
Having already faced in life
The worst and best it has

Choose carefully, return is not sure
You may fall and lie wounded
Or fall and break your neck
Might be better to take the path
Commonly travelled; no surprises
No discomfort or risks
Just a comfotable stroll, no hastles
And no euphoric reward

Chrissie Morris Brady 2014