I am really chuffed that two of my poems have been featured in two separate MS magazines this month. One is in the MS Trust magazine, Open Door, and is part of an article I wrote about my diagnosis and my ongoing journey living with MS. I'm not good at inserting links but if anyone would like to read the article it is easily accessed by searching…
Last August I was returning to the office from a meeting, and as I stepped out from the shelter of the Underground a warm torrent of rain began to fall from the sky. Instead of waiting for it to pass, or buying an umbrella, I skipped out into it with a huge grin on my face, and walked slowly up the street with my palms upwards to catch as many drops as I could. I couldn’t keep the smile from my face, or the laughter from bursting out of me as I gloried at the beauty and joy of the moment. I wrote a poem about it, and posted it here, and I also included it in the poetry anthology I compiled this year. I was frustrated, however, not to have a suitable photograph to go with it, so when I stumbled across the Lapiskamay Project it jumped immediately to mind. The author was kind enough to accept my suggestion, and below I have posted the poem again, with his picture below.
Caught in a Summer Downpour
Arms outstretched in delight
Smile stretching wide
Laughter bubbling -
Drenched in joy.
Tonight, tears are finally flowing, and I want to share with you something rather special that I’ve been working on. I really hope you gain one tiny bit of the joy from reading it that I had in creating it. Please click this link – Poetic Hearts Poetry Anthology - to view the anthology.
I must send out a huge thank you to all the amazing poets, writers, artists and generally amazingly creative people included here, all of whom have enriched my life immensely.
I have been unconsciously distracting myself from the rapidly-approaching first anniversary of my mother’s death, which will arrive all too soon on May 31st. I have become busy again with many projects and plans, being productive and constructive and feeling increasingly connected to my body and the world around me, in new and surprising ways.
I still think of her every day, and smile at the photographs of her on my fridge, but I have not been making space for sorrow, and I have been feeling an increasing edginess that nudgingly reminds me that soon, sometime soon, I need to. So tonight I posted a poem and some links to songs that remind me of her, and her death, on the memorial website that was created for her, and I listened to those songs, one at a time. Last year, they had me weeping time and time again, but tonight I find the tears that have dried up these past months are not yet ready to flow.
I hope they do soon. The ache I begin to feel when they are absent reminds me of a poem I wrote (and posted) last August whilst sitting on a red London bus on a rainy day:
Have likened the rain to tears, or tears to rain.
The comparison should have lost its potency through reiteration
Yet, sitting watching drops trickle steadily down the window,
I can think of nothing but how they would feel on my cheek –
Cold rather than hot and salty,
Expressing my sorrow when my body cannot.
I lay in the warm glow of my husband Clive’s arms last night, where I feel most alive in every delightful cell of my body. It seems to draw electric energy from his fingertips. Being home, and being healthy (following a successful procedure to plug the hole in my leaking spine), both seem like luxurious novelties still; I can’t quite believe they are real, and have intermittent and uneasy premonitions that they might vanish again at any second.
Relationships are such intimate things; they seem too precious to share, and expose to the cruel light of other’s judgement, seeming to lose their magic away from the intensity of a moment shared. Continue reading →
‘Life is hard’ – a basic premise, proven over and over again, yet somehow my heart holds on for an easier year, an easier day; a life that will miraculously contain less pain. It nevertheless begins to seem to me that pain does not fade with time: it accumulates.
I broke down this morning in the worst possible place – at work. I sat in the toilet and sobbed. As memories hit me relentlessly, one after another, I couldn’t stop the howls of agony escaping my lips. For the second day in a row, it feels like a tunnel has opened up right back to my childhood, with every painful ordeal lived afresh. I know that this represents an ideal opportunity to go back to those early traumas and try to process them with the experience and self-knowledge of adulthood, but it feels so overwhelming that I don’t even know where to being. After the first roll of toilet paper was finished it began to feel like I would never again be able to stop crying. Continue reading →