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Showing posts from December, 2017

With Stars in Her Eyes

Dear friends, I have a sports-related expense coming up for which I need to raise funds, but am currently only in the early stages of writing my next novel, and have nothing else new to offer right now. I could come up with something like a subscription to a weekly story, but I like posting those here for everyone to read. Therefore this shameless post. If you know anyone who might enjoy an ebook of wild-hearted stories, or a fantasy novel about a dreaming woman caught in a strange, quiet mystery, or poetry, then I would be so very grateful to you for mentioning my collection of books. Perhaps sharing the link somewhere. Perhaps giving an opinion of them (for better or worse!) Only if you are so inclined, of course.

I would offer a special deal - one free poetry book with every storybook/novel chosen, that kind of thing - but people never seem interested. Just as I've given away free copies of books in return for a review, and that review has never been produced. So I'm sadly…

Dreaming of Peace and Love

As I look towards 2018, I'm not sure what I'll be writing here at this little space. I'm toiling away quietly at a new novel, which might be gentle or might be madcap, goodness only knows at this stage. I am also trying to manage my health issues, and contemplating the meaning of life all over again. So blogposts might be ... diverse. No one I follow seems to be blogging regularly any more, which is a real shame, but I would like to continue to do so, regardless of how I direct my focus. I try to stay true to the touchstone of peacefulness, although if you followed me on twitter you'd know I have my vehement political side too.

Blogging can in many ways be considered a living, evolving book form. And I have sometimes thought that the books we love best give us an insight into who we are, or perhaps how we should be focussing our lives so that we can offer our love and truth to help others even in just a small way. I adore many different kinds of books ... I've cur…

The Mother in the Morning

She stepped slowly into the starlight. Far over east, dawn was beginning to gentle the sky, but here, in the little valley, it was still dark. She felt cloaked in that dark, crowned by those small winter stars. She felt like a queen, for all that her dress was stained and her body taut with aching.

The night had been full of blood, dirt, love. But that is the essence of life. It had been sacred. Behind her in the warmth lay a child. Sleeping, dreaming; a beautiful child, a star in the cold morning, a seamless piece of her heart. He was the dirt of the earth, of human life. He was the blood of passage. He was love. She knew he would bless her heart and break it, because that was the way for all mothers - for queens and women in stables. She had decided nine months ago that it would be worth it.

Love is always worth it.

Quietly came her husband, and put his arms around her. His hands on her - those strong capable hands that had caught the child and drawn him into the world. She rested …


Every year around this time I do a retrospective post. But to be honest 2017 has been such an awful year for me, I can't bear to celebrate it in any way. My voice is all shadows. I can only say that the world we humans have made for ourselves is cruel, a world which serves only those with wealth, a selfish world. (And no this is not a post about politics.)

I don't really know what more to write. I have no positive addendum. But here is one thing : while I was letting this post sit a while before publishing, I visited some other weblogs, and on one I left a little comment. However, I mispelled "joy" as "you". Turns out though the message was just right for what I want to say here, now ...

I wish you many blessings of you.

The Old Song of Wild Unforgetting Love

He was her first love. He was the wonder and magic of her childhood. He with his bare feet and unkempt temper; he blinked away the fanged tree shadows and night wall-whispers with his soft, kind eyes. She loved him, loved him - and then she didn't.

For she left the forest, grew up, became sensible. She found real magic. And she learned from other sensible people that he had stolen this magic, claimed it was his, destroyed the first magicians. He went against everything she wanted to believe in.

All her new friends disdained him. And so it was that she could not return to him or else she would lose who she had become and what she had mindfully chosen to love. Sometimes he came to sit beside her and she could feel the heart he still had for her. Sometimes she cried for him in the dark. But it was overly far now for her to reach across - she knew too much.

He, however, knew her heart. And whenever she was tired, he was there to lay his hands beneath her feet. And whenever she was bu…

The Self-Made Woman

That day twenty years past had seemed at the time to go on forever. She remembered. She had opened her heart to each moment, letting the summer light and the sea fragrance fill her; she had looked and looked at the world until her eyes hurt. And even when she closed her eyes, the speckled darkness was so beautiful, it too felt like a blessing. Afterwards, when everyone had gone home, even the moon, leaving only stars like speckles in the dreaming eye of God, she wrote down as much of the day as she could. Words did not come easily to her, but that barely mattered for she knew she would always remember that day and all the happiness of it.

But memory is not stitched on the brain. It is speckles in the dark, flaring and then melting into ghosts of long ago light. Over twenty years, she recalled that day in little bits, some of them misattached to other days; she knew the words for how she felt, but no longer held the actual feeling.

And yet, it was not lost, not one moment, not one rib…

Great Courage For The Small Things

In times of disaster, we often see acts of courage which inspire and uplift the heart. But it's also true that every day people are being astonishingly brave in small, unnoticed ways. I'm writing this to let you know that I'm aware how hard it can be sometimes, and how much harder it is made by the fact courage for small things is not often recognised or celebrated.

answering the phone wearing something different asking for a refund going into the world without makeup saying certain words holding up your hand admitting your true religion not eating that biscuit speaking to the teacher riding a lift to a high up level walking past a dog asking to join in returning a gaze
I suspect even the most confident people have moments when they must take a deep breath before proceeding with some small, innocuous task that frightens them. We don't talk about it, perhaps because it seems strange, pathetic, altogether too vulnerable, to be scared of drinking cold water or buying a t…

Dreaming of a Sisterhood of Women

There is a busker who often stands outside my local shopping centre, doing something he calls singing. The noise is awful but I don't mind. I never really mind someone having a go. What I do mind is the way he stares at me, and other women I know, as we go past. It may be simply that we divert his eye, but it feels creepy. I will usually take a different, longer, route if I see him, or not go into the centre at all.

Today he stopped singing to watch me pass by, and I involuntarily shuddered. So despite many reservations, I went to the centre management desk to make a gentle complaint. I didn't want trouble for him, I just wanted to have him perhaps moved elsewhere so the way would be made easier for women.

The carefully groomed lady behind the desk was initially displeased to hear that there was a busker on the property. But when I explained my discomfort at his behaviour, she smirked. And of course I understood.

I am not a young woman. I am not attractive. This morning I'…

The Stories of Christmas

The sky wept stars last night and rain today, and now the heat begins again. It presses against skin and grass so that everything struggles to open and close, and the world becomes increasingly parched. Down here in the south, we are singing to our Mother Ocean for relief. And she is coughing up slugs and deadly jellyfish.

I love Christmas. I love all the old traditional images of snow-covered cottages, night-eyed reindeer, chimney smoke spiralling into a wizened, grandmother-grey sky, perhaps because it is like a beautiful dream of something I have never experienced. But I become frustrated with all the online articles and posts about this mythic season of winter, light-in-darkness, death, silence. There's an arrogance to it which could take on an -ism if one was so inclined. Myth was made to be local. It may have universal messages, but the particulars of the stories were based on what people saw when they opened their door. That's the point of it - truth, godhood, exists i…


You will see her sitting in the coffee house, reading old books for university. You will see him walking down the city street in a suit that must be so uncomfortable in this weather, conducting business on his phone as he goes. You may think she looks like you wish you had been at that age - spunky, interesting, with a genuine interest in Ancient Greek literature and an ability to read it. You may wonder about him, with your eyes narrowed and a heart too hurt - how many women has he harassed today?

You will not know that she struggles with chronic illness, with a depression that haunts her life like a moon, waxing to pain, waning to darkness, and that it's taking all her strength to hold on to the dream of a university degree, even though she can't imagine her future clearly. You will not suppose all the bandages on her brain.

And you will not know that he has to take a deep, unsteady breath before he talks to anyone, and that his father never had time for him, and that he hu…

How To Recognise A Butterfly Girl

Once there was a woman made of moonlight and sighs. She had lived as a child in the forest of winds, and learned strange languages of star, shadow, hedgehog, oak, even before human talk. It made her quiet, wise. She grew up to be a little sad, a little shy. The world beyond the forest was a hard place, full of noise, and every day it hurt her in a new way or an old bitter way. It broke her dream bones. It left her with scars like poems. She wanted to run home to the forest, but it had been bulldozed for a shopping mall. So she went tenderly through the suburbs and the city. Her feet sang against the concrete. Her heart flew frangible, wishful, ahead of her. She was softness in the daylight, sorrow in the dark.

No one knew it. For she weighed more than beautiful, and her teeth were crooked.

The Smile of A Woman

I would say that once there was a princess, but really this is the story of just about every woman I've met. Once there was a woman, and she was told to smile.

Grandmothers told her when she was small. Teachers told her in school. Passersby told her as she was minding her own business, walking down the street. Coaches told her - you can't enjoy your sport if you aren't smiling while you do it. Men told her - smile, smile, as if their own self-worth depended on it.

The woman did not want to smile. Not always. Not when she was dreaming in her grandmother's warmly scented kitchen, or pondering lessons, or imagining out a story while walking to the store. Not when she was fierce with physical activity. Not when some man gave her nothing to smile about. She wasn't unhappy, she was merely quiet, contemplative, tristful, dreamy, distracted, content, private, worried, calculating her weekly budget, entranced, fascinated, tired ... or a thousand other things that did not e…

The Moon & the Water Magic

Last night it was as if someone spilled one drop of golden tallow into the calm dark of the sky: the moon. The night was enchanted by it, gentled by it; the quiet was full of wordless luminous charms. But then, even before the moon appeared, there had been magic in the dusk, in the reddening of horizons and the long fine threads of silver from houselights falling into darkening waters like lines fishing for dreams, hooked perhaps by sorrows and hopes, mortgages and Christmas grocery bills. And there had been swans dancing together through the sunset - the same sequence of moves over and over, like a tranquil waltz, while three grey cygnets watched.

And there had been the moment when I blinked and everything changed - the softly rippling water moving faster, so much faster it was almost a blur, although there was no wind at all, no sound, no breaking of the surface. I blinked and blinked but it did not change again. I felt like I was witnessing some ordinary, everyday, nameless, ancie…

The Dreamer Behind the Moon

On the other side of the moon, a woman is sleeping. Her quiet breath stirs our long dark seas.

On the other side of the stars, a woman is wishing, deep in her dreams.

She wishes for forests and fieldmice and peace. It's quiet where she is, so quiet; she hasn't spoken to anyone for three days. She would like to be in a conversation that had space, like the space between the stars, and mysteries, like the oceans on the moons, and magic, like that which illuminates the worlds. But she can not find it, so she sleeps.

Her heart is in tulle, dancing gently. She has words like dirt under her fingernails. The world seems stranger to her than star-shadow and moon-behind - all its fires, ploughed fields, lies. All its meaningless noise. She can not fathom it, so she dreams.

She dreams of community kitchens, free medicines, softly-spoken voices, kings who knock on poor men's doors bearing milk and biscuits. But she knows she will never see it, so she is tired.

Out there in the darkn…