Monthly Archives: April 2012

Advice from a tree

At last, a project I have been working on for many weeks is completed.
It is based on the poem Advice from a Tree by Ilan Shamir ,  and the lessons I have learned from the trees in my own garden.

It started from a doodle I made of a tree, taking my pen for a journey without lifting it off the page, and finding a tree  had grown…

And so with the making of this tree, it has grown and evolved along the way, there were mistakes, unpickings, adaptings, cover ups, cut aways, and embellishments. I look at it and see how it might have been different if…. but I am content to let it hang as it is.


Carpet burn and unforgiveness!

The mark beneath my feet
Melted outline, seared and singed fibres,
An enduring reminder.
The moment when my irritation and impatience
Collided clumsily with the ironing board
And hot iron hit the carpet,
With indelible consequences.

A moment when I was reminded of my human falibility, and propensity to make mistakes.  And also of my old emotional patterns of beating myself up, and my unwillingness to forgive myself!  So now on a daily learning curve,  walking over the burn mark, and beginning to accept it and live with it, and myself….!

Any one else out there have difficulty forgiving themselves?

The “wrong” side?


With a fascinating beauty of its own
This meandering muddle of stitched pathways,
Criss crossed with knots, loose ends,
Caught loops, broken outlines,
Puckerings, and ruckled cloth
Hints of hidden colours,
And a meaning, shape and structure
Not yet revealed.

Layered view

Through the window of my sunlit summerhouse,
I view a garden of clear colours
Yellow, purple , pink and red
Bright spring pansies and pieris

And then I notice
How the  window of my sunlit summerhouse
Glazed with a winter of green grime,
A pattern of snail trails and cobweb festoons,
Adds a layer to  my view!
 As I became aware of the dirty windows obscuring the colours of the garden my thought was to clean them, or at least try and get rid of the foreground interference! And yes, I will get the bucket and squeegee…
But in the meantime it reminds me how we all view our circumstances and surroundings through layers of accumulated life experiences and judgements. I found myself reflecting on the importance  of noticing and acknowledging my accumulated “patterns” and “cobwebs”  which tend to colour my view of the rest of the world out there. And even that there may be times when looking at the foreground layer is equally as important as further horizons.
PS With my levels of photgraphic skills it was impossible to take a photo focused on the grimy glass!  But the view is definitely through the window.

By the fence

Crumbly old bricks, empty flowerpots,
Tilted hosepipe, untidily coiled,
Leaning stepladder, stained with paint
Redundant fence post with rusty nails
Dead leaf litter and straggling plants
Quietly continuing, just being,
Surrounded by birdsong
In the space by the fence.

As I wrote this small stone I was attempting to simply observe what I could see from my window. As I read it back I realised how many of the words I had used implied some kind of negative judgement – untidily, stained, crumbly, redundant etc. Using words to describe things simply as they are without judgement is difficult.

But then could I perhaps also begin to read words like crumbly, rusty, redundant or dead even,  without the negative slant?

Unplanned meeting

Neither of us planned to take this flight.
Assigned seats together, we look different.
Me, older, frumpy in baggy trousers and comfy shoes
You, younger, glamorous in short dress , high boots
Colourful make up, jewellery and piercings.
Fastening seat belts, you share your fear
And speak of your unhappiness.
I am honoured and humbled by your open trust.
We share our hearts, our inner hopes
Connect and stare in wonder
At the beauty of each other.
Two precious hours to discover and encourage,
Then embrace and part.
Thank you Suzie, I will remember you.

No photo here, but a memory in my heart of a special person I may never see again. A real unexpected gift of  encountering “Christ in a stranger” as St Patrick described it. 


Music pulses through entwined bodies,
Accordion squeezes anguished breaths,
Piano stomps and trips a dance,
Strings are stroked, scraped and plucked
The tango pair kick, flick and gaze seduction.
Darkness of passionate intensity
Embracing light of exquisite tenderness.