The Joy in Baking

Go to the kitchen, turn on the oven
open the cupboard, reach up and look for
Flour, Sugar, Vanilla and Ginger
Creaming butter by hand is my workout
adding sugar till it’s silky and smooth
heaps of flour like snow-covered mountains
mix it, squeeze it, squish it through my fingers
Slowly it changes to a perfect dough

Flouring the worktop, clouds of it rising
as I roll the dough again and again
Choosing cutters in 3 different sizes
12 little people, my gingerbread friends
gone in the oven. I watch them change colour
tourists on beach towels under the sun
Takes only 10 minutes and out they come
lying on the wire rack. One by one

I eat them.

I’m Beginning to Feel Better…

I stormed out
in a temper, yes.
Everything is expected of me
so, for once, I’ve left him to it.

He can wash up
He can feed the baby
He can get the children dressed.
For once.

I have it all to do,
even on Sundays when he’s home.
The day the good Lord said
‘ye shall rest.’

I have it all to do
the cooking, the cleaning
the washing, the ironing.

I have it all to do
get them up in the morning
put them to bed.
Feed their hungry mouths
tell them stories
listen when they read to me.

I do it all with no bother, usually.
Not today, a Sunday when we are due to go out
something snaps and
I leave my post – the kitchen sink
so out I go and walk and walk and walk.

As I walk my temper subsides.
I don’t care where I walk but
I find the river with swans swimming
rowers rowing, people strolling.
I make my way home, feeling calmer.
He’s done it all, the pots, the children.
Everything.

Being a ‘Drama Queen’ sure gets results.

I FEEL BETTER WHEN I AM

I got up in the morning and looked out at the view,
a fine summers morning filled with tranquillity and joy,
blue skies, white clouds, birds soaring, sun shining,
Birds chirping happily pecking at the berries, magpies squabbling and pigeons hovering, looking for food,
Cat positioning herself wiggling her back ready to strike, bird flies away, a very surprised the cat
Grandkids tearing down the stairs, pitter patter of their feet
ready to eat breakfast, cheeky grins on their face,
innocent eyes full of mischief look up at me with unconditional love, like flowers opening their petals and embracing me,
feeling of sheer joy and love oozes out of me, they speak the truth, so beautiful, I felt like a hero
out we go in the garden for breakfast in the sun, everything comes alive, garden echoes from laughter and glee, children shrieking, dog wagging its tail joining the fun, cat seems disgusted and looks away
Time to serve, “poached egg and toast for me” shouts one, “I want chocolate spread, toast, jam, doughnuts and biscuits and sweets, pipes another
I looked at them with pride, how lucky I am to be part of their life
My kitchen is in a mess, all that cleaning and scrubbing, I am sure it will go unnoticed by you know who, I do not care a toss I am going to have fun, maybe he will surprise me
A soft warm hand clutches into mine and whispers “ let’s go to the park for ice cream” a little voice commands
We stroll in the park and see green trees, some in bloom nodding their heads and flowers too
We felt so light we danced and skipped as there was no tomorrow, we skipped by the water danced round the trees, raced with the wind sunny breeze kissed our cheeks
I felt alive like the buds of flower opening up to the warmth of the sun.
We skip by the pond and see a frog and his mating call, sitting there waiting in patience, children said “hello” poking sticks and throwing stones as most children do, full of mischief.
Stopped by the splashing fountain, so soothing to the soul, hobbled lazily to a nearby bench
I lay my head down ready to doze, I close my eyes just for a moment and count my blessings,
saw a bee buzzing in my face, so small yet fearless.
Little one squeezes my hand, little chubby fingers clutching me, reaches over for crisps, the older one snatching it away, he put his arms around my neck and I hugged him tight.
My little angel Ill keep you safe, I held him so close and kissed him,
how blessed I was, the only people I need in my life are the one who need me.
Amazing how far one can go just because someone believes in you
I wanted to live the day with my stars
As we come to a close, the fun ended
head for the kitchen for unfinished work.

I AM WHO I AM

I look in the mirror
I see myself without a glimmer
I see my eyes filled with fear and pain
Is this me full of stain
I got all mad and angry
My strength and pride I wanted to regain
I hastened to the window and gazed
Out in the garden somewhat dazed
It looked so magical with sunshine and bloom
I walk in the garden to get rid of my gloom
The sweet cool breeze gave me so much hope
Calming feelings spreading like dope
Scent from the flowers so vibrant and soothing
Petal so tender yet so strong and ravishing
The bird in the tree sang me a song
You can do it if you really want, but you must try and try
I had nothing to lose but to comply
I walked to the duck swimming in the pond
She looked at me and sang me a song
Chicken, take a dive and shine
I sang the note of the bird song
Walked a different path no so long
I became an eagle with wings spread wide
Soaring away high in the sky, my head held high
Gone is the darkness that controlled my soul
Determined to reach my goal
I meet my friends with outstretched hands
Bruises and scars are on the mend
Now as my story unfolds
I am proud to say
Hello, this me the bold
That is me the real me

I shall write a radio play

I shall write a radio play

I shall write a radio play,
because I wanted to write one years ago
because I love listening to radio dramas
because I borrowed a radio script once
and lost it , I feel bad about that
because I’d promised to return it
because I used to love amateur dramatics,
because I like writing dialogue
because I want to write something
different to poetry
because I can feel the button of the radio
as I press it to hear my play
and I feel better

Leaving

I reach up and press the button
I push the door open
I pass the office window
and go through the outer door
as I walk over the path
and on to the car park
I know I will never
go through that door again.
Twenty years of memories,
mostly joyous, but, no regrets
I’m sure and I feel better.

Sarah Jane

We’d had ‘words’, she invalided
severely crippled with arthritis
hardly able to move alone

me, only daughter coping
best I could; part time jobs,
student husband, new town

grabbed baby, plopped her
into weary old Silver Cross.
“YOU’RE ALWAYS THERE!”

My outburst startled each of us;
exiting without a backward glance
I heaved the front door shut behind.

Fresh air, a stroll around parkland
birdsong, happy dogs and walkers
diffuse the situation. We go home.

It’s a mixture of anger and shame.

Thank God happy baby beams
at Grandma in her comfy chair.

Focused on her Mills and Boon
she says softly “Kettle’s boiled”.

Words dissolve like sugar in tea as we drink silently together.

Forty years on in my mind’s eye there’s
a stalwart defying excruciating pain
carrying out a simple task.

You struggled from chair to wheelchair
You stubbornly reached the kitchen sink
Your determination picked up the kettle
Your tenacity held on while it filled
Your generosity tricked us – nearly.

Lament of the Struggling Artist, or, not all impossible tasks are that onerous

I just feel better when I know I’ve failed
and drawings I complete seem a disgrace
when ‘beauty’ from my pen on paper’s paled
against the real thing I find in your face
when amateurish efforts to record
your smile and all you have to make my day
result in what is obviously flawed
as if my talent has all leached away
I grasp the chance to stare at you again
and hope your life in charcoal form’s retained
or in plan B, the different form of rhyme
my faults demand I see you one more time

Forever my intent and you aren’t matched
as confirmation, see the proof attached

Clearout

Clearout

 

too heavy to lift

too heavy to shift

silently sulky

it stares at me

that big brown cardboard bulging box

looming overlarge

lurking in the corner

shoved under the table

sucking my energy into its vortex

sides sagging

full

far too full

for far too long

always present

its shadow self

harnessed to my back

dragging me down

 

too heavy to lift

too heavy to shift

a toe-stubbing obstacle

archive of forgotten obligations

broken promises

scattered dreams

paper layers describing life’s twists and turns painfully itemising faded hopes

 

too heavy to lift

too heavy to shift

until now

because today

I cleared it

black bin bag in hand

I rooted it out from under the table

 

crushed and stuffed its history into oblivion swiftly cutting fast that box now lifted that box now shifted shoulders are looser eyes are brighter I sway and dance around my room as music flows through my life again

Clearout

Clearout

 

big

bulky

cardboard box

heavy weighty

too full for too long

toe-stubbing  obstacle

archive of old promises

and forgotten obligations

my history preserved in paper

layers evidencing my life story

 

dusty disorganised but demanding

faded words blur wanting attention

sensing a shift resisting change

they argue their importance

but crushing and tearing

I have had enough

bin bag ready

I clear it

lighter

free

A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day

 

Morning

Back of garden sunrise.

Hay-fever pills.

Vegetables,

coffee and toast.

Get up tracksuit

bottoms and

red tee-shirt.

phone-call from Sue.

 

Afternoon

Cup of tea.

Teacake.

Butter

and jam.

Sitting in chair,

leopard skin

swim suit,

wearing cream pants

flowery top.

 

Midday

Listen to radio.

Cheese and onion cobs.

Glass of ginger beer.

On radio “What

a Wonderful World.”

 

Night

Stir fry chicken with Chinese.

Glass of white wine

watching of Match of the Day,

Leicester City.

Claudio pizza’s tomato,

ham and cheese

bed time.

Feeling Blue.

I bend down,
pick up the tiny gem.
Reflecting the sea,
polished by shells,
I feel its smoothness against my hand.
An animal’s eye,
a mermaid’s jewel,
fallen from a necklace of history,
what story does it tell?
Sunny day blue.
It lifts my spirits,
I’d dragged myself out,
my will had fought back,
it took everything to open that door;
now the tiny piece of glass shines in my hand.
I was angry,
I was upset,
now the tiny piece of glass shines in my hand.
A treasure to treasure.
The grey mist rises,
the sandy footsteps walk out my despondency,
in my palm the tiny bead shares its strength,
the lid is lifting.

The River

A thousand years this river ran,
Alone and lost like me.
I climb the rail this empty night,
One step will set me free.

I throw my phone and watch it fade,
The water far below.
The words they send won’t hurt me now,
They’re just a distant glow.

But a little voice says
Oh, don’t go,
Don’t throw it all away.
The love you seek will be with you,
Just wait another day.

I’m on the edge, the devil’s choice,
The two unwelcome worlds.
But then a sound behind me and
I hold the rail and turn.

An old man leans upon the rail,
He finds it hard to breathe.
He speaks to me with sad, dark eyes,
“Son, wait a moment, please”.

I want to jump, to get away,
But something in his voice.
“When I was young, I stood here too,
And made a better choice”.

And a little voice says
Oh, don’t go,
Don’t throw it all away.
The love you seek will be with you,
Just wait another day.

He offers me a cup of tea,
A biscuit and a chat,
And as we walk, and talk of life,
I can’t help thinking that,

The angels come in many forms,
Not just with wings of feather.
It’s funny how a friendly face,
Can leave me feeling better.

Experience

It was what it was, I know that now
although at the time, I didn’t know how
to ignore the fizz of lightning,
the temper of storms,
I didn’t know then that the temper was yours…
I do now.

At first it was passion, a tidal flood
of ideas and intentions, all of them good,
we were going to change things, give people a choice,
but later I knew that the only voice
we heard was yours.
I know now.

It took a long time for the bruises to heal,
the scars of the battle are something you feel
until friends come calling smiling bright,
the screams and nightmares fade with the light
of people you trust.
I know now, and feel better when I don’t see you.