Stringing words together

Barely, barely, can I do even this. I have only the most meagre of fragments to offer these days – too much is changing and I am sea sick. Are we sinking? Or rising from the depths? I don’t have my bearings yet. My garments are heavy, and the collective cloth threatens suffocation. Are you feeling this too?

Craigie Aitchison

I turn to Kathleen for solace. I borrow her words and let them wash over me. She knows.


If you go deep
Into the heart
What do you find there?
Fear, fear,
Fear of the jaws of the rock,
Fear of the teeth and splinters of iron that tear
Flesh from the bone, and the moist
Blood, running unfelt
From the wound, and the hand
Suddenly moist and red.

If you go deep
Into the heart
What do you find?
Grief, grief,
Grief for the life unlived,
For the loves unloved,
For the child never to be born,
Th’unbidden anguish, when the fair moon
Rises over still summer seas, and the pain
Of sunlight scattered in vain on spring grass.

If you go deeper
Into the heart
What do you find there?
Death, death,
Death that lets all go by,
Lets the blood flow from the wound,
Lets the night pass,
Endures the day with indifference, knowing that all must end.
Sorrow is not forever, ad sense
Endures no extremities,
Death is the last Secret implicit within you, the hidden, the deepest
Knowledge of all you will ever unfold
In this body of earth.

Beautiful Kathleen Raine

Spring Equinox

Did you feel it? Spring is electric here. The air is brighter and the hedgerows are bursting with tiny buds. Carpets of rich green ramsons welcome me with their garlicy scent. Edibles like chickweed, nettles and dandelions are suddenly abundant.

Lesser celandine

The fat, sticky buds of horse chestnut are already pointing to the heavens. Hawthorn and elder are sending forth fresh new leaves with that special young, green brightness to them. Bare feet in the grass! Skin in the breeze! Such sensuous pleasures are as if new, almost forgotten after the body has been nestled in the depths of winter and wool for so long.

Horse chestnut

I have a minor obsession with tree buds. I never really saw them until last year. Since taking a more serious interest in all things botanical, I find myself captivated by them. There they are, so perfectly formed and so unique to each tree, biding their time over the winter months with such magical potential. Much as I love biblical language, with all its weeping and gnashing of teeth, botanical names take the biscuit – apologies for the mild sacrilege, but I don’t think God will mind. On my afternoon walk today, I spotted chrysosplenium oppositifolium, plantago lanceolata and heracleum sphondylium. Such glorious mouthfuls of words.

Willow buds

I love the time round the changing of the seasons, and the feeling of motion that spring brings to me this year is simply joyous. Being out in the happy clouds of birdsong and the blossoming landscape is such a privilege. The world is many things, and today it is sublime.

John O’Donohue’s micro-poem encapsulates perfectly the feeling that this spring equinox has given rise to. Here is to natural movement, new growth and a new year.


I would love to live
like a river flows
carried by the surprise
of its own unfolding.

By John O'Donohue

Frail Skin

Frail skin holds the organs
in pink bags of flesh.
Incredible really,
this vessel enmeshed.

It comes with no manual,
it lives and it breathes,
it hastens to dying
and actions my deeds.

Expanding through feeling
with soul wings it flies, 
to learning and vision
my vehicle gives rise.

This matter in motion,
a here and a there,
and loving brings to it
the Truth all stripped bare.

Look at these fingers,
they move as I ask!
And when I flow through them
they dance with each task.

A one-off uniqueness,
 a fine joyful mess,
 a tangle of loveliness,
chaos and rest.

For those who come closer
I offer my best,
embracing them wholly
I find myself blessed.

For M.W.

What the eternal thought wills

Words of the day, courtesy of the sublime George Macdonald.


The one secret of life and development is not to devise and plan
but to fall in with the forces at work - to do every moment's duty aright -
that being the part in the process allotted to us:
and let come - not what will, for there is no such thing -
but what the eternal thought wills for each of us,
has intended in each of us from the first.

The privilege of pain

On the shore of a lake
 I sink to my knees, 
 with blood condensed
 from the coarse weight 
 of being.

 The earth subsides, 
 and a burning tide
 flows into me.

 Like a bloated vessel
 I crack. 

 Alone and broken, 
 the brittle form 
 built of fallacies and frailties
 cannot play
 with the flames.

 Every pore opens, 
 scalded as certainty retreats. 
 No singular thread 
 of resistance remains.

 I stand unhoused 
 in dislocation. 


 The privilege of pain
 has blazed through me. 
 As she lifts, 
 a flicker of light
 beams through the haze. 

 Refined, I rise
 and weigh my memories.


 They are lighter too.