Showing posts from February, 2018


This poem reflects an aspect of Spanish village life which remains unchanged since our arrival 28 years ago. In bars, squares and community centres men meet up in the afternoons to play cards and dominos, the seated players surrounded by standing observers, intent on the game. This winter scene is from the small, inland town of Pego in the Marina Alta area of the the Costa Blanca. CARD PLAYERS IN PEGO. Weekend afternoon, ‘paseo’ void of children and coffee drinkers, only ‘viejos’ staking their place, wooden slat table warmed with green felt, flat caps covering cool heads, bent low in concentration, time gnarled hands span hidden cards,   visible to the circled watchers, waiting, hawked like the booted eagle gliding low over the ‘Bodoix’, tension tightening, breath held as haunted lizard escapes hooked talons, released cry rises, cards slap in triumph, laughter floats into the ‘Pego’ sky, stark blueness framing ‘Platanus’ dappled trunks, bl


Today we say goodbye to our dear friend Jo who died in January after a long period of illness. Jo was an extraordinary woman, generous, funny, compassionate, great company, a good friend, a loving partner to Jim and dearly loved by all her family and friends.  She worked for many years as a nurse in intensive care, helping to save lives and sooth minds with her thoughtful, caring manner. She was also an amazing artist and I am fortunate to have a wonderful painting she did for us after a visit to Spain hanging in my living room. A week before Jo’s death, unaware that her condition had worsened, I was stuck with a bit of writing and found myself staring at the painting, as I so often do. I wrote this short poem about my thoughts and sent it off to Jo. She didn’t get to read the poem but I know she knew how much we loved her. Her art and our shared memories will keep her with us. I cannot be at Jo’s funeral today but send my love to all her family and her many friends. Our


Last winter I spent some weeks in Coventry emptying and selling our family home. This was a difficult time, saying goodbye not only to my parents but to my childhood and my link to England. This house remained my home, it was where we all returned to, where my own children and even my tiny grandchild stayed and visited, a special place for us all. Being at the house without my father, sorting through my parents belongings, knowing I would soon not be able to return, already missing the garden, I was overwhelmed with sadness.     This poem recalls the day I tried and failed to be cheerful, leaving my friends after helping to decorate the party room, knowing I was still set apart from normal life. Without thinking I stopped at the woods, alone in the dusk and after time with the trees and the silence, felt some sadness lift and float away into the night sky. I returned home lighter, with oak leaves in my pocket.   Grief is a process, there are days when I am still hit hard but little