Showing posts from April, 2018


I am posting this poem again as I am in Brussels at the European Parliament preparing to present my petition tomorrow calling for the right to vote for all UK citizens, despite their country of residence or time away. If you follow my poetry blog you will know I did not have a vote in the Referendum that decided the UK should leave the European Union. This was despite the massive impact this decision has had and will have on my family life in Spain. Many campaigners have spent years fighting for the end of the 15 year rule which removes our right to vote in General Elections and referendums and my petition is one more attempt in this long campaign. If Brexit goes ahead and UK citizens become third country nationals in Spain or other member states, we lose our EU citizenship and along with it the right to vote in EU and local elections. We will end up with no right to vote anywhere. I hope tomorrow's hearing will get good support from the MEPs in the petitions committee and that


When all is too much I climb the mountain or stand by the sea and let my worries fly away on the wind.  LOST IN THE WAVES Skin tight with salt sting, tangled hair whipped by wind’s frenzy, mind takes wing, thoughts dissolving, lost in enveloping spray, sea whirled skywards, mist swirling, like the circling gannets, black tips shadowing their glinting prey.  © 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.  


This poem is inspired by the women in Nepal who after generations of suffering from the monthly isolation of Chhaupadi are enacting the law prohibiting their nightly shutting away in Chhaupadi sheds during menstruation and actively tearing them down. The ending of this traditional practice is the result of campaigners fighting for Nepali  womens' right to safe and normal periods, in their own home with access to sanitary protection and healthcare. Freedom Kit Bags is a charity  providing such sanitary protection, along with education to end the practice of Chhaupadi and to educate Nepali men and women to respect and care for their reproductive health. This charity is doing important work to improve the lives of women and thereby families and whole communities and every donation is gratefully received towards this life changing work. Below is the link to the Freedom Kit Bag website where you can read more about the project and donate and a link to the news report on which


Soon after my father died I spent a few days with dear friends in their hillside home near Carno in mid Wales. A beautiful place where surrounded by their love and nature I started healing. This poem was inspired by our walk in the Hafren Forest, by the river where trees, tears, childhood memories and myth combined.   HABREN'S TEARS Here in the now time, midst wooded familiar, etched stones of ancestors,  North people, brooding, in my blood, my bones. Walk in the Hafren,  glimpse ghost self, dancing through shadows of pine brushed ink strokes, plimsolls slipping on jewelled moss quilt. Consoling boardwalk, meditative step on step memories lapped by gurgling waters, skipping on slate, bubbles rising, the infant Sabren at play. Light fades into gloaming, damp enveloping, wrapped in mist shroud, melt into brume, bearded forest consumes. Caught tight in stillness;  sorrows drowned in Habren's tear s,