Showing posts from June, 2018

ANAM CARA, in praise of friendship

 I wrote this poem with love and thanks, in celebration of friendship.  ANAM CARA Blessed I am to have shared my life with others. Friends who crossed my path when most needed. Some to stay for all time, quietly there, in my heart, others dipping in and out as years move our lives together and apart, gone when others’ needs were greater. Blessed I am to have friends who know me better than I know myself. Soul friends, teachers, wise ones, healers, forgiving, giving, sharing their best with me, finding the best in me, uplifting my spirit when darkness surrounds. Blessed I am to share friends ’ lives, the circle expanding as our children grow in harmony. Walking in cool woods, by flowing rivers, discovering new places, laughing round a table of food cooked with love, lying together under the stars. © 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.  


San Juan is celebrated in Spain with bonfires on the beach. People take a picnic, eat together and then jump over the flames and splash in the waves. Your troubles are said to be consumed by the fire, some people write down what they wish to leave behind and throw the paper in the flames.  Bathing in the sea is to drive away evil, bringing good luck for the rest of the year. Many people make a wish as they jump the waves.  The date is closely linked to the Summer solstice, San Juan also being a celebration of Summer. The Pagan and Christian rituals both emphasise renewal with the combination of fire and water. This poem describes a special evening of San Juan on a beach near Denia when the weather played its part in the magic.  NIGHT OF SAN JUAN Sifting sand through fingers, mind floating, evening sun warms milk pale legs, summers first unveiling. Propped on boned elbow, watch busy children splashing, castles raising, wet skin glistening. Mothers ta


On every   visit back to my Coventry home I would find time to walk around Kenilworth Castle. I cycled there with my childhood friends, a daring 5 miles for today's children but it seemed normal then. I ran free in the Castle's shadow with my parents and brothers, enacting mock battles as imaginary Knights. In later years it was a more leisurely stroll, arm in arm with my mother. My own children joined me on our visits back from Spain, keen to share both the historical treasure and my memories and it was always a favourite walk with beloved friends, usually ending in the nearby cafe for tea and cake. I hope it will not be too long now before I return. CASTLE WALK Long have I walked the Castle walls, biking the lanes to picnic on damp grass,  arms though my mothers like linking chain,  returning from exile with my growing flock, an abiding place of peaceful pilgrimage. Crisscrossing the marsh, boots sucked mud wards, retreating to the high path


This is the view from the El Carrascal hillside, looking over the valley towards the Mediterranean Sea. The sun warmed the damp earth after the nights cleansing rains. The air smelt of pine and vibrated with birdsong.  AFTER THE RAIN   In Southern country, where arid desert creeps, rains fall brings shock of raging storm violence. Woken by light strobing hills, thunder’s drum crashing, rolling round 'Pop' valley like Fiesta’s fireworks flare. Rain comes, sudden, urgent drumming, drilling on tiles bouncing off terracotta, storming from gutter to street. Rush to batten down old shutters, pitch pine split from harsh sun, wind thrashing, driving lashing rain, spilling onto cold floors. Wired night of fitful sleep, broken in anxious unease, drifting between squalls until dawn breaks through breathing cloud. New day, blessed with warming light, tarmac sparkles on washed streets, refreshed earth drinks in liquid life,