Showing posts from November, 2018


Two years now since we left Dad's quiet funeral and walked in the frosty woods, catching falling leaves which blew around us like shining stars. Today whilst driving towards the village,  loss and death on my mind, this angel cloud appeared. Just a cloud but it made me smile and lifted the melancholy. This short poem reflects looking forward with hope.  IN THE CLOUDS Wisps of angel white drift in  sky  the colour of her Irish eyes, rising between peaks dripping gold with the last flare of setting sun slipping over the Sierra, hilltop homes embraced by feathered wings floating slowly into strong hands, holding me, lifted skywards, forever safe.  © 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.  


Today I walked in the Marjal de Pego, a natural park of wetlands adjoining rice paddies. After days of rain the area was flooded with overflowing ditches and puddled 'caminos'. The marsh is a safe home for water birds but I was surprised to see higher banks turned over by wild boar, the muddied grass churned up and pocked with hoof prints.  LA MARJAL DE PEGO Marsh waters ripple as cool breath sways gangly reeds, freeing puffs of downy fluff from sepia pokers. Egrets wade on straw stilts, snow plumed flock rise in fluttering fan when footsteps near. Dragonflies flash turquoise in jewelled courtship whilst heron scans, poised in marble elegance. Glass marsh mirrors moody sky, pierced by low sun as clouds drift through blue to dove grey. Breeze sighs over fish bubbles, whisper adorned with bird trill, fierce wings flap as heron flies.   © 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.  


Another year has gone by without my father. A year of continued loss and sadness but lightened with joy as my grandson grows and my family and friends fill my life with love. I have much to be thankful for.  It is also a year since I started this poetry blog, inspired by my father. I have posted more than 50 poems and reached thousands of readers.  I have written about my experience of loss and grief, the healing power of nature and friendship, my home in Spain and my memories of England. I have also posted poems on injustice, the right to vote, corruption and inequality, sadly including gender violence. I have enjoyed the process of writing and publishing this blog and hope that it has been a worthwhile venture for readers.  Today's poem is still about grief but looking forward to a time when the memories will be joyful and the loss easier to bear.  Thank you all, I am grateful for the support so kindly given.  HEALING   I wear my grief like a woven cloak of


The 'algarrobo' tree is a common site in our Levante landscape. They were cultivated for their harvest of carob beans, once a source of nutrition for a hungry population, later picked, sacked and sold each autumn for animal food. With fewer people working the 'campo' many old trees stand abandoned, unpruned they grow bushy and tall,  still producing carob which fall to the ground unpicked. These are a favourite feast for the wild boar which roam over the hills, down into the village in winter rooting for fallen olives, almonds and carob and destroying farmer's crops. The terraced ground around this old carob tree shows the hoof marks and digging of the boar.  SWEET CAROB   ‘Les garrofes’ litter terracotta earth baked hard before October rains, gnarled, twisted carobs,  black as bitter chocolate, sacked in rough hessian,  sweet, intoxicating smell  wafts through tangled streets,  destined to bear the taste of harvest  to swine denied


Having fun cooking on Halloween.  SOUL CAKES Kitchen witch stirs the Samhain bowl, soaked hedge berries mixed with nuts of hazel, steeped in warm spice and hot, strong tea, sifted puffs of flour sweetened with dark sugar, whisked with egg lift, candle lit to the spirits of nature and ancestors, each spoon blessed to best serve her beloveds.