The “Act” of Writing.



She picked up her pen staring at the blank sheet before her. It began.

Her hand moved, forming shapes on the white surface that wove the magic of words. She became more engrossed, captivated by the pictures forming before her eyes. The dirty casement vanished; coffee cups dwindled to nothing as a fresh breeze took the air.
She was transformed, re-clothed in silk, her features rearranged as she breathed in the role. Fingers formed the words she would utter, mind already scripting the scenes. Willingly she stepped into the world she was creating, breathed in the perfume of a hundred flowers as her eyes searched a velvet sky for details of the flying beasts above her, all the while her fingers dexterously capturing the imagery.
Slowly from the dust her counterpart took shape, his features refined by the art of the pen. Looking inward she formed his thoughts, his character, and her own. She was a superb actress, wrote her own lines. The dingy room was left behind. Purple stars echoed the vermilion sunset, a breeze blew tiny undescribed insects across her path. She had been here before perhaps, it seemed familiar. She clothed herself in a new identity, one that never put on weight or grew old, one with a perfect smile and sad eyes…
At last it was finished. She looked down with pride at the clustered pages. She loved to write. Disengaging herself she set it on the shelf, one world among many there, their pages telling of adventure, mystery, and love. With a sigh she gathered together the dirty coffee cups and headed down stairs to cook. Time to put away the robes and props, but she would act another day.

My Secret Garden.



It was a rickety old stair case that led to my secret place far above the towering apartment buildings of our compound in southern China. The rusting metal framework with it’s shrouding of bamboo cutting off access had been beckoning me since my arrival.
Finally curiosity overcame my fears (no one would know, everyone was out). Grabbing a chair and with my mobile in my pocket (just incase) I climbed precariously. My legs barely able to straddle the bamboo scaffolding I grasped the iron rail and pulled myself over. Anxiety gripped me; would it still take my weight? Then I clambered upward.
What a sight met my eyes. Alone, neglected, a “garden” had bloomed. Some long gone owner had once stored things there (for there was no order) then, closing off the stairs, it had been abandoned forever – that is till I came. Towering cactus had bloomed from soil brought by wind and pollution. Small trees grew from spilt soil and stacked grow bags, their roots reaching across the brick and concrete floor in search of sustenance. Huge glazed pots of earth embossed with flowers and dragons, once empty, now housed small trees, and olivera plants.
It was dangerous of course; no rail or wall to speak of enclosed this dizzy rooftop. It was no safe or pretty garden such as I could see on some of the neighboring towers it overlooked, but I loved it all the more for that.
The view was staggering! If I climbed just a little higher onto the concrete section that bridged our domain with three other apartments I could see the river winding it’s way through the suburbs, even further, grey in the distance, I could glimpse the hills.
Birds flew around me, this was their domain also. I was standing in the sky. I watched them dip and soar playing in the freedom of the clouds. I sat on the platform of the steps as a deep peace enclosed me. This would be my special place, my secret garden.
Yes! My eyes were drawn to a water tap. The old plastic hosing leaked a little but it would suffice, soon with a little care the trees would blossom!

Things I’d have Missed.



I sat down at my laptop  this morning planning my day in usual manner (I’m an organisational type) when a whimsical urge led me to turn my schedule upside down, postpone breakfast, and start my day with an early morning walk to my allotment to get the lettuce I needed. It was raining – sensible to go later – but the child in me rebelled.

Setting off in mild drizzle armed with my China umbrella I further rebelled noticing a footpath sign I’d not seen before…

Not only did I get the lettuce, spinage and beetroot as planned but I…

1) Foraged the first wild blackberries along the way.

2) Discovered a beautiful, wooded, short cut to the allotment and supermarket by-passing the busy road so I could hear my music tapes.

3) Explored a cycle track and read its fascinating history (the remnant of a Victorian railway line).

4) Saw a fight between a swan and a goose (short lived on the goose’s part).

5) Smelt a lavender bush in the fresh morning rain.

6) Greeted another early riser, an old man also braving the rain along the walkway.

7) Found a pathway leading from my allotment to the canal loch (with hundreds of undiscovered blackberries.)

8) Treated myself to some fresh cream and rocket to bring out the best in my foraging stuff.

9) Saw what looked like the remains on an old English garden with lupins and hollyhocks etc. growing wild in the woods.

10) Saw Morris dancers (in full costume) practicing in a shed.

But beyond all these there was something more important. I reveled in freedom. I had not realised I was shackled by my routines, hampered by my organising. Seeking to be efficient I was forgetting to enjoy the moments. Something of the child came out to play and we had fun together!


Thoughts on “Make Love not War” get together Dusseldorf Germany


love not war

It won’t make a difference, nor the endless stream of petitions we sign. Even if a minor concession or victory is gained it’s as a drop in the ocean and the tide is coming in! We can only make it clear we personally want no part in this destruction.

No, I’m not a pessimist quite the opposite, but my heart cannot stand to look at another picture of a maimed or disfigured child. Only faith keeps hope alive.

I think Gayle Urwin (one of my favourite people) summed it up best when questioned whether he believed in the “end time”. He simply asked, whatever perspective you looked from, ecological, social, scientific etc. were things improving and getting better or rapidly getting worse. He didn’t need to say more.

Watching the news the question is no longer “can we turn this thing around?” as it was when I was young, more, “how long do we have left?” I don’t personally know anyone who believes things are going to improve long term, most prefer not to think about it.

People believe different things about the future, some specifics, (according to their religion), some in a general apocalypse of some kind ushering in a new age. There’s a grim black humour growing in much of literature, a fascination for the macabre – art reflects society.

For myself, though this story grows more gruesome and worrying by the day, I can partake of it without fear for I have sneaked a look at how it ends; the “author” will intervene!

How do you view the future?

Love’s Footprints.  



Times of love.

When life expands and contracts into a whisper and touch becomes a vehicle conveying more than speech can say.

Seconds prolonged to eternal nows.

Hearts touch in sympathetic bondage, spinning a web betwixt two souls binding them in never to be forgotten moments of peace.


Excitement peaks in anticipation of “secret times” when all’s excluded outside the locked door.

Dreams and visions when all’s possible because love is real, tangible; in its fairy tale simplicity dispelling the drab, grey world around.


Yes, I have known love, its beginning, its fulfillment and its end.

If indeed it ever ends for as the miracle it is retold, relived, leaving the footprint of its presence long after physical fulfillment has gone.

Love is king of all defying all that is evil in this world, as light dispels the darkness.


It is a potent, intoxicating element that courses through the body, quickening the pulse, expanding the breathing.

More heady than life itself, more moving than the wildest gale, fragile as a crystal pin yet more enduring than ocean waves.

Yes, I have loved and been loved in return, I have drunk deeply; the footprints remain forever ingrained on my soul.



Feminist or Feminine?



A staunch woman’s lib. supporter in my teens, I was intent to do anything a man (or boy) could do from drinking whiskey to off-loading delivery trucks ( I was pretty good at it too!) There were lots of things to fight for back then in the 60’s, equal pay and opportunities were a far off dream and I was proud I gained my degree place in the “manly” art of sculpture against tough masculine competition.

Another movement began; strange they called themselves feminists as they seemed to want to copy or compete in male behavior. This caused me to question my feelings. I didn’t want to be a “dumb blond” or a second class citizen, but I also didn’t really want to be a man. Though I didn’t let on I rather enjoyed being courted with flowers and chocolate, to have gentlemen open doors and carry things for me. True to my Leo tendencies I enjoyed being pampered but wanted it known I was my own person and had claws should they be needed.

What I sought was respect for what I was, a woman, not an impersonation of a man. As time went of my enjoyment of being a woman increased along with my confidence. I reveled in my differences believing to behave as a man in order to compete was to betray my own kind. Women have qualities men just don’t have. I’ve also come to appreciate men as they are not the Hollywood icons but real men, faults and all. Now I can say I enjoy being a woman, and I enjoy men’s company. Like ying and yang men and women complement each other. Do I still believe in women’s rights? You bet! But men are not the enemy.

Taiwan Farewells.



My heart remembers the balloons, their soft circles ascending in the evening dusk, each carrying a prayer for me to the heavens.
Some think the Chinese an emotionless people, there’s the classic of the “Chinese poker face”. I always felt an affinity, like me they have had to learn to disguise a tender heart in strength, emotions running deep within, never viewed by strangers.
It was not the first time I’d partaken, nor the last, but it stays pictured in my mind. They said the children wanted to give me a going away present, but that present wasn’t the tropical lilies or the gift wrapped box presented to me, it was far more precious than that.
As golden disks lit within bore tiny scribbled messages of intercession they began to sing. The English words were thrust into my hands to bridge my understanding. As the first small voice began to tremble, tears gleamed in the darkness, seeping out through the age ranges till only adult voices remained strong, though rivers flowed from their eyes. I could bare it no more; choking back tears I hugged my friend (and boss).
Though our bond was strong we knew we could not long indulge ourselves, passers by began to stare. Why were all these children and teachers crying in the street? We scrambled to gain control as teachers must, but the refrain of the song remains in my heart to this day. “Though you must go far away, and we may never see you again in this world, the precious times we had together can never be taken away”.
These are the true treasures of a teacher.

Twilight Falls


sea sunset

Twilight years evoke a response as a cord of music entices the ear and stirs the senses reverberating in the dusky silence. You long to sing but don’t yet know the words or melody, just an echo stirring your heart like a gentle breeze, sweet to the lips. Pause, breathe in its essence, soft, fragrant, defused.

Watch as the sun dips low on the horizon and purple and crimson splash their colours on the sky. Listen for the echoes far off. You’ll not hear the melody till the sun sets and things of life grow dim, but you hear the echoes. Like ripples on the water they come to you from the declining sun, borne on the tide of faith. What sweetness can be found here, standing at the water’s edge as the sun bathes the ocean in scarlet. Its dark red orb sinks ever lower seeking its reflection in the waves, and worlds touch just for a moment. You sense vibrations of a world beyond present sight, sighs and visions, sounds and touches born hither on the wind, enticing, calling …

You heard it before, long ago. Once heard it is hard to forget, it reverberates in your soul, the dulcet tones, soft touch of the air, blended colours awakening to your eyes. It waits at sunset when you come home.

Enjoy this twilight, sweetest wine, as a vintage long stored and matured. Savor it, swill the taste in your mouth, smell its aroma. It is a pungent brew and will make you smile, perhaps even laugh at times.

See the fire kindled on the beach. The sun grows dim but the blaze of love shall keep you warm till it dips as fire in the ocean. Throw on things you no longer need, outgrown things of youth, empty ideas, false concepts. No need of them now, consign them to the flames, even your shoes, for there is not far to walk, and the sand is soft and smooth. You are tired now and do not wish to travel more, but there is yet a little time, time to stand in the fires glow and watch the colours of the sky as the sun descends in majesty. It has been a good life, touching the heart of many an ocean and strange, wonderful creatures you met on the sands.

Now it is the final beach, no more wonderings to and fro. Now is time to pause, to listen and in the sound of the surf to hear the echoes again, gently calling. It is not time yet, the fire yet burns, the sun still a ball of flame in the sky. Come, dance, sing, roll free in the surf and lie propped in your lover’s arms as you listen to the echoes the waves bring across the ocean and write them as memorials to your times here. Sit in the twilights lingering glow and listen.


Learning to fly.



Looking down from dizzy heights he trembled feeling his inadequacy, unable to launch off. Home had become uncomfortable, no longer the cosy nest of childhood. He felt prodded, wounded even, father reluctant to feed him, insisting he was old enough to forage for himself. His siblings had already gone soaring to dizzy heights, looking down on him he feared.
A sudden upsurge of inspiration seized upon him. He opened his wings feeling its soothing caress. Then suddenly he was airborne, the wind lifting him in its arms like a lover.
First there was a slight panic as he lost altitude. Then, as by instinct he tilted his wings catching the updraft, joy coursed through his being. He was at one with the elements, finding total freedom soaring on the wings of the wind. He knew then in his heart, he was born to be an eagle!