north light

Year: 2009

Elemental Forces: Northern Beach

She stood, transfixed, by the shore.

Traffic, people, conversation round about her: ceased.

There was only the sea, the wide open beach, the crash of the waves on the shore.

She moved, slowly, forward, looking always out to sea.

The wind shrieked in her hair.

Sand stung her cheeks.

She laughed in delight.

She sat down in front of the sea.

Northern sunshine, cold wind, the sting of the sand, the tang of salt water.

Rocks, pummelled by the sea.

Waves, crashing.

She sat, and watched, transfixed.


She wanted to shout.

She wanted to run.

She wanted to fly into the waves.

Energy coursed through her. She knew anything was possible.

She sat watching, lost in the crash of the waves, found in the spray of the sea.

Lost and found.

It was as far north as she could go.

It was the end of the pilgrimage.

invisible to the eye

I wanted to be a ballet dancer
performing, brilliant at Sadler’s Wells
I wanted to be a fairy queen,
singing poems in the moonlight
I wanted to be a magician
pulling rabbits out of hats
I wanted to entrance like a nymph from the woodland
with leaves in my hair, dropping acorns of delight

And the funny thing was

When you were old before your time
When you were thin, and frail, and just fading away
When you’d forgotten all remembrance of which door was leading where
Of how to do up buttons
Or where the plate of biscuits was when you held it in your hand

The funny thing was that these were the things you once again saw.

You look like Joanna! you declared in delight
You look like a fairy, you said.

And perhaps I was.
Perhaps it was not just you,
that which was invisible to the eye,
But perhaps also I who was changing
In my loving, in my losing,
in my holding on and letting go
I was once more dancing for you,
singing poems in the moonlight,
I was trying my damnedest to pull rabits out of hats
and even now that you are gone,
and beyond all seeing,
I would love still to entrance you,
like a nymph from the woodland,
with leaves in my hair, dropping acorns of delight.

First Snowdrops

On a cold grey day
I was walking by the river
Looking for a story or a sign of life
In the greyness of January
With my hat down and gloves on
With my head up with my eyes wide open
Safe in the knowledge that I’d find you there.

But still
When I did
When I found you by the river
When I looked once and looked twice
When I bent down to look more closely
When I cleared away the rubbish and the brownness of old leaves
When I looked down and found you there

Soft, strong
Tiny, vast
Green, white
Sign of spring and gift of winter:

I couldn’t help but cry.

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