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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Reflections…Week Fifty

canstockphoto8630797The presents are wrapped, finally. To say I have been putting it off would be an understatement. I don’t start wrapping presents till I have them all, and I only finished shopping this afternoon.

The last presents were not forgotten, and I was not waiting for a sale, I just was not able to get to the shop till today, and I reeeally did not want to go shopping today.

One thought it would be either dead, or rammed at the shop; I was hoping most would be too hungover to be there. Of course it was rammed, but not just by lonely men, wandering around aimlessly to grab their partners gift, mumbling to themselves about how there was nothing on the shelves suitable for a heartfelt gift for their loving partner. Instead it was just a normal shopping day for most, albeit a busy one.

Christmas lasts that long in the shops now it feels like it should have finished weeks ago, not instead, that it will shortly be time for little ones to wake, eagerly going to the tree to see what has been left there.

I know that whilst writing this, I have crossed the threshold of Christmas Day, but my mind is somehow rejecting the notion.

Maybe it’s the D&A mindset, but I think I have just been getting more and more numb to the event as it is dragged out over several months. I saw the last of the 2016 decorations in the shops for valentines day and the start this years stock in June/July. No other one day event has this long in the shops.

Even harder to imagine is that next week is the last of this years blogs! I set myself the goal to write the blogs for a year, every week, and I did it. The park blogs fell to the wayside when the poetry started, but that will be the target set for next year I think.

So this is me – writing my penultimate reflection blog for 2017 – wishing all who read this, a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whatever you want to call it; I’m not a christian and I don’t really care!

Just have a Good day, whatever you do.


Reflections…Week Forty Nine

canstockphoto8630797The remains of the snowman are still present in the back yard, even though it has rained for several days of the past week. Each day I look out of my bedroom window whilst mopping up the condensation upon it, expecting to no longer see the defiant remnants of said snowman. Each day it is still there, showing the debris of the Autumn fall it picked up as it was being rolled, somehow refusing to be flushed away by weather that has left Spot and I soaked.

One smiles at the thought that somehow each little snowflake has, whilst joined with others, stood strong, and shown a strength that it held not on it’s own.

But somehow the term ‘snowflake’ has become the new derogatory name calling to anyone that is being defiant to, well lets for arguments sake call them – ‘Bullies’. For a lot of the time it is from, conscious or not, a bullying mindset.

Look at how the term is used when trying to end a discussion where facts are used, they will usually end up being called a ‘snowflake’ by the ones that are using emotions and beliefs as facts because they do not have the data to disprove the others standpoint.

Trolls know that this is true, and they also know it is the ONLY word they have to place onto a post to get a reaction. It is basic playground bullying.

However the term is being taken back by the ‘snowflakes’ as a term of pride. Just like the snowflakes that fall from the sky and are then joined together as this snowman, they too have been joining together and standing firm against those that wish to wash them away, and they have been making a difference. Having done it once, they will do it again, each time that they do they have a chance to bring with them something that is not a snowflake, but is just as important a part of the snowball as each snowflake, just like the collection of the Autumn fall in my snowman.

Yes – this snowman will eventually disappear, but he was my Son and I’s first one built together. That will never change, the memory will live on and it is, for us, a historic moment.

Those snowflakes falling down individually, came together and created a change in our lives by becoming this snowman. Snowflakes are much, much, much more than what meets the eye, and if ever you are called a ‘snowflake’, wear that badge with pride, own the word.

For it is the Snowflakes that are the ones that are going to stand up for good, decency and  humanity in these times of fear, mistrust and doubt. When you take the power of the word from the ‘bullies’, their name calling then becomes compliments. It’s even more fun not to let them know they are complimenting you so that they continue to do it.

Snowflakes Rock.

Reflections…Week Forty Eight

canstockphoto8630797Have I watched that many ‘girly’ flicks and programs that I am, by doing this, copying the very format that the writers have used?

From Carrie (Sex in the City) to Erica (Being Erica) and Marin (Men in Trees) I too seem to be ending an episode (my week) with a monologue. True my very existence may not be the most interesting at this moment of time, but I do feel that the very people that I am meeting on my recovery are.

Sometimes I do not even know if the very people I meet are actually here (supermarket-meeting-poetry/poem), or my mind has created a person to teach me something. But for that moment in time IT IS important and interesting.

As an artist one spends time observing, even here my mind now sees things a little differently now, and then in whatever style chosen, places either a ‘true representation of the scene, OR the heart of it, the emotion, the feeling, the movement, the sound or the serenity. All with the flow of the paint and the movement of the brush, to no longer see what is being created but to just let it flow out onto the canvas.

As a wordsmith in training, one spends time observing, reflecting and creating an artwork of language. To simply place a series of words down for a poem is not simple at all, each word is lovingly placed, replaced or simply repositioned. All I write is done this way. A beat or rhythm of a journey taken with the words lays beyond the shape and form of the very words themselves. A wrongly placed pause can disrupt or even alter the flow, sometimes to the detriment of the wording used, dulling its edge.

A reflective diary is used in some therapies, a way to explore our existence, look for the ‘faults’ and find a better way in dealing with the situation, how then did this therapy get entwined into our TV? Was it intentional to pass on the lesson of reflection to improve our life, or was it just placed there by accident? A concept that outgrew the original pitch once the ratings came in? Or was it just a writer being honest about not having the perfect life and trying to work things out?

And thus the question leads back to me. Am I just doing what I am told, or am I part of a solution by doing the reflective monologue of my life?

And will you someday, in some form, be the ‘interest’, the focus, of my artwork?

The Old Men … #Poem#Poetry#Prose

The Old Men

The old men in this isle will stop,
when they’re on their weekly shop.
Magazines they read, for a while,
as one by one – stand single file.

A trolley they have with nowt within,
appears their shopping, yet to begin.
Partners will come and take it away,
glance up they will – with nothing to say.

They make no move, their partners to chase,
’tis not yet read, may loose their place.
When finished they will dawdle on,
’tis then they think – where have they gone?

A § M

A Stokie Thanksgiving… #Poem#Poetry#Prose

A Stokie Thanksgiving


The American flag flaps with a vigour in strong gusts,
gently retuning to rest in the sparse lulls of the Stoke wind.
Thanksgiving the celebration, for the Clubhouse Network.

As burgers are flipped and ‘dogs’ are turned,
fat drips and lands with a sizzle.
Flames from the hot coals lick the burgers edge.
The smell is carried on plumes of smoke.

Joyful chatter is carried also with the wind as spirits are high,
but few stay outside, braving the nip in the air of winters approach.
I sit on the bench, taking the one dry section left,
covered it seems from the rain of the morn.

Downwind of it all I sit, watching, observing.
Being part of it all, yet ever so separate.
Until, unnoticed, I slip away.


A § M

Reflections…Week Forty seven

Sometimes life is like a river, you can dip your toe in and get wet, or even enjoy the sensation of the water as it passes your legs as you paddle. It seems pleasant enough and the temptation is to go further in, to have a splash about, all great fun. And for many this is the experience of the river. A joyous experience of happy memories and tales to tell around a warm campfire.

But for some the river shows it’s darker side and the slow moving water on the surface hides the strong current of the water below. Each step becomes a fight not to get swept away, the once cool water is now cold and sapping our strength along with our resolve, all it takes is one small slip to be carried away. Each draining, cold step on the slippery rocks below, can be one step too far. Away we are carried – downstream.

Go with the flow, save your strength until the water once more calms down so you can swim to the safety of the shore. That is the thought we are told in one form or another – better the devil you know – but this can and does lead some to the rapids. A place so unforgiving that even the strongest of us will be broken against the rocks, too slippy and smooth to cling to, the very rocks themselves changed by the waters touch.

Though the water still flows fast, the end of the rapids, if we have survived, seems to offer a bitter relief. But the rapids are rarely just one set; just around the corner hides another trial.

Luck plays it’s part, or fate, or destiny, call it what you will, I have even heard it be called a ‘life lesson’, when after giving up,  we are washed to the shore, battered, bruised, defeated. But alive.

We dry ourselves in the sunlight, maybe even manage to light a small fire to push the cold embrace of the river from our body. In time we make a shelter that protects us from the elements, catch fish, and forage from the land around us. We survive.

For some inexplicable reason we stay, by the river, where we washed up.

Our surroundings don’t always reflect the weather that effects the river. It can be lovely and sunny where we are, but upstream there has been a storm, an outside force, the effects of which may not be felt for some time. One day we will swing our legs over the side of the bed in the morning only to be ankle deep in water, but to fearful of moving.

It is beginning to feel like that moment where I need wellies.

And it doesn’t help with it being the time of the year it is.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la laaa – la la  –  F*$@ off! Go passive aggressively bother someone else.