I will be here.


I believe that writing matters.

I will write with a pen, on paper.

I will write every day. I will write as an act of exploration.

I will journey without a map.


I believe that bookshops are important.

I will buy books. I will share books. I will read.

I  believe that libraries are magical places.

I will borrow books. I will take them back on time. Mostly.


I believe that connection is strength.

I will listen more. I will laugh more. I will share more.


I believe that we feel joy in activity.

I will get my hands dirty. I will knead bread.

I will run in the rain. I will swim in the sea.

I will dance.


I will breathe.




“We are all suns”

you said – “Burning

to live, burning to die”.


We light candles.

What else can we do?


These short days

leave us scrabbling

for light, longing

for the world to tilt,

to throw the sun

a little higher in the sky.


We light candles,

burn fires, seek warmth:

there’s an ancient forest

surging through

the house,

all that sunlight stored

in deep darkness, waiting

for us, for millenia.


We burn to live.

We burn to die.


A rather late solstice poem. Maybe it just works as a winter poem? 



Advent 25 – the Big One!

Christmas Day

In the great rush and fuss,
In the sound of the bells,
In the heat of the kitchen,
And those good cooking smells,
In the handful of chocolates,
The glass of cool fizz,
The rustle of paper,
The mistletoe kiss,
In the wreath on the door,
And the cards that you sent,
And that awful round robin
You winced as you read,
In the brandy’s blue flame,
And the nice glass of red,
In the terrible jokes,
The magnificent spread,
In the gifts that you give,
And the gifts you receive,
In the carols  on softly,
The lights on the tree,
Don’t forget to just pause,
And to look around, too,
At the people you love
Who are there, loving you!

It’s the last door on the advent calender. Thank you to everybody who has supported this, and to all the poets who let me use their work. Have a very merry Christmas full of love and joy.


Advent 24

The Christmas Hare


In a snowy field one Christmas Eve

I spied a windswept hare

leaping and gambolling

in the frosty air.

The tawny coat beguiled me,

framed by the dazzling white

of the wintry blanket

spread out for the night.

As I watched the hare cavorting,

the sun began to sink

and the backdrop to its dance

flushed a bashful shade of pink.

The creature turned and saw me,

its eyes of amber sparked,

and with that the snowy field

vanished in the dark.


This poem is by Kim Russell, who Writes in North Norfolk. She is a lovely poet, and I particularly admire her attention to detail, and the beautiful and exact images of nature she evokes. 




Rough round that rose bordered hem

we ran, regardless of where her skirts

did scurry, no fretting to the fraying

of her fringes, never noticing how

nimble had turned to not-so nifty

above that border of red roses, oh

so pretty, on those placid petticoats

until we laid her low, on a hill so high,

hemmed in forever by a border

of bright red roses, and only then

did we sigh, only there, by her final bed,

bordered in by all we took for granted,

did we feel that teary thorn that

comes at the end of every rose.


This beautiful poem is by Damien B. Donnelly. For me, it’s about family, coming together, time passing, memories – all those things we do at Christmas time.  Damien writes gorgeous poetry and takes amazing photographs. A generally very talented person, who blogs at


Advent 22

Christmas Truce

It seems impossible
that in the middle
of all that war –
that blood, pain, mud, fear, hate –
football could break out –
that one man could trust
the Christmas spirit,
hope, faith, love,
enough to stand exposed
and take others with him
out onto the hard ground
of no-man’s-land,
that those men could rise up
from those living graves
and the net woven by
peace, joy, love
could be strong enough
to hold them:
that someone could produce
a ball –
as if this was a
factory outing to
Bridlington, or some
Sunday school picnic
on a green meadow
leading down to a
brown river, where there
might be trout –
and those young bodies,
curled and cramped –
blood, pain, mud, fear, hate –
could run and kick,
and their shouts be heard
up and down the line
until the end of Christmas.


December 22 – it’s getting really close now! I hope you’ve finished your shopping, and wrapping, and are getting ready to hunker down for the duration. This is a reminder of what Christmas can mean. 



There was snow all around, but her houme was a haven for spring. Around the little cottage the grass was green, and the air was scented with primroses and bluebells. Birds flitted here and there, and petals floated down from the cherry trees, echoing the snow falling on the fields and hills all around.

Spring would come in the outside world, and for a few days her garden would be aligned with the land. Summer would leave it behind, and she would watch wistfully as wild roses blossomed in the hedgerows, and fledgelings left nests. Cherries ripened in the orchards, but not in her garden. Autumn brought blackberries, ripe apples, and leaves turning gold and amber, drifting down to form great carpets of colour, but her garden remained green and fresh and young.

She sighed, and turned away from the window. Would she have chosen eternal youth if she had known that it would be this lonely? She ran her fingers through her long, dark hair, and glanced at her reflection in the mirror. Her skin was smooth, her eyes were bright. She smiled.

Yes. She would make this choice again.


This is for Sue Vincents #writephoto prompt. 


Advent 21



img courtesy ~


Come The Light

this parabolic transit arcs to a still-point

a reflective moment

among cycles of time

we watch for the return of the sun

or the son perhaps?

either way there is hope

a glimmer

an ember

a spark

long buried in the heart of winter’s icy repose

this pregnant darkness


and it was always so


the Holly King’s demise

seeding future birth

we must be devoured in darkness

before being born to the light

the crone is glancing over her shoulder now

the scent of the maiden comes slowly

but inexorably

the wheel turns


from our Earthed North

held deep in Gaia’s bosom

borne East on the wind

breath of life

South into the fire of transformation

and then West to the healing waters


Mistletoe strikes at the heart of all of our Baldour’s

fills us with deep foreboding and dread

but we know he will come again

reborn vital and full of joy


so it is


embrace the darkness

fill your cup with soulful gratitude

look to that which sustains you

speak a blessing for family

for friends

for nature herself

and drink to the coming light


Written for Sarah’s advent calendar of poems.

A huge Thank You to Megan Manske at downtherabbithole for the use of her beautiful Winter Solstice Mandala.

Please visit her amazing site. Not too late for that last minute Christmas/Solstice gift right?

Thank you so much to Paul who scribbles here: He’s got a direct line to the dark gods, I think. 



Advent Day 20

When wanders the moon

When wanders the moon in winter sky,
It lingers above the branches bare,
Of skeleton trees where shriek owls cry.

Boughs raised, the darkness to defy,
They scratch the icy coping there,
When wanders the moon in winter sky.

Beneath the trees, fox sidles by,
Between the shadows long and spare,
Of skeleton trees, where shriek owls cry.

The wind so cold, its breath a sigh,
That turns to ice the still dark air,
When wanders the moon in winter sky.

They glitter bright, the stars so high,
Caught in the tangled, midnight hair
Of skeleton trees, where shriek owls cry.

This longest night of darkest die,
Draws out the grey wolf from his lair,
To howl beneath the winter sky,
And skeleton trees where shriek owls fly.

This poem is by Jane Dougherty who writes strange and fantastical poems, that glitter like dark jewels. This seemed particularly appropriate for these darkest nights of the year. I am so pleased to have her here!