Sunday, 14 April 2013


My mother collected the honey bees
carefully, between cracked and earth stained
thumb and forefinger, open to all
the broken wings and detached abdomens;
the barbed stings that never stung her.

She sewed little cloth pouches from old socks
and torn jackets, the fraying dust rags
under the sink, (the ones that she had
saved for her heart shaped rug rags, for repairs)
and looped in the neat running stitches,
the small elasticated drawstrings.

Each pocket was stitched for the honey bees,
each body reverentially placed in,
and she hung them then, quietly and discreetly
by the tightly drawn drawstrings just
slightly above each door, beside every window;
the old, the forgotten security.

At night all the bees would start buzzing,
and their honey would drip down the walls.
In the mornings I would steel myself to untangle
the knotted drawstrings, to peer
at the little shrinking ash bodies,
and my tongue would taste sweet.

But all of that was years ago,
and I read somewhere recently;
that the bee does not push the sting in
but rather, it is drawn in reluctantly,
by its barbed sides.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


I used to do a lot of art and judge myself on what I produced. It was a good day if I was pleased with a painting, like a high, a buzz. I would feel full of worth at what my fingers could reproduce. On days my hands rebelled and the colours in my paintings clashed, faces fell deformed and scewed, I would get a hot feeling in my stomach that would last all day, a wasted hour on an ugly thing, a twisted useless face - testimony to the fact that my hands were ordinary things, useless, talentless.
Then my mind betrayed me and all the sitting I used to do when creating felt like the worst sort of laziness. I felt the urge to express in colours and clay, but my body wouldn't stay still, I felt like worms were crawling inside my skin and the longer I sat motionless the fatter they grew, expanding inside me until they started to warp my flesh, expand me out. I would start to shake my leg and my straight lines would curve. I began to tense my arm muscles and my curved lines would straighten.
And so I began to run. With every creative thought I had I would put on my trainers and run until headrushes threatened to overcome me. Through woods, till my sweat and heavy heartbeat quelled the desire to draw, or paint or love what I could do. The burning inside my skin would cleanse the worms, and still them for an hour, maybe two.
And when the winter closed in I joined the gym, to 'step up my game', to work on every bit until all my muscles became inflamed and weakened by strength training. And I could see the outline of my bones, the horizontal chest lines, my ribs through my back, my backbone, jutting hips and the validating gap between my thighs.
And I sat then, to lift a pencil, to mix paint, to observe and concentrate...but all the talent in my fingers has been run away, I can no longer see the colours I used to paint, I have no concentration, my eyes become blurry, my brain disengaged.
My mind has betrayed me and my body has paid.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

My new creative outlet...

Enjoying life more through the eyes of a new puppy...excited by everything and with boundless energy - how I wish I could be!