Another gift of another year…

For my teacher Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti…



Another Winter Solstice came and went

Another cosmic New Year unheeded

Another year our Sun to circumvent

Another of life’s chapters conceded.


Another new Moon now in Capricorn

Another resolution to be made

Another waxing for another dawn

Another invocation to be prayed.


Another circle of seasons un-wound

Another gift of beauty and being

Another chance for what’s lost to be found

Another time for seeking and dreaming.


Another clean page upon which to walk

Another opportunity to love

Another string of secrets to unlock

Another fortune in the stars above.


Another path to embrace and follow

Another moment of meditation

Another horizon for tomorrow

Only the One brings peace and perfection.


To all my friends and followers here on WordPress…

The above poem is a long overdue offering to you all for this New Year, 2017.

It has been quite a while since I posted here on my Poetry Blog and life has taken many twists and turns over the last six months or so. This visit is a fleeting one as I depart for Australia a week tomorrow and will be away staying with a friend for 9+ weeks and travelling mostly up the east coast and also to Tasmania. Time to recharge the creative batteries methinks. I have not stopped writing: far from it, perhaps writing more than ever- even short stories now. I have joined a local writers’ group and am enjoying the live human contact and dynamics that such a group has to offer, not to mention critique of one’s work.

We recently produced a CD and accompanying anthology of poetry and prose called Simply Read Too by Lanark Writers. The latter is available from for Kindle.

I hope that when I return from ‘Oz’ I will be able to juggle, balance and devote time accordingly to both my real-life and www. writings!

Best Wishes to you All until my return. 🙂




The joy of camping?

Reaching for my enamel mug of cold coffee,

I spy the corpses of midges kamikaze.

Only a few succumb to death by drowning,

the other thousand in tent seams are hiding.


My air bed deflated, I can feel the hard earth,

tent pitched on an incline, of sleep there is a dearth.

Feet higher than my head, I’ve slipped right down the bed

so I try reversing all the bedding instead.


I am woken at four by a loud dawn chorus,

disgruntled, exhausted, my headache enormous.

I wake with my right arm and leg frozen with cold.

Five degrees last night!  For this camping lark too old.


My knees stiff and achy from cooking on the floor,

grains of sand in all our food walked in from the shore.

Local stinging beasties have decided to meet

in our tent, spreading the word our blood is so sweet!


Shouldn’t have had the wine, need to “spend a penny.”

Raining outside, I can find only one wellie.

And just when I’m settling into much needed peace,

the kids next door start fighting.  How I wish they would cease!


And though you might wonder why do this and complain?

To escape this world’s clamour, I’d do it ALL… again!


To ALL my WP Friends:

It is rather “sheepishly” that I post this poem today…having been off the WP radar now for a number of weeks.  At this time of year when everything is growing so quickly, life takes on a rather frenzied and overly full flavour and I become conscious that there are never enough hours in the day to achieve and fulfill all that I would hope for.  We are now at the height of the gardening season so busy, busy, busy.  I also have been engaged in much organ playing and away camping…twice!  This second poem on camping, as opposed to the more aesthetic, previous one, is my end of year humorous offering to the local Writers’ Group!  The theme was to write something funny!  Also, I just wanted to say, I AM still here, not disappeared, bear with me, I will catch up with your recent blogs as and when I am able.  In the meantime, I wish you all happy and sunny Summer days!!  🙂



Oh what embarrassment…

Notes came home fast and furious

that first term.  I was curious

what news this latest one contained?

This time I couldn’t stay restrained.

I never expected this one

and, “Who said Parenting was fun?”


This note was new territory

and in retelling this story

I marvel my marbles I’ve kept!

Having not slept, the tears I wept

for years, relentlessly working,

this commitment not for shirking,

I’d do it all gladly again.

Welcome the mundane with the pain.


The note spoke of Pediculosis.

Without fail, a home diagnosis

was needed to ascertain the facts.

I set about looking for egg sacks.

Having traced the adults, made contact,

waged war, those vampires to extract.

Oh bring back our friend “Nitty Nora,”

this time around I’d not ignore her.


Oh what embarrassment that one note brought!

Fraught and distraught as some solace I sought,

priding myself on clean kids and clean house,

not dirty enough to rear a head-louse.

Six children later and yes, much wiser,

‘tween rich and poor, a great equalizer!


At Lanark Writers’ group last week we were set the homework to write a piece of writing on the topic “Embarrassment.” This is my offering for tonight!



Pediculosis : Infestation of lice on the human body.

“Nitty Nora  the flea explorer,” was a song we used to chant when queuing up to have our hair checked for head lice by the school nurse in Primary school!


One day…

We live our lives, a necklace of magical days,

as seamlessly one day threads on from another.

From dawn to dusk a cosmic abacus ablaze,

beads of love and hate, colliding with each other,

as our earth, sublime blue-green shimmering opal,

orbits the sun, whilst we each enact the drama

we are destined to perform, silent or vocal,

with dove or arrow, in the shadow of Rama.


One day can gift heights so golden with giddiness

as we hear the celestial clarion call,

or sink us to our knees fainting with dizziness,

empty and numb as into an abyss we fall.

From sunrise to sunset, one day is the measure

for choices to be made, be they pleasure or pain.

If we waken we know we have one day to treasure,

cast aside judgement and let peace prevail again.


We have one day. We have the cyclical seasons,

of those there is absolutely not any doubt

and when man analyses, thinks and he reasons,

the capture of Time he can never bring about.

For Time is her own mistress, she pulls her own strings,

not by Julian or Gregorian to live,

but with her own agenda a freedom she brings,

whilst man every four years an extra day must give.


And before you leap to a fitting conclusion,

One day is all we have, the rest…is illusion!




Just to put you all in the picture again, this was another challenge set by the Lanark Writers’ Group, last week…they give weekly assignments/ challenges for you to take away and work on and then bring back the following week.  Gulp!  They also give you little challenges on the spot… i. e. write something on a set title or a set style of poem, etc., within the next 10 minutes or so…Gulp!  This will certainly stir up all those hibernating grey cells…methinks a bit of an electric shock!!!!  It will be interesting however to have the physical interaction when speaking/ reading poetry.  A whole new dimension…different.  Not better, not worse, just DIFFERENT and interesting, as happens when group dynamics come into play too.  

Julian and Gregorian refer to the Calendars of those names.  Today all countries which formerly used the Julian Calendar, now use the Gregorian.  There was a major discrepancy in the Julian calendar, hence the introduction of the Gregorian in 1582. But even the latter does not measure Time accurately and an extra day has to be added every leap year to keep the calendar year synchronized with the seasonal or astronomical year.


No more lunch money…

Today and for the very last time forever,

Ruairi had his final lunch money ever.

For twenty two years I’ve been handing out cash,

a blink of an eyelash, years gone in a flash!

I sit and I ponder from baby to man,

life spread out before him, adventures to plan.

Young eyes observing exciting potentials

as he tries to collect the best of credentials

to carry him through on this next stage unknown,

I sit and I marvel how fine he has grown.

The youngest of six, school days almost over,

there’ll be trials to face, it won’t all be clover.

He is clever and smart, his few years disguise

a maturity wise!  He’ll reach for the skies

as he weighs up his choices and he faces

a lifetime of seeing people and places.

I silently sit, observing and watching,

knowing that my worries will not be going

anywhere soon…


And as these thoughts draw on to their closure,

I wish him a joyful, happy exposure

to a life of fulfillment, freedom and peace.

The ties to my apron strings must finally cease!


My 18 year old son has only another week of school to go before he sits his final school exams.  For me this is yet another milestone, having sent 6 out to school and having watched them all go through the “System.”  Nail-biting time ahead, awaiting results and hopefully going on to Uni.. On Monday 18th April I handed him a £20 note to cover 2 weeks worth of lunches.  For me it was a profound moment…!!!  Phew, these milestones are coming fast and furious my friends!


Silkie Style

Just a few words to explain how this poem came about…Last month I attended a local monthly Poetry writing group and was given some homework : to write a poem of about 12 lines or so, rhyming or non-rhyming using the following random words :

New, Hens, Building and Girl.

The following is my “take” on fitting these words into a poem.  It was challenging to say the least and it is dedicated to my REAL friend Rhona, for whom it is written.


silkie-chickens--30013 (1)

My dear friend Rhona has a new passion,

Haute couture of poultry, feathered fashion.

Genetic design with wings and feathers,

she cleans and feeds her hens in all weathers.

Her stylish Silkies a sight to behold :

bearded or non-bearded, lavender, gold.

Lovingly building fine pens for her brood,

her expertise vast, her judgement so shrewd.

This girl really knows her Art inside out,

she’ll hatch her illusive chick I’ve no doubt…

Incubating eggs all over the place,

choir of “cheeps,” she’s running out of space!

‘Tis sad there’s no cockerel at home to see,

too many neighbours, no crowing at three.

Chicken runs, coops, up-country extending,

her local friends their gardens are lending

as Rhona’s empire continues to grow

I ask, “Where will it end?”…That I don’t know.

But one thing I say and that without doubt,

Rhona’s new pedigree…will come about!


Silkie Picture courtesy of Google Images.




Just a few words at the start of this poem so as to put you in the picture as to why I should write on such a subject?  Last month I attended a monthly Poetry Appreciation Group that meets in our local Library and I was asked to set the theme/ topic for April’s meeting…I came up with the title Entrapment / Imprisonment and it can be physical/ emotional or from any other angle that seems to resonate.  I therefore set myself the challenge of writing my own poem and thought it would be a first to be reading out one of my own poems before a group!  An interesting experience I was thinking!  The meeting is the day after tomorrow…

The analogy of Praying Mantis, Black Widow (er ) and Leech have been used to describe the immoral and dishonest intentions of an imaginary male, highly respected and looked up to within “Society”.  I do not wish to cause offence and appear sexist so it could just as well have been a female for that matter.  Needless to say…I have NO idea how this subject floated into my head but I was determined to compose “something” on the subject and not be defeated.


You are a mantis and not a praying one,

No gruesome beheading by mandible for you,

just premeditated sexual reversal,

slow brain-washing, Chinese-style, drip by drip, fed through.


Master craftsman in putting out the right signals,

your body language so well trained and skilful,

Your smile so sugary sweet and inticing,

your undercover intentions dark and willful.


A cunning so-called “pillar of society”

avidly followed, admired and  “respected”,

cleverly hiding behind shady camouflage,

those naive to your toxic advances subjected.


You are a spider, deadly black widower,

cleverly grooming your prey from a distance.

Your attractive persona clothed in mystery,

Top marks to you for relentless persistence.


Exhaling poisonous venomous vaper

you stun and immobilize all of the senses.

Piercing eyes perforate an innocent heart,

conscience uncaring, there are no defenses.


Your web so sticky, a most gruesome of traps,

one touch is enough, don’t think of breaking free.

And the more that you struggle, the deeper you sink,

you’d better say your prayers, the rest is History!


You are a leech, a tubular greyey-brown worm

sinister predator of unsuspecting prey.

Waiting in the shadows for opportune moment,

Affixing your mouth to suck life-blood away.


All this and more you pursue in secrecy,

emotional vampire, you drain and you pain.

All the while gorging, your ego endulging,

Self-gratification, a deadly ball and chain.


What goes around comes around my friend

and as you sew so shall you reap.

The Karma of Life is watching you closely,

so stay awake and your vigilance keep!


During or just before mating, the female Praying Mantis has been known to decapitate the male, biting his head off and then devouring his corpse for nourishment.

Black Widow spiders have also been known to eat the male after mating.

In the first verse the “Chinese-style, drip by drip, fed through”, alludes to Chinese water torture in which water was slowly dripped onto a person’s forehead, allegedly driving the restrained victim insane and frantic as a perceived hollow would form in the centre of the forehead.

Apologies to my WordPress friends for the rather grim/ dark background reading!