Longing and Belonging workshop with Penny Shutt

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop facilitated by Dr. Penny Shutt at Pinetum Gardens, Cornwall.

In May, I became a member of Lapidus International, an organisation for people with an interest in writing for wellbeing. This was the first of their events that I was able to attend..and what a wonderful way to begin. Continue reading


An anniversary, and new work…

Three years ago today, I celebrated the launch of Stones in the Road: Poems of Grief and Growth with family and friends at The Melting Pot Café, Redruth. Since then, events transpired which left me at a loss for words. From within that storm, I found these. I’m still finding my way out, but I will be back.  My thanks to Jon Duncan for his encouragement, and eagerness to help me share this piece with the wider world.

On Being Ready to Receive

Everywhere we look, the consensus seems to be that good things are coming. Being open to them is key, so we set up camp open-handed and open-hearted.

Eventually, we get tired of waiting, and begin to wonder where the heck these ‘good things’ are. Even when we’re working towards them with everything we can possibly muster.

I posted about SPARK last week, the project curated by Amy Souza. I ought to have worked on my response yesterday, but the muse had other ideas. The piece that spilled forth within the next 30 minutes might well be one of the best poems I have ever written.

I have spent more time writing lately, although little of what I have written is apparently fit for public consumption. I look forward to being able to produce something that I can share.

I think this recent writing puts me in a really vulnerable position. I am facing up to things that I have never explored before…or perhaps never needed to explore. I trust that something good will come of this, as long as I am ultimately ready to receive.

What do you do to get yourself into a writing frame of mind? Do you believe in being ready to receive?


I’m in the midst of Tell It, an e-course by Liz Lamoreux. Today’s prompt invited us to explore the notion of gentleness, or ‘gentle’, and what that means to us.


A hug in the right place
From the right person
Can heal old wounds
Or be salve to the fresh wounds of existence

Such gentleness
Creates space for a truth otherwise hidden
That spills out sideways
Through the averted gaze

We each have truths that demand to be heard
Stifled through years of half-existence
Coaxed from hiding by an inner knowing

This is it, the time and the person
The place where truth will be heard and held
The heart at last humbled and healed

It could take years, or lifetimes
But eventually, it must happen.


My third April poem-a-day.


Easing day by day into a new life
This time, I am in control
No longer ruled by moments
And memories I cannot change.

A smile comes, unbidden
It is no longer alien, nor effortful
Staring down the days
I would rather sleep through.

I bear witness to my own evolution
And surrender to the process.


Although I am loath to discuss spirituality extensively here, I am finding that the poems which I am writing have a particular bent at the moment. My second April poem-a-day follows.


I surrender to this becoming
All that I was, I still shall be
This, and much more.

Growth, a shedding of old identities
The person I used to be, the stories that were currency
I hold them close, but they chain me no longer.

Just as much as we are created beings
We create ourselves anew
With every moment, with every choice
Every time we say ‘I won’t let this define me.’

So it is – pain will not be who I am
I bow to its important work
Yet resist allowing it to claim me
For once, I am certain

I will be more.

On Forgotten Words




Looking for something to share for World Poetry Day last Saturday, I had a bizarre experience. Since buying an iPad, I have become more organised with my documents – I keep all my university work together, all of my other documents…and all of my poetry.

Over the last four months, there hasn’t been much new writing in the poetry folder. I’ve been writing my way through my grief, by hand. The benefits of that process are for another post, which I will write soon.

I found the piece that I ended up sharing, but I also found something else…

A poem dated 27th November, which I have no recollection of writing. I know exactly what the 27th of November means to me, so it’s no surprise…but I really couldn’t be sure that it was mine at all. So I began by Googling lines – after I’d searched each line of the first stanza, I became fairly sure that it was mine. Also asked a friend, to be on the safe side.

I am well aware that grief and rational memory are in cahoots – grief erases things that we don’t know we need at times. Still, it surprises me that I could end up having no idea about this very short 18-line poem. It has shades of all my recent influences in it, which almost convinced me that it isn’t mine.

However, I suppose it is a great tribute to those who have influenced me that they show up so clearly in my work. Rumi and Rilke both appear to be present in the imagery of the piece, which questions how easily we forget that we are made for something more than just going through life passively.

I’ve enjoyed the conversation taking place on my Facebook page, but I’m curious as to whether this has happened to anyone else. Have you ever found a piece months later, and forgotten that you wrote it? Let’s talk in the comments. 

New Reviews And Opportunities to Connect

I added a couple of new reviews to the Stones in the Road page yesterday, so if you’re interested in finding out a bit more about my poetry, you can check those out.

Stones in the Road quote

Quote from reader Becky Jackson, Specialist Mentor at Falmouth University

Click on the image above to get to the Readers’ Comments page, and maybe add your own if you have read Stones in the Road: Poems of Grief and Growth.

I’m also experimenting with Google+ and Pinterest as new ways to connect with friends and fans. You can find a link to my Google+ page in the sidebar on the right. If you’re on Pinterest, leave a link to your profile in the comments, and I’ll be sure to follow you back.

Take care,