Tag Archives: Poetry

the particulars of travelling

It’s the details
the minutiae
a long series of challenges and puzzles
all day, every day

Oh, sure, the sights are wondrous
But it is the interactions
the interpreting
the map reading
and the trivial accomplishments

Everything unfamiliar
Nothing can be assumed
All to be deciphered, understood

How do I order coffee?
Do we drink it at the counter?
No, no
That’s only in Italy

Where do we buy the tickets?
Can we get a weekly pass?
No, no
You can’t buy a ticket on the tram

Those are the wrong tickets
Say all the ladies on the bus in French

You’re going the wrong way
Says the man in Italian
As the rental car gets stuck
trying to turn
down a medieval lane
And he makes the traffic behind reverse
while he escorts us out

I am so grateful I would kiss him
But he is gone on his scooter


coming back

I just got home from 5 weeks traveling
Italy, France and Spain
How was your trip?
Wonderful, thank you.

And then it’s gone

Grab it before it disappears
Reach out and snatch its tail
Don’t let it go
Don’t let it go

Too late,
It left on the return flight

only in solitude

Writing, for me, comes in times of stillness
The letters and words float into my head
and I ease them down to paper

I don’t sit down to write
The words find me when I am quiet
When I listen

Now that I am working again
and busy,
oh so busy,
my head is full up
No time for listening
No space for letters
Just do, do, do

It’s 4.30 am
An unplanned moment of solitude

the voice in my head

I’ve started a new job
I can’t talk about it much
It’s a rather public sort of place
How I got there is the interesting bit

When I went on sick leave last year
I sat on my couch, day after day
Knowing I could never go back into that job
Or any like it
How could I ever work in the world again?

The voice in my head knew:
There’s one place in this city you like
One place that feels as good as home
As safe, as calm, as loving, as right

Ah, yes, that’s right, there is

We replayed this conversation
For three months
Me and the voice in my head
Until finally I mustered the courage,
Can I come and talk to you?
Of course

I explained:
I’m finished with my old job, my old life
Too tired
Worn out
But I have all these skills
And I don’t know why I’m telling you
Only the voice in my head said I should

Are you saying you’d like to work here?
Just this morning we had a new position approved
A new salaried position
That needs your skills
Just this morning

I sat there and cried
Then I went home and applied for this position
Now I am here
Where I should be
Thanks to the voice in my head.


I have been off work for 4 months now.

Friends, family and colleagues all ask me,
But what do you do all day?
Very little, I tell them.  Very little.

I think that’s the point of this
To stop ‘doing’
For one time in my life
What a privilege.

I know the doing will be back
I feel it creeping closer
And, you know,
When it comes down to it,
I’m good at doing.

But right now
Just this minute
I don’t have to ‘do’

I can breathe instead.

some sleepy days

I get up in the morning to wave the boys off
Then I go back to bed
With the cat
His head in my armpit
His furry fatness squished against me
Under the quilts
Cosy and warm
We sleep and sleep

At lunchtime we get up for food
But in the afternoon it’s back to bed

I remember bustling so purposefully

That must have been some other lifetime.