… notes on messy old women … 

p1100616Hurrah, today is poetry day in the UK.Where would our world be without poets?

I sometimes forget I’m a poet.

Waving hello to all poets the world over I’ll share here a poem I wrote years back for an artist friend and her family.


… notes on a messy old woman …



in her art the charcoal mining hills

are shadow lands holding gold

and white mountains of china clay

spark New Jerusalem in her heart


she draws Cornish Cliffs rising black

from pale sands – jutting like mythic

creatures into a calm cobalt sea                                                      p1100619

beneath an impassive slate sky


she delights in the yellow of lemon

green of pear – shape of aubergine

textures of sunflower – curly kale

and the pink gleam on the skin

of fish – best caught on the day

P1060855 smaller

each thing away from its home

…solitary objects …

alone in space – the pot – pan

cup – knife and fork she paints

like icons on white and says


… they speak for themselves …


when spring brings pungent earth                                                     Rose, autum 4 low crop 2

she plants narcissus and hyacinth –

geranium and rose – tomatoes – mint

clematis – azalea and rose again


she bends low to weed her garden

but not to wash the kitchen floor

nor does she mind a grimy table

sink – bowl – glass or plate                                                                    Cornw. cross at Lamorna Cove 3


yet her home is bright with friends

walls are hung with paintings

shelves groan under books

colourful rugs blot out the dust


her stomach has hardened to bugs                                                  Farnham Easter 2011-45

and if a thing cracks or falls apart

one of her five children will come

to fix the chair – shelf – clock – tap

the leaking roof or creaking door

… her strategy works …

all objects she observes revert

to the empty spaces between them

Ashen, 2004

You may wonder what has been happening since my last post, to which many of you kindly responded in relation to my dream and my desolate, confused state, which was heartening.

The post coincided with my publisher coming clean after I had faithfully waited three years for the production work on Course of Mirrors to begin. Still, I’m thankful – at least the path is clear. I decided not to approach any of the giants. I’m taking control. Having had lots of time to compare self-publishing set-ups, I’ve chosen one that’s most respected in the trade and also stores and distributes books.

I believe strongly in Course of Mirrors – the book will be launched in spring 2017.  I’ll keep my online friends updated. Once my first novel is on the road, I may crowdfund for the sequel … and a collection of my poetry.

‘Faith is the evidence of things not seen.’ – W Hutchinson Murray


Sorry, the layout of this page turned messy  🙂


Filed under Blog

25 responses to “… notes on messy old women … 

  1. Congratulations on resolve and clear intentions. Nothing like closing a door to find the appeal of others opening! Loved the poem. Reminded me of one i wrote for just such a character, a painter also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True. There’s great satisfaction in closing a door on false promises and disappointments. Thanks.
      I’m glad I inspired you to dig up a poem you wrote for a friend, which I read, following your link below, and found deeply moving.


  2. I salute your “Joie de Vivre!”

    Joe Rubin, Michigan, USA

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Folly Cottage-Poetry Day – PHI lippa. Letters of Love

  4. P.S. Since your messy old woman’s cottage looks much like the person’s you reminded me of, I thought to follow suit. You can find it here https://philipparees.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/folly-cottage-poetry-day/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Waving back – loving greeting from another sometime poet x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Poems are paintings and vice versa, keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jenny

    Congratulations…..your text on the old woman and the news on you publicating ….. 🍂🍁🙂❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is that famous quote from Einstein about messiness being related to intelligence (we all know it but i will quote it here again: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”).
    I always feel right at home in messy places. i would love to come over one day for a cup of tea (we visited England this summer, searching for King Artur, a messy search indeed).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha, that applies to my desk, which is drowning in folders and post-it notes. what a relief. Einstein would have been a cool friend to have 🙂
      I try to keep order, I really do, in other areas of the house I manage better. You’re very welcome if you come this way.


  9. Lovely Ashen and very exciting! That sense of taking control – your own life and path in your own hands and the universe responding as it will when you commit –

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes to poetry and color, and to taking control of your book. I’ll be first in line to purchase!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Poetry is all around us ~ Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love your poem. And I’m so glad you’ve made a decision about ‘Course of Mirrors’. You’ll zoom ahead now, you’ll see :–)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks Katia. I’ll borrow the eagle wings my protagonist dreams about. After all the tilling a round of sailing on the upwind would be …. one can dare to imagine 🙂


  14. Pingback: … I lost an ally, but not her frequency … | Course of Mirrors

  15. Pingback: … sunshine ☼ parties between rain drops … | Course of Mirrors

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