Compassion for all parties involved

In a gondola steered by a bunny with pink
ears and white feathered wings, I rest.

Serene and floating upon a turquoise body of water,
I keep my eyes closed, keeping out the light,

keeping out thoughts of failure.
Let me just drift into the unknown

where there may be green shoots to suck
and damp grass to tinkle my toes.

Who knows, what’s around the bend.
All I know; I’m wearing my favourite bow,

my rubber giraffe is sinking like a ship
along with my rocking horse of dreams.

A Million Tiny Sherees

I feel like I’m holding a million little Sherees
in my arms and each one with a need to be fulfilled.


I’m lost, not knowing what to do for the best,
who to listen to the first. All are fragile and in pain.

They’re little me’s at different times in my life.

The little puffy afro-ed toddler.
The dreadlocked housewife.
The first school bunchies kind of kid.
The jet black straight haired newborn.
The baldy divorcee.

Mini Sherees all making noise
vying for my attention, craving love
wanting to be seen and healed.

I’m afraid one will slip through my fingers,
or I’ll break the neck of another.
It’s a huge responsibility to carry myself
alone. And not allowing one single Sheree in.

Becoming whole

After Megan Fernandes 

Sometimes, I could see Daddy,

liming along the sea walls of Trini

racing in the hills between the metal shacks 

clothed under a black blanket dotted

with diamonds holding wishes of England

whispered from thick black lips.

I’ve been waiting on Summer like a promise.

Sweating under breasts, I’m reluctant to cross

over the threshold, the weight of this black body

offending everybody and including me.

Some days, I imagine silver light shed 

along the shoreline. Probing sand eels

leaving spiralling piles of sand and shit.

Grace is not something I wear. Except

one time after pulling myself together again in

Iceland’s otherworldly landscape.

Daddy kept his island parcelled in fur, under 

the bed, never to drift out and cocoon me in home.

At midlife crisis, I’m knee-deep in this man-made

forest, serpents for hair, munching waxcaps, knowing 

it’s not wise, but mesmerised by their ruby rubber

ness, knowing there’s no escape looking in the mirror

Rubbernecking

She’s called Daphe, the woman running the business training out of her Notting Hill home.

The Thames curves south from here by Chelsea, sluggish brown. The city’s awake and burning.

Have you been to see the damage yet? he asks, in our snatched conversation.

Almost gleeful in his hunger to hear details about the tower block which blazed leaving so many people missing or dead.

He says there’s photographs of the missing stuck to tree trucks, walls and railings. Black, brown and olive skinned and missing.

I don’t want to see this suffering. The ruins becoming a tourist attraction. Leave them with some dignity. Always having to endure the gaze in life and death.

WildThings

numb feet

throbbing thighs

the burning thin skin of elbows

pain is real and immediate

teeth bared like a wildthing

sharp intake of breath whistles

but the singing after the stinging

is the nectar is the blooming

blossoming rush of love

for the moment, for life, for self

The Outlook is Good

uncomfortable sensations which can only be described as pain course straight to the core

to release endorphins of joy

the outlook is better

the outlook is golden

the outlook is diamond

the outlook is bright

the outlook is purple

the outlook is a gift

It’s been a while …

Hey hey hey.

What’s happening? I’ve been on a social media hiatus. I’ve been leaning into Summer. I’ve been going slow. And it continues at least until the end of August. And then I’ll reassess.

What I have decided is that September is going to be 30/30. Thirty poems in thirty days. Why? Because I’m always thinking I’m not writing enough. Because I’m excited to write when I’m inspired to write. Usually through reading other people’s poetry.

If I’m not reading. I’m not writing. And I’m a writer because I’m a reader. I want to generate new work and what better way to do that than to get in amongst language and play. Work out a few issues and have fun doing so.

So I hope to see you back here at the beginning of September to share in the creations.

Walking In Search of Purple

I’ve started again. I think it happened a couple of weeks ago now. But I’ve started walking out and searching for the colour purple again. I first started this last year during lockdown, when I would take a daily walk, but walk with intention. My intention was to search out purple, usually purple flowers, pause give thanks and snap a photo.

As Alice Walker write in The Color Purple “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”

Walking is a meditation. Like breathing. When I walk my footsteps fall into a rhythm with my breathing. I always feel better after a walk. During the troubling times of the Coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter uprisings around the world, I’ve been searching for purple, more often than not. Does that mean I’m been looking for God? Looking for the reason maybe for all this suffering? But maybe there’s isn’t any reasoning for everything that’s happening. Maybe it’s just a case that this is how things are in the natural scheme of things. How it’s always has been and will be? That’s there’s meanness in the world and suffering and pain as well as beauty.

As more and more in society reopens after lockdown, and more and more people are making demands on my time and attention, I’ve slipped back into walking and searching for purple. And I think this is not to just fill my creative pot with joy, but also to makes sure I keep moving through this world at my own pace. Slowly. And when I lean into taking things slowly, doing things at my own pace, I know I’m in control of everything that is happening in my life.

It’s me taking back me power. And I think that’s what purple symbolises for me. As a colour, for centuries it has been associated with power. Not just regal power, but also because it was so expensive to make, purple was only worn by the select few, the echelons of society.

To be empowered from the inside out is real power for me. Power isn’t how much money or status you have in society. For me, it’s how much you value your own worth, protect your boundaries, lean into what makes you feel happy, what brings you joy and continue to relight your creative fire.

This is power to me. This is purple.

Honouring My Wholeness

It’s nearly been a couple of weeks now since we, Olwen Wilson and myself, completed facilitating our online visual journaling retreat called Honouring Our Wholeness. For three sessions spread over six weeks, we created space for a self-care visual journaling retreat for women, feminine and non-binary people who are Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour.

This was a unique and well-needed safe space for us to come together and just be. To let down our loads and know that we weren’t going to be judged but held. It was such a nourishing and nurturing space that without it, I feel a bit remiss. This space came along at the right time when I needed to take things slow and lean back into my visual journaling practice. What I need now is to remember what I learned from this experience and continue the journey; this healing journey I’ve been on for over six years now.

Six years ago, I started my visual journaling practice through a virtual course run by Lisa Sonora called Dreaming on Paper, at that point. It came into my life when I needed to explore my voice. When I needed time and space to get in touch, probably for the first time, with my true self. It provided me with an anchor when everything around me was disappearing, had been destroyed. Visual journaling kept me afloat, when I could have easily drown.

These are the things I need to remember when I do get a bit lost because of outside demands, or when I’m being far too critical on my own arse. Self-compassion. self-care and self-love are waiting for me when I open my journal and just play. Just try. Just turn up for me.

It was such an honour to be gather with these beautiful and generous people during Honouring Our Wholeness because that’s what we did for each other and ourselves, we showed up and offered ourselves compassion, care, grace and love.

All I can say now is MORE. I WANT MORE.