Category Archives: Poet

Poem by Lily, aged 4 nearly 5

‘Humu humu aka aka aka aka a’

‘What does that mean? Is it Lily-language?’

‘Yes, it means [with actions]:

Two smails… two snails met

One was a lady, one was a man

Hello, hello, it is raining

I am going inside my shell

So am I

Smell those lovely flowers!’

Editor’s update!

Lily just spent 24 hours with her maternal grandparents, including learning the following verse:

Deux petits escargots se rencontrent.

Bonjour. Bonjour.

Comment ca va?

Ca va bien merci. Et toi?

Ca ne va pas.

Il pleut. Je rentre chez moi.

Moi aussi. Au revoir.

Au revoir.

[my spacings]

Well I think that explains her sudden foray into non-English poetry. Ha ha! But the flowers were all her own invention I believe. Tres bien!



barefoot at home

my toes consider this my space

listening to crumbs in the kitchen

measuring steps between tasks

yearning for safety and warm smooth floors

treading out these harvests – play well on holy ground but don’t burn the toes

barefoot with children

washing, cleansing, splashing,

barefoot at night

answering, holding,

barefoot between tasks



barefoot. resting.

barefoot. loving.

barefoot. purifying.

barefoot. being.

Christmas Times

Time to write the Christmas to do list:

A time to buy cards and a time to write them.

A time to alter the address spreadsheet and a time to mailmerge.

A time to paste and a time to post.

A time to wish and a time to list.

A time to stock and a time to fill.

A time to file and a time to stick.

A time to give and a time to forgive.

A time to book and a time to write.

A time to cook and a time to light.

A time to watch and a time to listen.

A time.

Times two.

GMT. PST. How many hours behind am I now?

This Christmas I will be thinking in stereo. Probably with jetlag. But I am very excited because I will be seeing my sister again for the first time since her move to Canada. She cannot justify much time off work with tight film deadlines at this time of year and even tighter annual leave. And we cannot justify the expense and craziness of taking the four of us to Vancouver in mid-winter at an age when the children will be unable to remember it.

So, with the blessing of my family, I am going to travel out to see my little sister myself over Christmas. For me and for her, some well-earned catch-up time. For my husband and all four grandparents, quality time with the children. I am already missing them. Today marks ten years to the day since I met my husband and we still enjoy each other’s company the most.

Each day is precious in the company of the ones you love.

Angry Language

I am angry like a headache before a storm

I am angry like a child whose toy is taken

I am angry angry don’t interrupt me don’t misread me don’t don’t don’t I am angry

If you were angry like me you would pull until something tears

If you were angry like me you would smash until something breaks

But I am angry and I want to pull and smash myself until I break down in tears or torn

Because I don’t want my angry to be your angry too and I will carry you and your fears until I have no strength to be angry and no time to be angry

Today a man in town was angry he was cutting bricks he cut himself I never heard a man with language so angry outside a prison people commented to me he was so angry his language was not strong it was weak it was not diluted the children did not hear I don’t know how I am grateful but I am angry that he was angry

Today I realised I am only me again and I am angry for that I cannot hold my head up with others who do brave relentless courageous things some of them are paid too and my fears are not for carrying they are not a big deal when I tell people because I dare not tell my real fears they might be more angry with me

Today I understood that I do not know about making a hippopotamus and I am angry about that too not even a mouse although I have no room for large animals and I cannot have a mouse because of the asthma and that makes me angry too it is disturbing what range of things make me angry

For example I am angry about my bills and I am angry about disasters in Japan

I am angry about my house being a building site and I am angry about slow progress in Haiti

I am angry about selfishness and I am angry about trees coming down in the neighbourhood

I am angry about missed opportunities and I am angry about both children waking so often each night

I am angry about injustices around me and I am angry about torture, terrorism and tyranny beyond

When I am angry I want to use words not those weak anglosaxon words of shock but strong words battering like Job tell me tell me tell me no I just want you I just want you to know me do you see me do you hear me do you know my limits thus far and no further do my limits make you angry too I can’t answer you will you answer me and all of us if all our angry was added up would it make you quake do you feel angry too when we are shaken will you use our angry to do peace?

Now all my angry has passed and it is not mine I give it to you I wanted to just spend words and the angry is softened but the passion remains and I want a good night’s sleep and start again in the morning

Happy and Loved

You made me

From top to toe


Is this the real beginning of our
Big Brother
Little Sister
so small, so far to go


O Katie, could you see this coming?

The journalists are up and running,

It seems the institution’s laid off.

Is this really what you’re made of?

I doubt the laureate’s got to thinking

Better get right down to inking

something special to reward’em

No one wants to cross with Jordan.


But why can’t you be treated royally?

Heated fans still watch you loyally.

I was changing channels lately,

came across you – quite irately –

telling hubby what you thought. A

little later saw your daughter

in her ‘I love mummy’ outfit

(Mothercare: I also bought it).


Is the marriage out of favour?

Not exactly this month’s Flava?

Will you do a Wills and Kate,

See if this will boost your rate?

In any case I have to question

some producer’s vain suggestion

you should air your dirty linen:

a million saw your marriage spinning.