A Dog at Last!

A few months ago I wrote this pantoum poem in anticipation of the imminent arrival of a dog to join our family. 

Sadly, that dog didn’t work out, and since then it has been a tortuous wait for another dog… but Diego, our golden retriever, has been totally worth hanging on for.  With the softest fur imaginable and big adoring eyes, he is the best companion I could have wished for.  Outside he cavorts with my sisters in the garden, inside he cuddles me.  So, here he is; Diego Bryan, the furry full stop at the end of our family: we are complete!

In the bluebell woods
Cuddles at bedtime

Re:Verse Poetry For Holy Week

Last night I was honoured to be invited to Malmesbury Abbey to take part in a poetry evening. This gave me the opportunity to share some of my poems alongside several other local poets. And what a wonderful evening it was.  Here is what I shared:

Over the last few years I have written a poem a year as a meditation on a different part of the Easter story.  For each poem I have tried to immerse myself into the scene and capture with words something of the experience, both the visual and emotional impact.  My journey through Holy Week will be read by different voices, I hope you find the experience enlightening. 


Palm Sunday

Hurrying, requesting, untying,

Crowds jostling, pressing and vying,

Spreading, smoothing coats, uplifting King,

Gates closed. Pause. Waiting to be let in.


Expectant hush for radiant bride,

Sun pours forth Son, doors flung open wide,

Shouts of jubilant acclamation,

City’s stones reverberation.


Majesty clothed in humility,

Shouldering peace for humanity,

Enraptured children weaving the crowd,

Spirits bursting with fresh praise aloud.


Vibrant coats flourished, palm branches danced,

Here is our longed for Lord at last,

Black blots conniving in the corner,

Reminding: it is not yet finished.


Maundy Thursday

How can my master be my servant too?

Stooping, untying sandals caked with grime,

In tender strength his hands my feet renew,

His garment white is soiled in drying mine,

With laughter, celebrations fill the air,

Punctuated by sombre lifted cup,

Imbued new meaning to salvation share,

Away stole stealthy satan covered up,

He breaks, dividing bread the mystery,

Off’ring redemption’s sacrifice for all,

Into the darkness, hymns from slavery,

Up mount we climb in silence of nightfall,

Shall I my master all in this deny?

The rest may go, but surely Lord, not I!


Jesus’ Beckon

Part 1 – Death Friday

Hounded, helpless, horror uphill,

Mocking jeers crescendo,

Death’s stench, dark in despairing dread,

Oppressing fear’s echo.


Piercing soulful eyes fixated,

Excruciating pain,

Hope hanging, subsiding, drowning,

Dignity dies, my shame.


Part 2 – Life Sunday

Night’s black breaking: light’s dawn dancing,

Hurry quickening feet,

Heady spices; heavy grieving,

Overwhelmed – crumpled heap.


Erupting anguish obscuring

Gardener’s playful delight,

Agony’s deep yearning, aching,

Recognition ignites!


Exploding joyful elation,

Spirit’s music exclaims,

Touching, soaring – soul suspended,

Jesus beckons my name!

Three Upcoming Events

In the next few months there are three events I am involved with:

On April 15th I will be taking part in re:Verse at Malmesbury Abbey and contemplating life and spirituality with other local poets.  Come and join us for this free evening (ticketed to monitor numbers and available from events@malmesburyabbey.com)

On 11th May I will be talking about writing and my book at the Swindon Spring Festival.  Details, including how to book can be found here

Many people contact me and Teach Us Too asking for advice about how to teach their non-verbal children to read and write, and it is therefore with great excitement I can let everyone know that Teach Us Too are hosting an AAC and Literacy Study Day with Marion Stanton on 5th June.  

Without Marion’s support, knowledge and advice to my mother I would not now be able to read and write. As an expert in the field of AAC and literacy this free study day is not to be missed.  Register for your free ticket on Eventbrite.