June

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in the dark of winter

the pulse slows and quietens

the heart glows

Here at the end of May, the temperatures are dropping, and I know the cold of winter isn’t far away. I feel as though winter is the time when I need to fold in to myself, weave threads of slow, dark energy around my shoulders, sheltering, comforting. Sitting quietly, warm and still, feeling, hearing my own heartbeat. Its time to be quiet, to read, and cook.

I don’t want to fight the winter, I need to find a way to work with it, to continue the routines of work that don’t make any allowances for the change in seasons. And I’ve found it difficult some years – the struggle of getting up in the dark, coming home in the dark, day after day. The cold early morning and reluctant to get get out of bed.

This year – I want to hold this image in mind – a candle burning quietly in the darkness. I want to welcome winter, and adjust to the demands it makes on me.

I want to be patient and gentle with myself, taking time to snuggle inside, making soup, and using my big blue casserole dish to create one-dish dinners.

There never seems to be enough bright daylight, and so I want to commit to making the most of what little there is by walking outside whenever I can. This means making time at work – making sure I take a lunchtime!

And the glow? I’ll keep it fed with little twigs of friendship, conversation, pets, art, books, food. I’ll keep this inner warmth alive, hold my hands around my heart-flame, and be ready to breathe it in to life when spring comes.

just discovered this post wasn’t published in June –
so better now than never –
then I’ll be ready to add September 🙂 

eye to eye

When she was young, she was abandoned,
she was pregnant, she was making do,
wary and opportunistic.

She was found, she was ill, her babies died,
and I had just seen the movie based on the life of Frida Kahlo,
when I saw this small, thin, lost soul in a cage,
for sale, marked down, half price.
Frida she was then, in an instant.

She came home with me.
She was half-wild, wouldn’t be held,
ate fast and then straight outside.
We found she’d made the compost bin her bed.

But she brought us gifts in those early times,
daily mice, some dead, some alive,
and three arranged in the driveway
like an installation artwork.

There was the rat, that looked like someone’s pet.
There was the tui, injured, flapping,
that I drowned in a bucket, while I cried
and she stretched out in the sun

There was the day I realised she was using mirrors
as a way of watching and staying safe.
There was the day she walked into the room and stopped,
and looked, eye to eye, heart to heart.
It proved to me, that patience is worth it, that patience heals.
Two years of waiting evaporated in her eyes.

Today she sleeps.
She sleeps and when she’s not sleeping, she wants to eat.
Having an appetite is a good thing.

And she has developed the habit of scratching the sofa, or trying to.
It’s a dance now, that we both share.
She stretches out a paw and looks my way.
I say no, and her leg lowers. She holds eye contact.
After all these years, she uses her eyes to get what she wants.

I move to the kitchen and squeeze cat food from the packet.
She eats, she climbs on me, and sleeps.

She knows who I am now.
She snores a little
and every breath
is the sound of trust.

Frida

©clairegriffin2017

becalmed

I have been becalmed
the word-winds are blowing
across some other ocean
I’ve been circling slowly
in a sea of reminiscence
unable to move forward
my hands are still
my sails are empty
the sea is flat
the horizon slices through
my wide blue world

far below I sense
there is an immensity
a mass of constant movement
a creature of sickening proportions
sending its sightless arms toward the light
I recoil as it breaks the surface
and blindly reaches toward me

I slow my heart
and hold my breath
and wait
a day, a night
a day, another night
slowly it retreats
and the quiet waters close
over the abomination
intentions still unclear

a storm is forecast
the sky will darken
the clouds will hang low
dense and heavy with text

I will open my hands
squalls of rain will drive
ice-bound words into my skin
the wind will come
and my sails will swell
I will shield my eyes
and search the skies for seabirds

 

©clairegriffin2017

 

 

patience

stopped at the lights
I noticed a little girl
on the edge of a tantrum
all scowly face
and stampy legs
as she tested the boundaries
the struggle between autonomy
and safety

her mother talked calmly
over the curly head
to her own mother
but held the tiny hand throughout

by the time the lights changed to green
the little toddler legs were still
and a smile was edging out the frown

the patience of generations
guiding the energy of this tiny soul

 

© Claire Griffin 2016