New Necessities and Old Tradition

A month to watch a wreath decay.
Ribbons pulls friends home
to mothers, in towns away, ‘cross
hills and tracks with luggage
to escape being alone on Christmas.

Arthritic, brittle leaves dry out, and
leprous branches fall.
Crimson berries, cries of red
from cherub-cheeks stuffed
with glowing rosehips
finally lose their gloss –

before shrivelling, fading
and passing into hallmark shades of Winter grey.

Quiet, deserted houses in cities
light up again come new year,
when the ribbon unravels, new shoes
tread into cold buildings
to find unused candles, abandoned blankets
and corpses of wreaths by the bins.


First Night Home Again (Poem)

My husband and I got back from his parent’s house yesterday afternoon, after staying there over christmas and new year. As soon as we came into the city I began feeling more relaxed and more ‘me’ again. Christmas was so lovely, with all my new family, but I found it very taxing and I didn’t feel myself much of the time. Especially because I found it hard to write, and I couldn’t paint.

Back by ourselves, I’m more at ease. But I really struggled to sleep. Here is a poem I wrote at about 3.30am:

Sleep-deep breathing in the nape of my neck.
At least one of us can rest while I battle with this solitaire.
Blue light glares silently at my face as I tap.
The apartment dimly lit
whisperlessly watching my eyes glaze,
gazing back at the screen.

As the cards fall into place,
maybe my breathing will,
and might my muscles,
and my heart too.

I’m looking forward to getting back into the routines I was cultivating at the end of last year.

Merry Christmas!



The last few years’ Christmases have felt really different, and not so ‘Christmassy’ for me, but this year I’m hoping for a comeback. I just wrapped my husband’s first gift and his excitement is catching! (Or maybe I just enjoy taunting him..)

It’s Tuesday again and I’ll have a poem by the end of today, but to share with you today is one of a couple of festive motifs I’ve done for a card-swap on Tumblr. It’s with a blog called Positivity in Pain, a community for people who have chronic illnesses.

With the painting I was going for a very old fashioned looking, traditional motif – vamped to an enjoyably saccharin degree. I think it’s a big part of the Christmas experience: cheesy music you don’t like (on repeat everywhere), trashy plasticky decorations and flashy lights everywhere. I don’t know why, but I enjoy it.

Yearly tastelessness at least keeps it to once a year!

If you’ve got time, we’re loving this album at the moment