Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Happy Writing

Here's a poem about the question I often ask myself.  

Happy Writing
Why don’t I write on happy stuff
instead of being inspired by grief
or when times are really rough?
I could describe a lovely leaf
or sunsets making my heart burst.
Why is my utmost misery
the spur for writing my best verse
and posting it for all to see?
Why did I write two good prose pieces
on funerals, grief and poetry,
published in national magazines?
Why nothing else for folks to see?
Well, here is one and you can tell
it’s not much good, although it rhymes,
so lack of poems can only spell
the advent of much happier times.

Monday, March 11, 2024



UN-stabul as Mum used to say it
in her own invented
language and pronunciation
like raddy-otta-meez.
And why not.
“English also spoken here”
Dad said there should be a sign
on the front door
when they were first married
but he became bilingual.
So today I know I am living
through a time when things are
un-stabul for me,  unstabul
without my mum and my dad
and my Mike
who saw “breaded plaice” as
bearded plaice, which it fast
became with parents, carers
and now still me. 
They never met
but on the phone discussed how
a single grain of rice was a rouce:
Mum thought not but
Mike was adamant
about his invention.
My new house-to-be is full of labradors
and other tradesmen.
The architrave fades into less significance
compared to the builder, Jason, and
all his argonauts
and I am tossed around in an unstable
world, missing all three of them
feeling out of touch with my
linguistic roots and routes
through the maze of decisions
being uprooted myself just enough
so I am now unstable
ready to be blown down in the wind
or washed away in a rainstorm
or undermined by something small.

Leslie Wynne Prescot
28/05/1927 - 16/10/2020

Anthea Warwick Prescot
07/07/1928 - 28/11/2020

Mike Hitchens
07/12/1943 - 11/07/2023

Friday, December 1, 2023



I have been stuck in a traffic jam
cars and vans and lorries and bikes
jumbled up unable to make their way
jostling for position for the getaway
nothing progressed at all for months
and all I could do was identify the
that were all the many stresses in my life
not being able to focus on any one of them
compounding the stress and the traffic
Suddenly an acupuncturist or an osteopath,
almost certainly, has shown one vehicle how
to navigate out of the melee and start a
making a space for the next vehicle to
straighten up and leave, like one of those puzzles
with only one space but the corner shape must
and now all the vehicles are moving
each in a separate lane on the motorway
(though the bikes must make their by another
All the types of vehicle are still present
but moving at their own pace
at variable speeds stopping and starting
and I have clarity at last
and I am back in my own body
and in my own head and I have found

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Seeing the Real You at Last

Seeing The Real You At Last
today I have a glimpse of the real you at last
“we know a song about that”
(sorry Bob) in my grief
today you are present in that way
that dead people have
when they have got into your soul
and I comprehend the hugeness of it all
I hear myself reeling off
“my partner died, then Covid struck,
then I broke my shoulder, then …”
as if bereavement was a small thing
(but it is vast)
and at last I allow myself to consider
what my therapist would have asked,
(she, the wise woman who questioned ‘accidents’)
and I see, really see in that
bone-deep, mind-expanding way
that my lack of attention before I tripped,
“doing marvellously” when I had Covid
(the first and second time)
and generally carrying on
yes, stoic(ally), that thing
I never am and wouldn’t do me any good
(and hasn’t)
I carried on stoically,
believing I was still doing really well considering
but putting off the day
pointlessly, painfully, but somehow
always knowing the day would come
when I see the real you at last
(again) and have to grieve




Wednesday, September 6, 2023


This poem is dedicated to all those who grieve, some of whom are not able to speak out about how they feel.  This is for you.


Thin as the best tissue paper

clear, bright colours

salmon, startling red, pink, and white.

The white ones are first -

tiny but perfect circles;

I have never seen geranium petals

attacked like this before.

Late-season butterflies

which always seem so strong

still flutter by early autumn flowers

dodging away at high speed

when I come close;

they have war-wounded wings

with bites taken out.

My Westie thought

he was a mastiff

till he stood on a wasp

amongst windfall pears

and hobbled around

holding his wounded paw aloft,

an uncomprehending puppy again.

All exhibiting their vulnerability

for us to see

and remark on.

Mine is hidden.

We all think I'm a strong person

we all know I am dealing with a lot

we are all impressed with how

I am organising and getting through

my life and its many troubles;

we know it is hard.

But inside I ache

I weep

I grieve

I long

for a comforting cuddle

from my Mum

from my Dad

from my Mike

and actually from anyone

which I'll never have again.

This is my


hitherto unspoken


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Death and Love


Death and Love

waiting for his death
which will be any day now
I have been expecting it
and to feel finally defeated
a sort of
who shouldn’t love again
too many bereavements
finally abandoned
undeserving of love.
I have a sudden insight
I should love more people
not fewer
I should know
and get to know
on my wavelength
the same humour
music food
then when there are other
as there will be
I will still have
people to love
who love me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How does time do that?

How does time do that?  It speeds up as we get older.  Time we're looking forward to seems a long way off and similarly wonderful times all too soon seem in the distant past.  Something we are dreading hurtles towards us and grief lingers for ever. 

For those of my generation, a reminder that the seventies is actually fifty years ago, not thirty.  Yes, I know.

This rather fluid way of regarding time can be helpful when we're recovering from something.  This year I have been continuing to suffer from post-viral fatigue, following a nasty bug in April 2019.  It has come and gone over the three years but I still view this as a single episode.  I've had post-viral fatigue in the past, more than ten years ago, and it went altogether, so I remain hopeful this time.

At the beginning of the year I decided that I was self-sabotaging my health as no sooner did one complaint recede another always took its place.  I decided that 2022 was going to be the year I addressed the problem and took various steps to do so, including visiting a new complementary therapist.  

"My goodness, isn't your hair lovely!" she said.  
Thank you, I'll be here all week.  

No, really, she was brilliant, just what I needed because amongst other things she practises kinesiology and that was the treatment which turned a corner for me more than thirty years ago.  I didn't need many treatments from her and I was well on the way.  

Since then ... well, since then I have continued to explain myself to people as to why I am restricted about how much I can do or when I can do it.  But if I think back to the beginning of the year I am doing so much more than I could then.  I can do more than I was doing three months ago, two months ago.  Of course there are still setbacks but life is so much richer than it was at the beginning of the year.