Christmas 1: Greensleeves in the Suburbs

Nothing says summer like this: Renaissance minstrel piped through tinny speakers, musicbox-like, rotating through sleepy street, a call for ice-cream from a roaming van, suburban icon, half-sinister, half-sweet. To us in the south it seems fitting that the tune should be used too for carols: “What Child is This?” and another I don’t know, “NowContinue reading “Christmas 1: Greensleeves in the Suburbs”

Advent 1: Expectation

Not expectant last year, we met the season with a kind of still gratitude, quiet in the truth that what had been had been, and was not now, grateful for months of frozen meals and flowers (grief and surgery have these in common), and hopeful that the next year must be better at least thanContinue reading “Advent 1: Expectation”

No Ghosts This Year #6

The day after, he always felt like a wounded soldier. And, while there was a certain manly glory in the feeling, it was hard for others to see or understand it; and what good, really, was there in having survived a battle that no-one else knew you had fought? As a younger child, he hadContinue reading “No Ghosts This Year #6”


Why do I walk on tiptoes when I first step into icy blue?                                  As if my waist must stay above the lapping line,                                                   as though caution will keep me safe in this task which infants undertake with glee? The slow preparation, the gasps as underneath we plunge: all this is ritual, and weContinue reading “Ritual”

Christmas Monday

Well: perhaps, you went to church the day before, Heard Jesus hailed as promise kept, as wise Old Simeon and Anna wept and saw The saving one, a babe before their eyes. Perhaps you picked some turkey from your teeth And thought of all the washing to be done, The relatives all gone, so nowContinue reading “Christmas Monday”