Page 6 of 6

New tricks

Things feel pretty glum.

My old dog is getting wobbly in the hips, but today was another new day for him.

He showed the same optimism for a morning walk that he does every day, intuiting before any of us could tell, that the rainy grey morning was but a light cleanse of yesterday’s dusts before the blood-warming heat crept in.

He sniffed and pissed his way along the High St as if it was any other day; particularly pernickety about some zones in a way that we could never sense the importance of.

He patiently let the toddler proffer a freshly picked dandelion intrusively close to his veteran snout, and behaved with grace when a neighbourhood cat came slinking out onto the path for the “dendle” petting she knows is guaranteed when our trio passes by.

Glad, with so many birthdays behind him, for a short walk; home once more, he allowed his muscles a break from holding him in shape , as he sighed his large nobility into a pile on his indoor bed, trusting that things were in order, and a feed would come soon.

Despite more than twelve years passing since his rescue, his breakfast meets his gut like iron filings to a magnet, over almost as it began. But these are sweet days, and the toddlers rejected egg scraps will likely follow soon as seconds.

They do. Today is good.

Watching him, he spends his day in a similar way to how my grandfather used to self-admonishingly describe his own idle days on the other side of ninety. And I am glad for him, that he can feel the changes in the breeze, hear the conferences of the magpies, sense the light shifting as clouds move across his patch of vast sky.

Witnessing with calm the bubbling babbling bauble of golden curls and rapid synapses; an anchor of cool self-authority, the dog just is.

All day.

As he was yesterday.

Accepting.

Present.

Inhaling.

Exhaling.

How many pats today? A lovely brushing in the sun? The child incorporating his water bowl into her play? What is his agency in any of this? Could I manage life with the same serene dignity as he does, with so much beyond my control?

Do I?

If only.

Instead, I am stirred up, fragile in my tiredness, and vulnerable in the wake of decades of perceived misuse. Crashing after building hope that intelligent change was within reach. Needing just that little bit more resource to be able to stay in the lane of everything actually being ok. Perhaps even frightened, for what it represents, that the majority of our population have used our chance to choose, to hand the power to racist river-killing bigots.

I’m glad the dog doesn’t know. He feels my sad. And he soothes me in it by showing me that today is another day.

And tomorrow will be too.

Onward dear heart.

Women are talking

Yes, girls are coming out of the woods

And women are talking

To each other

And women listen well

And women believe each other

And women strengthen each other, with utterances of “I see you”, whispered through tears, as soft, hard-worked hands hold each other in loving solidarity

Women are talking, telling our stories, sharing our truths, as the relief of being heard and held trickles streams pours out of us, taking form as words, laughter, snot, yawns, and swearing – lots of swearing

The words are not pretty, the stories are not pleasing, the strength is not something that comes out of a jar of protein powder or a superfood capsule.

It’s gritty

Gritty and real and hot – a strength earned

Earned by staying

By staying with ourselves in the darkness. By staying upright in the cyclonic winds of life and other people’s bullshit.

By staying true to the path of liberation laid out before us; without seeking slumber on the velvet lounge of “someone else will fix this”.

Staying tethered to Gaia’s ever loving support through the sinewy tap root that comes straight out the bottom of our pelvic bowl.

Staying anchored to the highest star above, feeding from the limitless stream of white light.

Staying in the process of our stories swirling through us, rebuilding our cells into new, stronger, wiser, same as before women.

We are not obedient. We are not subservient. We are not controllable.

And we make no apology.

We do not allow the shame of others to isolate us into silence. We do not protect those who have wronged us and our children. We do not complicitly uphold the structures of oppression.

Watch as they tumble down.

Watch as the dust rises.

Watch as the footprints of mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, grandmothers, allies, and sons appear in their multitudes.

And listen. Listen as the whisper builds.

It’s the sound of power surging towards a better world for all. For our children yet to come, for our precious planet. For ourselves.

The Women are talking

-••••-

– after Tishani Doshi Read her here ❤️

De-ode to decaf

Oh Decaf.

Am I the one for whom you exist?

No caffeine from you will pass through my tits

For wakefulness you shan’t be blamed

Nay, nor thanked…

You’re a bit like chocolate incense- nostalgically reminiscent of the real deal, but not a spot hitter by any stretch

Breast is best breast is best

yes yes yes

yes yes

yes

yes

I absolutely get behind the list of benefits

But

I challenge anyone to forego BOTH sleep AND coffee, then tell me “breastmilk is free”.

It’s not.

Ode to Lady Grey

Oh subtle maiden, so light and ephemeral… are you even real?

Who was your namesake, that you are such a simple pleasure, in your blue Twinings paper gown, with an arousal so light that you tempt me a second time?

Today’s early start and less than well child take their toll as the afternoon wears on.

I urgently scrape the wet side of the last piece of Turkish delight through the icing sugar, hanging out for a hit of false zest.

Water, some nuts, perhaps a meedjool date – I know what I ought to do. And I do these things earnestly, I do. And in addition I crave my fragrant mistress, who seems to promise that she’ll never tell.

Please don’t, my afternoon darling. Don’t tell those neural pathways of the night that we have trysted so late in the day. Our romance depends on your discretion.

For you serve me not well as a morning friend. Not even your husband The Earl will do as a prelude to that exotic dark beaned stud who visits just once a day.

No. Your place in my heart is discrete as it is discreet. My 3:00-5:00 pm liaison. And in that window, I adore and revere you.

But ’tis on days such as these that I may seek your pleasure double.

And if I dare, and I know you won’t dissuade me; how can I know that you will let my True Love, Sleep, wrap her most sincere arms around me when I seek my nightly rest?

How can I trust you not to jostle with her, taking me in rapidly changing directions through diary entries past and future, through refrigerator contents, choreography ancient and yet unknown, through band names, song lyrics, childhood wounds, current concerns… oh light touch you may have; but I know your secret depth.

As I know what you give me in this moment; as the stretch in front of me gapes wide, alluding to another walk, (this time with teapot, unicorn, and boots on the wrong feet), more trampoline bouncing, some kind of cobbled together evening meal and the epic bath book etc end of things… of course I need your sweet whisper of courage.

The bergamot on your breath urging me to recall my optimism at sunrise; your warmth in my mouth softening my every cell to continue my gracious surrender to every moment’s gifts.

Your soft lips brushing mine, with a lightness even more delicate than that of your notoriously gentle husband. Oh my treasured friend, you know I favour you above herbal remedies, or excess sugar, or the sensible option of a protein snack.

So please, as we repeat our most adult dalliance within minutes of the last sip, I beseech you, as the kettle steams in anticipation of our second kiss of the afternoon; betray me not, as I lay me down tonight.

Let me find slumber deep and sweet, and your place in the front of the drawer you shall keep.