I dreamt

‘I get that on a spiritual level it’s about all of us becoming kings and queens […] the timing is kind of exquisite […] there’s something really beautiful about the whole thing’ – Marianne Williamson, Instagram Live, 8th September 2022

I dreamt

that I stood

on the sandstones

by the lakeside,

the water

livelong green;

the Avalonian

mother mists seemed

to swirl and


dimming the

sun gently,

muting the noise

creating a vista

warmed and serene.

And the mists

felt like old

friends, old

veils of

thresholds then

and now.

I felt such

joy to behold


such gratitude

that I could see,

that I could receive

their whispers

of richness,

and I have felt

settled in me

ever since.

I danced back

along the path

breathing into

the fruitful

and although

outside the

dream world

we have sat


charged humidity,

were drenched

and sodden in


and initiated


I feel a sacred call

for celebration.

As sombre as

the skies are grey, yet –

we are in a


and its pulsation,

as clear as mist,

hums with vitality,

with our regality.

The inching

breathless question:

will we claim it?

For it is,



Featured image by Jen Buckley Art

Heat fear

Heat fear

hits hard.


feels like


As if no

other clues

were needed:

webs have

been cast,

coating and covering,

capturing the dusty


messages of the season;

the snakes, too,

are abroad,


cutting a break,

running their

bellies across

the scorched ground

whispering their


And I am once



with my

frightened tendencies

to abdicate

all sense of


body, mind, soul.

Calm arrives

in the song of


sentinels of relief,

humming with

the heat;

their tune

repeating, loving

like a heartbeat.

And most of all,

I revere the crone

decked in

cryptic black,

fan in hand,

resting under the awning:

smiling sardonically

at the ants



keeping the



She beckons us

to draw into her shade;

to close the shutters

with soft force;

recline behind

the blinds;

to sample the

waters of siesta

and allow cool

showers of rain

to cast radically

soothing shawls

of reprieve.

Loving the peonies

Loving the peonies,

I held myself

in question:

how can I be so scared,

when they have

such daring?

The audacity

to bloom in

such beauty

and self-possession.

No delicacy or


but a full

chorus revelling

in the ephemeral.

And yet, not without

wisdom –

there is nothing

hedonistic or


about them.

Foliage of forest green

holds the memory

both ancient and


that to choose life

is to befriend

the poetry of its


That these loving


boundless for a

fleeting moment,

are bound towards

an ending.

And they teach

in their being:

what is more

grievous than death

is to hide in

life’s shadow,

sitting in foreboding,

for fear that endless, ashen

sorrow is safer

than the oceanic fantasia

of living and losing.

And as the

peonies crest,

and their

petals begin to fall,

I sit with my fears,

holding them

in my palms

for as long as

I can bear,

before gently dedicating them

to the pearlescence

of the clouds passing by.

For a few weeks

For a few weeks

a question has

beckoned me,

fluttering around my


I have tried

to tease out

the answer,

sought insight.

There have been

many fleeting

intoxicating clues,

echoes deep

of my soul’s search,

but nothing concrete.

Slowly, I slipped

into a sort of


as the outside world howled

at my door.

I so hate to

squander even

one second of

dearest mythical June;

yet, I was there,

consumed by

whispered relentless


with thoughts

tending towards


mine but not me.

I forgot

at the threshold

of transformation

that creation is



with destruction.

Whilst I still

linger in the quiet

of not knowing in

which direction

my paintbrush tends,

it is unequivocal:

I am reaching an end.

And I have an inkling

that there is much to learn

from early summer evenings;

pink, beaming,

stretching luxuriously

like a puppy belly,

and the quiet, the calm

only broken

by sweet blackbirds at dusk

gifting us to the

beauty of song

and the unmistakable

peals of poignancy.

Before the sweet spring rain

In the shower

before the sweet spring rain,

my body embraced me


And surely

this is something of God?

My addled work-spun brain

tries to explain, explain, explain,

but there is nothing

that can compare

to the rich full-hearted subtlety

of body reclaiming you,

with only my whimpers and tears

as songs of the reunion.


This time,

of light and shadow,

played out

in feathers of

ivory and jet


that found me in the garden

and the bed;

poised are we,

before what we know

and know not what yet.


Moonlight streaks my hair

as I begin to heed

Old Saturn’s teachings;

and though

I am sure world

will ensure I forget,

casting me into rosy sleep,

as it must:

I know.

My body is Great Mother.

She does not need to

only be sought in woods,

creeks and beaches,

although in these she

resides and is embodied too.

She is me.

Neck down,

canyons of hips and thighs,

loving me, gently yearning for me

to remember and know

and receive her secret wild, bloody wisdom.

And so I know the Earth,

And so the Earth knows me.

An Unexpected Journey: Re-watching ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy

“I don’t think I know your name.’

‘Yes, yes my dear sir and I do know your name Mr. Bilbo Baggins. And you do know my name, though you don’t remember that I belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me.”

Whilst J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit was famously written, in the first instance, for said writer’s children, it has been famously described as being ‘a children’s book’, a coded criticism in many respects, meaning that because it has been marketed for primarily children, it is devoid of substance, nuance and meaning that more intelligent and world-wise adults are able to discern.[1] It is for that reason that my first opinion of Peter Jackson’s three films of the same name, released in 2012, 2013 and 2014, was low and, as I discovered recently, severely limited. I remember vividly, going to the cinema to see ‘An Unexpected Journey’ at the ripe age of 20, immediately welling up at the ‘Concerning Hobbits’ refrain that accompanied the film’s opening titles, before launching into an internal criticism of everything I perceived to by divergent from the original text. ‘How could a short book, for children, be strung out into three long films’, was my main point of contention. Oh the irony, when I had spent the past couple of years challenging the sanctity of texts so voraciously, unable to witness the way in which I was clinging so unconsciously to this one! This essay is in part a mea culpa but also a celebration of what I now regard to be a film that bridged The Hobbit to the rest of Tolkein’s legendarium with, perhaps, more consciousness and success than by Tolkien himself.

This is not to say that The Hobbit films were and are perfect. Even after my most recent re-watch, there are still some significant issues that have persisted over time: the films have the visual aspect of a video game, thanks to the choice to film using 3D Red Epic Cameras at 48 frames per second. Where so much of the deeply immersive storytelling in The Lord of The Rings films was borne from the physical prosthetic, make-up, costuming and set-design work, so successful in that they enabled audiences to feel as though the characters, races and cultures of Middle Earth were in some way real, the reliance on technology and digital design in The Hobbit creates more of a visual and, hence, emotional distance from the characters and the world they inhabit. This is not to say that video games are not deeply immersive, they evidently are and this is because we are able to take action and actively inhabit those worlds.[2] In the medium of film, however, where we are able to become engrossed in the worlds of films, we are, whilst observers and critics too, experientially more passive and in a position of surrender to the camera. No amount of good acting or writing in The Hobbit films allows them to land with as much impact as Jackson’s predecessors as a result of this overemphasis of a frame ratio and visual effects that take from the story more than they give. This was and still is, with all the merit I would give Jackson for experimenting with this cinematic technology, disappointing.

Equally disappointing are the ‘wink-wink-nudge-nudge’ moments of shoehorned nostalgia, for example when the One Ring falls onto Bilbo’s finger in the exact same way it falls on Frodo’s in The Fellowship of the Ring. Furthermore, I think the relationship between Tauriel and Kili is hopelessly contrived and whilst I am appreciative of the filmmakers’ efforts to include a female character, where there are a grand total of zero in the book, it is somewhat frustrating that her only narrative significance revolves around an ill-fated and yet remarkably lacklustre romance plot.    

Yet, from this re-watch, I was able to discern that Jackson put in more work than I previously was even aware of to expand The Hobbit story into its rightful context within Tolkien’s mythology, in particular in its temporal position as a precursor to The Lord of The Rings. It is in this where I think The Hobbit films showcase some narrative brilliance on the part of its director. My opinion of this was enabled by my reading of The Silmarillion last year, a dense and remarkably realised mythology of the First Age of Middle Earth that Tolkien wrote prior to and, perhaps according to Christopher Tolkien, concurrently with The Hobbit in the 1930s. In a letter, Tolkien wrote that ‘The Hobbit was not intended to have anything to do with [The Silmarillion] […] It has no necessary connexion with the ‘mythology’, but naturally became attracted towards this dominant construction in my mind, causing the tale to become larger and more heroic as it proceeded’.[3]He suggests here that the progressive adventurous sensibility of The Hobbit came about in its tangential relationship with The Silmarillion: almost that The Hobbit couldn’t help but become more epic as a result of its exposure, in his imagination and writing, to the truly sweeping and awesome aspect of The Silmarillion. However, he is clear that there was no over-lap between the two: however much The Hobbit was influenced by The Silmarillion in terms of narrative grandiosity, the narratives themselves were quite separate. Only in Tolkien’s own retrospect and re-jigging post-Hobbit and aided by The Lord of The Rings do we see an intersection begin to merge between what were previously disparate texts.[4] It is here where I argue Jackson, with the benefit of Tolkien’s retrospect and the extensive appendices that accompany the legendarium, was able to successfully bridge some of the gaps left behind by Tolkien’s source texts. In short, Jackson and his team did their research, it shows, and The Hobbit films deserve much more credit than I believe they have received for this.

Fittingly, it would seem that the main mechanisms that Jackson uses to help bridge these narrative gaps are the wizards Gandalf the Grey and Radagast. In saying this, I do not aim to reduce their roles to mere plot devices: on the contrary, in some way I see it as nigh on poetic that these characters, who are so well-loved and revered by both characters in the stories and by readers and audiences too, who have so much power, wisdom and benevolence, should be the ones to ensure the successful metaphysical narrative weaving across the media of novel and film between The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised. Whilst Radagast is elusive throughout Tolkien’s texts, Gandalf is presented as a character whose wizardry extends beyond telekinesis and otherworldly intuition to his ability to construct and affirm meaning for the characters around him. Indeed, when we first meet him in the very first chapter of The Hobbit, he engages an unwitting Bilbo into something of a verbal sparring match, after the latter has wished him a ‘Good morning!’. Looking at Bilbo ‘from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat’, Gandalf asks him:

‘“What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”’[5]

In his interrogation of the exclamation ‘Good morning!’ is a playfulness with which Gandalf employs and perceives language, pointing to the number of different ways in which Bilbo’s deceptively simplistic phrase could be used and interpreted. Gandalf’s questions expose the realms of meaning that underlie even the most apparently obvious of statements and, as such, successfully and wittily deconstructs both the phrase Bilbo has used and, importantly, the complacency with which he used it. As a result, along with the play, is an assertion of dominance, expressed through the performed uncertainty around what Bilbo means: in his questioning he demonstrates his own command of and ability to wield language, and therefore his ability to construct meaning. By questioning Bilbo in this way and subtly asserting his own dominance over language and its multiplicity of meanings, Gandalf’s introduction is none too reminiscent of ‘in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’, yet perhaps with more of a knowing wink and a glint in the eye from underneath those bushy eyebrows. Although Saruman is described as ‘subtle in speech’, I would argue that it is Gandalf’s playfulness with language that marks him out as more flexible in his thinking and the more compelling to those around him.[6] This linguistic dominance is developed later on in the novel where Gandalf uses narrative to convince the shape-shifter Beorn to allow Thorin’s Company of dwarves and Bilbo to stay in his hall having been pursued by goblins through and from the Misty Mountains. Aware of Beorn’s reticence for opening his home to strangers, and with a particular dislike for dwarves, Gandalf weaves the tale of the Company’s adventures with hints at their number and regular interruptions by the arriving dwarves at such a pace as to not offend Beorn.[7] We are told towards the episode’s end that,

‘Bilbo saw then how clever Gandalf had been. The interruptions had really made Beorn more interested in the story, and the story had kept his from sending the dwarves off at once like suspicious beggars […] “A very good tale!” said [Beorn]. “The best I have heard for a long while. If all beggars could tell such a good one, they might find me kinder.”’[8]

Gandalf successfully uses language and, slightly differently to his first encounter with Bilbo, the delay and deferral of meaning to ensure he is able to get what he wants and needs. Even though he and the Company are in a vulnerable enough position so as to rely on Beorn’s hospitality, Gandalf is able to use his, again, playful and ‘clever’ control of language and meaning to endear himself and the others. In particular, Tolkien emphasises that it is ‘the story’ and the means by which it is told that secures safety and, therefore, it is clear that the ability to use language in this way is as powerful a weapon for Gandalf as any of the other magic he may be able to perform. This is confirmed through the echo of the description of the dwarves as ‘beggars’: the story does not prevent Beorn from seeing the dwarves as ‘beggars’, yet the power of the narrative seems to enable Beorn to move past his preconceived distrust and disdain for the dwarves, even conceding that he might be more open in general if each story he met was ‘good’ enough. By ‘good’ we don’t necessarily mean that plot points of the narrative, although they help, but the way in which Gandalf has adeptly guided Beorn through what is essentially a carefully constructed unfolding of the truth. The irony of which is that perhaps Beorn’s distrust is not entirely misplaced, given Gandalf’s masterful yet creatively tentative handling of what actually happened and how many they are. Nevertheless, what is clear is that Gandalf the Grey occupies an important role in Tolkien’s work as a conduit and creator of meaning, which makes it all the more appropriate that his character is one of two wizards used by Jackson, in this same vein, to bridge the narrative gaps between The Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. These narrative bridges revolve around the shadowy figure of The Necromancer. 

The Necromancer is only named four times in The Hobbit text, and the gift that Jackson gives a film audience is a cinematic expansion of these short hints given, of course, by Gandalf both about him and his fortress at Dol Guldur, thereby building something of a narrative bridge from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings. One hint appears in the very first chapter of the novel, where Gandalf describes his adventure to retrieve Thror’s map: ‘I was finding things out, as usual; and a nasty business it was. Even I, Gandalf, only just escaped’; and one, satisfyingly cyclical, in the final chapter, ‘Gandalf had been to a great council of white wizards […] they had at last driven the Necromancer from his dark hold in the south of Mirkwood.[9] Furthermore, the episode is given reference to, again with little expansion in The Silmarillion: ‘Mithrandir [the Elvish name for Gandalf] at great peril went again to Dol Guldur and the pits of the Sorcerer, and he discovered the truth of his fears [that the Necromancer was ‘the first shadow of Sauron returning’], and escaped’.[10] Moreover, Jackson, I would argue, successfully interleaves the council meeting and Gandalf’s investigation of Dol Guldur mentioned here into The Hobbit narrative, with the council, attended by Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman the White, taking place during the Company’s sojourn at Rivendell early on in the first film of the trilogy, and then the investigation of Dol Guldur after the Company enter Mirkwood in the second film. This latter interleaving is particularly poignant narratively because as the Company encounters the corruption of the old Greenwood forest, we see Gandalf explore the root of that corruption, which I think works seamlessly. The expansion of these moments in the films serve to build important narrative connections that Tolkien either hints at or simply misses. The revelation that The Necromancer is the spirit of Sauron beginning to re-take form in the final film in The Hobbit trilogy is an important set-up for what happens sixty years later in The Lord of the Rings, plus is an excellent opportunity to see Galadriel in all her power. What was, perhaps, a missed opportunity was Jackson’s lack of emphasis as to why the council does nothing to organise against Sauron once it is revealed that he has returned. Saruman clearly underestimates Sauron’s ability to fully amass power, as described very late on in the appendices of The Silmarillion, but I think, what should be, an extremely pertinent moment becomes slightly lost within the narrative of the Company.[11] In truth, there is a lot of action in this film: it begins with Smaug’s destruction of Lake Town and his killing at the hands of Bard, then the confrontation at Dol Guldur, Thorin’s antagonism and obsession with the Arkenstone, followed by the Battle of the Five Armies. There is a lot of action and huge visuals to be swept along with. The decision to not challenge Sauron comes thirty minutes into the film and, most unfortunately, is not particularly circled back to. Gandalf’s last lines in the film seem like a particular waste, even though they replicate those in the novel: ‘You’re a very fine person, Mr Baggins, and I’m very fond of you; but you’re only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all’. In the novel, these words are delivered as Balin, Bilbo and Gandalf discuss the prosperity of the Men of the Lake after the Battle of the Five Armies and Bilbo’s hand in helping to ensure that peace. [12] Jackson’s use of them almost sentimentally, however, as almost a parting caution to Bilbo about the power of his magic ring is slightly too cryptic to ensure the sort of foreshadowing that could have been used to more explicitly weave the end of The Hobbit films to the larger narrative of The Lord of the Rings. However, as I said at the beginning of this essay, whilst true merits of these films have emerged with time and further investigation, they are by no means perfect.

Something that cements Jackson’s attempt at narrative restructuring with, I argue, some great degree of success comes courtesy of the elusive and reclusive wizard Radagast. Whilst having scant mention anywhere in Tolkien’s books, his inclusion in these films was a brilliant, heartful choice which I think shows true warmth for the text on the part of the filmmakers. Not only does Jackson use Radagast to root The Hobbit films more securely into Tolkien’s context of Middle Earth, but he uses the wizard to bridge The Hobbit to some of the earliest events in the Elder days of the High Elves in The Silmarillion. In the first Hobbit film, when describing the corruption of Greenwood, Radagast describes the giant spiders in the forest as ‘some kind of spawn of Ungoliant’. In doing so, the filmmakers reference one of the most destructive and shocking moments in the early history of the Elves, where the first Dark Lord Morgoth, Sauron’s original master, uses a great, ravenous, corrupted spider called Ungoliant to destroy the sacred trees of light in Valinor, where she ‘belched forth black vapours as she drank, and swelled to a shape so vast and hideous that Melkor [precursor to the nomenclature Morgoth] was afraid’.[13]  Whilst the film only makes a small reference to this early and haunting moment of the mythology, so grotesque that even a character as epically vengeful and envious in the history of literature as Morgoth is rendered frightened, this connection built by Jackson through Radagast between the current condition of the Greenwood and the originators of decay and destruction at the very beginning of Tolkien’s world, shows how much thought has gone into what these Hobbit films could serve. They are not mere adaptations of one novel, but offer an explicit narrative bridge across the legendarium. These films are then, perhaps, more faithful adaptations of the legendarium than audiences claiming The Hobbit to be a children’s book are even aware of. We can see that the two wizards help to create this greater sense of meaning across the texts: Gandalf is used to enable The Hobbit to look forward to the later The Lord of the Rings, whilst Radagast is used to root The Hobbit in the legendarium, looking back to the past as he does to The Silmarillion, where previously The Hobbit was almost adrift between the bigger epic narratives.

All this to say: perhaps making The Hobbit into a film was never going to be as simple as the reductive mindset of ‘it’s a children’s book’ would allow. I may have been dismissive of these films when they first came out, arguing that so short a book could hardly require a three-film adaptation; but I am convinced as a result of this recent re-watch that, in making these films, Jackson undertook a bigger project, enfolding The Hobbit into the rest of the legendarium, enlarging its prospects rather than keeping it a stand-alone novel, whilst simultaneously paying homage to the warmth and good humour that has made it such a beloved narrative since 1937. With all of the richness embedded in the text, even and especially unconsciously done, The Hobbit appears, like its namesake protagonist, to have more to it than what meets the eye. There are faults with the films, it cannot be denied; but I do not think that this cinematic trilogy should be so easily discarded either. It makes sense that the novel, surprisingly dense as it is with the range and length of adventures contained within it and, as we have seen, extending beyond it, could not fit an average feature-length running time. My lasting thought upon writing this is that perhaps it would have been more suited to a television series format so that the barrage of episodic action could have been more evenly placed alongside the intricate narrative weaving that, it has become evident, is also required.

[1] The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien (London: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2011), p.vii.

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2010/aug/10/games-science-of-immersion

[3] Ibid, p.vii.

[4] Ibid, p.xiii.

[5] Ibid, p.6.

[6] The Silmarillion, J.R.R Tolkien (London: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2013), p.360.

[7] Ibid, pp.114-119.

[8] Ibid, pp. 119-120.

[9] Ibid, p.26; p.277.

[10] Ibid, p.360-1.

[11] Ibid, p.361.

[12] Ibid, p.282.

[13] Ibid, p.80.

So help me

TRIGGER WARNING: rape, sexual assault, femicide.

I wrote this poem in a passion of clear, hot anger upon reading about the atrocities committed against Ukrainian women and girls by Russian soldiers. It is becoming clear that like virtually all conflicts that precede this one, rape and sexual violence are being used as weapons of war and that horrific war crimes are being committed.[1] News that leaves me cold, sickened, frightened and horrified, as it always does.

When writing this, I had Ukrainian women and girls in mind. I also had in mind the Yazidi women of northern Iraq and Kurdistan who were systematically raped by Daesh militants; I had in mind the unknown thousands of black enslaved women in Britain, the Caribbean and the USA who were raped by their enslavers; I had in mind the unknown thousands of indigenous women who were raped by colonial oppressors[2]; I had in mind the 61,158 sexual assault offences recorded in England and Wales at year end June 2021[3]; I had in mind the students raped whilst I was at university in Manchester between 2010 and 2014; I had in mind Jyoti Singh, the woman a group of men gang-raped and killed in Delhi in 2012; I had in mind Grace Millane killed in New Zealand; I had in mind Sarah Everard, abducted, raped and killed by Wayne Couzens in 2021; I had in mind Sabina Nessa, Ashling Murphy, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman; I had in mind the unknown numbers of transwomen raped and murdered across the world. All acts of terror and violence committed by men.[4]

I am heartened by news that, as of 2021, the UN has begun to impose sanctions for rape as a human rights abuse.[5] But the anger, sorrow and fear I feel is still so profound. I was unsure as to whether to even publish this poem for fear of it being ‘too much’. But having typed out all of the suffering above, my worry dissolved by my wrath.

I want to live in a world where perpetrators of sexual violence are held accountable. Where I don’t have to worry that a walk to the park on my own could be my last; where my husband and I don’t feel the need to escort teenage girls home at night because they are scared of the men who touched them on the bus; where I don’t live in perpetual fear that such an act of violence could be committed against me and my body, and those of the women in my life.

This poem was inspired by all of the stories above, by my love for my sister, family, friends and beyond. It was also written in response to the tale of ‘The Loss of the Voices of the Wells’, written down by Sharon Blackie in her book If Women Rose Rooted.[6] I am forever inspired by Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.[7] I found writing this poem extremely comforting, connecting and powerful: I hope it speaks to you too.

So help me,

Great Mother,

I would I were

a wolf.

I would rip him,

each and every him

who has done this,

limb from limb

worse than any

frothing Bacchant.

I would have the wind

whisper a reminder

to him discretely

each and every morning

upon waking

with cold, sinister severity:

‘You committed an atrocity’.

And the darkness of night

would swallow you

yes, you

consume you

for one hundred and one years;

the dawn would hold

no hope,

just a pale shadow

of what you have lost

by your own actions,

your own violence.

I know you are not

beyond redemption and restoration

I believe that with all my heart, but

first, I would have you

raked over the coals

of despair;

I would have you

contemplate the horror

of yourself

day in, day out,

crying in pain

over and over again

wondering how


a gift to the world

could become the profane.

No joy from bird’s flight.

No warmth from embrace.

No tenderness from the sea.

I would have you cast adrift

prostrate in the desert

of your being,

to consider the bones of your kind,

the yellow moon

casting you in


as all of Earth’s women

who have been, who are, who ever will be

along all the webs of the matrilineal lines,

the witches, the maidens, the crones, the hags,

all of us queens,

every single one

in our billions,

howl and claw and roar,

rendering you deaf and dumb

at the ancient, timeless horror

that is


And you will know yourself.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/03/all-wars-are-like-this-used-as-a-weapon-of-war-in-ukraine

[2] ‘EmpireLand: How Imperialism has Shaped Modern Britain’, Sathnam Sanghera, Viking Press, 2021.

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/nov/04/highest-ever-number-of-rapes-recorded-in-england-and-wales; https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/natureofsexualassaultbyrapeorpenetrationenglandandwales/yearendingmarch2020

[4] I want to show an awareness here that the rape of black enslaved women by their enslavers created the conditions for violence to be perpetrated against them by white women. Dr Yaba Blay explains in great detail here: https://momastery.com/blog/we-can-do-hard-things-ep-79/  

[5] https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/angelina-jolie-campaign-rape-war-landmark-un-sanctions-b921377.html

[6] https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Sharon-Blackie/If-Women-Rose-Rooted–A-Life-changing-journey-to-authenticity-and-belonging/23812711

[7] https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Clarissa-Pinkola-Estes/Women-Who-Run-With-The-Wolves–Contacting-the-Power-of-the-Wild-Woman/7000774

Day 7 Negative LFT – Part 1

I lifted the

window open

and felt the

wind kiss my face.

It roared yesterday

like my panic

 but now it

softly smooths

my careworn face.

I allowed it to

play with my hair

as I took

careful breaths.

Eyes closed,

I stretch as

I unfold

croaking, gasping,

from places

of surrender,

and the fear

had been so great

the silence so loud

the darkness so pregnant.

Grey duvet skies

greeted me on

the other side.

Nothing spectacular

just gentle and soft

like this budding

trust in this, my,


No rush.

Just step-by-step trust.

Aching pink

Aching pink

sky that mourns

and groans,


drenching world

with admonitions.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry.

Evergreen nods,

as grief is always so,

flexing her roots

in the marbled


Dusk in

uncanny rose


What more?

What more

Could I have done?

Moon readies

to cast her darkness

reminding in

inky calm

that sometimes

there are no answers

there is just

the sitting and

observing all

that we don’t


the vaulting



that rallies and

quakes with

breathless ice.

Murky pink


a balm of indigo


and we wait.

Flies come.

They hover

and twitch,

low-pitched and frantic

in their desperate


Then we remember

that they too

only yearn

for sweetness.

So, we wait.


Working week

has laid me

on the floor.

And my head


Every crest

and trough

of week’s ocean

and odyssey

has me wincing

and my eyes

cannot bear

any more

harsh blank light.

Questions reverberate,

yapping and nipping

at my bones:

gnawing as I bend,


drag to




is exhausting.

Stomach makes moan

and in my own

ammonite embrace

I yearn for the

sweetness, the space

of silver birches

in quiet wintry confidence

clamouring for

splendid blue sky;

the cerebral

wonder of a

barn owl

in flight,

hauntingly innocent

curious, composed

carving morning’s

gloom with

prophetic white;

labyrinth that

but a week ago

cushioned my feet,

guiding my tears, twists

and turns

through knowing

spirals, as I shed

skins, losses, shames

and years.

So it was.

So it is.

And so,

I breathe,

and space

moves magnificently.