Between the sheets

I’ve been looking at the calendar. I shan’t put the new one up yet. It would be disrespectful. So much has happened, between the sheets.

The day he grew

We both built your scooter of white and of red, Then laughed as you span all three wheels; In a helmet I carefully nestled your head, I smiled at your chuckles and squeals.   You stepped to the plate, and said ‘can you help’, With wide eyes so brimful of fear, I lovingly thought you’re still…

Crucible

    I have worn a ring on the little finger of my right hand for the last four years. It is a simple design, of burnished metal with a subtly-inset stone in the centre. On Christmas day it went missing, and I assumed it had come off in Lough Lacken, during the Christmas Day…

Two eyes are better than none.

The December of 1915 marked two returns for me. Freezing temperatures which I recognised, and my father, who I didn’t. I was five when he enlisted, but nearly 7 when he appeared in our kitchen with coathanger shoulders and his face turned away. I knew it was him instantly, from the way he rested his…

The eve of Christmas.

I love the slow built crescendo towards the 25th.  It is  Christmas in all its tumescent glory, with a potent mix of anticipation and expectation. It is reminiscent of waiting for a returning lover. I always feel that folk are at their best on Christmas Eve, and fully open to savouring the moment. I don’t…

For the love of Deakin

Roger Deakin’s writing is utterly sensual. To read his creations is to be immersed in to a world of sensations, to be swept away by words that cascade like waterfalls through the mind. He quite literally lived what he wrote, and to drink in an account of one of his wild swims or woodland strolls…

‘Shake off the sleep of a languishing soul’

Tomorrow marks an important and emotive milestone for me. After 16 years I will contribute once again to a performance of a marvellous choral creation, namely Gabriel Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine. That score is imprinted within my memory, and I recently discovered with great joy that I can recall every note that I once, and indeed…

Desire

During the Summer I bought a bonsai plant. Within the dingy bowels of IKEA on a plinth with its siblings, it demanded my attention. Amidst a desolate forest of tangled and warped trunks I saw a figure worthy of a reclining Modigliani. Gustave Klimt could not have captured the sensuality of the gait that I…

When the time is right.

I have grown to know a guitar. I spent many years maturing towards her, and now we have met. I tuned and retuned her countless times in my youth, but always returned it happily to its keeper. Though I have owned several lovely instruments in my life, this is the only one that came  unbidden,…

Affinity

Affinity teases me. It is a cunning form of deja vu that soothes my soul, and it always appears unexpectedly. I can be woefully distracted, but a scent, sound, sight or texture can snag my attention; leaving me haunted by a connection that I should recognise, but do not. I always welcome these moments. Affinity…

Hare today, gone tomorrow.

It is over fifteen years since I saw my first hare. I suppose I must have glimpsed one before that, but it was a backward glance over a fallow field one late June afternoon in 2001 that allowed me to lock eyes with one. Fierce, he was. I remember him intensely; his curved, honey-hued back…