Memory Picnic (poem #50)

Peacefully spread out the year that you’ve had-

every experience that taught you something,

the memories that mean nothing,

the moments in between the ones that matter

and the images that you hold dear.


Pick them up,

embrace them in your hand,

clasping tightly for no longer than a second.

Discard the useless bits

and the moments where you lost your temper

before you found it again and held it better.

Tears on faces you’d rather not have seen

and words that were carelessly spoken.


Let others enter your heart.

The brightest of summery days

and the smile on her face

and the time you laughed without knowing.

Your skin glowing as you stare at the reflection in the mirror,

the evening you shared the most perfect dinner

and the days you did nothing at all.

The times that you’d fall and learn something

are also not worth forgetting.


Swallow them up,

feel them falling underneath your flesh

and let them settle in your body.

Sit and wonder in the blanket of your year for a moment

before wrapping it up,

Storing it away

and anticipating the arrival of the new.

For a fresh collection of memories

is on its way to you.


The Artist (poem #49)

You sketch the shapes-

Intricately creating figures with the movement of your hand-

The mother, the daughter,

The skeleton in the closet.

You have felt and known each of these forms,

And now your heart is torn over what to become next-

Lost in a sea of personas,

Heavy and worn.

So for now you will be the in between-

The artist,

Who has only to make and wish and be and dream-

Drawing the pigments out of the paints until they are as bright as they can be-

Making the pain beautiful for all to see.

For what can we do with sadness but use its energy for good?

And make darkness the cause to create light and beauty?

My Home, your home (poem #46)

I greet you with a simple ‘Hello’.
Unable to fill your mouths with the language of this place, 
you place them into smiles instead
and talk with your eyes-
kind and grateful, warm and gentle
as you find your way.
I do not see the hurt you must have felt,
but the relief you feel.
No homesickness, 
only gratitude to be safe and still
in a politics which is ridiculous and laughable
rather than dangerous and violent.
I think about your story, 
and how this land must feel to you.
My home your home now, 
your story, our story-
for what are countries anyway
if all they do is divide us?
Instead, let us welcome you to our fireside
And experience the peace we are lucky to have.

Birthday (poem #45)

‘It sounds so much older than 24’-
I say-
My voice thin and flat
as I comprehend my destiny.
You put your arms around me,
and say-
‘but darling!
The best is still yet to come,
your early twenties just the beginning.
You still have glowing wrinkles ahead,
and hands to hold,
and gentle summer mornings to laze around on hammocks.
You have treasures to be found
and adventures to be had,
dreams to fulfil
and goals to build
and a whole vat of wine to drink.
There will be pitfalls,
and disappointments,
but life’s blemishes will build an even more wonderful you-
Make your fabric even richer
and your threads even stronger.
For we do not age-
we only grow.’
So I quickly get over my birthday sorrow,
and look out at my future instead-
Toasting with a simple glass of red
Before looking for magic, and laughter and love-
Because after 25 years
I know that these things are most important of all.

Photoshop (poem #44)

You constructed a family photograph.
Carefully choreographed,
beautifully composed
so that in lonelier times you could look back and smile.
But then you realise there is someone missing,
a little person that is off somewhere singing
or wearing a fairy outfit at a friends party.
So you found an image that distilled her essence-
small with wild hair, filled with the joys of Spring and being 4,
and added her in,
Photoshopping before it had even been invented.
You weren’t editing to create a reality that doesn’t exist,
but to make her feel a part of it
so that when she came to visit she would look and say-
‘I wasn’t there! But I was there, too.’
This kindness I loved and learnt from you.

Writer’s Block (poem #43)

My hands are not full of words today.
There is no poetry to be made from the beating of my heart,
or the frown on your head
that tells me you’re upset.
There are no rhyming couplets on the tip of my breath,
and my mind has ran out of the intelligence
to string a clever sentence together.
There are no poems left-for they have all been written,
the words spread out on a blanket
to share and tread on as gently as the dreams we made together.
Every topic covered,
the genres all full,
and the forms complete.
But as neat as it is to write words cleverly
Sometimes it is better to live and breathe the air-
And make our lives the best poem of all.

The world, my stage (poem #42)

My dreams have changed now.
It is no longer to be a shining star,
the golden girl covered in glitter who bounces about when she leaves the stage.
My dream is to be the best version of myself.
Thoughtful, honest-
clear when she needs to be
and thoughtful of herself and others-
listening carefully to her sisters and brothers.
It’ll take time,
and I will fall-
lie on my side stumbling with words as I try to fly through the guidelines,
overstepping the lines
and then sticking to them again,
knowing how important it is to be clear.
Living and listening through every weather-
the extreme, the still, the silent and bold-
Where stories are made, to be shared and told.
I’ll learn to dream big
in other ways,
and make this world a sparkling stage
so that I can carry on, at any age.
For my dreams have changed-
but I have not.

Super Day Dream (poem #41)

Super mare, super day dream-
it’s a ‘ta-ta!’ from us,
a little sea you later-
may your shoreline stay long
and your future be as sweet
as your doughnuts and your ice creams,
for we are just across the way-
and we will wave, and send our love
my lover.
I will miss ya.
Your dogs
and your funny little ways
your aloofness
and lack of functionality.
The sovereign centre
and the circles you had around your eyes.
Apple taxis, mascara,
puffer jackets in different colours.
Happy Meals,
The Mercury,
Shake King
and Clara’s Cottage
(mainly Clara’s cottage).
Thank you for the summers
and the sand castles.
The wind you put in my hair,
the chlorine in my eyes.
For being our holiday destination of dreams
and for making me feel warm inside.
But this is not goodbye, my friend.
For I will return to this Dismal Land
with a story to tell-
and a new one to create.

Roses (poem #40)

You try to the throw the roses away-
but I keep them.
‘Why? They are old
and have brown bits on the petals.
They will become unsightly,
and you will not look at them and smile
but throw them in the bin and cry.’
I smile
and keep them-
knowing there are still petals tucked away from 5 years ago
in a box somewhere
which grow more beautiful everyday.
They are lovely now-
and although they may change
and the petals may disintegrate
they will stay that way.
‘A bit like people,’
You say.
I reply.

Posh (poem #39)

‘You are so posh’-
they used to say.
‘Posher than the day the queen was born-
and it is not okay that you speak like her and not like us.’
I did my best to mould and fit in-
tried to roll my r’s
and say ‘it is innit’
and bite my tongue.
Tried to remember I was really young
and not everywhere is as rigid as this.
and when surviving elsewhere
maybe long words would be a fair advantage
and get me into a good college.
I hear you say-
‘I didn’t like her, because of her accent-
but she’s a nice person, deep down.’
I frown and shrug and sigh and tut
and judge a little bit,
and then realise that you were simply afraid of the life that you didn’t know,
with worries embedded by history,
old wives tales
and a culture of distrust.
and I realise now that I have an important role to play-
to display that an accent isn’t everything.
I may sound a bit posh-
but I have the heart of a dragon
and the courage of a lion without a crown on its head.
I am outraged when it’s said ‘the Welsh are inbred’
or are mocked for having lots of sheep.
I am not weak, or soft-just sensitive
and if you ever find me defensive it’s because there’s a lot to defend-
Eisteddfodau, long walks- hearts of gold.
and when you visit,
I will listen-
and not mock your accents.
For you are a bit posh-
but you are welcome here.
So when you arrive,
lend me your ear-
and listen to the voice behind the accent.

Paper pen writer (poem #38)

An iPhone 10, you say?
Wireless charging.
No home button.
Either knows your face or doesn’t.
And more than ever,
I yearn for pen and paper-
which never discriminates
one face from another
Biro in my hand.
Feels a little alien now,
a little too earnest in a world of
tap-tapping the same small square.
But it’s still there.
Hidden in a box,
the notebooks wait patiently
as screens shout and scream.
And if I care enough
maybe I’ll turn my phone off
and sit poems on pages instead.
For romance is only as dead
as we choose it to be.

Sharing, caring (poem #36)

What can I do to thank you for your kindness?
For the words you uttered when I was at my lowest,
and the kind acts that kept me afloat
like a boat in a safe harbour?
I could spend my days uttering words in different patterns,
hoping that one of them might make you feel or cry or smile a little.
It would help,
but the words would soon disappear into thin air
or be tucked away so deeply in your memories
that you wouldn’t be able to pull them out again.
I could buy you a gift worth all the tea in Timbuktu,
or give you a pair of shoes from a charity shop
That you could wear, and remember me by.
(‘They were 50p!’-
We delight in bargains).
But the magic would wear off
And the novelty would fade.
the best thing I can do
is to share the same kindness you showed me.
With a simple smile somewhere, sometime in the future-
or a cup of tea at an opportune moment
when you need to pour your heart out
and measure your life in teaspoons.
With a listening ear when your mind is full of cobwebs
that you need to wipe away-
or with a silly day of walking
and talking nonsense that no-one else would understand.
For you have been a guiding hand-
and someday, soon,
I will thank you for your kindness.

Happiness, located (poem #32)

‘Oh there you are’,

She thinks-

As she feels a little spark of happiness opening up her heart.

‘I have been searching for you everywhere-

In books, on the Internet,

In my hair and stories

And I could not find you.

For a while,

I thought you were lost forever-

Even though I knew that you could not be far away,

And saw you residing in the eyes of friends and foreigners.

But here,

You choose to peek out at me-

Smiling for a second before disappearing.’


Now I remember 

That you have the potential to bloom in my heart-

To wipe out the rain and pain

With a gentle sun,

With the strength of your rays warming my heart and lungs.

And even when you’re hidden and tucked away,

I know that you are there-

Simply sleeping briefly,

But sure to wake up eventually.

For it’s always darkest before the dawn, 

As I have always been told.

Scrolling, searching (poem #31)

Sometimes I find myself scrolling
As if I’m searching for something.
But I’m not sure what’s missing.
Is it the because I’m not standing in a sun-soaked Mediterranean paradise,
cocktail in hand and head tilted sideways?
Or that I’m nowhere close to getting married,
so I need wedding photos from acquaintances to fill the void?
Perhaps I’m searching for a jacket or a swimsuit
as multiple adverts seems to suggest,
Or maybe I need to do a test
to find out which Hogwarts house I’m in
(Gryffindor, if you’re wondering).
But the most important question is-
why do I waste moments and hours doing this
when I am exactly where I need to be?
And everything I need exists inside me already?

Book Review-‘The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice’ by Katarina West

It’s a been a little while since I offered my thoughts on someone else’s writing on here, rather than sharing my own. However, I’m still really enjoying reading-especially now that summer’s arrived and there’s (slightly!) more sun around here in Wales. Sitting on my garden bench whilst lost in a good story is definitely one of life’s little pleasures.

Today, I’m going to be talking about a really lovely summer read-The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West. Katarina kindly sent me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Here’s the blurb:

“Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter.
She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law
and living vicariously through romantic movies.
Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a
Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.
On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair.
Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.
In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers.
He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.
How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different,
second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven? What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?”


What a lovely book cover!

As the blurb suggests, the story centres around two female characters with very different lives and personalities. Both Irene and Mimi are easily likeable, so I quickly found myself getting attached to their stories-as Irene’s revels in the decadence of the celebrity lifestyle whilst Mimi realises that life is very different without money and status.  I particularly warmed to the determined Mimi as she struggled to accept her new existence as a Danish housewife and fought to get her old life back.

In many ways, this is a classic body-swap story; reminiscent of films such as Freaky Friday and The Change-Up. However, it’s made more interesting by the fact that the swap takes place due to the actions of a young angel, Aaron- who has a desire for change and justice that overrides his respect for angel rules and laws. Aaron’s story is interwoven throughout; and, whilst it’s compelling, it complicated the narrative somewhat for me. This might just be due to the fact that I’m not a huge fan of fantasy novels, but as Aaron inhabits an different realm from the other characters I felt that a lot of explaining had to be done to describe the Angel Kingdom in which he exists-which slowed down the pace of the book.

Having said this, I still really enjoyed the novel. It’s well-written and compelling, and the chapters are short enough so that you fit in a quick read during your lunch break. It’s also perfect for this time of year as it offers romance, escapism and plenty of plot-twists!

It’s worth noting that this book is the first edition in the Angel Aid series-which means that there’s plenty more still to come from the talented Katarina West. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

To buy The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice on Amazon, click here.

To find out more about Katarina West, please visit her website.

You can also keep up to date with Katarina on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Imperfection (poem #29)

You tell me beauty is perfection.
It is the airbrushed, bright white,
no-cellulite bodies in the papers and magazines,
American dreams written in lipgloss and eyeliner
the thinner the better
the tighter the nicer
the young over old-
as it’s then that everything starts to unfold.

Always anti-age-
don’t smile too much or lines will form around your eyes.
Don’t eat that cake for it will go straight to your thighs
eat clean
or you will slowly rot inside.

But beauty, for me,
is the warmth of your yellow-toothed smile,
as the wrinkles on your face tell a tale untold.
It is the scar on my elbow,
and the sporting injury in your knee
and the pock marks on our thighs.
In the round belly that is nice to hug
and the face that glows without make-up.

I find it in the eyes of those who love well-
and are not afraid to live.
Who age, and smile, and laugh and dance-
sharing their stories along the way.

I see it everyday-
when I stop looking for perfection.

Hope, the whale (poem #28)

Your thick, curving bones
fill a hall that befits your grandeur-
different to the water you called home for so long,
but still a space to swim in.
Looking up,
people notice you are beautiful-
your fragments a reminder of all that is good and natural,
a smile forming in the space between your jaws
that some would see as empty,
and others full.
You are a symbol now-
diving into eternity,
a reminder of what we need to look after
and the wonder that exists all around us-
if we only choose to look.

And they tell me that we share a name.
I splutter a little,
as I’ll never live up to your splendour and big boned grandeur.
But I can take on a little of your spirit,
and choose to swim in a cold, blue ocean.

Brain Break (poem #27)

‘But I don’t want to live quickly’,
she thought.
‘Would rather wander and ponder and spend time considering the nature of it all.

But her life is a whirlwind right now.
A never-ending to-do list that her mind makes intense by shouting its demands,
tired out and tense at the end of the day.
She needs a holiday, just for a second.

So she breathes in, and out.
Takes some time in the sun-
looks around, and notices faces shining with fulfilment,
bags under eyes and feet dragging along
but essentially, they are strong-
not muddling through but standing proud-
filled with a sense of what they need to do.

‘And you?’
Her heart asks.
‘Well, I am finding out through you.’

For Khadija (poem #25)

Your art speaks to me-
Travels inside my subconscious to create an unknowing smile.
From screen to retina,
From London to Wales
Through life and through death.

You are, still,
A 24 year old communicating to another,
Teaching me that despite the division of these fraught times
We must focus on the colour
And the wrinkles and the lines of the faces we meet,
As stories are made and told
Across cultures,
Forgetting barriers and prejudice formed by accident-
A product of the media and the noise of the past.

You tell me to be angry for what we don’t see-
And to keep our eyes open to possibilities.
To recognise beauty, in all its forms
And to stand up for the cause to help others shine.

Your story is not over-
And neither is mine.
For our art still has hearts to reach
And our voices hold stories we still need to speak.
And I thank you for teaching me this-
From screen to retina,
From London to Wales,
Through life and through death.


I’ve written this poem in memory of Khadija Saye, a young artist who is presumed to have died in the Grenfell Tower fire on 14th June 2017, along with at least 78 others.

Over the past month, there has been a great deal of political and social turmoil in the UK. It’s difficult to know how to respond in these times, and I have certainly struggled to write about recent event without sounding cliched or defeatist. Consequently, I haven’t written about them until now, as the news and reality of this particular tragedy begins to sink in.

But I think we need art in times like these-people to speak up and express how they’re feeling in a manner that goes beyond media soundbites and Twitter rumours. For this reason, I’m glad that Khadija’s art is currently on display at Tate Britain, and is also being included in the prestigious Venice Biennale (which she had already been accepted to prior to her death). Her work is beautiful and powerful, and is an incredible legacy for a 24 year old.

I’m even more pleased that a memorial fund is being set up in Khadija’s name to support young artists whose background and circumstance may mean that do not otherwise receive support. If you’d like to give money towards this fund (even if you can only manage a couple of quid!), please donate here:

That’s it for today! I’ll be back soon.

H xx

Starlight (poem #24)

It has taken a long time to get here-
to stare at each other for a glittering moment.
Has taken time zones and light years,
an amalgamation of cells,
skin forming over bones
and a lack of asteroids.
Tears falling on unsteady legs,
a perfect combination of gases
and a collaboration of elements.
Moments spent and decisions made,
a natural thermometer set at the right temperature
and a straight line from a to b.
Nights spent wondering,
some resilience and sacrifice
and a good pinch of luck.

It’s a moment written in you,
And present in me-
To stand on this spot,
And to see each other’s light-
Then turn away
and carry on into the night.

Roots (poem #23)

These roots run deep.
Traversing beneath familiar hills,
beaches so beautiful my eyes can’t believe them
and sheep that always look half asleep.
Beneath memories made on grassy patches
and concrete floors under old fashioned carpets-
Their ancient pattern outdating me.

The longer I stay,
The stronger they get-
Wrapping themselves around place names,
Clinging to customs and old ways,
Burying words and memories deep into my soil.

And I wonder how far these roots can stretch,
If they will cope with being taken to foreign lands,
Feeling city dust rest on my nose and hands,
Or if the pangs of hiraeth will be too much to bear-
For I like to be here, but I’d also like to be there.

So I hope to find that these boughs can expand,
And I can sit on a branch in a foreign land
And feel the support of the roots beneath me-
New experiences allowing me to bounce gently
But never to fall and break my bond
With this tree I call my home.

After the show (poem #22)

I look down at my bruised knees and count the damage-
14 on one leg, 11 on the other.
These marks are usually a sign of neglect,
or an accident,
or a moment of madness.

But these bruises are different.

They remind me of the rush of adrenaline as the audience comes in,
As they await unexpected delights,
of the lights on my face
and the words in mind-
of the bits that go wrong
and the new things we find.
Of crawling around backstage on the floor,
for props and puppets-
the cause of it all.
Of cries of delight, ‘wows’ and ‘woopees’-
I get all of this just from looking at those knees.

And whilst I look forward to the healing,
I am pleased that they exist-
Reminding me that you can’t create wonder without bruising a little.

Words (poem #21)

I remember you on a Tuesday-
Stare at a screen,
think of some ideas
and forget you again.
I feel you nagging at my shoulder while I’m writing an invoice
and wrapping your arms around my legs whilst I’m trying to have a conversation.
You whisper to me late at night when I’m trying to sleep,
getting louder and louder until I listen to you.
You are infuriating, frustrating and unreliable-
Difficult to organise,
complex to manipulate,
awkward at the best of times.

But when I turn my back and ignore you,
the pain is greater than I can bear.
So in these small moments,
I embrace you
hold you
turn you into something new.

For you grow when you are nurtured-
And I flourish when you exist.

Crabb (Poem #20)

If, in a month from now
when by some miracle you have lost your parliamentary seat,
and the signs the size of my student debt have been thrown in the gutter
I would like you to go the job centre,
sit with your advisor,
and let them ask you what you have done to get yourself into this silly situation.

Whilst you’re waiting,
please talk to the man with the chronic health condition sitting next to you.
Listen to him telling you about how he’s had his benefits cut because the system has changed,
and the way he feels enraged by how he’s been treated.
Let him tell you about the week he spent eating toast with no butter
because he was too embarrassed to go to the food bank
and the time his heart sank so low
He almost did something about it.

For this is life without the padding of endless expenses that you do not need-
and although you may plead worthiness
we know your claws have scraped in the best bits for yourself-
storing them up on the highest shelf.

Look down at them now,
and see what you’ve created.
not a situation to be celebrated
but a country brought down to its knees-
Scraped and scratched by Crabbs like you.

by some miracle,
our coastal constituency will vote another way-
use waves of change to wash the Crabbs away
for I for one do not want you to stay
sitting pretty in my constituency seat-
for you do not represent me.


I wrote this poem as a response to the General Election that’s due to take place in the UK on the 8th June. Much has been made and said about the national party political leaders, so I wanted to take a slightly different stance and talk about my local situation instead. The current MP in my area is a Conservative called Stephen Crabb (hence all the crab-related puns!). Since becoming an MP in 2005 he has been involved in numerous scandals, including the expenses scandal, and has successfully voted to cut benefits for the sick and disabled. In 2016, for some mad reason, he was briefly appointed as Work and Pensions secretary. Despite his clear misgivings and failings, he’s still been voted in as our MP at every election that I’ve been able to vote in.

I really think it’s time to change that. I’m tired of the Tories, and the way they treat the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society. So I’m voting for a change this June, and will continue to stand up against prejudice and inequality.

If you’re with me-make sure you vote! Your voice is valuable and precious and important. Please use it and make a difference.

Much love,

H xx

This Much I Know (Poem #19)

There is magic to be found in dusty corners
and forgotten alleyways
and the hard bit to reach behind your sofa.

The quietest voices often have the kindest hearts.

Better to eat chocolate and have weight round your stomach
than never to eat chocolate at all.

Caring takes courage.
Loving takes more.

The best way to learn from your mistakes is not to repeat them.

I’d rather be geeky and fine with it
than cool but uncomfortable.

A cup of tea can heal-
or at least help.

Being alone doesn’t have to be lonely.

Cats are cleverer than they often let on.
So are politicians.

Sometimes, souls need Shakespeare-
and at other times they need the words on the back of a cereal packet.

If you fall off the tightrope,
The best thing to do is to get back on.

There is wonder to be found-
If you keep your eyes open.

I will never know much,
But will always try to learn more.


This week’s poem is inspired by (and steals the title from) a lovely piece by the brilliant Kate Tempest. I can’t find the original online, but if you can afford to pick up a copy of her poetry anthology ‘Hold Your Own’, then you’ll get her version and some other gorgeous wordgems. I’d really recommend it-if you liked this even a tiny bit, then you’ll love her.

Hope you’re all well and happy-wherever your are in the world! It’s sunny in Wales right now, and I’m feeling all the better for it. It’s amazing what a bit of sunshine can do for a gal.

Bye for now,

H xx

Sea Breeze (poem #18)

These paths have been trodden before-
in bright pink jelly shoes,
and too-big wellies
and muddy walking boots.
I walked them at 4
and walk them again at 24,
the memories appearing amongst rock pools and crab pots,
seaweed and waves.

We took a photo here.
Usually you’d shout
‘Put that camera away’-
But this time,
you put your arms around us,
As our heads tilt inwards to capture the moment.
The wind whips our hair wildly-
but it can’t blow away the warmth in our hearts.
For here is cosy, safe, home.

Now, I walk-
your spirit and smile captured in the wind.
You live in it now-
carrying memories, and stories, and moments.
I breathe the air in,
spot you for a moment,
and smile.

Bank Holiday Haikus (poem #17)

It’s fun at first but
watching Netflix all day long
gets boring, quickly.

What happens between
April and May to clump up
precious holidays?

I’m not a fan and
more will solve nothing,
Jeremy Corbyn.

But I can lie in
and pretend I’m not lazy,
due to the excuse

and bank holidays
provide pauses and pleasures
to our lives fast pace-

So I’ll stop moaning,
and find a way to enjoy
this funny little break

By eating ice cream
and reminiscing in-jokes
and being with you.

Lost Ones (poem #14)

Dear Lost Ones,

Maybe one day,
our eyes will meet across a crowded room,
and we’ll share a knowing smile like they do in the movies.

Maybe I’ll remember something profound you said,
and pin it up in my head
amongst hopes and dreams and use it to figure things out.

Maybe you’ll come across a letter that I wrote,
And for a minute you’ll feel longing
And then you’ll throw it away.

Maybe we will walk and talk and sing and laugh again-
The past unfurling in the gaps of our time.

Maybe you’ll hear a line of poetry, and think of me-
Or maybe you’ll forget,
Life unfurling in your memory.

But the parts of you I knew and loved
Will always be a part of me.

With Love,

An Old Friend

I guess we all have people in our lives who we drift apart from, or lose close connections to. It’s just the world works-the ebb and flow of change and transformation. I wrote this poem as a little ‘thank you’ to the people I’ve found and lost over the past twenty-something years. Even though these people may no longer be present in my life, they have helped shape the person that I am today-through learnt lessons and shared experiences and memories held dear. As I go forward, the things I’ve learnt about human relationships through these people (and of course, the ones I still have in my life) allow me to make wiser choices, brave decisions and kind actions. So thank you, lost friends, for the impact you’ve made- and I hope you are happy and healthy, wherever you are.

Thanks also to all my new readers-there’s been quite a few recently! It’s lovely to know that there’s people out there who are enjoying my poetry. Please feel free to comment and say hi if you’d like to 🙂

Bye for now,

H x

Makeover (poem #13)

‘You look different to how you did then’-
You say.
‘But I can’t put my finger on how, or why.
Perhaps it’s your glasses, or maybe your hair-
Or have you put on some weight round the thighs?’
You could be right.
But maybe you’re seeing
the life lessons that have sunk into my skin,
and the stories that live and shine my eyes,
the good feelings that often prevail these days,
hidden in small, contended sighs.
The experience that hides itself under my hair-
it may not be visible, but I know it’s there.
That I care less about things that don’t matter,
and more about the things that do.
That I am looking at you with a smile,
rather than trying to avoid your gaze-
and that I am constantly amazed
by the ways we can grow,
and subtly change.
You say.
‘Or it might just be your hair.’

A Wrinkly Reminder (poem #11)

People aren’t all bad.
We read of terrorists bombing,
and live in a climate of fear
after all that has happened.
‘The world’s going mad.’
But then you see something.
A little old lady-
much older than eighty
getting off the train.
One moves forward,
then another-
holding her arm like a (much) younger brother.
Not hurting, but helping-
not taking, but giving.
More hands link with hers
and she is swept off their feet-
reminding her of blushing dances
and better times.
Brought down to earth with a gentle bump,
she sits upright and proud in the wheelchair brought to help her-
as the smallest reminder of all that is good in the world.
Although she be but old
She is fierce-
a wrinkly reminder
that things will get better.

My Fabric (poem #10)

There are two ways to experience this week’s poem.

Here’s the sound clip-

And here’s the text:

I’m a daughter
a sister
an office worker
and a poet (although for a while, I didn’t really know it.)
I’m a world class singer in the shower
and a big believer in girl power
I’m a Buddhist, a young women’s leader
and although I’m petite, I’m a pretty big eater
 I’m a drama facilitator
a Shakespeare reciter
a Pilates class attendee
and have made some money for charity.
I’m a cruelty free makeup wearer,
a mental health advocate,
and a friend.
I’m a blogger,
a writer,
an unskilled Zumba dancer
a stargazer
tea drinker
cake eater
and a badass Welsh woman who is proud to be a woman.
Who are you?
I wrote this poem on International Women’s Day. It’s largely inspired by a wonderful YouTuber called Louise Pentland (AKA Sprinkleofglitter), and a video she created called ‘I’m SO sorry’ (which you can watch here). In the video, Louise discusses how women are often quick to apologise for their ‘failures’ or imperfections, but are far less likely to praise themselves for their strengths and successes-something that we’re perhaps conditioned to do by society from an early age. She encouraged her viewers to stop apologising for their minor faults, and to write a list of all the amazing things they are and post it in the comments. This poem is my list, and I’m mighty proud of it. Every person has their strengths as well as their weaknesses-and this is a lovely way to remember them and praise ourselves for them.

Also-the question at the end of the poem is not rhetorical! I’d love to know about all the amazing things you are. If you’ve been inspired, perhaps you could post a poem or list of your own in the comments.

Keep smiling,

H xx

Thought Bus (poem #9)

in between
is where I think best.
Somewhere between a and b
Where I recline, and rest, and dream
Somewhere between the day I’ve had,
and the evening that will be
I think of all the times we’ve had,
and things that might have been.
Sometime soon,
I’ll probably get keys to my own skoda-
I’ll have a wheel to take me where I need to go and wander.
But then
I’ll need to think of brakes and gears and three point turns-
I won’t get to explore my mind and find out what I’ll learn.
I’ll probably miss outlines of the mountains that pass by me,
or the funny old exchanges of the people who sit closely,
and though I hate the smell of beer and sweat and old wet dog
and that my walk up to the stop is more often a jog

I’ll miss the the thoughts and space it gives my funny little nog.

For here,
is where I think best.
Somewhere between a and b,
I sit and drift, and gently dream.
I’ve been meaning to write this poem for a while. It’s an ode to one of my long-time buddies-the local service bus! I realised recently that whilst I’ll gain all kinds of things when I e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y  pass my driving test, they’ll be some things that I lose too-and space to think is one of them. I also really love writing on buses and trains, and have written some of my favourite poems whilst in transit. So perhaps in the future, when I’m a bit short on inspiration, I’ll just have the catch the bus.

I also have another little thing to share with you today. I’ve been looking for a while for some more innovative ways to post my poetry on here, and this week I was able to workshop some ideas with some brilliant creative minds in an event that took place at my workplace. We didn’t have a great deal of time, but someone suggested that we made shadow puppets to animate the film and bring it to life. Brainwave! Whilst we were only able to film the first few lines in this session (see below), I still have the puppets-and I’m hoping  I’ll be able to film the whole thing soon. Watch this space! A huge thank you to Di, Emma and Jules for the ideas, feedback and filming.

That’s it for today-I’ll be back soon.

H xx

Q&A (Poem #8)

You: ‘It’s all very well being a poet in your castle
When you’re 16 and have nothing to do.
you’re an adult now-
and single too.
Who’s going to pay the bills for you?’
Me: ‘You clearly haven’t clue
about what it’s like to do as I do.’
The ‘you’ in this teeny, tiny poem isn’t about any particular person or a real conversation. Rather, it’s about an attitude that I feel pervades society when it comes to those who choose to work in the arts. I’m really lucky that I’m often surrounded by wonderful people who can see the inherent value in creativity (I count my lovely blog readers amongst those!), but there are too many that disregard its inherent worth. Sadly, there are some who don’t understand that although being a writer or a dancer or an artist is highly unlikely to make you rich or powerful, it does have the ability to bring you something better-fulfillment. I believe that artists live everywhere-they are not simply the professional full-timers, but also the waiters, bar staff, carpenters, bakers and shopkeepers that you meet on a daily basis. They rarely live in castles; in fact, I believe the best artists are the ones that fully engage with and experience the world that they live in. And that’s what I will try to continue to do.
See you next week,
H xx

Holiday, 2017 (Poem #7)

In years to come
I will probably forget most of this-
Forget that this poem even exists
But for now, I want to remember
the mists that made us laugh on the way to the beach,
following us through the sunniest spot in England.
The place names that made us chuckle
and the ones we couldn’t pronounce-
and the way the car bounced over speed bumps-
‘They do love them here’.
The way you wrapped your hands around a cup to warm them up,
and your hidden knowledge about whiskey.
The way we sang Beyoncé, and Ed Sheeran,
and re-enacted Titanic on an empty beach,
and the speech you gave about how pleased you were that we were all together.
In years to come I will probably forget most of this-
but for now
I will store these memories carefully in my mind-
helping them assail the winds of time.
Sorry that this poem’s a bit late-as you can see from the above, I’ve been on holiday! It’s felt a bit tougher to write recently-at the start of the year I was really inspired, but more recently I’ve been going through a sporadic patch. I’m not a fan of forcing myself to write-preferring to save writing for moments of genuine inspiration-but when you’re doing a writing challenge which requires a poem a week, sometimes you have to push through the barrier. That’s what I did with this poem, and I’m actually quite pleased with the outcome. I guess sometimes, you have to stop waiting for the inspiration to come to you-and actively go out there and search for it.
Be back soon,
H xx

A Little Warmth (Poem #6)

I’ve been feeling cold recently.
The soft pads of my fingertips hardened by cold corners
As I dream of saunas and comfy seats.
Old sitcoms on repeat on the tv
As we blankly stare at screens
And barely know the means of connecting when our eyes meet-
Turning in different directions to avoid the glances of each other.
We coldly regard news stories too harrowing-
abject poverty in human jungles created by the cold indifference of distance and kilometres-
Because our homes are too comfortable,
Our backs turned too often

Our little minds hardened.

If there was ever a time for a hot-chocolate making heat to warm the cockles of kindness in our frozen hearts, it is now.
Time to find a spark to inspire a bonfire-
Not to burn away the things we love,
But to reignite what we’ve lost.
To take the frost off a friendly face
And find a place to reach out and share.
To take a damp Tuesday of despair
And turn it into a day of hope, simply by braving a smile and a joke.
This warmth is not meant to scold.
Instead it can hold us together in hard times-
Allowing us to read through newspaper lines
And speak with reality-
Keeping the sanity
With ‘how are you reallys’ and moments of clarity.
A little warmth can go a long way
To take the edge off things-
Thawing us out until we feel the ends of our fingers again.

Blonde (Poem #5)

Back in school

We mocked her very blonde hairstyle-
Coiffured in a style unfavourable to most.
Her skin was pale by nature-
But we thought the orange lacquer she covered her face in
Made her look more like the class clown
Than our teacher.
She wore sharp suits with little grace,
And put too much lipstick on her face.
And we thought she’d never be successful,
Looking like that.
And unfortunately
(My feminist credentials scream, many years later)-
she wasn’t.
But he was-
Getting a job one step down from the gods
(Or so they say).
And whilst she faked maths results,
He will fake smiles, and truth, and love
And above all
I hope his veneers won’t cause us to fall
For a fake dream-
Confirmed, once and for all.

All is Not Lost-(poem #4)

I love it when people find love in the funniest hidden corners-

Tucked away like a forgotten secret waiting to be found.

When eyes meet over frozen peas in supermarket aisles

Or in the secret smiles of a stranger on the street that you haven’t had time to meet.

Or when the fire alarms rings at 2am-

Bundled out in the cold,

You catch your love’s sleepy eyes for the first time

As you queue up in lines.


There’s something about hands held in car parks

Or greasy spoons

Or sportswear factories

That’s much more romantic than lovers staring doe-eyed on Valentine’s Day.

Halloween’s more romantic if you ask me-

As it proves all that is meant to be

And the darkest corners are lit up, illuminated.


See? All is not lost.


This week’s poem was a victim of the 21st century earlier on today. These days, I tend to write a lot of on my iPhone-despite owning about 20,0000 notebooks, it’s easier and more convenient. I wrote this poem on the bus to work last week, so naturally I typed it rather than writing by hand. However, just as I was about to share it with you, my hand slipped and I ended up deleting the whole thing. Try as I might, I could find no way of getting it back-so I had to write it out again. Using the remnants of the poem I could remember as jigsaw pieces, I put the poem above together. I’m actually quite pleased with the final result-it’s a slightly different shape to the original, but works all the same. It’s called ‘All is Not Lost’ as a quiet reminder to myself that even when life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade. Or in this case, a decent poem.

Until next week,

H x


Letter to Piers (a poem)

Dearest, Darlingest Piers Morgan,

Thank you for proving that you are a coward
Afraid of a woman’s ‘nasty’ power
As she stands up proudly against Trump, and his tower.
You talk and share your political views freely-
But really
There is little more than hot air flowing through your veins,
Deluding your brain
To make sexist views and elitism seem like they’re okay.
I’m sorry
That our marches upset you.
Crying in your corner,
Did you feel as oppressed as we do?
I doubt it-
Bragging yet again that you have a friend in higher places.
But if he falls somewhere along the line,
Will you stand loyally by his side
The way I do with my sisters?
I doubt it.
I doubt you.


A woman who likes to talk freely about things that scare you x

P.S Ewan’s with us. He says hi.


So yes-I’ve been writing about Trump again this week! I guess there’s a lot to say about him, and to him, right now. Also, the Piers Morgan/Ewan MacGregor situation’s been an interesting one today. Like Ewan, the women’s march really inspired me-I’m so glad that many Americans are standing up for what they believe in, in spite of being left with a president they do not want. Here’s a bit of support from the other side of the Atlantic-enjoy and I’ll be back soon!

H xx


Heartwork (a poem)

‘It’s not easy being creative in this day and age’-
My mum taught me that.
And as in so many things,
I have to reluctantly admit that she was right
As sometimes, I don’t have it in me to write
And then when I can, I feel like a fraud.
And I realise I’ll have to work hard
For little to nothing
Spending weekdays spinning stars for most of my life.
But it’s worth it for the people-
Those whose lives are immersed in art
and those encountering for the first time-
Living on the breadline
But able to lose themselves in a story for a while.
For knowing glances,
And the gentle smiles of an audience member who understands-
And for joy expressed through clapping hands and confident ‘woop!’s.
For rehearsals, practices
Singing in groups and dancing around doing loop de loops,
For togetherness and community-
Feelings of inclusivity in the 21st century
Where money rules often and hearts are sometimes forgotten.
For struggles and  victories,
and for making my mum smile.
Great art does that-
It really goes the mile.

Hope you enjoy today’s offering-poem #2 of (I hope!) 52! I wrote this a little while ago but have been drafting it again this week. I’ve also written poems about old friends, maths and (inevitably!) Trump in the past 7 days. I do hope to write a bit less about Trump soon-he really doesn’t deserve this much creative energy.
Thanks for the lovely response to the first poem-let me know what you think about this one below! H x