Old Goose

So excited to be heading down to CillRialaig (County Kerry retreat centre) again tomorrow! A long train journey, and an overnight in Killarney on the way

Old Goose

Standing at the open window

Of the train rushing through new terrain

Listening to the rhythmic pounding

Of the wheels on the shiny rails

~

Yes, I will, I do, I can

I see, I make, with love

Yes, I choose, I go, I try

To fly. I make a leap

~

Choosing the forward momentum

Denying the steel bars

In that cold and hungry

Prison cell of fear

~

No, to halting fearful saying

You’ve had your fill. It’s too late

No, to thinking it can’t work out

You’re too old, just be still

~

Even the old goose still makes

The journey South

She doesn’t wait

To grace your Christmas plate

~~~

An Island in the West

‘At the Peak’ a large painting of mine now in a private collection

Surrounded by the lull

Of the lapping amniotic salty sea

~

On a calm day blue green

Serene as a lullaby

~

In a storm she crashes

And collapses the beach defences

~

Triangle mountain transcends

The violent fickle pull of the tide

He manifests new pathways

~

Pierces the clouds of self abnegation

And affirms my right

To the light of creation

~

Home of the sun god Lugh

Sharp granite peak of enlightenment

Pointer to the stars

~~~

Getting there

Me at CillRialaig in August 2020
Cottage 5 CillRiallaig studio area
Picnic bench overlooking the sea

I’m booked into the wonderful artist retreat (cottage 5 again woohoo) at CillRialaig in County Kerry for 8th January for two weeks. It will take me two days getting there on public transport, and I need to ship most of my materials in advance. I wish I found the planning stage easier, but once I’m there I’ll be there

Getting there

does the swallow

prepare for

her long flight

the night before

is the bear

aware of tomorrow

as she wakes

my brain leaps

in consternation

with calculations

of timetables

connections

arrivals departures

online booking apps

websites for overnights

advance preparations

ephemera

of getting there

from here

but once there

I’ll be there

with all of me

being simply

human

I can only

hope so

St Stephen’s Day

Watching the sky from our ‘sun room’ where we overwinter our geraniums. Nursing a sore back.

sudden gusts

of black dust

motes of

starlings

or small

songbirds

burst forth

from spidery

sycamore skeletons

waving bony

branch fingers

across the

gentle soft

grey sky

with luminous

liminal spaces

watched from

inside a

hazy cloud

of codeine

and caffeine

by bright globes

of whitest

geraniums

startling

against

these winter

hibernating

greens

Aspiration (draft)

Like the kite my sight
Is sharp and on the air
With flair I soar
And shift and twist to show
My colours caught by
The golden glow from far below

And like the otter in cold water
I roll and glide
Down slippery lime green slimy slide
Between two elements
With natural ease
No one else to need to please

And the haunting oyster catcher’s call
That fills the wide blue sky
From wall to wall with tuneless song
Where I belong
Between the sea and pebbled beach and sky
A painted brushstroked flock
Behind, within me, my ear and hand and eye

https://www.facebook.com/liz.doyle.96

Old stick backs

These old chairs handed down

‘Old stick backs’

Monday morning, nearly Christmas
Sitting reading and drinking a first coffee by the stove
Just retrieved the hyacinths ‘forcing’, from the cupboard, in the yellow bowl
They always hold so much promise
At this, their etiolated stage
Like us, searching for the light
All the blue and yellow
Like a painting, perhaps I haven’t painted yet

💙💛

(Little painting above the door by Heidi Nguyen)

Perpendicular

These are ‘breastworks’ (uprights along the sea wall) and ‘groynes’ (at right angles )

This is a a new (first draft) poem:

‘Perpendicular ‘

For forty years the sea defences have protected

the front. At Borth and Ynyslas.

The old familiar way was shoring up

with strong timber upright breastworks

and jutting joists and great beamed groynes.

Bleached now by summer’s gold.

Old oak silvered and smoothed to salty sinews

Gravel and grit erosion pebble dashing

the frontages. Wrack draped and clasped

in rust. Scarred and scarified

by four decades force. Bearing up

against lifelong accretion. Pileup

of crashing drift and tide.

Perpendicular props. Familial forces

trying vainly to combine their strength

against dying under life’s attack.

Cold stone proposed along this ancient front

now sinking against an unquiet sea.

Forces of opposition with steely knives

and cranes and engineering.

Of a concrete will. Defying the tide like Canute.

Tempting Fate. Or perhaps too late

Acrobat

Acrobatic visitor

(A draft poem, with thanks to Beatrix Potter )

Do you remember those little brown books?
Hard backs with shiny slip covers, or perhaps the slip covers
came later. I remember the soft suede feel of the boards.
Dainty pastel roundels of our woodland friends.

Nidderdale and swallowtail laundry maid hedgehog
in a bonnet. Running down the green swathe.
Rabbits in waistcoats with tall pointed ears.
Defiant against the landlord.

And bold red Nutkin with the fluffy tail.
Memories of a fifties childhood. Arcane springboard
for a lifetime passion for our small wild neighbours
who share this shrinking Earth