Teenage Demands


Money on your phone every month – a camera phone.

Membership to a gym.

Dropped off and picked up at every turn.

Friends to stay.

The traffic flows

It’s all one way

You want we give

You don’t pay

With words or thoughts

Or kindly deeds

You take the lot

We’re on our knees

To try to provide

As best we can.

Our efforts stink

You seem to say

With each ungrateful

Gesture or word

Or messy room.

The dishes pile up in the sink.

The clothes lie dropped where you will

Then you cry like a baby for your wants and needs.

Where are my clean clothes?

There’s nothing to eat in here.

You’re miserable

You’re mean

You’re a nag.

You, on the other hand, are a pleasure

To live with.

Like Harry’s Kevin

You are loathsome when your teenage tantrums

Display the most selfish aspects of your character.

The teenage displays of me, me, me

Are a disappointment and a rebuke

To everything we try to do.

Go work and visit the real world.

In the real world no one does everything for you

Or gives you things for nothing just because you exist

We’ve gone beyond providing for need

Now you’re expecting us to provide for greed.


Fairy Tales and Dreams


That was then and this is now

Fairy tales and dreams do come true

Even with only tentative belief.

Visions and feelings vivid in childhood

And held as the realest of real

Become dulled with age and experience,

Until eventually something held dear

Becomes a nonsense because life tells you it is so.

Standing at the top of a flight of stairs –

Knowing, believing absolutely,

That jumping

Held no danger because I was lighter than air.

Confident in my conviction

And yet still I held back from that leap.

A leap of faith.

Faith that must not have been as absolute as I thought

For I never made the jump.

To this day I still cannot understand

Why I did not

Because I recollect vividly the

Supreme certainty I had in my

Power to ‘sail’ from the top to the bottom

Without injury.

Some intellectual awareness must have

Held me back,

Because I was positive

It could be done by me

Not everyone

But surely me.

Fairies in my pocket

Standing poised,


Edging myself

To the point of action

And hesitating in the act.

Wondering if I might not just be wrong

In my belief.


As it is now.

Wanting to believe that so many things

Are possible.

Holding on to the imagined

But unable to suspend reality just enough to make that leap.

Was that a lesson in how my life

Would be lived?

Enough faith to believe but not

Enough to let go and try.

When does belief become real enough to be


In the thought of it or in the

Act of doing it?


A few good people rise to the occasion.

Embracing the challenge,

One foot in front of the other.

One idea ahead of the others.


Taking shape and form.

Seeds of ideas nurtured and developed.

The effort and the will

Tie the idea to the kite

That lets it fly.

Soar with it……..

Tethered to the ground –


Minimal reward.

Be not afraid.

Dreaming of Gran

It was like a number of dreams I had known before. I was soaring through the ether and my heart felt light. Cares fell away like a coat too long worn. No glancing back to see where my parts fell.

Only forward. And on. And upwards. Head back, arms drifting slightly from my sides and the expectation within rising.

At last, here was freedom from life and worries. No more menus to plan, no more washing to do, no more teenage tantrums to quell. Yet none of this occurred. Just lightness and bubbling expectancy.  Nothing troubled me. Not then.

Air without temperature rushed past. I was in a hurry to be somewhere. Mountains and rivers and clouds lay below but out of view from eyes raised heavenwards.

Too suddenly, I arrived at my destination, with a somersault of heart and a quickening of breath. My grandmother stood before me, shimmering in whiteness. Her deep-set eyes blazed with life renewed. Her presence spoke youth even while I recognised her as the elderly woman I had loved so well.

Grandmother and Godmother. I had been twice blessed by this woman my own mother had called mother.

She smiled as if to a long lost daughter and I cried for joy at the reunion with a woman whose passing had not reduced me to tears at age 12 but whose presence had been sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Slight in build and stature but huge in warmth and kindness.

Quick to speak her mind.

Loving in her rebukes.

Her smiles and kindness warmed my heart as a child.

Now, her joy and fulfillment shone in that smile and I felt thankful.

Her difficult life had been rewarded.

Stealing Time

A new day arrives quietly in the small hours. No sunrise to herald its arrival; no light to show the way for those who await its coming. The seconds tick by slowly and sounds of a settling house interfere with the silence.

For those asleep the night is upon them. For one who watches, the morning hours are at hand; the hours when a body should rest and rejuvenate itself in sleep.

Only in sleep can the mind and spirit settle the cares of the day just gone – making sense of the madness that is life. In sleep the answers come unbidden.

To the one who will not or cannot sleep the answers are elusive; the questions foreboding. How will the new day work? What will it hold?

Without the rest to take upon the new day’s cares the minutes tick by endlessly and, although morning is come in the early hours, yet it feels like the longest night.

To begin afresh one must awaken.

And to awaken one must succumb to slumber.

How to close the eyes and mind to all that is gone and is yet to come? The mind will not rest, the eyes will not close until physical exhaustion dictates that it must be so.

Awareness of duty in the day that lies ahead pushes the feet in the direction of the place where heads must lay to rest.

And so, although the morning is here, the night begins.

Too short a night for true rest and rejuvenation, but time enough to replenish physical well-being for the activity that lies ahead.

To lie asleep the next day until body dictates wakefulness will be the dream, but only that, for when duty calls in the voices of those who cry for attention the body will answer despite its desperate need for sleep. And then the real day begins.

The wakefulness of the bright morning is harsh; the one which should herald hope in a new day.

Hope will find a way to penetrate the activities otherwise the body could not go on.

The pen can write no longer for to do so would deny the needs of those whose cares are priority. When the children call they must be answered. It is written so. The needs of the children must come before those of the parent.

Only sometimes, when all duty is done and love has played its part, can the parent relax and steal some time in the small hours of the morning when real morning has not yet come; when night still lies ahead and when, eventually, the dream of sleep becomes greater than the need for quiet time to oneself.