The morning is a collection of ‘I can’t’ moments The alarm, beeping, insistent is silenced with a sleepy press of the snooze button He leans over me, kisses my shoulder ‘It’s time. Get up.’ ‘I can’t. It’s too early.’ I lie there a few moments more It turns out I can.
Glasses on. A dash to the bathroom. I’ve needed a wee since last night. Made it. Ha. I can. Again.
I’m up. I don’t want to drive. I’m tired. ‘Please can you? My stomach is sore.’ I can. I do.
The ice warning sign pops up on the car. These days are worth the effort. But not hot. The Med this is not.
The river. Serene. This is what I need. The calm. The peace. Unruffled moments. Space to breathe.
It’s cold. I don’t remember the ‘I can’t’ today. I felt it last time. Colder. Sharp. Biting. Today the same temperature in the water but the air is colder. I usually do ‘I can’t’ as I enter the languid, lazy river. What am I doing?
Everyone else in the world is asleep. Apart from us three. Standing knee deep, thigh deep, fanny deep in the river. Chest deep and it’s time to go. To take the plunge. To feel the cold water flood over your shoulders. To feel fully. To feel alive. Out of your head. Immersed. In nature. Nothing and everything all at once. This is why I do. And I can.
'Switch off the TV, don’t look at the phone’
Stop all the mainstream, cut out the crap, Seriously, I recommend a nap, Silence the fear and with vibrant drum Start dancing and let the joyful come.
See the aeroplanes circle overhead Chemtrails or not, we are not dead Do what you can with what you have Grow, learn, love and laugh.
This world is different, so we are told And yet we can choose, we grow old With grace, with joy and do our best We’ve had it easy, now things are hard So says the ‘news’, but why follow the herd?
The stars are shining: stare at every one; Picnic under the moon and worship the sun; Bathe in the ocean and gaze in wonder at the wood; For we get to choose, let it be good.
Em Colley with inspiration from W H Auden
Falling apart whilst falling in
Or Is it ok to be still falling apart when you’re in the river?
I had a meltdown, a mini breakdown I did things I never thought I would Things that others did, but not me No judgement there Just I never thought that would be me. And then I fell apart.
A snivelling, snot filled wreck Tears flowing freely Someone who looked like me but didn’t feel like me Filled with pain, with regret.
He held me. He hugged me close. He stayed. He was calm. And today, prompted by that question: Is it ok to be still falling apart when you’re in the river? I got it.
That’s what she does too. She holds you. Hugs you tight. Envelopes you in her embrace. Her silky waters soothe you. Falling into her is like finding yourself again.
Bottoms are so smiley
Bottoms are so smiley Bottoms are so fun There are so many different names For what some call the bum
Big ones, small ones, Fat ones, thin ones Bottoms of all colours Shapes and sizes too
Line up a row of bottoms Stretching for a mile And see if you can possibly, Possibly not smile.
I love a happy bottom And really think it’s mad That any type of bottom Can possibly be sad
So if you’re feeling weary Or sad and tired and blue Have a think of bottoms And I hope you smile too
Poem by me, artwork is from a section of an oil painting, painted for me by my friend Ann Devlin featuring the North East Skinny Dip at Druiridge Bay 2012.
When you wake feeling bleak What to do? You know what’s not good Is to look at the news
Death, destruction, Everywhere The planet is burning We are all going to die Warnings of universal hurting Warnings, panic, everywhere
Look. Sit. Breathe. Feel the rain on your face Steadily walking You choose the pace
Pour a cup of tea Little things You decide, don’t ask me Take your pick, But choose wisely Because the news? They don’t talk nicely.
Bad news sells So they say Sells what? Antidepressants? I’m intrigued now Does happiness link to Less BBC? Less lies, propaganda Streamed through the screen?
So I take a pact An hour a day. The rest of the time, The ‘news’ can go away.
The social media New ‘news’ my friend Well that too Can drive you around the bend
Make your own Woman goes in rain Feels water on face Starts to melt the pain
She strokes a dog The dog wiggles with joy Better this than sit in mental fog Feeling bleak, sad and old Why would you Go and do what you are told
Panic panic you’re all going to die Scream the headlines Day after day Go, shop, want more More, bigger, more It’s the only way To success, to be loved, to be known
Let’s take a step back, look at things Examine the facts Because actually And I have your back…
I’ve heard bad news sells But can it be so If we all stop buying We can all grow Our own ways, Of happiness and love Gently, gently not coming from above
From our own hearts With connection and joy Starting today Every girl every boy
So taking it slow One step at a time I’m starting it now Let the power be mine
Bleak thoughts there may be But there are ways to choose Stepping away, slowing down I don’t think you can lose
It’s time to start Embracing and sharing Compassion and quiet Graceful and caring
Going in instead of always Out, out, out Because there the treasure Will start to unfold
Not bigger TVs, faster cars More, more, more Longer holidays No, show me the door!
Steadfastly trying, failing and being Learning more, doing less Becoming.
Becoming less bleak Let the sun shine more And now my friends, Do show me the door To outside To nature, connection Because that is where I find perfection
The dew on the grass The jaunt of a flower As they turn their head into the light Let’s look to that Instead of the bleak and the dark, I’m convinced that there We find the spark
Of joy Bubbling free Emerging upwards Let that be me
Diving deep by diving in Let’s get away from this infernal din. The bleak can be what bleak does But if I can hold my space Inside, calm, just being, seeing Witnessing now, not panic or hurting This is the way, the old was not working.
Little piggie, little piggie
Little piggie, little piggie What have we done? The big man has left To get his stun gun
But piggie be nimble, piggie be quick Remember that rhyme and the candlestick
For our piggie is clever, he’ll not be beaten And damn it, he’ll not be eaten Piggie plots and escapes And leaves in his haste A letter to say thanks for the dinner And thank goodness I am still thinner
I can escape, live long and free And tonight, I’m no ones tea!
To swim To lose oneself In the oblivion Of one far greater
To sense impermanence And for it not to matter Not at all In fact be welcomed For instead of the ego Being able to let go
To see the harebells Dipping too Delicately drenching Their petite heads At the waters edge
To see wagtails Balancing and dipping Alongside the shark Ha. No. That’s in the minds eye Of the new swimmer
Instead fish leaping Twisting and turning Before splashing down Dragged by gravity Or is it an urge to return Once again to the wholeness Of the river
The urge is strong So many swimmers So many reasons From broken hearts To hurting parts And everywhere and Anywhere in between
The urge is strong To return Time and time again To swim In the river
200 miles apart I miss your arms around me Holding me close Hugging me near.
Last night separated by a chasm A valley of bed in between Bed on an argument Never a good idea… life with a teen
Tonight by the miles The ache in my belly I miss your arms around me Hugging me near.