Alexander Averin

Monday, 31 March 2014



Model legs, blood red shoes, spider-web tattoos, 
clothes patchy, motley and so much like her
life, a jigsaw of  unlinkable pieces.
To escape her incompleteness, she hides
her tears and becomes unreachable; like 
a butterfly she flits from bloom to doom.
By night she stares  at stars, dreams of angels 
and follows the footprints of stiletto moons.
By day she whittles all the wooden fragments, 
brightens, lacquers, polishes them all
till they look tempered, calm and harmonized
to hide the tangle, twist and snarl that lurks within.

Cait O’Connor

Magpie Tale time again (more here).

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mothers Day

Pablo Picasso 1922

On a day when we are supposed to think fondly of our mothers (though I do so every day) this poem is not a new one but I post it again for all mothers who have been forced to be parted from their children and for all children who have been parted from their mothers, for whatever reason. (I am the baby in this poem, not the mother). 

Mothers Day

On a silent, irridescent, cobweb morning 
I laid my indigo baby in a
cradle of crystal, her wrap was pure love,
intractable and true, like her beauty.
Be under no illusion, she was born 
from an illicit assignation, but to
a world  where forgiveness was forbidden.
I was labelled loose, wild, irrational
but my life had always been impervious to hope, 
and happiness incomprehensible.
Unable to speak, or break our silence,
I held her hand as I breathed my goodbyes 
and wished for her a life more illustrious.
When she had been taken I could breathe no more;
for I was suffocating slowly under 
lumps of hardstone, which became lodged in my heart
with an inextricable, forever kind of pain.
in a locked-in, forever kind of silence, 

Cait O’Connor

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Unmade Bed

Artist Tracey Emin

The Unmade Bed

Emin’s bed leaves me ‘unclean’ and sad for
her suicidal past.  Were it mine, I
could not display it, I would set it on 
fire but many more images might erupt,
just burning to be exorcised exhibits.
Beds are where all of human life reclines:
the secret, the hidden, our tears, joys and 
dreams, sex and birth, sickness, death and dying, 
all borne of the body and the soul.
A passion for sleep may be a death wish
but in my brass bed  I  live half a life
where dreams are, where books are read by candlelight,
where thoughts come and poems bubble to the fore.
Warm as a womb, a haven, soft, secure, 
it is never ever made, the white linen 
only shaken and daily aired to change
its energies.  Imagine my hell now:  
never feeling tired, keeping going,
never sleeping, keeping going, never 
stopping, keeping going, never resting, 
keeping going, never ever finding
time for  lying down and dreaming
till we end our waking lives and die.

Cait O’Connor

Magpie Tale time again, go there for more.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Letter from a Grandfather to his Grandchildren


I copied this from Facebook, the source is the Huffington Post.

I have often thought of writing something similar to my grandchildren.  This dear man has got there first and written to his grandchildren and he said so much of what I would want to say myself to my own. God rest his soul.

On Sept. 3, 2012, James K. Flanagan of West Long Branch, N.J., died unexpectedly of a heart attack. He wrote this letter to his five grandchildren just months earlier and it is reprinted here with the permission of his daughter Rachel Creighton.

Dear Ryan, Conor, Brendan, Charlie, and Mary Catherine,

My wise and thoughtful daughter Rachel urged me to write down some advice for you, the important things that I have learned about life. I am beginning this on 8 April 2012, the eve of my 72nd birthday.

1. Each one of you is a wonderful gift of God both to your family and to all the world. Remember it always, especially when the cold winds of doubt and discouragement fall upon your life.

2. Be not afraid . . . of anyone or of anything when it comes to living your life most fully. Pursue your hopes and your dreams no matter how difficult or “different” they may seem to others. Far too many people don’t do what they want or should do because of what they imagine others may think or say. Remember, if they don’t bring you chicken soup when you’re sick or stand by you when you’re in trouble, they don’t matter. Avoid those sour-souled pessimists who listen to your dreams then say, “Yeah, but what if . . .” The heck with “what if. . .” Do it! The worst thing in life is to look back and say: “I would have; I could have; I should have.” Take risks, make mistakes.

3. Everyone in the world is just an ordinary person. Some people may wear fancy hats or have big titles or (temporarily) have power and want you to think they are above the rest. Don’t believe them. They have the same doubts, fears, and hopes; they eat, drink, sleep, and fart like everyone else. Question authority always but be wise and careful about the way you do it.

4. Make a Life List of all those things you want to do: travel to places; learn a skill; master a language; meet someone special. Make it long and do some things from it every year. Don’t say “I’ll do it tomorrow” (or next month or next year). That is the surest way to fail to do something. There is no tomorrow, and there is no “right” time to begin something except now.

5. Practice the Irish proverb: Moi an olge agus tiocfaidh sí ”Praise the child and she will flourish.”

6. Be kind and go out of your way to help people — especially the weak, the fearful, and children. Everyone is carrying a special sorrow, and they need our compassion.

7. Don’t join the military or any organization that trains you to kill. War is evil. All wars are started by old men who force or fool young men to hate and to kill each other. The old men survive, and, just as they started the war with pen and paper, they end it the same way. So many good and innocent people die. If wars are so good and noble, why aren’t those leaders who start wars right up there fighting?

8. Read books, as many as you can. They are a wonderful source of delight, wisdom, and inspiration. They need no batteries or connections, and they can go anywhere.

9. Be truthful.

10. Travel: always but especially when you are young. Don’t wait until you have “enough” money or until everything is “just right.” That never happens. Get your passport today.

11. Pick your job or profession because you love to do it. Sure, there will be some things hard about it, but a job must be a joy. Beware of taking a job for money alone — it will cripple your soul.

12. Don’t yell. It never works, and it hurts both yourself and others. Every time I have yelled, I have failed.

13. Always keep promises to children. Don’t say “we’ll see” when you mean “no.” Children expect the truth; give it to them with love and kindness.

14. Never tell anyone you love them when you don’t.

15. Live in harmony with Nature: go into the outdoors, woods, mountains, sea, desert. It’s important for your soul.

16. Visit Ireland. It’s where the soul of our family was born — especially the West: Roscommon, Clare, and Kerry.

17. Hug people you love. Tell them how much they mean to you now; don’t wait until it’s too late.

18. Be grateful. There is an Irish saying: “This is a day in our lives, and it will not come again.” Live every day with this in mind.

Source: HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Feast in the House of Simon

Feast in the House of Simon, El Greco

I am Mary, I stand weeping at his side.
A quiet soul, a sister for Martha,
I am the one who listens;
I was  never possessed, only labelled
by those who would wish to  keep me secret.
I have foreseen a vision of death so telling that
all I can do is anoint the holy man
in preparation for what is to come.
Aromatic myrhh and myrtle, saffron
and cinnamon, are filling the house of Simon
with their sweet fragrance.
From an alabaster cruse my soft hands
pour oil so gently onto the  parched skin of
my beloved Jesus, a highly precious
oil of muskroot, whose colour of amber
matches my long tresses.
Such is his power, this prophet, healer,
Son of God,  that by divine alchemy,
this act of love (and every other that
may come in any future world of fear)
will change me and all around me into gold.

Cait O’Connor

Another poem for Magpie Tales.  Many more interpretations can be read there, do visit.  

Wednesday, 12 March 2014



A hotel room, tumbledown, gone to wrack and ruin. 
On the table,  the TV,  friend of the loner,
As always,when time has warped,
once-upon-a –time echoes sing out to me
All around  is mouldered, mildewed,
a home now for mice amongst dilapidation. 
Lights flicker, even the power is fading; 
I sense a ghost upon the dusty boards, 
oppressive remnants of a life fill me with dread,
the atmosphere, first cloying, now chilling.
I slip away and leave the memories behind
of perhaps the tragic  lives of those passed on,
who left us only embers of their past still burning,
smouldering still within such  eeriness.

Cait O’Connor

Another poem for Magpie Tales.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Wisdom, Washing and a Poem

Hey, don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.
Bill Hicks

It's a hanging out the washing day today for me, yippee.

(This is not my house!  I collect pics of washing lines as I have a thing about them).

This dropped into my Inbox today. I thought I would share with you.

Thought of the Week

To end suffering—not only by relieving its symptoms but by eradicating its root cause—is precisely the aim of the Buddha’s teaching. We must first realize that the true cause of suffering is not outside, but inside. That is why true spiritual practice consists of working on one’s own mind. The mind is very powerful. It can create happiness or suffering, heaven or hell. If, with the help of the Dharma, you manage to eliminate your inner poisons, nothing from outside will ever affect your happiness, but as long as those poisons remain in your mind, you will not find the happiness you seek anywhere in the world.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, oral instruction given in Paro, Bhutan in 1987, translated by the author.

I shall end with a poem written by an American poet I have discovered recently. I am afraid I have mislaid the title.  I might name it Spring, just for now.  I have tried to contact the author to ask her permission to post it here but I cannot get through........ I hope you don't mind Stacy.


He said
Spring always reminded him
Of silk dresses,
rims of their sewn edges
Hugging the breeze
Like petals mending
Their strong, poetic skeletons
In the aftermath of winter.

We’d spy
The first flight of a butterfly
On a porch swing
In the country.
Tin trailer and a horizon
Of black-shingle roof
To shed us from the sun.

Two ice teas between us,
We’d talk of books,
The stiff voice of Yeats,
The sheets where Sexton slept,
And like a traveler mid-stop,
He’d bring his melodies to me.

I’d ride the baritone waves
Of his old love songs,
His tan skin and hand joints,
all open-throat and thrashing keys.
And when his fingers paused mid-play,
I’d pray he still had
Something left to say to me.

Stacy Lynn

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Dear Diary,

I have read two good books recently, one straight after the other and strangely and completely coincidentally, the themes of each book are very similar. Both are about searching, lost fathers and lost daughters and both cover psychological suffering.

I actually bought the first book, it is unusual for me to buy books as I am of course a library devotee but I happened to be in the local Tesco  -  not that I shop there very often as I am not a fan but when I do go in there  I always scan the book aisle thoroughly (fellow bibliophiles will understand).

I noticed this book for sale, priced at only £2!

Book description

Alice is back in the family house that has never felt like home, waiting out the last few days of her father's life and yearning to escape.  Across the city, a homeless man named Daniel searches for the daughter he has always loved but never met.

Connected by a secret, Alice and Daniel are about to cross paths in unexpected and life-changing ways.

Alice has just returned to London from months of travelling abroad. She is late to hear the news that her father is dying and arrives at the family home only just in time to say goodbye.  Daniel hasn't had a roof over his head for years but to him the city of London feels like home in a way that no bricks and mortar ever did.  He spends every day seearching for his daughter, the daughter he has never met.  Until now.

Heart-wrenching and life affirming, this is a unique story of love lost and found, of rootlessness and homecoming and the power of ties that bind. It is a story for fathers and daughters everywhere.

I couldn’t believe it, after all £2 is half the price of an average magazine these days!   I hardly ever buy magazines now, they are always crammed full of adverts and the  articles are either very samey and repetitive or cover subjects which have no relevance to me at my stage of life.  I find blogs far more interesting, I wonder do you agree or are you still a magazine reader?  The only publication I do subscribe to is Mslexia which I adore and always look forward to its arrival in the post,  if you haven't heard of it, it’s a quarterly magazine especially for women who write.

I digress as usual.

I checked the book and saw it had a good write-up with glowing reports:

Graceful and in all its shape-shifting complexity, is at the core of this novel' that and the consequences - good and bad - of keeping secrets...The shifting and intricate dynamics of family life and the vertiginously painful feelings of loss induced by relationship breakdown and bereavement are written with imaginative precision.  This is a thought - as well as an emotion-provoking novel...It also sparkles with hope. Independent on Sunday.

Exquisitely written. Butler writes with lucidity, compassion and a beautifully detailed eye for London and all its quirks.  Metro.

There were many others and some from a few eminent novelists.  

So I splashed out.

I did enjoy the book, it was original in style and very well written,  worth every penny and many, many pennies more.  I  would definitely recommend it to you, it reminded me a bit of Clare Morrall’s Astonishing Splashes of Colour (Morrall also praised the book). 

A very enjoyable read..subtle and clever. Clare Morrall, Booker Proze shortlisted authorof Astonishing Splashes of Colour.

This is Sarah Butler’s first novel.  I look forward to her second.   


This is the second book, one I have just finished (sadly).

Marian Keyes called it a gem of a book and I agree for it is certainly a classic and one to be treasured.

If you have got to know and understand the lovely Saga in the TV drama series The Bridge then you will be halfway to understanding the main character in this novel (another first novel!).  I borrowed it from the library and read it in just two sittings, one sitting covered about 75% of the book. - I admit I was a little unwell at the time but had I been fighting fit I would still have been glued to its pages.  

All through this novel I had such a strong feeling that this would make a great film; with the right director and good casting it could be a smash hit, I do hope it does happen. 

It is an unusual book in that it has many aspects which grip you. It is very well-written, it is funny, it is moving and touching romantically but above all I found it to be a memorable learning experience.  It is a must-read for folk who know only a little, or nothing at all about the subject of the autism spectrum/Aspergers.  The characters were real (I cared about them) and the 'whodunnit' element ran throughout, right to the end (who was the mystery father?).  I didn't want the book to end and yet I raced through it,  smiling and laughing a great deal inside and hoping things would work out in the end.  Did they? Well you will have to read it and see.  I have lent the book to my husband now and he is laughing out loud - a lot  - and I feared he wouldn't take to it. 

As I read it I must admit that I had the feeling that I might be one of only a few who would rave about it.  I recommended it to my daughter but feared she might not appreciate it. It is quirky and I do have rather quirky tastes sometimes and perhaps I identified a little with the male character in some of his OCD behaviour (only a little!) and perhaps I identified with the female in the book because of her lack of identity and her search for her father.  I have after all conducted my own search for both my parents........... but that is another (long!) story........

I had a look on Amazon before I recommended it to other folk, just to see if it was popular and lo and behold it has already had over 600 rave reviews and is in the bestsellers. I am probably a little late to the book and perhaps some of you have read it?  If you have read either of these two books do let me know your thoughts and any other good read recommendations anyone may have would be very much appreciated.

I shall blog soon about what books I have lined up on my bedside table.

Talking of which it is past ten and my bed is calling,

Bye for now,

Go mbeannai dia duit,


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Life Vacation

Life Vacation

I have dreamed for you a postcard.  Do you like my spirit animal, my guard, my mountain lion, my brute of strong physique?  As you can see, I have only the essentials: the Full Moon, seven stars and  a cerulean  sky. The clouds, for my ease, have arranged themselves into a line of meringue mountains.  The sea  is robin-egg’s blue and is as still and as calm as can be.   

I am visualising  the Northern Lights for you as I meditate, for they would surely complement the image of this dream.  I am warm, wrapped in a blanket of colour; such sweet fruity stripes which blend with the scene.  I have my wizard staff for comfort and a decanter, like my life, half-full of a magic brew, known only to me (and you). When I awake I shall play my mandolin and serenade you from afar.  The rocks are warm beneath my padded mattress; I am steeped in solitude, all that life has it gives to me.  I wish you were here.

(Magpie Tales time again).