Alexander Averin

Sunday 19 February 2012

Counting Snowdrops

Cicely Mary Barker

Counting Snowdrops

(For Elizabeth)

On St Brigid’s Day (the saint of poets),
 in the middle of  a blackthorn winter
on a Sun Day, unannounced, unexpected,
uninvited and long given up on,
a trace of sun and golden light crept in
which lifted the moods of both mice and men
but sadly did not linger very long.
By nightfall their hopes were taken hostage
by the chill of an icy Imbolc Moon.

On Candlemas, it is still grey and cold
(which must foretell of warmer days to come?)
I call a friend across the mountains who,
she says, to  dispel her blues, counts snowdrops,
(a stroke of brilliance on her part, truly
 in keeping with my heart). I covet her
 idea, vow to steal it away and keep
a tally of such treasures in my soul.

On St Valentine’s Day (the saint of love)
I creep outside to count my snowdrops and
find  undiscovered blooms hiding  beneath
the rowan and the ash, jewels in newly
minted groups, shining like precious pearls.
I choose to pick only solitary
specimens, just the the ones who stand alone,
virginal, fragile, as yet unnoticed,
they call out  to me and seem to yearn  to
be with their kind, up close amongst the rest.

Cait O’Connor

Sunday 12 February 2012

Sunday Morning


To paint is to honour who I am, one brush stroke at a time.
 Johanna Harmon

Before I start I have discovered a wonderful American artist called Johanna Harmon, I expect she is well known but I am ashamed to say I have never seen her pictures before.  I was surfing around looking for a piece of art that would fit the theme of ‘Sunday morning’ and found the above picture on someone’s site. I shall post more of her pics later in the week. Her words are fine too.

Talking of words...

I have a ‘new’ book, bought on Amazon second hand which travelled to me all the way from America. It is called A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves and was published way back in 1999. I think I was’ led’ to it online but can’t remember how; it was probably through a fellow blogger.  It’s a great book and reminds me of Julia Cameron’s inspiring books (The Artist’s Way etc).

The best thing is the teeny writing ‘task’ set for every day of the year with diverse subjects. Today is

Write your morning.... 

so that was the first thing I started to do while still in bed this morning. Sunday just happens to be my favourite day of the week and its mornings are usually lazy, enjoyable but usually rather samey.

All is very still and quiet today, hardly a car has passed on the road, it is very peaceful. It is slightly milder too as for the first times in ages, we actually wake to a frost-free day. Today I enjoy a big mug of honeyed tea as usual, brought to me in bed of course. A taste of Radio 4 but not too much. A little reading and writing. Porridge for breakfast

So what do Sunday and its mornings usually include for me?

The Archers Omnibus

Bacon and egg for breakfast (not at the moment though).

Desert Island Discs

Some time outside; gardening in summer or trips out..... with my camera. Seeing family sometimes. In spring and summer I often spend all day in the garden.

Reading the paper.

As few indoor chores as possible.

Later in the day?

Reading, blogging etc.

A roast dinner sometimes (not at the moment though, more is the pity).

Television in the evening, there is usually something good on. Antiques Roadshow to start, then Countryfile. Ask The Midwife..........

Really dull isn’t it? I think I need to get out more.

Today from 2.30 pm I will be glued to the Six Nations Rugby as Wales are playing Scotland. Last night my beloved Ireland’s match against France was cancelled in Paris because of an icy pitch, that was a big disappointment. I cheered myself up though and watched a DVD instead - 84 Charing Cross Road (a wonderful film and almost as good as the book).

Well I must get on ,I need to cook a quick and suitably fat-free lunch so I can sit down and watch the match.

Come on Wales,
Just before I go.....

I started with some fine words by an artist and shall finish with more of the same.

Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious, to believe that the world could still change for the better. And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, 'What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.' Yes, evil often seems to surpass good. But then, in spite of us, and without our permission, there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts. One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw. And so I must still have hope. 

Vincent Van Gogh

Bye for now.....
Go mbeannai Dia duit, especially on a Sunday.

Friday 10 February 2012


Thyra  has a wonderful poetry site which I have just discovered. She has posted an Indian poem about Dreamcatchers. It reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago on the very same subject and I have dug it out, tweaked it a little.......... No, I lie, I have practically re-written it, the way you do with old poems.

The Weaving of Dreams

Dreamweaver makes her mantra at Full Moon:
Make-believe, dream, i-magine, yes you can.
Believe, dream, magic your beliefs to say
I magic my beliefs to make them real.
The dreamcatcher o'er my bed had cast a
hanging spell, watched me fly, leave my earthbound
body. The dreamcatcher's web had spider-
sifted all my dreams and let them not be
broken: if  good ones, she ensnared them in
her web, if bad, lured them away into
the night's dark air till dreamy visions in
my reveries showed me only sights of angels.
When daily life can sometimes seem a nightmare,
Dreamweaver can make the unreal real,
her mantra is pure i-magination.
By night I quietly tiptoed in a trance,
lost childhood forgotten, far behind me,
my lucid dreams no longer make-believe.

Cait O'Connor

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Who am I?

I appear every winter but only when the days are really very cold and snowy. I am always alone and I just sit on the garden fence under a hedge looking rather forlorn? Does anyone know what breed of bird I am?  The lady of the cottage is always peering at me through binoculars from her kitchen window and taking photos but she doesn't know what family I belong to either.  She has a very good Bird Book (Readers Digest) and she has one or two ideas what I am but she is not at all sure she is right. (most unusual for her :-)).

Sunday 5 February 2012

Word Clouds

Word Clouds 

I own two passions now: watching clouds and 

writing words. Hours fly, courting clouds, writing 

poems in my mind, for what are clouds and words 

but poets' fuel to warm their souls upon?

Cirrus, stratus, cumulus or mare’s tail; 

in such clouds, words seem hazy, nebulous 

and misty to my mind; there are no lines 

to read myself between, I can only 

go within and listen to their whispers.

Words are scudding sounds of speech when spoken, 

but silent when written, except to my 

heart where they can speak in volumes, or if 

days are sadly overcast, they hide from 

me and say nothing, nothing at all.

Cait O’Connor 

Wednesday 1 February 2012

On privilege and old age.

Leaning to curtsey (something I would never ever do!)

A Getty photo of debutantes at Queen Charlotte's Ball in the 1950's

Dear Diary,

I am sorry I have been absent without leave again. Plenty of excuses though I guess a sick note will suffice. Only twenty-two days till my operation and hopefully then I will recover quickly and get my energy back. If I was a private patient I would have been done and dusted months ago (don't get me started).

It is very cold today here in Wales, the sun is shining and the air is very dry but I have never felt so cold a wind.

I have more energy today but I am trying not to overdo things because that has always been my downfall, using up all my energy just because it is there. I have never learned to pace myself but I think it is my ruler Aries who is to blame.

The countryside looks very beautiful, there is snow on the hilltops; I wish I had taken my camera out in the field when I took the dogs for our wee constitutional this morning so I could show you the views. I have a dental appointment this afternoon and that is a fairly long drive so I won't be able to take photos later.

I watched a very interesting programme about debutantes on BBC4 (or maybe BBC2?) the other night. Not that I approve of such goings on and the photos above make me cringe and might get me started again (please don't get me started because bitterness is so bad for one's gall-bladder don't you know!). There were a lot of  oldish ladies of privilege on the programme talking about their younger days. One said she was nervous in her youth but used whisky to calm her and she said the whisky bottle became her friend. That one line stuck in my head and from it a poem grew. Nothing to do with debs. though I suppose it could be and a story about aged debs. could even develop from there. Anyway here is my effort, not great I know but I am a little brain dead of late (hence the lack of blog postings, writers' block has been my companion).

A friend sent me an email recently and the subject matter has also inspired a poem in my head, it is still lurking there but I will post it as soon as it looks something like a poem.

Where have you found inspiration lately? What gets you going and how do ideas for poems and stories come to you?

I must go, my cooker is calling frantically.

Before I forget, here is the poem.


Perhaps she could cope in age with company;
but the whisky bottle has become her
only friend.  Medicinal in the morning,
it brings both peace and strength, it moves the blood,
warms her weakened heart, reinstalls again
her long lost confidence in daily life.
Nightly it helps to soothe her off to sleep,
a passage to euphoria in dreams.
Glasses, when she can find them, help her see,
tight behind one ear her hearing aid sits,
it cannot be discreet , its sounds betray.
Her fading memory wanes and waxes at its will,
notebook always close, her only aide-memoire.
Her walking stick and frame are always there,
a plethora of pills to keep her well,
the side effects ignored as best she can.
Euthanasia is often on her mind
when pain’s so bad she wants to fade away
and loneliness is more than she can bear.

Cait O’Connor