Valentines Poem


From this grey moon-dust
I see my home rise
as a child’s marble –
the games, tunes of childhood,
my mother singing “Hey Jude”

or thinking of your ring;
a cabochon fire opal
catching sunshine
as we kissed when we danced
to Oasis as morning broke.

Castaway with no way back
I watch for home to rise
from jet night, ribbon stars
firework comet tails threading orbits,

think of you asleep beneath
the water blanket encasing
the home we knew and loved before

I left for this desert. No island
no disc, no luxury but only
my thoughts, memories and love
to hold until they rescue or air expires.

Carolyn O’Connell

Published Reach Poetry 197 January 2015


Christmas Poem by Frances Ridley

BLAZE: Mid Cheshire Stanza

I am delighted to publish this poem by Frances Ridley, a fairly new member of our Stanza group. This poem was written as a result of my workshop on writing Christmas poems suitable to send to friends. We looked at some of U.A Fanthorpe’s, and the Candlestick Press’ lovely Christmas pamphlets, then wrote our own poems.

20171211_145907.jpgA Christmas Spell


Mistletoe and warm mince pies,

Evenings sitting round the fire,

Ringing bells and jingling sleighs,

Robins brighten winter days:

Yes, it’s Christmas time again!


Carols sung by candlelight

Herald happy holidays;

Red and green, the holly wreath

Invites our friends and family in.

Sparkling lights and tinsel shine,

Twisted round the tree’s rough boughs;

Merry children laugh and shout

And merry adults drink mulled wine.

So have yourself a starlit

Merry Christmas!

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Posted on June 14, 2017 by The Bardo Group Beguines Remembering the Farm

I remember a farm where grasses grew
wild flowers scattered over their jewels
enriching the meadows where cattle grazed
and every August with horses we made hay.

The land was productive and the cattle thrived
and gentle the rain that watered the soil:
the summers were long and the children swam
in the waves lapping beaches of silvered sand,

for the cattle provided pure milk by the gallon
that was milked every morning and collected
in churns, it tasted so sweet fresh from the udder.

The grasses provided sweet hay for both horse cattle.
I remember the haymaking, pitching grass on the fork;
the haycocks rising their mounds on the fields
to dry in the long days of summer’s sure sun,

but that was before the farms turned to spreading
chemicals promising ever increasing production
the flowers vanished together with the bees and
the meadows no longer held cattle and horses,
for the cattle are housed in great lines of production

and their milk is pumped into vats for pasteurisation.
Its delivered in plastic that needs recycling or lands
in the sea we once swam in so freely but now is awash
with fish that are dying and fishermen’s catches grow

ever smaller as the boats that caught mackerel no longer
tie-up at the jetty we walked to on Sundays, to buy mackerel
for dinner – they’re gone with the summer and the pure spring
water we drank by the bucket from the clear mountain stream.

© 2017, Carolyn O’Connell