In Local Fields.      A Rondeau.

In local fields, the farmer grows

Potato’s neatly all in rows.

High above the seagulls fly

Bright blue and white clouds in the sky.

 

The mature trees planted years ago.

The sun is high, a bright glow

During the heat, rabbits lie

In local fields.

 

The red fox is the rabbit’s foe

Mid-day sun’s bright light throws

It’s rays, making spirits high.

Fox catches rabbit unawares, dies.

Crops warmed by sun, being to grow

In local fields.

Advertisements

Rainbow Haiku.

Red.

The colour of blood

Dressing for power? – Wear red

Mid summer  – poppies.

Orange.

Colour of sunrise.

A fruit grown in Spain’s sun

Carnival colour.

Yellow.

Bright dandelions

Pretty golden buttercups

Colour of Lemons.

Green.

Forty nine shades

Trees, grass, leafy vegetables

A Christmas colour.

Blue.

Baby and sky blue

Flowers too, bluebells, blue iris

Sometimes, blue moods.

Indigo.

Deep, dark and so rich

Colour of uniforms, Jeans

Thundery skies.

 

Violet.

A flower colour

Of heather, and dainty violets

Shrinking violets – shy.

 

Mum’s confused…….                                           

We knew mum had started being a bit strange. She lived in Leeds, we lived 25 miles away near Pontefract. She started phoning us saying  

‘the T.Vs., gone off’ or, things like ‘the light won’t go on’.

I had to make the fifty-mile round trip to put the T.V., back on or, change a light bulb.

One day she phoned to say

‘the Post Office won’t give me my pension.’

Off I went to sort it out. When I got to the Post Office, the assistant explained that mum had been

‘in three times this week, she had already collected her pension’.

She did add

‘do you know your mum’s badly confused?

By this time, I had worked that out for myself.

When I returned mum’s Library books for her the Librarian said

‘I’m glad you’ve come in, I want to talk to you about your mum. Do you know how confused she is?’

She offered me an envelope with notes in it.

‘Your mum has only been using £10.00 notes as bookmarks! We’ve collected them all together’.

When I checked the envelope there was more than £100.00 in it. How kind they had been in keeping them for mum.

Something needed to be done, I had her medically checked over, enlisted the help of Social Services, both in Leeds and my local area. Once the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease was confirmed, arrangements were made for her to live near me in a Pensioner bungalow. Privately, I worried she would not survive the move, she was 83 years old. She did. Her home in Leeds was opposite a Builders yard at one side of the street. Her living room was overlooked by the Conservative Club at the other. Her new home had a tree-lined street and farmer’s fields nearby. She took herself little walks to see them, giving her lots of pleasure.

Mum had attended the Methodist Church all her adult life, I contacted the nearest Methodist Church, where she was welcomed with open arms. They could not believe she was suffering from Dementia. She could read the Bible in a good clear voice, she sang hymns from memory. I realised then, how she was adept at hiding her condition. She would nod and smile when she was spoken to. I learned that with Alzheimer’ Disease, music is the last memory to go.

Three times a week she was picked up and taken on a tour around, picking up other pensioners, arriving at a Day Centre for a meal, after they did craft activities, making memory boxes,  and other small items. They were all taken home again, dropping off in reverse order. Mum thought that she had been taken

‘into the Yorkshire Dales, having a ‘nice meal’

in a hotel. She always commented on the lovely scenery. She never found out that Day Centre was only five minutes away from where she lived!

Other comic events that made us smile, if mum had not liked the sandwich that I, or the daily Carers made for her, she would hide them in the oven. I only discovered the discarded food when we ran out of plates and I had a hunt around for them.

One morning, I had lifted some bread out of the freezer, to thaw out for tea time. When I returned I couldn’t find the bread, I asked her, she replied ‘I don’t know what you did with the bread, it’s all wet. I’ve hung it out on the line to dry’.

When I looked out of the window, there was a row of slices of bread neatly pegged out on the line!

Other issues over the bread, she loved to feed the birds, often I would arrive to find no bread at all as she had fed the full loaf to the birds.

I would have to go to the shop and buy more before she could have her tea.

Mum did live happily in her bungalow for two and a half years, then she needed more care than I could give, she made one more move, into a nursing home, she was settled there, gaining weight from being able to eat in company. She died two and a half years later at the age of 88.

We were lucky mum was pleasant in her dementia, all who cared for her said she was a pleasure, always remembering her

‘please and thank you’s’. Mum was always grateful for what they did for her.

 

Doorway to Disaster.                                Marjorie Lacy, October 2016.

 

I don’t know about you, but I love my bed. It is my ‘special place’ and was tailor made. It is a single bed that I share with my Friend Bear. We love the pretty pink flowered duvet cover. I do sleep well, but in common with older people, I have to go downstairs to use the toilet.

This was why I was awake. I didn’t need to put the bedroom light on, the P.I.R., unit above the door, covers the room with a red glow. The LED on the clock/radio competes by casting a low orange light. As I go downstairs, the street lights shine in through the windows, There is the noise of cars passing on their way home.

Getting safely back in to be and reaching out for Friend Bear, I turn on my side and tuck him under my chin. As the P.I.R., unit fades, I catch sight of a door. A door, where my chest of drawers stands. I rub my eyes, yes it is still there. I sit up and look at the door. A door, my brain cannot comprehend it.

My eyes are now wide open, my breath and my heartbeat racing. The door, I now notice is a big old Oak one, with black iron hinges, and a big round handle, It’s gorgeous, just like you see in old Churches, the top is curved and nestling into a stone archway. But where has my chest of drawers gone? “Stay there, Bear,” I say to him as I feel around for my slippers, when I cannot locate them, I go padding barefoot across the bedroom, I touch the door. Well! It’s real enough

My hand takes on a will of its own, it reaches for the knob and turns it, the door swings open with a creak, it makes me and Friend Bear jump out of our skins, I feel him push me in the middle of my back, I edge forward and look down. It is an “Oh! My God” moment. A stone spiral staircase swirls its way downwards, Leading to where? Suddenly, a fluffy bear pushes past me, “come don’t just stand there! Come on! He is gone.

The staircase floods with light, my feet start moving towards the stone step, followed by the other foot, the stone feels warm and mellow, the centre of the step is hollowed suggesting generation of feet up and down it. When I get to the bottom, Friend Ber is patiently waiting for me in a Hall, it is a big space with wood panelled walls, and a black and white tiled floor, they are very cold to my feet.

In the distance, I can hear music, I don’t recognise the tune, which is flowing and lyrical. We walk along towards the music, coming from a State Room, hung with fine paintings, some of landscapes, family, dogs, People are sitting at long tables having a meal. More musicians and dancers begin to walk past us into the room. Serving girls are scattering flower petals on the floor, which is strewn with herbs. Their movements release the strongly perfumed oils in the herbs. The warm air in the room begins to shimmer. Court ladies, process along followed by Courtiers. At the end of the procession, how can it be? It is a life-size Friend Bear, he is like my bear, but not my bear. He is shackled and led by a man holding him on a chain.

There is genuine fear in his brown eyes. He is made to dance, to stand on his hind legs, how tall he is, towering above his handler. The bear makes eye contact with me, He is pleading to me, what does he want? What does he mean? He is led away before I can decide.

A gong sounds and a dancer is ushered in. There is something familiar about her. The music begins, I know this dancer, it is my young self, I used to see this face years ago, looking in the mirror to comb my hair or put lipstick on. I am watching myself dancing, twisting and turning, my movements hypnotic, my body so flexible and sinuous as a snake. As the dancer turns in my direction, I see again, abject misery in her eyes. The music quickens, wilder now, the beat more insistent. A gong rings out and again and again. I know I have to get out, fear and apprehension flood over me.

Which way did I come in? How do I get out? I try and retrace my steps. Rushing this way and that, suddenly I see the black and white tiles of the Hall, I can see the bottom of the stone stairs. In the distance, the gong is sounding again. My feet move of their own volition, up the spiral stairs. The thought of “Stairway to heaven,” goes through my mind.

When I get to the top, relief rushes over me, the door is still there and standing open. As I rush through into my bedroom, the P.I.R., unit floods the room with its red glow, my bed it there. I leap across the room, moving faster than I have for years! I feel a gust of wind and hear a door slamming. I look back to see the chest of drawers is back in its place. “Was that door ever there?” I sigh.

In an instant, I am snuggled under the duvet, I put my hand under the pillow to find Friend Bear waiting to be tucked under my chin so we can sleep. I think to myself “back to normal, then?”  “Are you alright Bear”? I say to him. I am sure I heard “Go to sleep”. Cuddly bears can’t talk?  Can they?

Household object – Imperial Leather Soap.    26th January 2015                                                  The actual soap is cream coloured and oblong shaped. It reminds me of being a 1940’s child at home. Dad always liked Imperial Leather soap. Mum always bought us Green or Red, awful smelling soap for our use.

Still today, I buy Imperial  Leather for me. It has excess packaging, its outer layer is cardboard, that I can only remove by the fingerful. Its inner layer is clear, tight cellophane stuff, that I have to attack with scissors to get it off.  Once you do get in, there is the label embedded in the soap, it takes weeks of hand washing before the label comes off.

I love washing my hands using a bar of soap, I hate the liquid soap. To me you need to run the water until it is warm, then squidge the soap bar around between my hands under the running tap. It makes lots of frothy bubbles, then the perfume releases itself. Then more squidginess to do hand fronts and backs, in between the fingers, around the wrists. Drop the soap back into its place, before rinsing and drying my hands. Job well done!

Some soaps I’ve tried are egg-shaped and smoother, they don’t look or feel the same. They don’t bubble up offering no excitement. It’s the same with the washing up detergent, although that bubbles up it does not give the same feel. I always have to go wash my hands after washing up. I find the oblong shape of Imperial Leather gives firmness and it is easier to grip when the bar is slippy.

 

2 poems, a modern one and an ancient one.

Untitled poem by Denise Liverton.

In the dark, I rest

Unready for the light which dawns

Day after day

Eager to be shared.

Black silk, shelter me.

I need

More of the night before I open

Eyes and heart

To illumination, I must still

Grow in the dark like a root

Not ready, not ready at all.

Pomfret,     by John Lund, 1726-1788.

If situation hath a power to please

If air salubrious can give ease,

If spacious streets and handsome houses join’d,

Can satisfaction raise within his mind, –

If noble ruins mouldering with rust,

Where ancient monarchs mingle with the dust.

If gardens all around can please the eyes,

Embellished o’re with Flora’s painted dyes, –

If peace and plenty, which doth here abide.

(laying all pique and prejudice aside,)

If charms are these worthy of my song,

Come here, ye grave, ye gay, ye old and young,

Come here and view the subject of my theme,

Confess that Pomfret’s worthy of my esteem.

 

Girls’ Weekend Away.

Middle-aged, Kate and Jess, friends since Primary School were having an away weekend. These always included wine and pampering, wine and food, wine and fun. Whenever they met there was an eruption of excitement. They called themselves, ‘the sisters by another mother’. This time, staying in a vineyard would be extra fun.

First thing, they headed to the bar for a couple of glasses of Prosecco. Sitting on the sun filled balcony, the swimming pool beckoned. changing into bikinis and Ugg boots, unsuitably dressed for walking through vines to the pool.

Splishing and splashing  lingering, laughing and gossiping, exchanging news. Unexpectedly, black clouds! Drops plopped in the pool. Wrapped in towels which flapped around their legs as they ran, the Ugg boots sticking in the muddy paths between the vines, made it hard work.

The two drowned rats arrived panting and laughing in Reception. The girl behind the desk told the porter to ‘Help then off with the boots’, ‘They are not going through the Hotel in them!’ She added ‘You are in luck! Two people have cancelled Spa bookings, you two can take them if you like!’  ‘Ooo! Yes please’.