Psychotherapist, Donald Winnicott (1896-1971), said that creativity was essential for us to become fully alive and to nourish our mental health. He also linked creativity to playfulness, saying that a child's play was about the making of a potential space, or, as I would argue, a space for potential.

It's difficult to remain playful. So much encroaches. Daily tasks and worries (especially around making enough money to live on). The "what am I doing this for"s and "is this good enough"s? The sense of fun oozes away.

On a comedy quiz show someone made a self-deprecating joke about how his art was at the level of colouring in books. But why should this be funny? Why do we have to leave colouring books behind when we step into our teens?


I caught some of BBC1's Imagine last night which was looking at federal schemes to fund artistic endeavours in the US during the depression of the 1930s. The programme mentioned visual artists, composers, musicians, playwrights, actors, prose and song writers, all paid from the governmental purse. It didn't mention poets. And yet there was a time when a fool-poet was an essential part of the entourage of those charged with the governance of this country at least.

Here is another offering from a contemporary fool-poet. I'm rather partial to it, but it's had mixed reviews.

No Angels
There's nothing celestial here
amongst the flesh and bone,
the fractured and the fragile.

There's no angels here, she says,
in amongst the clatter of the trolley,
the bang of the bin,
the blare of the alarm.

There's no angels here,
I know,
only a quiet word,
a grasped at touch,
a hurt heard and understood.


I'm writing this blog instead of working on one of my articles. Is this a limber up or an avoidance?

A friend of mine was runner up in a poetry competition. I am very pleased for her, even as the old jealousy kicks in. And that chunters on even as I list my own achievements over the last six months and tell myself again that publication is not the be all and end all of writing. Being creative is. Being true to myself is. The vagaries of the publication/competition world are the racks I may choose to torture my spirit on, but they are not the final judge of whether I am a good enough writer.

The sun is shining outside, would it be an avoidance or a nurturing to go and sit in it and ponder the world as it glows?


I was watching Breakfast on BBC1 the other morning and they had an item about a new woman only apprenticeship in construction. The business reporter said that it was the first in the country. That might be so, but back in the early 1990s, I was involved in developing taster courses in construction for women with my boss at Cranford Training Group and Wimpey. It's taken twenty years for the idea of tasters to blossom into full apprenticeships.

What was more disheartening was the attitude of the business reporter. He insisted on talking to the female apprentice about what she was wearing. And then to round it all off he said, and you're a single mum, so now you're surrounded by eligible men.

She was speechless, as I was, and I hope every other woman watching was too!
The Passing
A year ago today, I came to you.
But was I heard? Words dropped on arid ground
bloom not, not even once, they are as dust,
old ashes in my mouth, to stop me up.
For all your charm and wit, you fed me stones.
The waters of the North would have been warmer.
Yet even ice melts so the young may drink,
the strongest oaken bough knows when to yield.
Not you, no! You were granite. Yet I know.
The burrowing worm sees what you still hide.
The Aspens whisper sins that you don't dare
to voice, the small thrush sings it, every morn.

A year ago today, I chose my truth,
you chose unkindness. We broke. We parted.