They can dance.

It always amazes me how much you know
how is it that you have so much knowledge
even whilst wearing your little boy disguise
I love the way you glance over the table at me
reminding me of when we played twinkle eye
a game that I guess almost everyone knows
'though they probably call it all sorts of things.

So now we chat about hurricanes and tornadoes
and how you can actually spell the names of five
yes count them, five different types of dinosaur
some of whom I can't even pronounce properly
and I sit here in awe as you reel off the spellings
glowing with pride under my astonished gaze
you really truly do amaze me wonderful boy.

When we talk, who is the adult between us
I in my 47th year or you just starting your 7th
staggered as I am at how much you know
equally surprised when we fall through the gaps
with so little warning of where the edges are
especially given your tendency to leave me here
taking flight into the sky of your own imagination.

If I were to list the many things that the young
do much better than we so-called grown-ups
it would have to include this taking of flight
an ability to extrapolate from the almost known
into the unknown with such unscientific abandon
that it makes a kind of mockery on the one hand
whilst offering a new kind of wisdom on the other.

Is it only the young that dream of the impossible
or is it that on awakening we adults dispel
discount, disrespect our now latent abilities
to take flight even if only in our subconscious
and so it's not for us to sit at the breakfast table
describing riotous rides on pink dancing giraffes
when everyone know that giraffes can't dance.

Except in a story book that we both once read
and dashing upstairs, I on my slightly longer legs
make it first by a whisker to the big bookcase
but with your keener eyes you spot it and crow
the book that we'd read so many months ago
but whose funny story still lives on in your head
making night-time visits of such contagious frivolity.
There really is a book called "Giraffes Can't Dance".
It is one of my all time faves ... yes, and Ollies' too. xx

More about trust

The hardest thing I have ever done?
that is one of the things I love
and also so hate about you sometimes
you ask questions that demand answers
well, the hardest thing I have ever done
is to admit that I need some help.

Doesn't sound all that much does it
but admitting this leads to asking
and asking requires some trusting
which I learnt long ago is no game
to be played lightly in any sense
except I know I'm being way too serious.

I would love to have your lightness
your gentle way of saying hard things
without any hint of hurt or intensity
but still with full meaning and import
and yet in some ways I wonder about it
we protect our hearts in such myriad ways.

When first learning how to trust again
I was indiscriminate, not trusting myself
that my instincts knew what I did not
but time does it's own work even here
tempering my fear whilst inching me on
to the point where I see the point of trust.

So I stopped running and faced my fear
finding that on inspection, with help
some fears diminish in ways unimagined
that trust unlocks doors which on opening
yield their own rewards, to brave souls
who offer help and to those who accept too.

They say that fair exchange is no robbery
but what have I to offer from my meagre store
some paltry wisdom gained umpteenth hand
and isn't that where I've been going wrong
that all along I knew, but still didn't know it
I just needed some help to let me see that.

So what did I learn in my quest to trust
that some processes have no defined end
that backward steps can still be progress
that learning from pain doesn't heal it
that loneliness comes from not trusting
and finally that some risks are worth taking.

Diagnosis Day

It's been diagnosis day for nearly three weeks now
each new day it's the first thing I've thought about
each night as I've tried to sleep, the last thing too
then at odd times during the day I've drifted off to it
these paralysing thoughts, each a terrifying what if.

What if, is an endless exercise in utter futility
and yet knowing this as I do has not stopped the train
the feeling of inevitability, the ever deepening gloom
as each new diagnosis day passes without any news
I feel my grip on the here and now slipping away.

There's a special tone that those medically trained use
sort of neutral professional, no second guessing them
so talking of meetings to review pathology means what?
she says she will have to get back to me on that one
which she does, a full week later on, but she does.

There's that tone again, my butterflies hammer inside
I can hardly even take in the good part of the news
who knew that butterflies could make so much noise
or that words could become gibberish from ear to brain
that tumours can grow large but still remain benign.

Why isn't that the very first word that she said
does she think I wouldn't listen about follow up
about how next we'll go through reviews for surgery
and all that other hocus pocus magical medical guff
I just wanted to hear one word, the rest can wait.

Isn't it amazing how one word can tip the balance
between what once was and what might yet be to come
one word is like the get out of jail card in a game
but the game is one that never stops, even when we do
that's all part of what becomes the general whirl.

I've been asking myself if should I keep this quiet
perhaps whisper my gratitude for a temporary reprieve
only too aware of what some dear friends now endure
my thankfulness seems at once crass but also profound
for I am in no great rush to go fire walking again.

Hearing from you.

When you told me
the tears flowed
I wanted so much
to touch
to hold you
ease you
the loneliness
since I can't
be here and there
I must stay here


I'm sending you
my true heart
always believing
in our friendship
in more care
yet another prayer
and I'll hope
to ease your heart
despite my absence
I am with you.

We talk of hope
cry out our despair
and I listen
to the weight
of your heavy heart
I hear the depth
of your pain
I would walk
any distance
by your side


Some types of walk
must happen alone
well, almost so
don't turn your head
or you will only see
what lies behind
past dreams long dead
but up ahead
there lies hope.

I admire your strength
the courage to say
to still trust
it scares me though
what if my heart
is found wanting
when you need me most
isn't there risk
in all things


Trust begets more
so I open my heart
show you the core
knowing you take care
more tears flow
and as my heart eases
along with yours
I say that I'm always glad
to hear from you
my friend.