May
may your eyes be the eyes to seek me out
in streets of strangers
may your arms shield me
from a world
too full of dangers
may your voice comfort me
when this earthly vale is
full of fears
and may yours be the touch
to always be there
to stem my tears
for my husband of almost 52 years
Calke no longer holds
Its conversations of wealth and privilege
Its dialogues between Master,
Servants and tradesmen
That structured haggling
That perpetual persuasion of terms
Decided pre and post delivery is hushed.  
Those angry voices
No longer overheat these cool corridors
No longer is there the tried and trusted
Trivia of gentile society competing
With class clink of china
The whisper of whisky
Washing over ice in crystal.
Now there is only the non-human
Dialogue of dull walls dis-tempered
Declaring mute defiance
In face of decay.
Seashells stilled of oceans’
Whisper are visibly disturbed
Beneath smeared glass
Vespered swish of velvet drapes
Hushes visitors.
Shoes, boots, trainers, sandals
Clip clop over cracked parquet
Once polished to pacifying perfection
Now there is only the sibilant
Swish of skirts, the spiders
Scuttling over copper, brass
China, pewter on high mantles
Echoing the silent heartthrob
Of long decades long dreamed of
trivia; class; haggling
Trees count long hours on fingers of outstretched branches
the house contemplates
dreaming ‘midst its
great green lawns,
sheltering beneath its
counterpane of
complacency
encapsulating silence
heavy with unspoken thoughts
cutting across decades
of complacency
pregnant with unasked
unanswered questions,
silently writing the chapters of centuries
silently writing the chapters of centuries
from a home that never gave you
a true sense of yourself
that left you
like an unread book
upon a dusty shelf
into a world that didn’t give
that took all you had
and didn’t let you live
a life that stood the test
of future years
instead just an empty existence
full of frustration and tears
that put no fun or laughter
into your heart
just an endless blankness
to hide
the sadness
creating a person apart
a world that didn't give took all that you had
Spider webs were Angels wings
discarded when they rested from flight
Oily puddles were rainbows
flung to Earth at close of Night
New corn was fresh butter icing
When the world was born again
That far off summer morning
When I danced barefoot in the rain
In loving memory of my maternal Grandmother
Florence Cran (nee Heafield)  1898-1975

You I loved, above all others
Worthy of calling my Grandmother
Such safety in your steady gaze
Such comfort in my childhood days
No animal, or bird or flower
That was not better for your power
To nurture, with untutored ease
Or curb the cobwebs of unease
Such strength your fingers could inspire
As if glowing with an emerald fire
The flowering of a million seeds
Fulfilment of so many needs
Whilst, from the memories of your youth
Came realization of that truth
That wisdom is a skill of age
Not born of impulse, nor of youth’s rage
But from acceptance dearly brought
And only in your presence sought
They named you for a Heroine
A name that held so much of truth
They must have seen that early bud
That held a promise in your youth
You had a fierceness born of grief
Yet tenderness beyond belief
And – if  I could climb to Heaven’s gate
And by its golden pillars wait
I know I would see the children there
Becoming angels in your care
strength; resilience; love
They told me
Search for Wifel’s clearing
But so small the place
That I am nearing
My sanctuary?
Heart sore, foot sore
Scarce believing
Is this the place
I’m searching for?
A building looms and
The mist is clearing
‘Though muffling still
The sounds I’m hearing
So small a place
At which I’m looking
Smells comfort
Bacon cooking
Mud clinging
Someone close by
Softly singing
Black door
Of sturdy wood
Cross scrawled in
Congealed blood
Latch stiff to cold hands
So big a latch, but at last I enter
Cross gleams at altar’s centre
I kneel, pray, weep
A sole survivor
Willesley was a now vanished village in Leicestershire
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