Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

A beginner's mind is often compared to a big waterfall with thoughts tumbling down like rushing water, but there's no need to get upset or frustrated. Through regular practice it will gradually settle, become as gentle as a quiet river, and finally as deep and peaceful as an ocean without waves.

(Picture of Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland by Ross Mackenzie)

Friday, 16 September 2011


inspired by Michael Longley’s ‘Petalwort’
i. m. Mabel Winifred Reece ("Aunty Freda")

You wanted your ashes sprinkled
off the point at Morte, unapproachable
jags of rock you steered a course round well
into your nineties. I place you under
new-cut turf in the council cemetery.
It’s just as good, I tell you, you can still
see the sea from here; better really
that view along the sands.

You would never have been so
selfish but I need this place
need to feel you sheltered here
need your mark on man-made stone.
The weather you send, sunlight lifting the fog
over Baggy Point, suggests you forgive me.

Susanna Reece

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


The sun paints a triangle
on my wall, equilateral except
for one rounded corner.

Cosmic message
of perfect simplicity,
in monochrome.

A limelight rhomboid,
like the lime-green triangles
in a Quality Street box.

Its shape changes
as it moves across the wall.
Autumn is speeding up the days.

Susanna Reece

Monday, 12 September 2011

Flash Fiction - a prose poem

It started the morning Steve’s white shirts came out pink in the wash. Of course Bobby’s new sweatshirt wasn’t colourfast, it said so on the label. But that was the day Colleen phoned to say she had found Mum lying in a pool of blood and could I come as she had an eight o’clock lecture? That’s my darling sister for you: I’m only a housewife with a poetry habit, I can’t have much to do. And of course I went, piling Stephanie and Bobby into the car and the washing into the machine, leaving it running.
Fortunately the blood turned out to be a bit of spin, just a minor head wound where Mum had fallen against her poppy-red kitchen cupboards. But when the ambulance came she had broken her hip and they stretchered her out. I drove behind, my eyes fixed on the carmine cross, stark against white metal. “Will Grandma be long in the hospital? Will we visit every day?” Stephanie swung her Canadian-flag shoes against the back seat, a Daz-white maple leaf on each foot. On the way, the traffic lights blinked amber, red.
There are fifteen sets of lights between home and the hospital. I haven’t passed through on green once in the past six weeks. It’s like having a packet of sweets and never pulling out your favourite colour. The longest wait is Cross Street, a full three minutes. I pick my fingers while I wait, blood flowing into my nails, a crimson lake. Sometimes I plunge through on amber and beat the bastards. But that hasn’t happened for several days: they see me coming with their fixed owl’s eyes.
At night while everyone is asleep I lay out lines of poetry like bricks, cementing each word. I write about traffic lights, about waiting for my life to turn green.

Susanna Reece

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Milton's Mermaid

Sabrina fair,
Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
In twisted braids of lilies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair,
Listen for dear honour's sake,
Goddess of the silver lake,
Listen and save.

John Milton, from Comus: A Masque