A recipe for February

Take the last dull dregs of January,
sprinkle with frost and a lengthening day.
Heat with the gentle flame of Candlemas.
Leaven with bulbs that grow amongst the grass.
Add rice and crackers for Chinese New Year,
rose petals for the one that you hold dear.
Sparkle with champagne, add a chocolate kiss.
St Valentine will surely do the rest.
Place in a bowl the citrus of the Med.
Look out for the first daffodil’s bright head,
the purple crocus, yellow aconite
and add them to your mix of hope and light.
Savour it’s brevity. Take it as a cure.
In Twenty eight days Febru’ry will mature.

It’s a long climb out of Winter still but I love February for it’s brevity and it’s hope, it’s little celebrations of light, love and life and we’re still eating Turkish Delight here — nothing wrong with that. It’s dusted with icing sugar and the ground is dusted with snow. There are a few wee February treats to be had. Happy Candlemas/Groundhog Day, Happy Chinese New Year (of the Pig this time so maybe sweet n sour pork), Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Andalusia Day (28th)

Thirty Years ago 1989, I broke my wrist badly. I had just started a new job in January and now was off work until May (not impressive). A kind stranger helped me on that day. He took me to hospital, took my car keys to my husband and gave my husband a lift to the car and I don’t know his name. I needed surgery and constant pain killers and lots of physio, and my right wrist is not very mobile to this day.
In June of that year a close friend, Betty Caddy, died during what should have been a routine procedure.
In September my father-in-law died.
In November we moved house. We didn’t stay long in that house — 18 months later we moved 400 miles. 1989 was the precursor to big changes.

Things are settled now. I like settled! Looking back it seems like someone else’s life. I am happier now than I have ever been — thankful for all the little things these days, warm bed, good food, love, friendships. I know I don’t always seem happy but that’s just me…and thankfully people who know me just put up with that and my gallows humour. I love where I am and what I do at The Linnet’s Wings. And if I forget to tell you I appreciate your love and support, I do! Thank you.

Speaking of which, I have chosen two lovely groups of poems for the Linnet’s Wing’s next issue which Marie is now working on. There’s a set of Irish themed poems for St Patrick’s Day and poems about landscapes, places that are somehow ‘other’ in the mind, in the imagination, in the real world (but perhaps only in that instant) in the past or maybe just in the part of you that hurts. We all know these landscapes but sometimes only a poem can take us there.

I am still looking for Moon Poems and Marie is still looking for Moon photos and art. Submission time is however running…

Maybe this tree is an ant highway or a squirrel sky tether — who knows? Trees are wonderful worlds — even the skeletal trees of February.

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