Power flows through me in ways subtle and gross

Power flows through me in ways subtle and gross.

The whisper of spirit gently surges as I walk by trees,

Notice bumble bees buzzing and swaying on their homeward approach

To dark, damp holes amongst tree roots;

I see brambles turn and twist themselves into spiky knots

As if to tie in for eternity, or, at least, until Autumn’s nimble fingers begin to unpick them.

I watch the tiny waves crosshatch on the canal’s surface 

And wonder what kind of musical sound they’d make.

I approach the beautiful Birch with my swollen heart 

And see the paper white adorned by crispy orange and green.

I feel warmth as I stand with a friend, arms enveloping, hearts beating together.

This power is gentle, loving, curious, connected and feels so, so freeing.

Then, suddenly, the other power rears its head and demands some dramatic attention.

It needs me to be more than or less than 

So it can exist and hide the hurt that’s bubbling beneath 

And MUST NOT BE FELT or… or… or what?

Too vulnerable!

Not safe!


And yet these things, when felt, dissipate.

But the anticipation of feeling makes me want to flee myself.

I want to come home, like the bumble bee, heavy with nectar, 

Hips swaying with the weight of it;

Home to the community where I feel safe;

Home to hive where we work together to live.

I’m tired of this world where money is a token of power 

And the getting of it extracts from the Great Mother, 

Who is being destroyed by this foolishness.

Different threads linking me to the past

Different threads linking me to the past

Through my time and beyond.

I carry the ancestors’ blood,

Their woes and joys

And unspoken trauma.

Like lightning it finds its path

To easy ground.

I stand helpless as it works

Its way through me.

Tired, I want to rest

From the touch of

Its relentless fingers,

But I fear there is no end.

I feel pains in my flesh

As if time collapsed

And the trauma is happening now.

This will pass, I tell myself.

Yes, and it will come again.

I bow my head and weep.

Rejection Sensitivity Hurts Like Hell

a man sits on the ground staring ahead. Around his head are squiggles and question marks representing myriad thoughts he's having.

Rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD) is a term coined by William Dodson, an American Doctor who works in prescribing medicines for ADHD. Whilst that may be contentious because he benefits financially from prescribing drugs for ADHD, RSD is something that many people with ADHD and other neurodivergences talk about. Dodson describes RSD as: 

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Golden Triangles (2023)

Golden Triangles (2023), acrylic on canvas, 22.5 x 31 cm

I made this as a way of coping during winter living in my van in the North West. I wanted something to do whilst sitting in the library or the faith room at Edge Hill university in the evenings, where it was warmer than sitting in my van. I attached pieces of cotton thread to create the shapes and then meditatively placed dots either side of the thread. I enjoyed this and I could see how agitated or calm I was by the size of the dots.

Locus of Evaluation Part 2

In Locus of Evaluation Part 1 I wrote about how I believed my art teacher, Mr Yates, when he told me I wasn’t good enough to do art at ‘O’ Level (equivalent to GCSE), and my journey to becoming an artist in adulthood despite that. In this post I’m going to write about why I believed Mr Yates so readily, and it may (or may not) relate to your own story about locus of evaluation.

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Loving You is Beautiful

Being with you is beautiful

However you are

Whatever you’re feeling.

I love you.

I welcome you back.

Together we navigate;

I couldn’t do it alone.

We are strong together

Sharing what we know

And what we don’t

On the edge of 

Finding things out.

I see you.

You are not what happened to you.

You are beautiful.

You did what you could

And your body

Created splits

Like rivers forking

All part of the one

In their fractal

Roaming of the earth.

It’s wonderful to see you

And to love you

And be loved by you.

We are not broken.

We don’t need to be fixed.

What we need is presence

For our parts to be mixed.

I wrote that before I really

Knew what it meant.

But I felt it in my being.

The whole of me knew its truth,

Grounded in a desire to mingle

And know each other,

No longer hidden.

Sometimes it’s easy to see

What we need to look at

And sometimes we hide it

From ourselves.

I’ve often said don’t go digging,

But create the conditions

For it to bubble up naturally.

Defences can be high

In everyday life.

Altered states take them away

And with them

They carry away shame

Leaving just the memories

And a sense of love

For the part that went through that.

It’s so freeing

And loving.

There’s a tension between

What’s legal and 

What can help billions of people.

I feel it in my heart:

The yearning for

A loving society

That cares

And collaborates

And chills

And plays

And weeps


Love Builds Weird and Wonderful Structures

The Black Hole, Watercolour pencils and chalk pastels on Legal Pad, A4
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