Loving a wallflower

My relationship with my blog has been on a long sabbatical. Frankly, I’d lost my way. Writing about Peckham and posting a picture was what I did, mostly, and I don’t want to do that any more. Yes, Peckham will pop up, but I think now I will focus on small word sketches. BTW if you want a Peckham fix, check out http://joanbyrnesnaps.blogspot.co.uk/

Here goes. It’s grey out there but on the edge of my garden is something ochre, mustard, maroon, like a star-shaped stone on a ring. It is a wallflower. Wallflowers are bought as half-dead-looking  plants with muck on their straggly roots, which you stick in the earth and forget until they bulk up and make flowers. I like not knowing what configuration of colours they will produce. This one is all the more precious for blooming on an ashen day in December.


When not flexing my camera I’m writing a poem; more often re-writing one… or doing the washing-up or sipping a coffee, listening to cafe conversations. But, back to the poems. The Rye Poets – Helen Adie, Pia Goddard and me – will be performing poetry at St John’s, Waterloo this Saturday. Our subject is death!

ryecryptI’m the one on the left.

Salvation is at hand


one of my favourites

one of my favourites

I am fond of religious tracts. I like their certainty and message of salvation. Some tracts are handed out on the street and others I, literally, find on the street. I pick them up from odd places. My latest one came from the floor of a bus. I have built a collection of them, and have now made a poster of them to exhibit at a show organized by the South London Women Artists. Here’s the info.

come along!

come along!

Say it with flowers


This effulgence of flowers is at the bottom of my road in Peckham Rye. They are growing in an area which was once, years ago, a paddling pool for toddlers. Today it may be 30 degrees outside and the pool would be a joy for small people. But the sight of a host of wildflowers being courted by bees and butterflies is, surely, a joy for everyone. Big and small.


I was sitting at the cafe on Peckham Rye enjoying a cup of coffee when, out of the blue, this poem arrived: a response to the joys of spring. (Why the text appears in double-spacing is something the computer has decreed. But one must rise above these bloody irritations.)

when daffodils jostle with

bluebells, and blossom

fringes boughs and bushes,

and squirrels chase their tails

while birds warble, and dogs

ignore their whistling masters,

and leaves unfurl like

badly-kept secrets, then

spring my love has sprung