Tag Archives: poems

In my hand he held my heart

My love
My love

In my hand he held my heart

Silently I was crying inside. But my son’s entourage was an unusually welcomed distraction, deflecting from the highly anticipated event, the first day of school.

No wonder my son looked slightly on edge, with so much build up. I think he was starting to believe that we were giving him to the Missions. It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve said goodbye, but for some reason, this one magnifies that this is the first of many to come.

We all know the stories, but when it’s your own story, it’s raw. And I felt alone.

Well, I would have if my over-the-top, noisy, Italian, and brash father-in-law had allowed me to lament in the moment. But no, he was a running commentator on the day’s event and how my emotions were stacking up. My mother was adding some realism, years of experience as a school teacher; my husband was nonchalant; my mother-in-law was reminded of her boy starting school, but was on a strict warning not to cry, so she looked like she’d sucked a few lemons, straining to hold it together. The circus ensued with the little brother pleading to join the big one. And after a few poses for Facebook, show’s over, and it’s time for school.

In his hand, he held my heart. And we walked on.

I was more nervous than he. Schools do that to you. He hardly spoke, but I knew he was assessing the situation. He does this. And all I wish, is that his teachers get to know him like I do. I haven’t totally lost my sense of reason, he’s still a five year old. I’d have thrown him through the doors when he was two, when the thought of Boarding School didn’t seem so bad, but not today. He is perfect and I won’t be told otherwise.

In my state of delusion, we made it through the grandparents, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and the flash photography. But I saw no one. So consumed by holding his hand and steering him through. There may have been tears and tantrums but we walked silently on.

My nerves grew. I wanted the transition to pass seamlessly. Because you see, I thought he was starting next week and today wasn’t the day for my son to realise that his mother’s still looking for the parenting handbook.

My fly by the seat of your pants approach suits me, but my son needs everything just so. I had to step up and make him as proud of me as I am of him. Ok I got off to a bumpy start, wrong class. Though, I was sure it was that one. The relief when I found his peg and hung up his jacket. If I could have ripped the thing off the wall, I think I would have. I was raw.

Never have I felt so happy yet so sad.

P&RBut there were no tears. I wouldn’t do that to him, I had the rest of the afternoon after all.

And as I’d expected he turned and I let him go. To make new friends, have good days and bad days, dreams and disappointments, and to start making stories of his own.

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Lullaby

Lullaby
Lullaby

Cuddle into me tonight,
Close your eyes and take flight.
Rest your head,
It’s time for bed.
Sighing deep, love complete.

Whispering you’re not alone,
Nestled safely in your home.
The need to write and not forget.
Love is here,
Hold me near.

By

Felicity Fox

© Felicity Fox I am love
© Felicity Fox
I am love

13 Lowfield Road

Etched in my memory is 13 Lowfield Road.

Too young to understand or judge, writing to you I sent my letters.

Kept in your pocket one after another, and I kept writing.

On the day you died one arrived, but you will never know.

Rolling your ciggies, sitting close, sneaking out of mass for a half.

13 Lowfield Road.

Walking past the letter box, I think of you.

With nowhere to send my letters.

Kind and gentle you were.

Never speaking, always words on a page, and how at ten I never knew.

News of your passing met with tears and misunderstanding.

No more letters would I send.

Sitting on your couch I see you rolling your cigarettes, and a ten-year old

beside  you.

There’s a stale smell of smoke, braces and a stick, but they don’t see you like I do.

13 Lowfield Road, the place I sent my letters.

© Felicity Fox

My Blog and Me

Making up stories, poems, musings, writing letters and doodling notes on every spare bit of paper was an everyday occurrence for me. In my head, I am always making up stories and I thought blogging would be a way of getting it all down, and it was. I’d been writing press releases and conforming to standard for so long that I wanted to write it raw and unedited, from my head. I wanted to tell my story. I wanted to write. But with writing comes readers. I was writing for me and I hadn’t taken into account the reader. There really wasn’t a plan. Writing came first, the readers would come if they liked what they read. And they did come. Not in their hundreds of thousands, but they came nonetheless and I was honoured to have them.

I began writing about episodes of my life, trying to avoid cliches. It’s a bit like going for an interview, telling everyone about it and then getting a knockback. Writing leaves you open. It wasn’t a Dear Diary and I didn’t just want to document the mummy woes. I strayed into politics and why shouldn’t I? I’d been writing letters for years. I’d received thousands of pages from John Major’s office when I dared to ask why Will and I couldn’t be together. I think I was ten then. I wrote countless letters to my uncle in England, but after his passing I had nowhere to send them. I documented every crush. If there is a paper trace, my name’s on it. If you know Jo from Little Women, she’s a heroine of mine. So it’s no surprise then that when I felt lost, I turned again to my letters, but this time they were online.

I wanted to write about it all. All the wonderful twists and turns. If I was happy or sad, reflective or self indulgent, I wrote. I couldn’t keep up with the amount I wanted to get down, hours I spent churning it out, much to my husband’s disgust.

I was laid bare, but still under the radar and not quite ready to put myself out there. But every writer needs a platform. No point writing, if you’re not going to tell anyone, my sister said. I should know this as a PR person, but PRing for yourself is another matter. Writing about the phenomenal successes of others, exaggeration and fabrication, has been my job and sometimes yes, I’ve squirmed.

Putting yourself up for criticism when critiques come in droves did not sit easy with me. For a while, I contented myself having random readers from different parts of the world as I joined the minefield called WordPress. It’s an online publishing world for bloggers. Quantum Physics makes as much sense to me. I’m in the science of stories, where only three components are required, a beginning, a middle and an end. Throw in a few commas, maybe one or two in error, finish off with a full stop and voila, my story.

I approached editors hitting the high end of the market first. Urging them to take a blog that wasn’t written in Notting Hill, that had nothing to do with cats and some famous Rockstar lover and, despite not being able to afford the handbags on offer in the publication, women like me had the same aspirations and desires to be heard.

I put my head above the parapet and criticised where I saw unfairness, and some people liked it and others I’m sure didn’t.

I got rejected, knockbacks, near yeses, emails of encouragement from top editors, and downright dingied i.e ignored from people who I’d thought would help or at least owed us a favour. I’m used to reading the success stories, someone who’s made it, but what about all those who are working on it, that’s not a story people like to tell.

I met with people and I still do. It’s not the end of the story as yet. I was given advice. Write about “this bitch bites” and slate everyday people, I was told. I nearly cried. Why would I do that? These are the people I live beside, who work as hard as I do. Make it sellable, define what you write about it, specialise. But I’m not as narrow as that and nor are the women I know. I wasn’t going to be pigeonholed, so I made life hard for myself.

I wrote musings and made people cry, I was told. This wasn’t my intention, but I cried as I wrote sometimes. I found forgiveness, solitude and love again in the writings, and a love for poetry. And though I made my friends cry and some strangers I imagine, I found what I wanted to do. I looked for help from influentials but as there was nothing in it for them, no exchange to a Michelin-starred restaurant this time, the doors were hitting me and I felt it. But what I did find was I had a pretty great life.

I had friends who would repost my blogs when I wrote them. They linked to their friends who shared with theirs, and ABC Australia picked it up because the very lovely Sam took the time to recommend me. And for one day, my stats rocketed in Oz. This was a post written for my son starting school, but it wasn’t just about he and I, it was  for all my wonderful friends who were sharing the same day. My friends were loyal and even though it was my story, when they’ve their own stories to tell, they carried me and I kept writing.

KD saw entrepreneurial opportunities, helping me mount my poems for sale in Glasgow’s boutique Ollaberry. These will be coming soon, forgive me it’s the PR in me. My confidante boosted my confidence when it wavered and Lucy & I shared a joke or two which inevitably made it onto the blog. An old tutor gave me scathing criticism which in turn helped and continues to help me sharpen my writing. My sister and mother indulged me when I turned to chat about my Blog, providing an eagle eye and wit when it was needed.
And after a while, I took the plunge and posted it to my hundreds of Facebook friends or rather acquaintances. To be honest, I don’t know who half of them are, my silent readers as I call them. Few comment but others have got back in touch, old school friends, now interesting women. And as I can see the stats, I know I’ve readers.

What started out when I didn’t want to talk, but rather write, turned into an appreciation for my life, my children, my husband – though I tend not to write about him much, other than his love for his dog. Our story may be old in years, but it’s still young and not for publication as yet.

It’s only the first chapter, but I found a love for writing stories and telling them again. Am I going to keep blogging I was asked?

Yes, after all I’ve got my silent readers to think about and lots more tales to tell.

 

When you close the door behind

When you close the door behind,
auntie’s waiting with games in mind.
Laughing, playing, telling tales,
don’t tell mum and dad she wails.
Auntie has the time she says,
to take us for a treat or two.
And when the knock comes to the door, she whispers not a word no more.
Auntie’s always there for us, to pick us up and dust us down.
She loves us very much she says, but does she know we love her more.
She’s with us every step we take, with many more to go.
Because of her and all she does, we love her don’t you know.

p.s More musings from my Fox’s Den. Wrote this on special request for a friend to give to her auntie.

She is a Woman by Felicity Fox

She was his wife, he was her husband.
She was a mother, they were her children.
She was a fighter, he a worker.
She lives on, now he’s gone.
Her friends, her brothers and sisters too, all her world.
Brave is she,
Strong is she,
She is a woman to me.

Original Musings by Felicity Fox

Talk of inspirational women, my grandmother never makes the list but she’s my heroine every day. x