Dance and Poetry

My first manuscript “The Honeysuckle Collection” is almost ready to go off to the publishers! More than  80 poems and quite a few paintings and photos! Exciting!


for an advance viewing of one of my poems, here is the one I wrote for Alice Armstrong, for her local radio programme – all about Five Rhythms Dancing. To listen to me reading it listen to the programme



 My Dance 

Came nervously

Full of self conscious



 I remember those 12 judges  

Of long grey beards

That danced about me

In a tight circle


 Protecting me

From what dangers

I shall never know

They drew me in to myself


 And left me


Of human contact

Alone, and lonely too


 In the great city of Berlin

By a lover betrayed

I danced

My beauty


 And was seen

By a man from foreign parts

Looking on

He honoured me



 With words that


He had seen my essence

The romantic soul within



With tears    

My being began

To see itself

In this body, now


 And friends

They said, Come,

Beckoning to me

From the dance space they loved


 And frightened fawn

That I was

Said I, No

Over and over


 Till one day

My lyrical soul

Could bear it no more

To the dance


 It declared

And took me off

To the 5 rhythms

Space in the centre of our town


 Awkward, nervous

Painfully aware

Of the lover

Who betrayed


Dancing his heart out    5



Fully himself


 With every woman

But me

Blanking my hurting,

Bleeding heart


 And yet still I came

And danced my dance

Painfully, awkwardly

Dancing my loss


 Till one day

He was gone

And I was still dancing

Here in the space in the centre of our town


 Heart of our town

Clunky grey edifice

Unwieldy clumsy elephant

Amongst graceful remnants of our past


 Clunky grey edifice

Monday nights

You are redeemed

Holder of all of our hearts


 5 rhythms on a Monday  

I cannot begin to tell

The community

That lives within your grey walls


 My heart could tell you

If it could speak

It would speak of Love

Connection and Family


 It would speak of gratitude

It would speak of tears, of joy, and of fun

It would speak of brothers and sisters…

Of the real kind


 It would speak of a place

Where 70 souls

Blend into one

Their prayers lifting higher the air about them


 It would speak of a Love

So strong

It is palpable

That Love we all yearn for


At 5 Rhythms

On a Monday

In a clunky grey edifice

The heart of Totnes beats


Ever growing  

Ever vibrant

‘Tis a temple

To the future


Our community

It does grow

Strong in numbers

Strong in intent


To be the people

We have been waiting for

My dance

It is sacred


To Love

It is the dance

Of my soul

With my spirit


It makes my heart sing

Even when it is tears I find

It makes me touch heaven

With my wings


It lifts me

From my head

And brings me down

Into my feet


It beings life to my fingertips  


To my face

And enlivens the Love in my heart


5 rhythms dance space

Held in unconditional love

By She Who Would Community Found

We are the blessed


Who have come to her

From across the land

And across the oceans too

Our myriad experience do we bring


To our dance

With She Who Would Community Found

To our dance

To the centre of our being ness



They come

Sharp and furious

The friendship bonds


The women who love me

Support my process

See my vulnerability

And allow it to be


The men    

Whose very maleness

Awakens my woman

To passion, to full being ness


There are the ones who dance

Their full uninhibited self

The ones that hide their light

In shame


The ones whose grief

They wear as a flower

Upon their chest

And in whose eyes we all rest


The ones whose joy

Lifts us higher

And higher

Till we are spent


The ones whose communion

Is full of presence

With the one

Or with their chosen partner of the moment


The ones whose fatigue

Drags them


To the floor


And the ones    

Who would rage

Till all our passion

Is out


The writhing mass

Of loving bodies

When we know not

Whose arm, whose leg


All of us

It is

That we see

Here in this cameo


I today

You tomorrow

She next week

And he the day after


Would you

Be we

With us

In the heart of Totnes … ?


See the world in a flurry of colour

See the world in a theatre of movement

See the world in all its glory

Come a-dancing on a Monday night….


Hear the rhythm of your heart

Yea, and that of others


The love


Feel the felt sense of body

Your body

My body

Our bodies


Feel yourself

Feel alive

Feel vibrant as never before

Come a-dancing with the heart of Totnes


Tales of a city that is not too big and not too small IV

The People by the Ford


For many a moon had WynnAlice had heard tell of the People by the Ford, who grew organic food for the city that was not too big and not too small, and yet never had she visited, until He of Kindness and Compassion did invite her to share of her skill of storytelling.


With great excitement then did she go, accompanied by the Well Spoken Harmony Gardener, to see for herself the People by the Ford.


In a circle of trees, quite the most idyllic school you can imagine had been created. In a circle of trees at the edge of the farm, did He of Kindness and Compassion and Tom the Enthusiastic spend their time working with children to show them how it was that fun was to be had doing all the things children of old knew from experience; build a den, light a fire, make things from wood, and forage for food.


To a circle of trees strode the merry bunch; WynnAlice, the Well Spoken Harmony Gardener, He of Kindness and Compassion, and Tom the Enthusiastic, passing first one brightly coloured shelter then another where they did gather around a fire pit of special design; to one end was a place for fire and to the other a place to scoop the fire leaving cinders and hot coals on which to cook, and all around the pink earth dug pit were stones to keep heat in, or to sit upon on cold chilly days.


Around the fire pit were seats dug out of the pink earth, and on the fire a kettle it did boil, and nettles were picked for WynnAlice’s tea. A storyteller’s chair, fashioned from wood by Tom the Enthusiastic was brought, and upon this fine structure did she sit and the tales they did begin.


Of stories for children did they hear and share and the best of all was the tale of the school in a forest where once a storyteller had come and heard how it was that came two young men with fire in their hearts to create for the children a better way to learn. Told they their dream to all who would listen until The Humble Farmer did hear, and gave to them a circle of trees to be theirs for as long as a school in a forest was needed.


And in the natural way of things each stage of the journey was paved with gold; one thing led to another as good things are wont to be, and people came and brought their children to the school in the forest and little did the young teachers charge, for theirs was to be a school for all kinds of folk and it really didn’t matter whether they be rich or poor but a wanting to learn in the great outdoors was all that was required.


And dedicated to a mix of children, diversity did they create and in the doing brought to the world not just outdoor education but loving kindness too, as child after child learnt s/he was loved for who s/he was and not for what she had or whence s/he had come.


Magical it was, and the Well Spoken Harmony Gardener did swear he saw figures in the trees, and pretty soon they were visible to all and the woods did they come to life with magic and story and the merry bunch did know this place was the beginnings of something good, and happy they were.


Of stories we will tell, dens we will build, living tales will we create, and fires shall be lit and camps shall be had, and in the circle of trees that is a school in a wood children shall go on a Quest and explore the kinds of challenges only politicians do face, and through play and imagination will they discover that it is only in this way that challenges get solved, with the help of a little dreaming, a whole load of diversity, and a belief that everything is possible. And fun will be had and the adventurers will see that each and every challenge is solved with just taking that first step into the realm of our dream; the rest follows naturally as ever it has, and if floods do come why we will work together and community form, and grow rice on our hillsides not lament the passing of former times.


And the storyteller saw that these young teachers needed not her skills, for in abundance already they had them, and in delight heard she of the tales they had made, and encouraged the use of a dressing up box, forgetting their words, and making it all up as they went along. With a twinkle in her eye she could see these young teachers would go far, and her heart was glad.


And took she and her companion on a tour of the Place of the People of the Ford did Tom the Enthusiastic, and met they with The Humble Farmer and saw they the fields and polytunnels full of fresh growing food full of juicy cherry tomatoes and wwwoofers a–smiling wherever you looked. And from Tilly the dog who loved cuddles more than patroling her territory to the happy faces of wwwoofers leaving their working day with carrier bags full of produce to eat that day the place of the people of the ford was clearly the place to be.


the most delicious cherry tomatoes you ever did taste


Of insulated pods,

insulated wwwoofer pods


and hotels for bugs,

the bug hotel


of companion planting and exotic fruit trees out of doors,

Kiwi fruit


the tale of the Place of the People of the Ford is one that will be remembered all down the years; the place where the fruit and veg of the city that is not too big and not too small, with a cathedral in the centre and a green all around, is grown, the place where the children of the future shall learn, the place where the city dwellers shall find that community is found, aye and fun and food too, a place stuff of dreams; dreams come true, in a time of Transition in the warm southern reaches of an ancient land.


My thanks go to Chris White and his Forest School partner Tom Lowday, and to Shillingford Organics, and Martyn Bragg, its humble farmer, for inspiring this tale, and providing an experience not to be forgotten.


Tales of a city that is not too big and not too small III

The Super Heroes and Fun Town


Well, it seems that the girl in the blue top and the girl in a multi coloured skirt and the boy in green were not just the saviours of Pugsy, the rainbow coloured bat and Mr Hedgehog, no, things are never just exactly what they seem.


For it turned out that they were actually Super Heroes in their own right! Yes, you heard me! Super Heroes!


How do I know? Aha, well, in the Time of Transition, as everybody knows, there were some who knew that making their town a Transition Town was going to save the world. And in a Transition Town, as everybody knows, everyone is a hero.


For in times gone by, in stories of old, there was but one hero, or maybe a heroine too, and everyone else was either a rescuer, or a big bad villain, and as everybody knows, no good came of that at all. For if you were not a hero, or a heroine, you must be a rescuer, and if you were not one of those, why, you must be a big bad villain, and nobody wants to be one of those, as we all know. So if you were not a hero, rescuer or big bad villain, why then you must be no one at all, and we all know that isn’t true, do we not?


So, as I was telling you, in our times, Transition times that is, everyone is a hero.  Gosh, well it turned out that the girl in the blue top could write like no one had ever seen the like of in many a year, and that the mum of the girl in the multi coloured skirt and the boy in green could make jam, ooh the like of which has never been tasted, and was known for her liking of Peace and Quiet, and how useful a skill this could be. The boy in green, well, sports were his thing, especially swimming, and he knew more about that that anyone could possibly tell and not only that, but he could make things too, like yurts and tents, and all manner of useful things could he build out of wood. And as for his sister, the girl in the multi coloured skirt, well, what did you expect, in a skirt like that, why she could sing and dance to charm the birds off the trees, though she wouldn’t do that for she loved nature far too much.


And as all good stories start, this one started with a challenge. Now for those of you who do not yet know, a challenge for a Transitionista, for so these brave super heroes were, and all the way from Transition Honiton, is a thing of great excitement, for a challenge means; A LOT OF FUN!


A LOT OF FUN!?! I hear you say. How can this be? Do not challenges mean things going wrong and a lot of hard work and complaining? Do words like Difficult, Hard come to mind? Well, if they do, you clearly have not read enough Transition Tales


So, here be a Transition Tale, of the goodly folk of Fun Town.


‘Twas a long summer, and the young Super Heroes were sunning themselves, for there wasn’t a deal to do; after all, food came in plastic bags to the big shelf lined buildings where they went in small metal boxes with a wheel on each corner to collect it, and in school they learnt Facts and Figures, and about what other people had done, were doing, and were going to do, and clothes, well, they were made far, far away by people they had never met, and entertainment came inside a box with a screen and the people there they had never met either.


And then one day, came a challenge. What would you do, it asked, to celebrate when a child becomes a Teenager? Now that was a question worth answering, for does not every child become a Teenager, and who better to ask then, how it is this should be.


With a party of course! And pretty soon the Super Heroes had utilised their skills and dreamt up a day to remember, so that each and every Teenager would remember this special day for years to come. Drumming there would be, singing and  dancing, cakes with homemade jam, swimming lessons and more, and all of this would be written in a story by the girl in the blue top so that everyone would know the fun that had been had when they became Teenagers.


Phh, that’s no challenge, I can hear you say, and I say well, if it isn’t, where are all our tales of children being celebrated for reaching Teenagehood?


Well, just as our Super Heroes were relaxing after the party of all parties, came a new challenge, and it said that food would be rationed. Rationed! Ooh, well, now there’s a word not many like. Surely it will never come to pass that the big metal boxes carrying food in plastic bags will come less and less to the city that was not too big and not too small? But remember well, our SuperHeroes lived in the times when the dream of the Real Food Shop had come true, and looking about them they remembered their orchard, and their field where crops they could grow, animals raise, and barns they could build, and they laughed at the challenge and said why, you won’t bother us!


Food we can grow here aplenty, aye and have fun too! Grow fruit in the summer and make our own jam for wintertime, keep chickens and fresh eggs shall we have, and our goats, well, cheese and milk shall they provide like none you have ever tasted.


In great abundance did the Super Heroes live, with happy youth, and fresh local food, and when came they news that not everyone understood that times were a-changing, well, happily did they invite them… to a party to end all parties…


For you remember, they were well practised at this; every time a child became a Teenager was cause for great celebration across the town, and so parties they were very good at.


We’ll have a party, they said, and when the people do arrive, we‘ll feed them with our freshly grown, freshly prepared, freshly cooked food, the like of which they will have never tasted before, and then we‘ll host them in the fine yurts the boy in green has built, and keep them so cosy with wood burning stoves they’ll roast and be stripped down to their summer things in a trice. Then we’ll teach them our skills, for free and for fun, for each of us will be doing our favourite thing, and no one can resist a person doing what they love best. And before they know where they are they’ll be having so much fun they’ll be living the times, the Times of Transition, and they’ll have forgotten that there were any other times at all.


And the girl in the multi coloured skirt will sing and dance for them, till they all join in, and sing and dance too, and the girl in the blue top will write the tale of how the Super Heroes founded the town of FunTown, and people a long, long time from now will marvel at the how the people did live, before the Times of Transition, when Fun was not the most important thing to be had.


Many, many thanks to Sharon Pavey of Transition Honiton and her lovely children and friend for playing The Quest and creating this tale.