A Raconteur Girl Production

Posts tagged “Memories


Lilacs for Lucy


Resting Under Lilacs Collage


Lilacs for Lucy



Lilacs for Lucy

Blooming so delicately

Nanna didn’t want flowers

Who wants flowers

When you can have a whole tree?


A bouquet may be lovely

But as soon as its cut – it’s dying

A tree is the opposite

Growing, breathing

Part of creation, thriving


So it’s Lilacs for Lucy

It’s a tree for my Nanna

A tree for your Mum

A tree for your Friend

A tree for your Great Grandmother


When I think of Nanna

I picture a garden home

Messy, rambling, beautiful

Where veggies are planted next to flowers

And where wild nasturtiums roam


Green through and through

From her thumbs to her toes

Like a Hobbit from Derbyshire

It seemed to me

Things grow wherever Nanna goes


Walking in her garden I hear a canary whistle

Then break into trilling song

I hear the soft shuffle of quails

And the flutter of finches

Chirping and dancing along


I see Nanna sitting by a fire

Lost in knit and pearl

Her needles click clacking away

She’s making warm woollen socks

For some lucky little girl


Other times I see her wearing black rimmed glasses

Engrossed in a riveting tale

A cup of tea poured

But then forgotten

Growing cold on the table


Will I see Nanna again?

Sitting peaceful by her fire once more?

Yes, I know I will

But in the meantime I have my memories

And the stories passed down from days of yore


(Ok, so maybe I exaggerate

They’re not exactly days of Yore

More like days of yesteryear.

No? Still insulting? Ok, sorry. I’ll be more specific:

The days of Mom, Uncle Tom, Uncle Mike and Uncle George

😉  )


I remember being fascinated by Nanna’s teapots

She collected so many over the decades

She set them out amongst a myriad other memorabilia

Those dusty shelves crowded

In a wrong, but somehow so right, random, bohemian display


I remember brown boxes of Cadbury Chocolate

Factory cast offs Nanna had bought

I remember those jars of colourful Boiled Sweets

Those packets of English Toffees

And those bags of Liquorice All Sorts


It was Nanna who introduced me to the art of shopping

She took me to “vintage” stores galore

While Nanna searched for second hand trinkets

I discovered clothes and shoes and hats

Eclectic styles from years past, to mix and match, and explore


I close my eyes and hear Nanna’s soft English accent

It coloured every word she would say

Her kind and mild way of speaking

“Dook” she would call me

In that unique Derbyshire way


I remember constantly asking Nanna: “How old are you?”

And to my consternation and grief

She’d always reply with a twinkle:

“I’m as old as my tongue

And a little bit older than my teeth”


But there were times that Nanna was not so gentle

Like when she had pruning shears in hand

I remember her ruthlessly attacking

A defenceless bush in our front yard

Hacking away until only a stump was left to stand


Then there was the way she played scrabble

How competitive she would get!

Like she’d swallowed a dictionary

She’d thrash you soundly on triple word scores

And then off she’d go to bed


I remember Mom once laughed relating

About the time Nanna had a hankering to buy some Llamas

“You have a big back yard Jean” she said “there’s plenty of room”

I don’t know why Mom said no, it really could’ve been a thing

Lucy and Jean – Kingston’s suburban Llama farmers


Then there was the time Nanna got her ears pierced

Long dangly hooked earrings and all!

I remember being so impressed

Whoever had such a Nanna?

It was just way too cool!


There are so many memories:

Nanna’s false teeth grossing me out, sitting in a glass

How she called Mick “Mickey” on the first day they met

Her gentle smile, her hair when it was black

Nanna teaching me how to play draughts


But mostly it’s a feeling I remember

No matter where I’d roam

No matter where I’d go

Nanna was the place

The place that meant home


Memories are a gift

Something no one can take away

They grow richer in the face of sorrow

They grow more precious

They become history that defeats the grave


I am grateful that I have these memories

Though right now my eyes tear and mist

I miss Nanna

And I’ll miss her for a while

For now, my Nanna’s gone to rest


But I know one day soon Nanna will awake

On that day she’ll be vibrant and strong

She’ll once again plant beautiful, messy, rambling gardens

She’ll get to be that Llama farmer

And she’ll listen as her Canary sings a happy welcoming song


I picture Nanna showing her great great great grandchildren

How to play draughts, how to prune a tree

How to knit socks, how not to suck at scrabble

And relating tales and stories

Of how life in the old world used to be


Yes, Lilacs for Lucy

Lilacs blooming so delicately

A hardy tree with a beautiful flower

That will grow and thrive

And live to eternity




25 July 2015



– See you again soon Nanna, with all my love, Rach

John 5:28,29 –  Revelation:21:4 – John 11:11-44






A Survivors Tale



It was the silence quote



A Survivors Tale





Sometimes I think I’m over it

I am sure I’m in repair

But then something stirs and shows me

The old wounds still fester

The old wounds are all still there



Memories slink in hidden corners

Ghost ships rising from silty graves

Nightmares resurrected

And it’s me they come to torture

It’s me they still enslave



You have no right! I scream

You have no right! I rage

You took your pound of flesh

Before I put flame to your sails

Before I broke free from your deep, dark cage



I fight you – still you come

I hate you – still you stay

Time after time I slay you

Why won’t you be done?

Why won’t you die where you lay?



I have my armor

I have my shield

Love is mine, mine forever

I know who I am

I know what is and isn’t real



But still you rise

Still you cut me

You pursue me like hound and hare

You take my truth and give me lies

You take my fear and gut me



I do not deserve this

I do not deserve to bleed

I was their scapegoat

They left me alone, they tied me up

They let the vultures feed



Charm and fire and whispers

Agendas and politics and pretence

Feathers caught in a whirlwind

Blown to kingdom come

Scattered to where there can be no defense



Faces of flint and backs of stone

Turned as one, turned to go

Bargains struck, deals made

Pouring oil on my burning pain

Fanning the flames of my woe



Where the balm and binding?

Where the healing hand?

Where the staff and crook?

Where the voice of reason?

Where the firm place to stand?





Nowhere the comfort and brace

Nowhere the wisdom

Nowhere the faith

Nowhere the all embracing grace





Those memories are the knives that cut

The stinging truths that make me sick

That is where the nightmares linger

Those cuts were deep

Those cuts still drip



So the Ghosts are going to win a while

Sunken ships shall rise and sail

And slinking memories will find me

Where the wounds still weep

Where I hide and shake and quail



This is my stake

This is the hammer and the nail

This is their creation

This is my story

This is what lies behind the veil


This is a survivor’s tale










“Every time I close the door on reality it comes in through the windows.” 

Jennifer Yane



“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation,

nor does truth become error because nobody sees it”

Mahatma Gandhi



“’Now I know what a ghost is,’ he thought. ‘Unfinished business, that’s what.’ “

Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses



“Thoughts shut up want air,
And spoil, like bales unopened to the sun.”
– Edward Young, Night Thoughts



“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him?”

– Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes



Reality bites… and doesn’t let go.” – Anon


“There is no ghost so difficult to lay as the ghost of an injury.”

– Alexander Smith




“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”

– Stephen King




too tight shoes








Al & Me 2 Collage with Quote by Clara Ortega








I didn’t realize it

Until he went away

How much I’d miss him

How much I wish he could stay


Sitting at the airport

After saying goodbye

I suddenly felt

An overwhelming urge to cry


Al had made a real effort

When times had been bad

To help me get out

To keep me from getting too sad


He bought me a bike

He took me to soccer

And I know if he hadn’t cared

He really wouldn’t have bothered


We had some issues

A few problems earlier on

But we got over those

And learnt to get along


I found Al’s sense of humor

And love of good wine

Made him the best company

When I needed to unwind


And there isn’t a more passionate

Or fanatical football fan

Playing it and watching it

Whenever he can


But I love football

So that suited me too

And Al and I

Watched a live match or two


But our taste in movies

Is a little bit different

I like a happy ending

Whereas Al likes them deep and a bit bent


But we always enjoyed it

No matter how bad the movie turned out to be

The beer afterwards really helped us forget

The crap we’d wasted ten bucks to see


So even when it was hard

When all I wanted to do was cry

We still had fun together

Al and I


I realize now

Al was as hurt as me in his own way

He just didn’t say it as much

In that typical guy way


But now we are both doing well

Seems our wounds are healing

We understand each other better

We have more fellow feeling


Al’s a good guy

He’s a great brother

And I’m really happy that we have

More appreciation for each other


So it’s kind of sad

Now things are happy and everything is ok

To be so far apart

To be so far away


But I guess missing Al

Is better than not

Because at least it shows

We’ve both grown up a lot


I will always remember

That when the chips were down

Al was there for me

And helped me turn things around


That’s what family is for

That’s what brothers and sisters do

They give and forgive

And they love (erk choke argh spit) each other too








~ for my brother and my friend,  Al ~



“I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers.

It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage.

Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.”

– Maya Angelou




“After a girl is grown,

Her little brother

– Now her protector –

Seems more like a big brother.”

– Astrid Alauda










Secluded Corner


Footfalls echo



Secluded Corner




Do you ever think of me,

In some secluded corner of your mind?

Or do you avoid going there,

Not wanting to examine what you’ll find?



Do you wonder about my life these days?

Do you wonder what I’m doing now?

Or is the shadow of me,

Not something you can allow?



Do you ever wonder why?

Wonder what could’ve been?

If things hadn’t happened?

If we could’ve seen?



Do you ever hear the notes of a song,

Something familiar that begins to play,

And instantly memories of me flood in,

Memories from back in the day?



Do you ever regret the things you did?

The things you didn’t say?

Do you ever regret,

That you let me walk away?



Do you ever think of me and smile?

And someone catches it and asks why?

But you just shrug and change the subject

Or make up some lie?



Are you really happy?

Is your life everything you thought it would be?

Or at the end of every day dream,

Do you still come drifting back to me?



Do you ever see my picture,

And wish you could hear my voice?

Do you ever think about what happened?

Do you regret your choice?



Do you ever see someone,

And you think for an instant that it’s me?

Does your heart skip a beat?

Do you find it hard to breathe?



Do you recall my scent?

The softness of my hair?

Do you still see the light in my eyes,

As I laid my heart bare?



Do you have me tucked away?

In that secluded corner of your mind?

The place no one else lives.

The place no one else can find.



Do you still dream of me?

Every dark, moonless, stormy night?

Do you ever wish you could take it back?

Do you ever wish you could make it right?



Do you think of the things we did together,

And wish we could have those times again?

That this time round it wouldn’t be for nothing?

That it wouldn’t be in vain?



Do you feel it now?

Somewhere way down deep?

That you should’ve done things differently?

Or do you just let sleeping dogs sleep?



Do you regret that you listened?

That you let others have such a big say?

Do you wish now you’d carried on?

Do you wish you’d carried me away?



Do you wonder if I think of you?

If I drift to you once in a while?

Do you wonder if I remember?

And if the memory makes me smile?



Do you picture me looking out some window somewhere?

Not really seeing the view.

Because in my mind I’m adrift,

Drifting in memories of you



Do you wonder if I have regrets?

Or if I’d do it all over again?

Of would I do things differently?

Would I take safety over pain?



Do you wish you could ask me?

Do you wonder if I’d understand?

Do you wonder if you lost the best version of your life?

The version that for a moment you held in your hand?



But I guess you’ll never know.

And I guess neither will I.

So we’ll always wonder,

We’ll always have a ‘why’?



There will always be that secluded corner,

That locked place in your mind.

The place you’ll always visit.

The place I’ll always find.








“One need not be a chamber to be haunted;

One need not be a house;

The brain has corridors surpassing

Material place.”

– Emily Dickinson, “Time and Eternity”


“We do not remember days; we remember moments.”

– Cesare Pavese, “The Burning Brand”


“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. “

– The Wonder Years




No More, No More

No more no more


No More, No More



This is the last time

A last encore

No more weeping for you

No more, no more

Every time I think

That my tears are done

I find myself on the floor

As the salt water runs

Running down my face

Washing everything away

Away every memory

Of every happy day

Falling into oblivion

Falling running pouring down

Emotions pooling on the ground

A life left there to drown

This is the last time

I promise I swear

The jar is empty

The cupboard is bare

A life stripped down

And swept away

Nothing left to lose

Nothing to give away

Promises that were given

Were given in vain

A heart afflicted

Afflicted again and again

Sliding and falling

Slip sliding away

Hope sighing and whispering

And then fading away

I was wrong so wrong

Wrong in every way

Truth a fearsome warrior

That memories slay

A life slaughtered

Mourned without a wake

Nothing left to give

Nothing left to take

Nothing left but dust

Dust and decay

And when summer rains fall

Its all washed away

Now crying eyes are tired

Tired and sore

Every emotion has washed them

Washed them red raw

So this is the last time

Tears will stain this floor

No more weeping for you

No more, no more








“Do not give what is holy to dogs

Nor throw your pearls before swine,

So that they may never trample them under their feet

And turn around and rip you open.”

– Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:6




The Clanging Bell


The Clanging Bell




The Clanging Bell




There’s darkness in your heart tonight

You feel like giving up

You feel like giving in

You’ve forgotten why you’re struggling

Against the tide you’re in



You’ve been trying to hold on

But now all you want is to let go

Want not to have to care

For you know it really wouldn’t matter

If one day you just weren’t there



Everything is wrong

And you need to hide away

You need to disappear

Because you don’t know if you can take

Any more of the things

You’ve been forced to hear



You took all their torture

As they crushed your broken heart to pulp

But now enough is enough

You just don’t think you can bear anymore

You really aren’t that tough



One more stab from the past

One more day full of worry

One more nightmare all alone

You just can’t see anymore

Hope dies a little more

With everything you’re shown



Pain stabbing deep and hard

Throbbing numbly through your soul

There in lives heartache beyond all grief

And you know you can’t go on

You need to find some relief



They say that you’ll be fine

They tell you to keep your chin up

These things pass away in time

But what does that mean for right now?

It’s just a stupid line



They can’t understand what they can’t see

No one can see the darkness at night

Nor falling tears in the rain

That’s why they can’t fathom

The endless ocean of your pain


You thought you knew

You thought you understood

Then the picture changed

And everything you ever believed

Got all rearranged



When love is betrayed and all goodness turns to ash

You watch helplessly

As your safe world crashes and tears and rips

And everything you thought was still yours

Is blown away and disappears in tiny little bits



So take a life

And tear it up

Then sprinkle it with tears

And tell me when the nightmare ends

What grows from all your fears?



What if there is no end?

What if you can’t wake up?

What if the nightmare goes on and on?

What if there’s no way off

The horror merry-go-round you’re on?



Who will ease the gnawing ache?

Who will wake you up and hold you tight?

Who will put a stop to all the pain?

Who will take your hand and help you leap

From that careening run away train?



You know the answer

You know the truth

You know it well

All these years you thought you had love

But all you had was a clanging bell



Lying lips

Playing your heart three moves ahead

Words designed to deceive

You should have heard it coming

But you refused to believe



Friendships dissolved

Disappeared in a day

Melted away like snow in the rain

Not made of stuff that could survive

When the avalanche came



Hiding their own guilt

Behind facades of righteousness

Binding you in their bitter angry cords

As self-righteous hypocritical tongues

Turned into stabbing swords



You couldn’t look ahead

You didn’t know it would be like that

You had no idea

Left out in the cold and the rain

Left behind with your wounds and your fear



So there you stand in a place of mourning

Your tears watering the grass beneath your feet

As you place flowers beside a stone

And you’re alone

All alone



Sorrow wrapped in bewilderment

Truth making a mockery of memory

Memories making knowledge unbearable

Nothing hurts like the cold naked truth

If only hope lent you garments that were wearable












“Hope is the feeling we have

that the feeling we have

is not permanent”

– Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook