be sure to double check layout
Ten determined days lend
wind to wings of spring,
hastening a warming.
Each silent breath bleeds
through bone until
crowned in caul, I slip
from sanctified grip, heed
the ancient howl of home,
discover heaven in my feet.
Dhamma – natural law of liberation
Paused. Ate wild blackberries.
Inhaled musk of leaves drooping with morning,
flattened rowan berries into soggy soil.
Arrived at the cliff top, fortified.
Faced growling swell and frothing waves
bursting onto the shore.
Poised, my body caught the current of the fight,
bristled then beamed. A lighthouse
in my own storm.
The gerbera’s dark eye
stares into my soul,
questions the distractions
pulling me off balance.
cluster in the centre
girdled by an iris
of inner petals.
A serrated disc of orange
like a spinning plate
that one day decided to stop.
A single stem of happiness.
I am enough.
Uncle Seamus wore three-piece suits, kept a litre of vodka by his bed,
watched Death Wish on repeat and lived on the twenty-third floor
in the Gorbals.
He was a plasterer and most nights got plastered himself.
By fifty, he needed more than a cast to hold his broken body
after a lifetime of benders.
At my wedding reception, he leant in close and I watched
as his cigar burnt a hole in my veil.
‘Ah Julie hen, I can gie up the fags but no the drink.’
Christmas, I went to his grave with my dad.
‘I’ll no be joining you yet Seamus.’
I held him as he wept.
Seven months later, Uncle Seamus came to me in a dream:
suit trousers, blue striped shirt, no waistcoat, no jacket.
He was standing a short distance away, my dad beside him.
Uncle Seamus turned, asked if I understood.
buried my dad six weeks later.
© 2020, Juliette Lee
JULIETTE LEE is a former chemical engineer with a decade of experience at senior management level with chemicals giant ICI. Her international career spanned process design, production management, sales and marketing, corporate communications and business management. It was worlds away from her working-class background in the council tenements of Glasgow. And, however successful her life looked from the outside, everything was about to change. On 20th February 1999, she experienced a profound awakening. This paradigm shift in consciousness gave her new eyes to see where she no longer belonged and the courage to surrender to the long and difficult path of personal transformation and re-orientation of her life. Juliette moved into the world of coaching in 2002, trained with The Coaches Institute, and became an NLP, MBTI® and energy practitioner as well as an award-winning speaker for the leading chief executive organisation, Vistage. Ironically, her former training in applied physics has proved invaluable in the field of personal alchemy. Dedicated to her own development, Juliette regularly uses dreams, creative writing, meditation, shamanic practices and yoga as tools for personal transformation. She has written a daily journal for almost twenty years and has been a practitioner of vipassana meditation since 2012, attending a 10-day silent retreat each year. Having based most of her professional life in the industrial north of England, Juliette returned to her native Scotland in 2013 and now lives by the sea near Edinburgh, where she writes and rides horses whenever she can.