Tag Archives: security

That day

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They told me I was growing and one day I would be an adult. I was old enough to know this must be so, but too young to truly understand.

Eyeing my tanned feet encased in their summer sandals, I thought: surely they’ve always been this distance from my face? When my mind reached back it seemed that I had ever changed.

It must have been the first time my three brothers had taken me beyond the end of our stony lane, and we stood for a moment by the backwoods signpost.

I was familiar with the road which twisted ahead, and the one that led to the right,
but we chose the untapped trail to the left, a thrilling path full of mysteries which I longed to see.

A jaded adult may have ambled and dashed past so many wild summer banks that they all looked the same, but to this happy child each one was unique.

In nearby hedges I had seen the wild glory of vetch and meadowsweet, I had bent with stained fingers to to pick wild strawberries, and I felt as if I had been breathing such beauty for eons, but this road and this day were beauty incarnate.

Above me the sky was a Van Gogh shade without the melancholy. The complex scent of miriad summer blooms attracted scores of butterflies, bees, and other flying insects, while beyond the buzzing in the still heat, birds sang and a distant tractor hummed as it harvested the wheat. Four of my five senses were being fed to a joyous fullness. The early morning dew had dried, leaving emerald nature glowing with health.

It was a perfect morning,
and in a moment of clarity I recognised myself,
knew that I fitted perfectly into the world
and I had no need to reach forward
to find out who I would be.

Written for The Daily Post Word Prompt #Reach

©Jane Paterson Basil



Three dry rooms, free of infestation
whose roof sloughs off rain’s invasion
Sunlight filling my home by day
a view that carries me far away
may not sound much like luxury
but it feels like a lot to me

electric wires bringing light and heat
a fridge and freezer full of food to eat
a cooker and several sturdy pots
so I can cook that food and eat it hot
may not sound much like luxury
but it feels like a lot to me

And when at night my tired head
has had enough and I go to bed
a deep divan is waiting for me
and I drift off to sleep in luxury
while out in the rain the homeless lie
on flattened cardboard to stay warm and dry


Written for The Daily Post #Luxury

©Jane Paterson Basil

Bountiful life


well stocked fridge, cupboards
filled with the food I savour.
Delicious, nutritious,
with the occasional sour or sugary treat.
a carefully budgeted combination
of economy and luxury;
money to replace every item I consume;
a little saved should my laptop break;
some to spare for my aesthetic pleasure fund
(vintage clothes for Serenity,
a finely woven throw for us both,
a fresh coat of paint in sunset shades).
every item carefully considered before buying –
assessed by both want and need.
a conscious effort to avoid waste
of food, of global energy, of space.

home obtained by default –
several applicants had turned it down on sight –
perhaps repelled by the stain on the bedroom floor,
but my homeless state forced a decision.
though living in a block of flats
surrounded by aging scandal-mongers
is not my idea of graceful living,
there are compensations to be spied through my window:
a line of trees beside the road, the sunset.
angels on the horizon generating clean electricity.

such modest way to live, you may think,
but I’m grateful for all of these gifts:
shelter, food, and nature’s entertainment.

as day cools
I watch the changeling sky put on its evening show,
then curtsey with a hint of peach before the cloudy curtain drops.
rain falls, dripping from the trees,
making a river of the road, blocking the drains.
people run for cover,
or raise their umbrellas and make a rush for home,
splashed by passing cars, by their own shoes on the pavement,
by others, heels clicking, feet kicking, caught in a similar race.

while the lost ones, those less lucky than you or I
press their bodies against shop doorways
as the damp creeps,
soaking their sleeping bags,
chilling their lonely bones.

I’m saddened,
even as I give thanks for my own
bountiful life.


©Jane Paterson Basil