Happy Mother’s Day (and some poetry)

Happy Mother’s Day to all people who have had a mother, are a mother, have a ‘surrogate’ mother or family or have been/are a ‘surrogate’ mother or family. Yes, I know this is current date is really for celebrating in the UK. Or at least for me, a UK citizen, it is. France, where I live, doesn’t celebrate their Mother’s Day until June– and my sister and I already said we would celebrate it in June too as we’ll hopefully both be seeing my Mum then, but with all my Mum has done to support me in the last couple years I thought she deserved another celebration as well. I wouldn’t be anywhere without her.

With that being said, as this is a Writing and Food Blog (or at least that’s what the front page now says), I thought it the time to share some more poetry with you– this time Mother’s Day themed.

Maria’s Mothers’ Day

I carry daffodils down

A winding path

Followed by calming cotton-wool clouds.

I leave behind a blue wave of cheerful sky

And wander towards

Deep grey.


All grey.

Grey stone slabs on crispy grass

Watched over by grey faces

Peacefully glaring over

The ground.

You’re here somewhere,

On this day I’m told

Belongs to you.

The daffodils are wilting in my

Vice grip. The stems bleeding

Into my pale-white palms.

My face is grey

As I search for your name

I’m told belonged to you.

You’re grey.

All I picture when I think

Of your name

Is grey.

The rain starts crashing down

Onto the gravel of the path

As I reach the dark decaying stone

At the far left. Unloved, untreated

With ivy clinging to your memory.

I rub my hand over the fading

Name and breathe.

It’s your day, which we’ve never shared.

But my life is grey.

My life has fallen squarely into grey…

And if it’s all in grey,

Adding more wouldn’t hurt.

I lay the daffodils on the top of

Your slab and rub my hand over the crudely

Etched stone.

You couldn’t afford more;

You couldn’t afford this

But Dad wanted you to have

Something. Even though

He would never come to see it

For himself. He wanted your name

In bold letters on

A grey stone.

A single tear is washed away

In a flood of rain

Crashing onto my skin.

For the first time in my life

I whisper…

Words I’ve never said,

And you never had the chance to hear.

And whilst the world celebrates a day

We never had the chance to have

I sit and watch

The water hit the ground

And shoots of daffodils

Grow around

Your garden.

NOTES: Maria is a character in a fantasy story I’m working on (slowly). This poem sees her visiting her mother’s grave for the first time after losing her father to prison. When I want to get to know characters in my stories I often write poems from their point of view. Try this with your own writing if you’re stuck in a dead space not sure who your characters are or where to go– you can use any style, free-style like this or rhyming, or more strict poetic forms like limericks, sonnets etc.

I Know It’s ‘Mother’s Day’

Aunt Jessie says I look just like you.

I have your nose,

Your hair

And your smile.

She tells me I look just like you

But I can’t believe her.

She misses you too much to trust.

Aunt Jessie says you had a love for theatre

So I tried to like it too.

Until I was twelve, I never admitted

How much I truly hated it

Because I wanted to be like you.

Aunt Jessie says we would have been close

If we’d spent our lives together.

We’d have been happy to see each other get older,

But she also says I get my temper from you

So I don’t know if we wouldn’t

Have just fallen out

Over something dumb.

Aunt Jessie tells me about you everyday

Even though I’ve begged her to stop

Because I don’t want to know how you were

Or how alike we are

Or how it could have been,

Because I’ll never get the chance to know you

And instead I have her…

And so today, when she wants me to remember you

With no memories beyond stories,

I hope you’re okay, Mum, if instead

I choose to celebrate her

For all the love she gave you

And continues to give to me.

Mum, is that okay?

If it wasn’t, Aunt Jessie told me, you would always say.

NOTES: This was my Mum’s favourite poem of this selection. Again, Aunt Jessie and her niece (speaking in the poem) are characters in a series of fantasy space-themed children’s stories I’ve been working on for years (currently looking to get the first of the series published). One thing that’s hard to balance with the main character is that she’s not always the nicest character. She is very argumentative in nature and can be perceived to be quite lazy, though it’s mainly fear of a destiny she doesn’t want or feeling a lack of control. Despite their problems though, her Aunt Jessie feels more like a Mother to her than her Mother has ever done because all she knows about her mother is through stories. Still, she feels she has to ask permission to celebrate how much her Aunt has done for her on what should be, according to her Aunt, her ‘Mother’s Day’.

Grandma Cockel

Peacock walks around the cars,

Proud of its strut as it heads inside

The farm. Tiny feet follow,

As happy as the Pea is proud,

Guided by a gentle hand

To see what lies inside.

The rabbits wiggle noses,

The sheep take chase

And play with the Tiny Feet

Whilst the Guide laughs.

The Goats come along hungrily

Searching for purchased food

Or coats, shoelaces or any other

Thing that they can nibble.

Tiny Feet cries as a Kid eats her food bag,

Afraid she’s killed it

By allowing it to do what it was already planning to do.

The Peacock struts by again and Tiny Feet

Smiles, taken by the Guide to see

Charlie, the great, grand horse

Waiting to see them and whinny.

They gather into his wagon

And laugh as they bump, bump down the path

Almost running over the Peacock

Who looks less happy

With the carthorses hooves.

The honeysuckle sways on

Red-topped roofs

As the memory swarms

And settles in Tiny Feet’s happy head.

NOTES: This one was specifically written for my Mum, as it’s about her own Mum. When I was younger I would always call my Grandma ‘Grandma Cockel’ and I found out a few years ago that none of my family ever knew why, including my Grandma. Really, there was a simple answer. When I was very little I called Peacocks: ‘Cockel’s’ . Every time I would visit my Grandma, or at least from what I remembered, we would visit a local farm open to the public. In the car park there was a peacock that would walk around the cars, not having a care in the world about the likelihood of being run over. So, my Grandma, to my small self, became Grandma Cockel because I associated her with the farm where the first thing you would see was the ‘Cockel’. It may have also been the beginning of my love of animals. RIP Charlie the Horse– I miss you, buddy.

Mother’s Day Memories

An electric saw cuts through

The meat of the moment,

The sound reverberating

Around the house

Whilst the grey stack of steamers

Sit atop the hob

Full of gems from the ground.

Gravy salt sat next to a warming pan

Of water whilst Yorkshires

Rise in a wrong-county kitchen,

Remnants of love from

A person before.

Drinks poured from a living-room

Cabinet, politely dripped into

An odd, colourful

Assortment of collected glass cups,

Coffee waiting at attention

For the end of the meal.

Potatoes steamed and slammed

Into an old Pyrex bowl,

Mixed with a pool of margarine,

The cook smashes for gold.

Cakes for dessert

Prepared by machine

Someplace far away

And brought home

To enjoy…

Followed by fudge to entice

The kids and the grown-up kids

And lead them back home…

To home

At Grandma’s house.

NOTES: I couldn’t write Mother’s Day poems without writing one for my Dad’s Mum. Unfortunately, she passed away early this year and so it was my Dad’s first Mother’s Day without her. I knew my Dad’s Mother a lot less than my Mum’s Mother, so I only have certain connotations with her. The main one I have is, every time we would visit, we would be going for a Sunday Dinner (I maybe saw her a few times a year). For lots of people in the UK and Britain, Sunday Roasts are a regular thing once a week, but for me they were reserved for when we visited my Grandma because my Mum didn’t like making or eating them. For me, my memories around Grandma are all based around food– from the Yorkshire Pudding recipe she inherited from my Grandad I never knew– to her use of Gravy Salt instead of Granules and immaculate mashed potato (none will rival them for me). And every time I see fudge I immediately think of her as it was another thing I only ever had at her house. So, whilst I didn’t know you very well (and you certainly didn’t know me very well at all), thank you for everything, Grandma. I brought some Gravy Salt home in your honour.

Thank you for reading, if you do, and I hope you had a good Mother’s Day or will in the future when one comes around for you (or Mother’s Birthday, if you have no Mother’s Day). You may have noticed a change recently with my site– and you would be write. We have now officially become The Literary Onion again, and our site has hopefully become more organised and understandable. You can now find Food in the food area, and Writing in the writing area. Unfortunately, since the chance in site name, the site isn’t getting as much traffic as before (possibly lack of uploads, so I again apologise for that– depression sucks). Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.


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