Saturday, 20 May 2023



Photo by Krišjānis Kazaks on Unsplash

Love is fear. Seesawing with hope.

Strategising for ways to cope.

Love’s keeping still. Not moving an inch –

it’s got no space to fidget and flinch.

Love is faith. And following on

blind, groping through the known and unknown.

Love is steel. Mercury and lead.

Its colours are more than just blood red.

Love is a mauve bud and green thorn,

the crinkled hands of a new-born.

A pleated silk sea of sunset gold,

the drooping elbows of the old.

Love is bone white. Flesh-pink, sky-blue.

I’ve loved them all and they end at you.

The villanelle bug has left me, thank heavens. It's a lovely form and I'm very fond of it, but weeks and weeks of it buzzing around the brain gets a bit much. So yes, I was glad to write to it but also glad it's out of my system now. I'm back to my usual form. This one is the first part of a series of four, as of now. I don't think it's over yet, I feel a few more parts coming.


It started with a quote on my feed on Mother's Day. "All loving starts with the Mother." I don't know the source, it wasn't mentioned but it resonated completely. May has both Mother's Day and my child's birthday so it's a great time to ponder on both parenthood and love. Though any time is a great time, really. 

My mother's birth story was pretty much over in two words - normal delivery. She was never forthcoming on the subject, so all I know is that her labour was short, no complications and there I was, born a week before the due date. Was it painful? - slightly worse than the monthly cramps. That was that. If you pressed her, her standard rejoinder was - one forgets, I've forgotten, that's nature's way. It was strange that she was so reticent, because Ma wasn't especially reserved. Childbirth just wasn't something up for discussion those days. 

My own birth story has lots of words - 'preterm', 'footling breech', 'fetal distress', 'emergency caesarean', 'get this patient to the OT stat', 'neonatal convulsions', 'observe for 72 hours' 'low birth weight' and other similar medicalese. Terrifying. Quite the contrast to my mother's. And I've not forgotten, so that doesn't hold for all women. However, I don't like talking much about it either. I do appreciate and celebrate the resultant offspring, in May and in all other months because of dem words. More than 20 years later, the baby's turned 22 this month, love is still fear seesawing with hope. 

Have a wonderful week ahead. 


  1. Hari OM
    Ouch. In one woman, each birth is different, too. So much dependent on the life coming forth as from the one bringing it. Only Love of the ultimate kind could induce one to bear it. And not all mothers can provide hands-on, small letter love as a result of it. Those of us who do receive its full force are fortunate. To be able to give it, still more so. YAM xx

    1. Yes, indeed fortunate. The other stories never got to the birth stage.

  2. As Yam says, each birth is different. My mother could and did talk about my birth. The birth that preceded mine where the outcome for both mother and baby was in doubt she never talked about. Perhaps couldn't revisit/talk about.

    1. I think that often happens with traumatic situations.

  3. I'm so sorry your son's birth was so traumatic! I'm glad you both came out of it well. My mother told me about my birth. Nothing she said made birth a scary proposition. I gave birth five times. Each one was different. Everybody came out fine. I was able to be present at the birth of four grandchildren, one a set of twins. It's all very amazing. I didn't forget either.

    1. Thank you. Absolutely - all that matters in the end is that - mother and baby doing well and at home. Each baby and each birth is special and amazing. You are so fortunate to have witnessed the births of your grandchildren, and twins are doubly wonderful!

  4. Ups and downs of love. Well done

    1. That sums it well, thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Quite the seesaw of a poem. I love your color comparisons.