Sally Richards



Spring at Hopesay


Yellow moving;

the quivering dance of petals catches her,

captures memories

pulls them forward ...



the banks at Hopesay,


Childhood fun, finding the frilly centred

yokey, and palest cream.

Highly scented narcissi a delicate favourite.


The energy of spring –

her heart lives

with the bloom of white cherry blossoms,

many years dancing beneath its confetti,

as tiny princess and bride

decked in net-curtain-veil.



with every flower another

some stronger, clearer:

the tiny stream

that flowed right through the back garden,

just deep enough to sail stick-boats

along, under, deeply weeping willow.


A magical place, Hopesay,

Her birthplace:  

one hot Friday mid July;

no fish for dad that lunchtime!

Her sanctuary

(when school holidays allowed)

for comfort and respite.

She longs for it, for all it gave her:

nourishment, energy, peace,

love of family.


The further time takes her

from life within its embrace

the more vividly she hears the cuckoo

echoing through copper beach

cutting through misty morning

early spring.

She remembers

Where the aconites nestled

in the wood,

where primroses hid,

and how the bluebells rang their arrival.


Now inhabited

by some other family,

creating their own memories.

Many trees removed: copper beech, birch, gone,

perhaps along with them the nature spirits, Driads,

who fired her imagination;  

the grotto where the fairies played.  

Do they still remain

now that she is no longer there

to see?




Sally Richards © 2017




you arrive ..

pulled unceremoniously

by tiny legs into being, into knowing

silent –

no cries, with lungs full: fluid –filled.

Parents, family, give breath

to nine months of waiting,

let go tentatively of fearful anxiety.

Your tiny form early by three weeks,

every precious digit, hair, so longed for

now here.

Your sister’s spirit

surely with you;

ethereal sibling, angel Violet,

willing you into existence.

Precious child,

of the bravest parents,

so longed for, so loved.

We can breath ... you are here.


Sally Richards © 2017