Shimmer ~ Anita Dawes #writephoto

Fireflies shimmer

Dancing on the edge of my tongue

Late-night sun, painting dark shadows

lacing white clouds in a world that is not mine

The moon hides her face, is she in mourning?

She holds the answer beneath the pale

incandescent carpet of liquid light

Continue reading at Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

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Night Flight ~ Na’ama Yehuda #writephoto

It was the island that saved her, in the beginning, in the middle, in the end.

At first it had been the noting of it. The realization that there was a place, not large and yet separate enough as to hold its own. Like herself, if she could manage it.

She wasn’t sure when exactly the understanding settled, only that she’d come to trust that if she ever had to, she could go there. To be safe.

That knowledge had held her in the years of interim. The island was the picture that she’d scanned across her mind each night as she tried to not take notice of what was taking place in her, on her, all around her. She took herself there, in a sense, long before she actually did. She nursed her wounds with the option. It was a salve onto her lacerated soul.

Continue reading at Na’ama Yehuda

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A flying visit to Helmsley

On our way north for the latest Silent Eye weekend, we could not resist calling in at the Yorkshire town of Helmsley and paying a flying visit to the church.

It seemed appropriate, as it is with our first visit to this church that our soon-to-be-published book will begin. Beck ‘n’ Call is the second book in the Lands of Exile trilogy, in which the adventures of Don and Wen take a slightly more fictional form… while poor Ben languishes in jail for the relocation of a standing stone…

We had hoped to get some better pictures of the wall paintings, but in that, we were to be thwarted by a Christmas Tree Festival, with trees decorated by many community groups… a lovely idea, but wholly unhelpful for taking photos.

We did, however, as always on a return visit, notice details we had missed on that first trip, like a carved mask in the middle of a wall painting, and the strange figures and faces on the old Norman capitals that were reused during the Gothic Revival remodelling.

With the church opened out for the trees, though, we did get a better look at the west window in the bell tower, finding a rather decorous Adam and Eve and a wonderful Melchizedek in the stained glass panels.

Although we have learned a good deal about how and where to look in the years since we began our journeying through the ancient and sacred landscape of Britain, the history of the church itself changes at a much slower rate, so rather than rewrite it, I thought I would share that first visit once more….and share the church minus the Christmas Trees!

So, from October 2015:

Helmsley (2)The door opened to reveal a painted church. The walls of the north aisle of All Saints church in Helmsley are completely covered in painted scenes and pierced by stained glass. The sight took us back centuries, to when the stories of the saints and the Bible would be illustrated on the walls for the unlettered to see and understand.

It took only a few moments to realise that these, however, were somewhat more recent than the 15thC paintings that still cover the walls of the church in Pickering, just a few miles away. Even so… a painted church is a rarity and gives a unique glimpse into ecclesiastical art. You have to wonder if they had been painted to echo those of Pickering, perhaps. The scenes here, we found, were the work of a London artist named Gast, commissioned to his own design by Vicar Gray and completed in 1909. Architect Temple Moore designed the painted ceiling, reredos and the altar by Thomas Mouseman whose work in wood always shows his trademark caved mouse.

The paintings of the north aisle show a none-too-accurate timeline… a kind of family tree… of Christianity in the area, while the windows tell the story of the founding of nearby Rievaulx Abbey. They are not the only wall paintings though… St Columba’s chapel in the south transept is also painted with scenes that show how Christianity came to the area, as well as the eternal struggle between good and evil… including an enormous dragon being confronted by an armed knight on horseback.

Helmsley (8)

Also in St Columba’s chapel is a fabulous window telling the saint’s story and an imposing reredos from Oberammergau in Bavaria. There is also a copy of a fascinating painting of Veronica’s Handkerchief by Gabriel Max. The eyes, cleverly painted, seem to flicker open or to close as you look. It is a curious thing… almost as strange as the tale of the relic itself, said to be imprinted with the true image (vera ikon) of the face of Jesus, after his face was wiped with the handkerchief on the way to the Cross.

Helmsley (1)There is so much to see in this church that it is easy to forget the church building itself. There has been a church recorded on the site since 1086 when it was mentioned in the Domesday Book, though there may well have been a church here much earlier. Most of what now stands is indeed the Gothic Revival restoration we had posited from the outside, though 12thC stonework remains in the base of the tower and the hogback in the porch dates back even further to the 10thC.

Helmsley (9)The great chancel arch, however, is something special, larger than most in this part of the world and with the distinctive masks of the Norman 12thC. An ornate 15thC piscina hides in the shadows and a brass memorial to a knight and his lady of the same era lies in the baptistery at the base of the tower.

Helmsley (10)The font is a modern one; the 13thC font was moved in 1868 to the church of St John the Baptist in Pockley. Many of the original features of the building were lost at this time when the Earl of Feversham funded rebuilding works. What now remains seems to follow a skein of faith back through the ages from the time when the church itself would have been very much part of the community, even being used as a marketplace.

Helmsley (5)Behind the font is a sad relic of a cruel and utterly shameful practice that is a conveniently forgotten part of our history. Mounted on the wall is a slave yoke, a forked wooden stick used to tie captives together and control them as they were marched into slavery. The fork was locked around a captive’s neck with an iron bar to hold it in place. The other end would be tied to another yoke, and family members might be tied to the yoke with rope to prevent the men from escaping, making it both cheap and simple for a few guards to control large numbers of slaves. Slavery had existed in many forms since before the Roman occupation of Britain, but between the 16thC and 1807, it is thought around 12.5 million people were transported as slaves. It was not to end until the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 formally freed eight-hundred-thousand Africans who were then the legal property of Britain’s forty-six thousand slave owners. What is seldom mentioned is that the their owners were also formally compensated for the loss of their ‘property’ to the tune of £20m… around £17 billion in today’s terms. The slaves, now free, were then required to work a forty five hour week for their former masters, free of pay, for a further four years… effectively covering the costs of their own freedom. Many slave owners were not rich plantation owners, but tradesmen and -women, middle class households… even country vicars. It seems not out of place to see this relic of an appalling practice preserved in the quiet beauty of an English church.

Helmsley (6)

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Like a Heartbeat ~ G. Michael Vasey

Gary shares a moment from the recent workshop:

This weekend, I attended the Silent Eye Keys of Heaven weekend workshop in the Whitby area of Yorkshire. Of this much more later…..

However, the penultimate stop of the weekend was the church in Lastingham and a visit to its beautiful crypt. The remains of St. Cedd are supposed to be buried just to the right of the altar under the small church and there are a number of old carved stones to view.

On approaching the church, I could feel it. Energy! Once inside the church, I could feel it pulsating strongly and I remarked to one of my colleagues – it’s like a heartbeat! Down inside the crypt, the heartbeat was strong and regular. To sit there and silently experience the energy pulsating was I think possibly the highlight of the weekend – possibly along with the Sticky Toffee Pudding with masses of custard I had experienced the evening before….or perhaps the dance of the Foxes in Whitby. These weekends often have many highlights and magical – WOW moments that I genuinely believe are magical that spontaneously happen when a group of like-minded souls get together.

Continue reading at The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey

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Mirror Lake ~ Paula Light #writephoto

One shimmering day

Enough to sustain a dream

Long beyond its range

Reblogged from Light Motifs II

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Knot-Work…

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But perhaps there were other, less hazardous,

ways of gaining the wisdom of the beyond,

and integrating being into the personality.

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Related image

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Continue reading at France and Vincent

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Colors within ~ Reena Saxena #writephoto

viscosity of blue
spills on monochrome
skies await
colors of dawn

worlds are not created
to remain blue gray
let colors take over
let them dance and sway

Continue reading at Reena Saxena

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Ani’s Advent 2019! Love, a soggy tennis ball…. and D. G. Kaye

Stocking fillers available on Amazon in paperback  UK and US
and for Kindle UK and US

Dear Santa,

Well, we’re nearly halfway there…and I’ve still got loads of friends to share with you! I might escape the antlers yet!

Not that I’d put it past her to come up with something else…

She says it’s ‘cause she loves me that she does stuff like this…

Still, she’s as bad with other two-legses that she cares about too. She says she wouldn’t pull  the leg of anyone she didn’t care for. All I can say is that two-legses get some odd ideas…

But, love is love, when all is said and done. It doesn’t really matter, Santa, how we show it, does it? As long as we can… and we feel it and share it.

I missed my two-legs while she was away… and after I’d jumped on her a bit, I brought her all my toys to play with, one by one, even though she had just put them all away for the night. She said I must be pulling her leg… and I didn’t, honest… just a sleeve… But I s’ppose that means she understood what I was trying to tell her.

And really, that’s all that matters.

Even if my best ball did get a bit soggy in her bathtub…

It needed a wash. It was all muddy…

Anyway, she didn’t really mean it when she said that sometimes she could live without a dog… we both know she couldn’t manage without me.

My friend today doesn’t have any four legses… and she still has lots of love in her life…

Mine needs me though.

Much love,

Ani xxx

No Furry Friends – Just My Husband

I didn’t want to leave you in the lurch sweet Ani. And I don’t have any 4 legses pets to share with you. But I do have a 2 legses in my life who is my pet – my husband, who does share a lot of your traits and preferences.

He’s playful and sweet and loves his back rubbed,

And just like you, he loves his treats too!

Not a fussy eater, chicken will do,

In his younger days he was more furry  like you.

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Now let’s talk about sports because he’s a big fan of ball,

But sadly, not the tennis type – more like football and baseball.

Not sure if you’re familiar with the game of ice hockey,

It’s a famous Canadian sport.

Where players chase a puck instead of a ball.

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This is my husband’s most favorite sport of all.

These sports are all similar, in that players are all chasing balls,

Instead of hubby chasing balls, he’ll sit on his couch and shouts

through the walls.

Screaming at the players on TV who throw crappy balls.

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So you see sweet Ani, there are many types of balls,

Just that some prefer to watch than chase down a ball.

My hubby is my pet as you are to your 2 legses,

There’s no difference at all.

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You are both loved and fed with plenty attention given to both of you,

The same love and compassion for humans and pets too!

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Merry Christmas to Ani and Sue. xxx

Find and follow D. G. Kaye

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Join the Literary Diva’s Library Facebook group for writers and authors

And the #ABRSC –Authors/bloggers rainbow support club

and find us on MEWE


Find all D.G. Kaye’s books at her Amazon Author Page


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Twenty Years: After “I Do”

Click HERE to look inside  

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

Read Sally Cronin’s review of Twenty Years After ‘I Do’ at Smorgasbord Book Reviews.


Conflicted HeartsConflicted Hearts: A Daughter's Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt by [Kaye, D.G.]

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

“Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.”

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

Read Stevie Turner’s review of Conflicted Hearts here.


MenoWhat? A MemoirMeno-What? A Memoir: Memorable Moments Of Menopause by [Kaye, D.G.]

“I often found myself drifting from a state of normal in a sudden twist of bitchiness.”

From PMS to menopause to what the hell?

D.G. adds a touch of humor to a tale about a not-so-humorous time. While bidding farewell to her dearly departing estrogen, D.G. struggles to tame her raging hormones of fire, relentless dryness, flooding and droughts and other unflattering symptoms.

Join D.G. on her meno-journey to slay the dragons of menopause as she tries to hold on to her sanity, memory, hair, and so much more!

Read Tina Frisco’s review of Meno-What? here.


Words We CarryWords We Carry: Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem by [Kaye, D.G.]

I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

Read Judith Barrow’s review of Words We Carry here.


Have Bags, Will TravelHave Bags, Will Travel: Trips and Tales — Memoirs of an Over-Packer by [Kaye, D.G.]

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.
In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?
D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

Read Christoph Fischer’s review of Have Bags Will Travel here.


P.S. I Forgive YouP.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by [Kaye,D.G.]

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

Read Deborah Jay’s review of P.S. I Forgive You here. 

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Our Love ~ Christine Bialczak #writephoto

Our Love

As I sit and I ponder all of my days
thinking about all that I do.
I think of ideas and all of the ways
I show all my love to you.

So here I am now at the edge of my life
wondering where you will be
when I think of you there being my wife
You’re a spot on the shimmering sea.

Continue reading at Stine Writing

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Peace #midnighthaiku

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Perfectly at peace

Wavelets drown the cry of gulls

Moon sails in silence

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