Friday, February 29

The dead rat next to the log pile is starting to dissolve.

Thursday, February 28

A small glass vase with a fluted top, picked up in the garden centre for £3.99, it'll bring modest posies of flowers to my desk all year - just there - one purple crocus, one white, one five-pointed miniature narcissus.

Wednesday, February 27

the room strains at the weight of the relationship
or rather where the relationship is trying to take us

Monday, February 25

On the back page of a children's book, faint score-lines of very neat handwriting:
'Dear diary, I am so UPSET because'

Sunday, February 24

a good job done

pull on the nettles
find their deeper roots
fat and relucant to rise

Friday, February 22

Thursday, February 21

four ladybirds on the windowsill, three red with sixteen black spots, one black with four red spots, persuaded onto a birthday card and tipped out into the wind

Wednesday, February 20

walking her granddaughter home from school, her beehive is white and smooth, her stillettos tight

Tuesday, February 19

the collared dove crouches on the birdtable like a grown man in a play-house

Monday, February 18

Sunday, February 17

walk to a bench in a frozen landscape. speak to your friend. walk home. feel the life burning in your ears.

Saturday, February 16

talk by a retired therapist

he talks about a child who wasn't held, his eyes well up. he talks about a mother who's child was burnt, his eyes well up. he talks about his work, the work he's loved, the people he's travelled with, the healing taken place, his eyes well up. when this happens the hundreds of us listening well up, with pain, with recognition, with gratitude.

Friday, February 15

pub lunch

the chips are nicer. there are two new australian lads in the kitchen.

Thursday, February 14

Goodbye beloved mug

Tea is seeping through the crack, staining it mahogany.
I'm lucky, I know this sip will be the last time I kiss this lip.

Wednesday, February 13

Pigeons

The sun is blazing. He follows her across the bridge and they jump onto the bench next to me. She watches, feigning disinterest. He struts round in circles, fluffing his feathers and cooing a deep purring song. He dances for her, and for me, and for the man on the other side who looks up from his crossword puzzle. They fly away, we exchange a happy look.

Tuesday, February 12

an old man slumped in the crook of a wall turns back into white plastic bags stuffed with empties

Monday, February 11

Sunday, February 10

the first leek neck; a croquet hoop, the stalk as thin as thread

Saturday, February 9

the long spiked shadows of fir-tree limbs decorate a sunlit fence

Friday, February 8

plastic rubbish bin

it lies at the mouth of the gravel drive
kicked over with the lid flung open, empty inside,
the exact blue-grey of a weighted-with-rain winter sky

Thursday, February 7

snowdrops huddle in clumps like gossiping nuns

Wednesday, February 6

a robin through binoculars, chest glowing in the darkening afternoon, he dips his body forward and takes black sunflowers seeds into his mouth

Tuesday, February 5

Yesterday's snow is grey and blurred against the hot white jabs of "Snowstorm" heather.

Monday, February 4

In the middle of the underpass a television has been beaten to death - twisted metal innards scattered around a pile of shattered glass. Outside a family of ducks nap near the edge of the water with their beaks tucked under their wings as if nothing has happened.

Sunday, February 3

thwock! - a lump of wet snow chooses this moment to fall from next door's roof

Saturday, February 2

in the cupboard, two fat white buddhas - each perching on an ancient tin of paint

Friday, February 1

a crow sits on every tenth fence post, watching for snow clouds