Treasured Words

For Charlie

Please be with women or their children who have disabilities,
Visual impairment, learning or physical disabilities,
And especially those with mental health disorders,
Surround and enfold them in your love,
And help them to live life to the full
Without fear or oppression.
Help us to bring an end to discrimination against people
Based on who or what they are.


A prayer for the committment service during my first holiday after my son went away, six years after, to Iona. It was the middle of the refugee crisis when all the people from war torn Middle Eastern countries and Afghanistan were walking across Europe to get to the deserted beaches of Scotland with their shimmering seas and cold clear skies. Washed up on the cliffs and beaches of Sussex or Essex first if they managed to survive the journey. We had a service featuring Paddington bear that reminded me of my son as his grandmother, Non, had given him those picture books, and he had done some lovely collages and cards of Paddington. And of course, his aunt had been a nanny in South America. At the time I liked this poem on the Statue of Liberty by Emma Lazarus.

Published by simplyme841

How I got through it I really don't know, but I did a vow of silence for learning disabilities for a year a couple of years ago. I had wanted to do it for three or four years beforehand, after finding out about an Australian who did it for the animals. But the timing was never right. It was difficult but during the silence I learnt about John Francis, the environmentalist and author, who did it for seventeen years whilst walking barefoot across America playing the banjo. I had to make sure I drank enough fluids and had plenty of exercise so that my respiratory system didn't collapse, and learnt new things and read difficult books to keep my mind alert. It is very tough again during lockdown too, but immensely difficult for those with learning disabilities. I began writing my poetry last spring in the first Covid pandemic lockdown, and it poured out of me. But as you can tell from my readings my voice is still weak.

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