Archive for the ‘Perspectives’ Category

Priceless

My walk today was priceless, my senses fed in full
Blue sky, dusted in white clouds, the sea a clear green hue

I strolled on grass green carpets that led to rocky shore
Saw colours in the landscape that eluded me before

The blossom smelled so sweetly when caught by gentle breeze
It scattered like confetti on the path and round the trees

Prickly yellow gorse was in full bloom on craggy hills
And peaking from behind a rock were golden daffodils

The cackled cry of gulls ahead of me on cliff and wing
And on the beach a colony of seals began to sing

In grunts and barks and snorts, they called and shouted, squealed and wailed
While lounging in clear water and basking on warm shale

A grey head broke the surface and bobbed above the waves
It dived and glided into surf towards the cliffs’ dark caves

I sat alone upon the hill and out to sea I gazed
In awe of my surroundings captivated and amazed

My heart was filled with gratitude I’d found a treasure trove
Of nature’s true magnificence along that rocky cove

 

© Jacky Leonard 2020

Author’s notes
I’m lucky to have access to stunning scenery and beautiful walks.  This is about one such place and was penned following a walk on the Little Orme with my dog Tess.

Don’t

Don’t throw my past at me; it hurts
Not because I’ve done anything particularly bad
But because you and I have something different

I hope I’ve learned by my mistakes and become
A better person because of the few people
Who were very close to me one time

Don’t compare me with people from your past; it’s wrong
I can’t say I won’t do similar things
But please give me the benefit of the doubt

Don’t play games with my feelings; I care
Let’s just take this relationship and make it work
Through communication, honesty, trust and love

© Jacky Leonard

 

Author’s notes

Relationships can be tricky.  Sometimes, it’s difficult to leave your baggage behind and move on.  These are my thoughts on the subject.

The last goodbye (short story)

They both knew, at best, it might be months before they would see each other again, as they sat in the airport chatting about the good times they’d shared over the past 12 weeks. Of course neither would admit it at the time, they just joked, laughed and bantered the time away until John’s flight was called, kidding each other that he’d be back in no time. A long lingering hug and a cheery wave goodbye and that was it. Julia stood rooted to the same spot for minutes, gazing into the distance after her lover. The man she adored had just got on a plane bound for the good old US of A, heading back to New York.

How had she let herself fall in love with this man? What on earth was she thinking? But that was just it; she hadn’t been thinking when she bumped into a tall, dark stranger a few months ago at a works party. She was captivated by his accent, sense of humour and engaging smile. He was so easy to talk to and right then she’d wished the whole roomful of people would just disappear so they could be left alone.  Of course it didn’t work like that, she was there with her boss and had to do her bit networking on behalf of the company. She remembered that night. How both of them couldn’t take their eyes off each other. It didn’t seem to matter where she went or how many people she talked to, she’d look up and there he was, smiling.

She didn’t know at the time how that chance meeting would turn her world upside down. Quite out of character, she’d given him her number that night, not really expecting him to get in touch. Imagine her surprise when she picked up her phone the next morning only to hear his deep, seductive voice. He wasted no time in asking her out and they hadn’t spent a night away from each other since.

He was in London on business, so she knew from the start that there would come a time when he had to go back to the States. Back to his family. Oh yes, she had become the other woman and although she loathed herself for falling for a married man she couldn’t end it.
As she walked away from the airport she wished he’d be back soon, but didn’t see how. After all he had been completely honest about his commitments right from the start, but she still hoped. She slowly drove home in a daze, parked the car on the drive, went in and switched on the visual Valium to distract her from her melancholy. She tried to focus on the possibility of seeing him again on his next trip to the UK, whenever that might be.

Just then, a news flash brought her thoughts abruptly back into the room as the presenter announced Flight 6061 to New York had crashed into the ocean, with all passengers and crew feared lost. She sat in numb disbelief. She had always believed she would see him again, but now she knew, John was gone forever. It was never meant to have happened this way.

© Jacky Leonard 2015

Authors Notes
Written at a Montpellier Writers Group session

No life (short story)

He lay sprawled across his bed. He turned and looked up at his reflection on the mirrored ceiling. What had possessed him to put mirrored glass there? Even he had to admit he was not a pretty sight. He’d been on another bender the night before and lord knows how he’d managed to find his way home. But he had and had even managed to get most of his clothes off before collapsing in a drunken heap on the bed. He scanned the room to find his shirt hanging off the wardrobe, trousers on top of the chest of drawers and shreddies on the head board. There he lay in all his glory, nothing on but a pair of old socks with holes in the toes.

He was 35, very single and still lived at home. Even he had to admit his life was a joke. With a numbed brain, he began to contemplate where the last 10 years had gone. How he’d squandered a promising career and wasted his potential on booze and drugs.
As he lay there, naked and emotionally exposed he made a decision to change. He didn’t want to continue living life like this. This was no life.
It was now time to do something about it.

© Jacky Leonard 2015

Authors Notes

Written at a Montpellier Writers Group session

An ‘oar’ some adventure (short story)

The children were dizzy with excitement. Their mother had just informed them they were going on an adventure. It was the middle of the school holidays and they had almost had their fill of computer games, visits to their father’s house and playing in the park. Mum’s surprise trip was perfectly timed and they couldn’t wait to find out more.

“Come down to the kitchen and I’ll tell you what’s in store for us” shouted mum.

So all three raced down the stairs coming to a halt just in front of their mother who was leaning against the dining table with a big grin on her face. She knew it would be an interesting break for them, particularly as they rarely travelled in anything other than the family car or the school bus. She realised it would be exhausting for her, watching 3 young children in a strange environment, but they were good kids and she wanted to give them a real treat. Her main concern was how to herd them safely on and off the ferry, but before she could get too worried her thoughts were interrupted by her eldest, Tom, aged 12.

“Come on mum, spill the beans then,” he said. Their mother paused for dramatic effect before announcing.
“We’re going to Bruges.”
“Where’s that?” said 9 year old Hannah.
“It’s in Belgium.” Said their mum. “We’ll be leaving the car behind and travelling by bus, train and boat. Won’t that be fun?”
“When are we going?” asked Tom.
“Tomorrow” replied his mum, “so we haven’t got much time, you’d better go and pack your rucksacks. We’ll be away for 3 nights. Tom, you help Ollie to pack his bag and make sure you all put in your waterproofs.”

During the next few minutes, Tom and Hannah directed a volley of questions at their mum. Throughout their conversation, Ollie, who at 5, was the youngest of the trio, had remained silent, and completely absorbed. Looking from his siblings to his mum and back as the discussion continued. After several minutes Tom and Hannah had enough information and were ready for action, dashing past him out of the kitchen and up the stairs. He too, turned to go, although at a more leisurely pace with a slightly bemused look on his face. You could almost hear the cogs whirring as he tried to process all he’d just heard.

Their mother made a cup of tea before heading after her children only to bump into her rather worried looking youngest child loitering on the first step.
“What’s the matter Oliver?” asked his mother, “Aren’t you excited to be going on our adventure?”
“Oh yes” he said. “Mummy, I was just wondering. You know you said we’ll be going on a boat.”
“Yes Ollie.”
“Will we have our own oars?”

© Jacky Leonard

Authors Notes

This is based on a real life ‘adventure’ that one of my best friends took with her children.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget how different our terms of reference can be to others, particularly children.

The world’s a stage

Many come to the theatre
To observe the parts being played
Some leave unaffected by the performance
Others stay to share the experience
Very few will be allowed backstage
When the curtain falls
To see the real person behind the masks

Jacky Leonard © 1982

 

Author’s notes
This was written as a brief commentary on the personas we present to different people at various times in our lives.  How we generally only allow a chosen few people to get close enough to really get to know every facet of us.

The decision

The way out seems so easy when you hurt too much to live
And you think how short a time it takes to die
No more misery or pain, nought to take and nought to give
No decisions to be made no need to lie

You cannot find a single soul to help or understand
Life’s doors are locked and you have lost the key
And so the balance of your life lies there in your own hand
And you hope this day will be the last you see

But please before you take that first step leading to your last
Let me put one question to your aching mind
If this were next year and you could look back upon your past
Would happiness still seem so hard to find

We do not know what lies in store and this can cause us dread
But joy like sorrow comes in many ways
And time will find an answer to the problems in your head
Go forward now and live out all your days

Jacky Leonard and Evie Thomas © 1980

Authors Notes
Written with my cousin Evie, in one of our more serious moments.

Whatever that means

How do you define it, in feelings, thoughts or deeds?
Will you recognise it when the early seeds
Are planted, and your world begins to change
This powerful disorder that can leave you feeling strange
Incongruent emotions, your mind a tangled mess
And patterns of behaviour range from reserved to excess
A rush of pure adrenaline, a stab of searing pain
It will take you to the heavens, crash you back to earth again
And yet you seem conditioned to seek the force unseen
To hear the words “I love you,” whatever it is that means.

© Jacky Leonard

Author’s notes

Love – unfathomable, indefinable, incongruent?
This poem is a tongue in cheek commentary about love, after hearing the words “I love you…whatever that means.”

Bully for you!

Bullying is stupid
It really isn’t cool
Victimising other kids
When they are at school
Is really disrespectful
It shouldn’t be allowed
Just because you get egged on
By people in the crowd
Accepting others differences
Is what we all should do
I’ll be less judgemental
Can I count on you?

Jacky Leonard – © November 2013

Author’s notes

Written as a rap for Diane to use at school during anti bullying week.

The Coach’s Challenge

Can I give advice?  Can I tell them now?
Some clients seem so clueless about the what and how.
I know just how to help them, there’s things I can suggest
To get them closer to their goals and be their very best.
The problem is I’ve been told that coaching’s non-directive,
I’m supposed to ask them questions, be attentive and objective.
But surely that can’t be right, when I have so much to give;
I could tell them what to do and think and how they ought to live.
So explain to me just one more time why coaches don’t advise?
Particularly as we’re clearly, so brilliant and wise!

Jacky Leonard – © April 2013

Author’s notes

This one was written during a recent Coaching Certificate event in London with The Coaching Academy.  Invariably the most asked question from novice or prospective coaches is centred around giving advice.  Although it may be framed in various different ways, such as” Can I give advice?” “Would it be OK to suggest options?”  “What if I have a really good suggestion?”…etc…you get the idea…it seems to present one of the biggest challenges!