Poetry Corner

A message from Natalie Davis (in Guatamala)

Josh i often think of you,
And what would be if we still had you.
What would you say? Where would you be?
What advice would you throw at me?
So I write your name upon my wrist
For my memory doth insit
That somehow you`ll be beyond my mind
Thus by writing your name I often find
A closeness that I cant describe
From forming letters I enscribe.
Josh I often think of you
And what would be if we still had you.

Journey to Jura … (with Joshua)

This summer Jane and I visited Jura, that enigmatic Hebridean island just to the west of  the Mull of Kintyre.   Jura is perhaps best known for  its ‘paps’, three breast shaped mountains that dominate its skyline, and from whose summits you can experience some of the most spectacular views of Scotland’s highlands and islands.

Possibly lesser known is the fact that, in the years after the 2nd World War,  George Orwell found refuge on Jura and it was here that he wrote 1984.   (Orwell changed his original title for the book ‘Last man in Europe’  simply by reversing the last two numbers of the year he finished the book 1948)   I guess its debatable which of Jura’s illustrious visitors, Orwell or St Colomba who passed by on his way from Ireland in 563 or thereabouts, to spread the Christianic message, had the greater impact on modern life.   At school I read 1984 from cover to cover – can’t say the same of the bible.

You could say that both are now outdated.   There are just two churches left on Jura and one of those has been converted to a holiday home, which is where Jane and I stayed while we were there, along with our good friends Alison and Aggie.

As always Joshua was with us.  Here are some words and pictures that reflect our time on Jura.







You stand alone
Above the track
Between one house and another.
From across the bay
I can see only mist
Swimming towards the dawn
That will always change with the tide
Of  being.

You float in the must of strange weeds
Drifting upwards like strings of
Broken, dispersed and afraid of
To the swarm that begins and ends with
Every dying

It must have been an age
Since last you
Spoke to those who cared
To hear the news of distant wars
Perhaps sixty years or more
When Orwell wrote
Eighty four

He said when he found Barnhill
At the end of the path
Past deserted forests of a thousand
Crucifixes hung with children
Blindfolded and redacted
Forbidden from
Crying out
Pain to pain

Baptismal whirlpool
When Colomba came with the child
On the way to Iona
Was it already mute
Never to be mine
Never to be yours
Never really to make it
Through the night

Beinn an Oir
Barren, broken breast
With your crusts of scree
Mecca for many and I
Who would break an ankle
For just one peek
Your veiled

Watch me boy,
Watch me dive below
Dark brown blackish
Waters of Jura’s lochans
Stain glass shards slipping through my fingers
Naked now
Pulling me closer to that
Cloistered void
Called death




















This Tree is Planted in Memory of You – by Claire Gale

The Gale Family have been a fantastic support for us since Josh died.     Holly was one of Josh’s best friends and Rosie is his sister Rosa’s best friend.       Claire is their mother who has written these words which Hollie read out at the time of the tree planting

Rosie Gale scatters some of Josh's ashes

This tree is planted in memory of you,

All you are, all you knew.

Every  leaf a person who loves you so much,

Memories rich, lives you have touched.

Every  branch an offer of support and hope,

As the days go by and we try to cope.

The  trunk is the strength that will help us stand,

For days, and years, hand in hand.

The roots that grow silently under the ground,

Pull us together, friends and family are bound.

And as each leaf buds, then falls from this tree,

You are close,

Always  young, always beautiful, always free.

This tree celebrates your life,

It offers hope and it offers trust,

We love you Josh.