Dear Readers,

I hope this edition of our newsletter finds you all well. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to write about this week and when Melissa asked me what picture I had in mind for her to draw to accompany my usual bit of odd and quirky poetry I thought about featuring one of her paintings again. She loves to draw and paint and when she was flicking through and showing all the stuff that she’s recently done I saw a couple of water colour paintings that caught my eye, one in particular of a girl staring down into a puddle of water. I thought this one would be very appropriate to pop at the top of this week’s poem because it reminded me of being with my daughter Emma last Wednesday when she was jumping and spalshing around in a puddle that had collected after a big downpour of rain that we had in Tokyo. I asked Emma if she knew what the English word was for what she was slashing and jumping around in and she said “No”, so as I always do, I taught her the word puddle and repeated it a couple of times, asking what the Japanese word for it was – the usual routine to make sure she can remember the word. The real bugger is that when she tells me what the word in Japanese 5 minutes later I’ve forgotten it, and when I ask Emma for the English word she can remember it, for sure youth is on her side, but the real fact of the matter is that she is more interested in learning the stuff that comes out of my mouth more than I am in wanting to learn that the stuff that comes out of her mouth – can I just use the age old excuse that British people are not good at learning foreign languages? In my case, I can’t really – sufficed to say that I will probably continue to remain pretty much oblivious as to what’s going on around me when Japanese is being spoken. Right, enough of that and onto this week’s poem, I just hope I can do justice to Melissa’s wrist flicking paint and water infused brush strokes. Until next week, I will leave you with a short line of connected words that came about after reading one or two words that Melissa has added onto her painting – “Being and remaining faithful to those around you begins with having faith in yourself.”

Boot soles first

Muddy, murky and grit filled puddles.
Clean, clear puddles that look straight back at you boot soles first.
Puddles that satisfy a thirst for having fun and playing games.
Kids on the way to school pushing each other into puddles and calling each other names.
Arriving at school in rain soaked socks and shoes showing off the fruits of their wet and fun filled labours.

Puddles created by rain and if a river overflows.
Puddles that get created when snow falls and ice thaws.
Puddles that get into the house and trampled into the carpet courtesy of a dog’s paws.
Throwing things into puddles to watch the water splay out at the sides wetting whatever is there as it rips its tides.
Uneven roads with bumps and holes in them waiting to be filled by what falls from the sky so they can call themselves puddles.
Then the sun comes out and the puddles are no more, well not until the next downpour of whatever blessing falls down from the heavens.

A quickly moving dark cloudy sky, a bit of thunder and lightening, the smell before it spits on you or falls on something you notice around you.
It is gradually beginning to fall faster and faster until it finds a comfortable rhythm.
It falls continously, its consistency is to be admired.
As it falls it accumulates, but most of it quickly gets washed down the drain.
Some of it remains behind having been invited to stay by puddles.
It won’t be long before noisy pairs of rubber rain booted feet and those not quite as well protected jump in and splash some of the puddled water onto more even ground.
There it will dry on its own accord unaided by any wind or warmth.

The puddles created so far remain full to the brim, getting added to as it continues on not wanting to relent.
Puddles provide what is sent from heavens with a reason to get divided up and spent.
Jumping into puddles and splashing around in them is what every child should experience because it makes perfect sense.

A poem by Stephen Austwick.