Sitting here in my office, looking out over a snowy garden, it feels as if this is the first time I’ve been still, and in one place, for many months. I am enjoying the temporary respite before the New Year to catch up with myself and review the year just slipping away now. 2009 was a year of big birthdays, and great parties. It was year of exciting projects, where I had to pinch myself quite often to check on whether I was awake or dreaming.

I have nearly finished the re-write of my teenage novel The Champion; after taking so long to write it, it’s so close to the end that I can’t quite believe that I’m nearly there. I have also written over sixty sonnets in the last year, with a special commission which I will be reading at Holocaust Day in Halifax for early in 2010.

Here is one which contemplates mortality, as poets and artist are inclined to do, and feels appropriate for my contemplative mood at this time of year


Early morning, as I make my escape
Towel-wrapped from the bathroom shower,
Stopping briefly when I see the shape
Of my wet foot-prints on the floor.
My toes, the soles and heels of my two feet,
Like something from a children’s story book,
With perfection in the silhouette,
As if an autograph, my own true mark.
When I return I find that they have nearly gone,
Dried up and leaving just a watery tear,
To vanish later in the morning sun;
And I wonder what I’ll leave behind me here,
How light the traces I have made since birth,
Evaporating on the sun-baked earth.

© James Nash 2009