Tag Archives: wonder

Green Man

arc of stars in dark sky

Come, I will show you something magical. There is a glade not far from here where wonder can be beheld. Here; let us settle on this log and observe. It’s beautiful, isn’t it, the way the moonlight plays on the leaves, turns them to mirrors. They shimmer like mercury. See how it silvers the grass that covers that mound on the other side of the clearing; how it ripples very slightly even though there’s hardly a breeze. It almost looks as though the ground is breathing.

Look up. Have you ever seen so many stars? Diamond bright, all those gems, as if some sky pirate has scattered treasure far and wide, so no one being can ever gather it up again. I see you tracing out patterns, some familiar, some less so.

“It looks different here,” you say.

Indeed. For we are between here; between worlds, between planes, call it what you will. But we can see many sets of stars, a myriad of constellations. I know you will recognise Orion, Draco, Ursa Major and Minor. Others too. But some will be new. The doe, the fox, the serpent. And some are more surprising than others. You’ll see. Not long to wait now.

I see your eyes widen but you are not mistaken. It seems that the stars are moving, coalescing, taking on their true forms. And yes, here they come, tumbling and dancing, flying down from the heavens and leaving crystalline trails behind them.

The hare is first, silver whiskers twitching as she bounds, weightless, across the clearing. The fox follows and a shoal of glittering minnows dart impossibly in and out of the trees. The badger and the mouse amble across the grass and the serpent coils luxuriously around the mound that seems to draw them to it like a magnet.

Look closely. The ground is stirring. He is waking up.

A small giant, a green man made of earth and roots, bark and leaves, sits up in his loamy bed and stretches. His eyes are a deep bright green and he is smiling as he greets his friends, stretching out his hand to stroke heads and backs. A flock of birds swoop in to land on his shoulders and arms and the starry creatures whirl around him until he too stands up and begins to dance. Faster and faster they spin and turn until his guffaw of delighted laughter shakes the leaves on the trees. The star creatures fall to the grass to rest.

The green man remains standing. They wait and sure enough the last visitors arrive, gently and quietly, a doe and a stag, their feet barely touching the grass as they stop in front of the man. Such a moment of peace descends; have you ever felt anything like it?

Then the man bows to the two deer and they return the courtesy. He watches as they turn and gallop back up into the sky, the other animals following one by one. They become smaller and smaller until they resolve back into constellations, sparkling in the indigo.

The green man goes back to his earthy bed and pulls his grassy blanket over himself. He will slumber until the next turn of the wheel.

The Myth of Turret Shells

I bought this beautiful card several years ago and it planted the seed for this little tale which is part of a collection I’m working on entitled Great Grandmother’s Tales From The Shore.

Sea Unicorn by Brett. Card by Sunrise Publications Inc.


“We always collected things when we went to the beach, shells, stones, driftwood, bits of sea worn glass. Treasures from the deep, Great Grandma called them. Gifts from the sea. They all have a tale to tell, a secret history. You just have to open yourself to it.

I love the turret shells because they aren’t really shells at all. People only think they are because they’ve lost the ability to believe in anything that can’t be proved. And maybe they do get seconded by homeless invertebrates from time to time. Maybe the hermit crab isn’t the only thing in the sea that lives as a squatter. I don’t know. But I do know they’re not shells.

Because they’re horns.

See, when the white horses are first born out in the waves, they all have a horn, just the one, in the centre of their foreheads above their eyes. And to start with, they live out there amongst the rollers and the breakers, learning to trot and canter and gallop, to race the winds as they whip the surface, to swim in the deep blue as the sun turns it to gold.

But when they come of age, they reach the time of the calling. It is a choice that each and every one must make. They are drawn towards the shore and, in the in between, where the water changes colour as the earth rises beneath it, they must decide whether to stay in the sea or forge a new path on the land.

Those that come ashore hide in forests and green places. We call them unicorns.

Those that remain behind lose their horns. They stay and play out in the open water. We only see them as white caps on the waves.

The horns become houses for little shellfish. Or mementos picked up on a day at the beach.

There are less of them now. Far less than when I was a child. I wonder why that might be.”

Drinking The Sky

sunset, drink the sky, distil the colours

Once there was a girl who had a rainbow heart.

It called to the sunrise, lavender and soft rose birthing a new day.

It soared in the shocking blue of a clear summer sky.

It drifted with the cirrus and the cumulus and roared with the steel grey storm clouds.

It remembered whirling snowflakes and floating mist, heavy raindrops and gentle breezes.

It danced as low mellow light fell through branches and turned fallen beech leaves into rivers of molten copper.

When the sun gilded the horizon with gold, it sang.

It inhaled the sunset, the deep reds and oranges lasting only a few moments before the cloak of twilight hid them away.

It slumbered beneath the indigo night and dreamt of stars.

Wouldn’t you like one? A heart like hers?



The Faeries’ Bazaar

“Have you ever seen it? The path, I mean? It changes and it moves, so it’s hard to find, even if you’re looking for it. Because you never really know what you’re looking for…”

In two weeks time, on the 16th September in fact, the path will lead to Thorncombe Village Hall where you’ll find The Faeries’ Bazaar.

It’s a mystical narrative of interlinking pieces that leads you through the Bazaar and introduces you to the various shopkeepers and characters to be found there. From the Apothecary to the Bookseller, the three sisters in the Sewing Room to Amily the street magician, each has a tale to weave around you.

angel faery


My older son Jed has composed a beautiful soundtrack that laces all the stories together. He plays as I read; he is the Troubador.


Younger son Zack, who is a most excellent chef, is the Innkeeper, while my husband Brian is our troubleshooter and all round good guy.

All proceeds from this performance will go to The Word Forest Organisation, carrying out amazing reforestation and educational work in Kenya. Check out what they do here: wordforest.org

So, if you’re local (or even if you’re not) please join us for an evening of music and storytelling.

For more details, contact me via my Facebook page:  IzzyRobertsonAuthor/events

Or you can book tickets here: wordforest.org/faeries-bazaar

Hope to see you there!

Dandelion Clocks

dandelion clockI like to mark time with dandelion clocks. They have no need for cogs and wheels, springs and tension. They require no winding up; there are no numbered faces around which hands are driven, ticking and tocking the minutes away with relentless inevitability. No hands even, especially not the straight, black, rigid sort, the ones that chase us through the day, constantly reminding us of all the things that we still haven’t done.

Mechanical clocks; a pulse without a heart, beating away our lives.


Give me the soft sway of the dandelion clocks, soft filigree glimmering in the sun, ethereal filaments floating and dancing on the whim of the breeze. Let me measure my day by sunshine and shadows, the opening of flowers and the rising of the stars. Let me enjoy the moments instead of counting the minutes and let my eyes always be open to wonders everywhere.

Just One Of Those Days

washing machine symbol


Ever had one of those days when it seems that all machinery is out to get you, all electronics are conspiring against you and the world in general is having a laugh at your expense? A bit like this:


The washing machine ate my jumper

The computer just wouldn’t play

The shower packed up

And the car broke down

What the heck’s going on today?


And then other days you wake up to sunshine (real and metaphorical) and the world gives you a big hug and shows you something like this:lavender


There are jewels in the lavender.

A flock of greenfinches are

Having breakfast.

Intent on their fluttery purpose, they are

Stripping the heads with glee

Soft jade among the amethyst.

We watch without breathing


And then suddenly

They are gone.


Everyday magic both, but one definitely preferable to the other. I try and take mental snapshots of moments of wonder like these on sunshiny days; then when everything is going pear shaped they help to remind me that things will get better. Along with a little cathartic swearing and a nice cup of tea, they’re a good way of restoring balance.

The Moss Girl – a short story

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Moss on rocks by stream

Photo by Jon Sullivan

The Moss Girl gazed from the outcrop of rocks into the clearing where the stream sparkled and the silver birches laughed, swinging their silky green hair over the water. The beeches stood behind them, the tree cover thickening away from the glade. She felt the old stones beneath her, skeleton to her skin, heard the soft music of the sunlit air and the quiet awe of the people who wandered through, commenting on the beauty of the water, the trees, the flowers that danced through the grass. It saddened her;  she did not have the grace of the birches and their sisters, the ash or the colourful clothes of the starflowers and campion and buttercups. She lacked the musical voice of the flighted ones and the brilliance of the water which threw diamonds all around, the ancient stillness of the rocks and the old wisdom of the trees. The shimmering loveliness of the leaves beneath the radiance of the sun and moon was beyond her. She felt unseen amongst nature, unnoticed and unimportant.

She rose in the morning to join the dance with the tree sylphs, and they encouraged her, whirling around her and whispering ‘Well done, little sister.’ But they were taller and more elegant than she, light as air, and try as she might she could never keep up. She rose in the night to follow the naiads as they skipped and skated along the stream, and they called to her ‘Join us, little sister.’ But they were quicker and stronger than she, streamlined and sleek in the water, and she was always left behind.

One night, when the moon was full and the glade gleamed softly in the light, it became too much for the Moss Girl. She knelt bereft by the brook, watching the naiads leaping from the silvered surface and the sylphs gliding amongst the tree trunks, salt tears slipping down her face into the water and onto the ground. The naiads came to her and said ‘Don’t weep, little sister, for your tears will turn our stream into sea and we will have to leave.’ The sylphs came to her and said ‘Don’t weep, little sister, for your tears will salt the earth and our trees will not grow and we will have to leave.’ So the Moss Girl returned to her place and curled up into a ball and wept onto the rocks where she would cause no harm.

Eventually, she became aware of movement, a shifting and creaking and grinding behind her. She sat up quickly, unsure of what was happening. The surface of the stone rippled and tore; a figure began to emerge, pulling out of the very rock itself. Stillness fell over the glade – the naiads came to rest at the edge of the stream and the sylphs returned to stand silently beside their trees. The Moss Girl drew herself into the smallest space she could, all but disappearing into her soft green dress.

The figure shook herself loose from the outcrop and moved forward, stretching. The Moss Girl hid her face, recognising the power of a most ancient spirit. The Stone Mother rarely appeared in person – she, like the others of her kind, was usually there as a presence only. For her to corporealise indicated something of great importance and the Moss Girl wanted to stay out of the way. So she was surprised when she felt a hand on her head, stroking her soft green hair.

‘Why are you crying, little one?’ The voice was deep and resonant, felt through the bones of the earth.
‘Oh Mother, it is nothing important,’ said the Moss Girl, horrified that she had taken the Mother’s attention away from her duties.
‘It is important,’ the Stone Mother disagreed. ‘When one of us weeps as you are now, it affects us all.’
‘But I have no worth,’ said the Moss Girl. ‘I am plain, not beautiful like the flowers, and clumsy, not graceful like the trees, and dull, not brilliant like the naiads. I help no one, I please no one. I…’
The Stone Mother took the Moss Girl’s face in her hands.
‘Everyone and everything has its worth, child, but it should not be measured against others. You look out and see the beauty in all around you, but you have forgotten how to see it in yourself. That is why I am here – to remind you of what you truly are. Look into my eyes and you’ll see what I see.’

The Moss Girl did as she was told and looked into the Stone Mother’s dark eyes. There were pictures forming and she saw herself cushioning the rocks, the sunlight illuminating her in every glorious shade of green. She saw the many tiny creatures that made their home amongst the roots that she sent down, the birds taking bits of her loose hair to line nests ready for their young and people wandering through,  reaching out to touch her appreciatively or sitting to rest cocooned in her softness.
The Moss Girl’s tears dried and she began to smile.
‘You see now, my daughter,’ the Stone Mother said. ‘We all have our place and our importance, from the greatest tree to the tiniest insect, from the most colourful butterfly to the plainest blade of grass. Never forget that you are a part of the great cycle; there is never a need to doubt yourself.’
‘Thank you, Mother. I will always remember,’ the Moss Girl replied.
The Stone Mother returned her smile. Then she cast that smile to all in the glade before returning to the rocks from whence she had come. Moments later, it was as if she had never been there at all.
Yet the Moss Girl was forever changed. No longer feeling unworthy and second-best, she danced her own dance with the naiads and the sylphs from then on.

Summer Night

night sly

Photo: Michael J Bennett

There is nothing quite like being outside wrapped in the warm blanket of not quite darkness on a summer night. Everything takes on a slightly mystical edge and there is that tingle of excitement or anticipation, But for what? The things that we can’t see? The things that might yet be? Who knows? It’s a magical feeling, whatever it is.


In the darkness made undark
By the clear pure moon
And the silence that is not
silence, broken
By bat flight and small rustlings
We lay, cocooned between
earth and sky
And heard the stars sing.

Dreaming the Moon

crescent moon over seaI am delighted and very excited to say that my first novel, Dreaming the Moon, will be coming out in paperback on 25th August 2014. The fantastic cover photograph was taken by the very talented Alex Smith (thank you so much) and formatted by the amazing web wizard, Simon West (again, thank you).

It’s a modern fantasy that follows Robyn, heartbroken and haunted by strange dreams, who discovers that this world is not the only one, but is separated from another magical realm by a protective shield that is failing. Thrown into a desperate situation, she and her friends are pitted against time and dark forces in a seemingly impossible task, the search for a lost fragment that will restore the shield and save both worlds.

If you like to look at life a little sideways, if you ask yourself sometimes ‘Was that only a bird rustling in the hedge or was it something else?’, or ‘Did I misplace my keys or is something otherworldly teasing me?’; If you’ve ever thought that the woods seem darker than they should when you’re walking alone at dusk, or wondered if it was just coincidence that you called your best friend at exactly the same time as he/she called you, then I hope that this will appeal to you. And if you’re not familiar with my work, may I (very cheekily) say that I have two ‘snack-size’ stories out as e-books: When Joe Met Alice and Catching Up With The Past, available from Magic Oxygen and Amazon, just in case you fancy an appetiser.



Magic happened to me last week – ‘When Joe Met Alice’ is officially available for download! That may not seem very magical to a lot of people, but actually the fact that you can press a few buttons and have virtually any book you choose on your device ready to read in a matter of moments is nothing short of miraculous. Magic is seeing the ordinary through different eyes and accepting the wonder of it. So next time we see a beautiful view, or light pouring through the trees, or our loved ones smiling at us, let’s allow ourselves that moment of wonder. Here’s one of mine, in a poem.

Toad - By Walter Siegmund (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsTOAD

Tucked behind the log pile and
Hidden in the hedge,
He had backed into a fallen flowerpot.
That was how I saw him.
His earthen skin,
Well disguised amongst roots and branches,
Stood out against the terracotta.
Crouched so still
With limbs drawn beneath him,
He might have passed for a rock,
Except for his eyes, obsidian, brilliant,
And the slight shiver of his breath.
He knows more than he’s telling,
That toad, old as stone.