All posts by Walking poet.

Author of Novel 'Forbidden Love' 'Between Aurora and Twilight' 'Spirit Cracked not Broken' 'Healing Garden' and 'Butterfly Kisses and A Bee Sting Mind' Was creator and Chair of Rhymney Valley Literature Art and Music Festival for three years. Creator and host "Poetry at the Capel" Bargoed CF81 8LW. since 2014 A published performance poet. A lover of nature and a keen walker.

‘You can tell a lie to some people and make them believe it all the time!’

With time the truth will ultimately come out!

“Julie do not leave me do not turn your back on me”

“Mama I am not I can not visit because of covid 19”

“I do not have it they tested me. I need to see a familiar face Julie!”

“Mam we miss you and want to visit but we are not allowed because we could bring covid 19 to you”

“Julie you know I love you very much”

“I know and I love you”

The telephone conversation ends and I am on the floor sobbing to John.

” I need to get Mama out from there. Please lets bring Mama home to our home we can look after her”

John gives me wisdom and a reality check “Julie we bring your Mam home she could die by just moving her”

This conversation with my mother took place on Sunday afternoon 2pm, 25th July 2020.

Tuesday July 27th 2020 6 30am I am loading the boot of the car with shopping for us and a couple I shop for. My mobile rings it is the Heath hospital a nurse gushes “Julie you need to come your mother is dying” I go in auto pilot, yet I keep screaming “Mama” my inner voice says Julie calm down you, will crash the car, you need to calm down and I do. I leave the shopping with John and the people I shop for.

Mama died four days later. Thursday 30th July 2020 at 4pm. I held her hand until the end and let her spirit free. That evening at 10pm John and I sat in our garden Venus shone like a diamond and we raised a glass to Mama. Then an orange gold orb flew over! It was a meteorite but I knew it was Mama and her feisty spirit!

Only 20 of us could attend my mothers funeral. There were no hymns and my mother loved singing. I read the poem “Blackberries” that I wrote for her. There was no celebration of her life. We all went home to our own homes.


I see the empty jar where the blackberries were.

Idle, on its own, redundant till next time.

Mam is in the kitchen singing while she bakes

I know this is Mam’s favourite room

for she is always happy here.

Her floury hands make clouds of dust,

her nails are encrusted with dough.

Five hungry faces moan

“How much longer must we wait?”

as we sit at the table in Mam’s favourite room.

The oven is opened, the heat flushes

our faces to bright red as we wait to be fed.

The plump purple blackberries smell so sweet

encased in their coat of pastry, good enough to eat.

The juices of the fruit leak out from the tart

as she cuts six slices and pours ‘ideal milk’

from a tin onto our plates which are now licked clean

as we giggle and make fun of each others purple tongues.

Sat in Mam’s favourite room surrounded in warmth,

but most of all LOVE.

Julie Prichard 2006

October 2020 Caerphilly Brough was in a full lock down. I could not leave the area to attend my mother’s internment of her ashes at Barry Crematorium.

March 2020. Life had changed! Where we shared our time over food with family and friends was gone. My work was gone, hugs, kisses and cwtches were no longer. John had TARAGGAN and sudoku, I had walks and books. I cancelled the poetry open night that I run. My book launch of ‘Between Aurora and Twilight’ was cancelled. We would watch all news channels religiously, heart in our mouths, full of fear!

‘You can fool some people all the time and all of the people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.’

I am no Tory, I am a working class woman. I remember the 60’s evil 70’s and 80’s. Three day week, blackouts and Strikes. Boris Johnson came across chummy, your friend, an upper class twit sometimes. He was Mayor of London. He rode a bike, slap you on the back. Lied over Brexit (I voted to remain) He even convinced retired miners up North, to vote Tory! YES retired miners voted Tory, beggars belief. He is no friend to the working class he does not comprehend our way of life. An honest days work. However, bettering yourself is good but to me if you work for a living you are working class! Not middle class, gentry or landowners! Some landowners earned their money on backs of slavery. Bowes Lyons, sugar, white gold, that family made their money from slavery! Boris Johnson is no fool, no friend either he lacks compassion, empathy and morals. He is a walking ego and deluded because he believes in his own lies. Those of you who were manipulated my his lies, what can I say? It was your choice. I have a good memory and I know what is is like to live under a Tory government.

Not all politicians are wise yet wisdom is best. I am 61 years of age worked since the age of 16, even worked while in school. I was made redundant three times, retrained too. Lost half of my family by the age of twenty five. I wear my scars well and proud of my life experiences. I recall the Thatcher years 1980’s. I was living on my own and working full time. I remember all my wages went on my rent and bills! I worked the extra shift, bought second hand, made do and mend and I used my library for books. Today some people do not know what it is like to make do and mend. They do not think of learning from the wise, well experienced elders. Many go at a click of a button or a swipe of a finger, to social media, their confessor, their best friend and bare all and tell the whole world!

The art of listening when someone speaks is to be understood, not to have an your opinion.

We can learn from the Lockdown. Now is the time for humanity to gather, to be more kind, use compassion and empathy. No we repeat history and use the working class as cannon fodder because of another war on the horizon.

Reviews and quotes. my first novel titled ‘Forbidden Love’Prose poetry of my walks ‘Between Aurora and Twilight’ Poetry on abuse, ‘Spirit Cracked not Broken’ Poetry, ‘Healing Garden’ and poetry ‘Butterfly Kisses and a Bee Sting Mind’

Poems and thoughts from the walking poet

I am the author of three poetry books ‘Butterfly Kisses and a Bee Sting Mind’ 2014, ‘Healing Garden’ 2016 and ‘Spirit Cracked not Broken’ 2017 and prose poetry ‘Between Aurora and Twilight’ 2020. My first novel titled ‘Forbidden Love’ was published. May 2021

The novel titled ‘Forbidden Love’ is an historical novel covering Ireland and Wales over a hundred years. A true love story of an Irish woman falling in love with a Welsh soldier, (my grandparents) I show and tell how love can conquer, a military rising, 1WW, Irelands war for Independence/ Anglo Irish war, racism, depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Photo of my grandparents on their wedding day, May 1921 and the front cover of the novel.

Review of ‘Forbidden Love’

Review by Poet Ceri Creffield.

“Two families in two cities two young people who will bring division and discord to those they love. Julie Griffin…

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my poem titled ‘Something is Missing’ from my collection titled ‘Spirit Cracked not Broken’

Something is Missing

From a distance everything looks

peaceful, blue and green.

Aura enticing you to the contours of magical mystical

mother earth.

Rounded breathing in and out.

Voyeur, I witness the ménage de trois

of the moon, sun and earth.

Embracing sun’s thrusting fullness

drawn into the breasts and womb.

The rain sucked up by heat rays,

creating haze, to a cascade of euphoric tears.

Stripped bare by the winds of autumn,

feeling the pulse and body

of the fertile soil.

Th rush of spring throws

forward the seed,

unfurling leaves of the new born.

The moon seduces the sea, pulling tides

of orgasmic oceans.

Crushing, crashing, ebbing

flowing to the magnetic force.

Revealing the winter of the soul bare,

bleak, black barren.

Flowers of innocents stunted

before they bloomed,

tangled in the ivy of materialism

envy and jealousy.

We cannot embody our light

without shadow

or disregard sorrow.

Respecting not the false skin

but the beating heart within.

Something is missing in our off spring

something ancient called love.

Poem by Julie Pritchard 2016 taken from my third collection titled ‘Spirit Cracked not Broken’

‘Freedom is using compassion and empathy in its true form’

Walking and writing are both my favourite past times and both have been my saving grace too. If something is upsetting or worrying me I take it on a walk. While out walking I think a lot more clearly and with every step my surroundings be it the sky, plants, trees, sea, river, wild life all seem clearer.

I write every day, a daily diary, poetry or short stories.

I do not live in the material world I do not have many needs. Following the crowd being like everyone else is not for me, a lone wolf I will always be.

While out walking yesterday I thought on the word freedom and the Janis Joplin song ‘Me & Bobby McGee’ and the line ‘Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose’ goes round and round in my head. I think freedom is having positive thoughts, having a kind heart and empathy and compassion should be held close. Just simply be true to yourself and accept others for what they are. However, stay away from people who are quick to spite, judge others and seek revenge. To me people who live this way are prisoners to fear. There is no room for the above if you lead a life of compassion, empathy, peace and love.

My mother Valerie Rosa, was born 2 months premature 20th January 1941 she died July 30th 2020, at 4 10pm. She left this world holding my hand and hearing my voice. “Let go Mama of the hurt and pain and let your spiritual wings take flight. Fly around the world creating kind thoughts as you fly by. That evening Thursday 30th July, John and I sat in the garden raising a glass to Mama, a meteorite flew over us. John and I were astounded and both said ‘Mama’ My mother lived in fear most of her life, she could not let go of the pain, disappointments, grief and shame. She locked it all in. Yet, now and again the anger flew out and would bite and deeply hurt. I, her eldest daughter and her second child accepted my mother’s mental illness and her many times being sectioned. Yet, even I would run and hide because her distorted words and thoughts deeply wounded me and I needed time to heal. The last years of Mama’s life she surrounded herself with people who were negative, bitter, egocentric and judgemental. I stayed outside looking in, there was no room for me among her circle.

On a positive note from my mother’s death, I have grown close with her remaining sibling Jimmy. Uncle Jimmy, married to his wife Hazel for 60 years have three daughters, many grandchildren and great grandchildren. I phone them on a Sunday (I often phoned mama on a Sunday) Jimmy is a quiet man, a good man. A retired HGV driver a gardener and carpenter. I speak with Auntie Hazel we discuss books, life and often walk down memory lane. Hazel and Jimmy never knew I wrote poetry and that I am a published poet too. I gave them a copy of ‘Butterfly Kisses and A Bee Sting Mind’ and ‘Healing Garden’

My Uncle John was Mama and Jimmy’s eldest brother. John was born 1936 he died April 1961 aged 25. A month after I was born. John died of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy the inherited disease in my family on my mother’s side. My great Uncle Melvin was 18 and my younger brother Sean died aged 19 both had the disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

I recently found out that Uncle John wrote poetry and short stories. He kept them in book form but sadly the books were never kept. This deeply moved me and I wept. Then I took myself on a 10 mile walk. Thinking on Uncle John what did he write about? How did he feel when the muscles wasted away and he could no longer write? Questions, too many questions. Then my mind went back to 2006 after being tested and told many times I was a carrier of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and from this I decided not to have children. I found out the professors were wrong I was not a carrier and there is ONLY ONE carrier. From this devastating news, poetry found me. I had never written poetry in my life. I attended St Francis school, Ely Cardiff. In 1968 before we broke up for the Christmas break. I wrote a short story and I came top of the class but that day I knocked my two front teeth out and through fear this accident held me back. It took me nearly thirty years to write again. In 2006 poetry and stories found me and I would like to think Uncle John’s creative genes are in me.

As I write this blog, the novel I have written titled ‘Forbidden Love’ is in the process of being edited and proof read and will be out this year. Wonderful story teller Cath Little is working with Windsor Clive School, Ely, Cardiff. The same school Uncle John, Mama and Uncle Jimmy attended. She is telling stories on old Ely. Cath invited me to take part and I have videoed my Ely memories for the children of Windsor Clive School.

I went to St Francis school during the 1960’s and early 1970’s, our school did not have a canteen so we would walk over to the ‘proddy’ school Windsor Clive where they called us Catholics ‘Rock Cakes’ To their school canteen and where the school meals were plentiful and tasted delicious.

Kindness matters and people will always remember kind gestures and words.