Read between the lines; learning the shape of home.

It’s the shape of a cat curl.


It’s a golden dog on a high hill.

It’s a grey dog with mischief on its mind.


It’s a blue plate on a wall.

It’s listening to wrens stitch the hedges together with song


watching the bluetits,

finding peace in the shapes of small birds, learning the shape of a sparrow.

It’s the lie of the land and the fall of the light and the turn of the tide.

It’s the wings of a raven in flight and the rise of a pair of chough, from land, to sky.

It’s conversations with friends, and the silences between them that hold comfort.

It’s knowing, more or less, where the right book is, on the right shelf.

It’s log fires and its winter washing that always smells, just a little, of smoke.

It’s a small dog running on the beach.

It’s time to think, and peace to draw.

It’s reading by the fire while the rain beats on the roof.

It’s familiar mugs, cups.

It’s washing up, cooking.


And for you? Take a moment to think, then tell me, what is the shape of home for you?



About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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12 Responses to Read between the lines; learning the shape of home.

  1. This fills my heart with peace. Also, I just received my copy of The Lost Words, and I treasure the beauty in its pages. Thank you.

    • Jackie says:

      Thank you. Seek out the audio book download. It’s filled with peace and the sounds of wild things. Never heard an audio book like it. Sublime.

      • Charlotte says:

        Second that, Cerys Matthew’s performance of Adder made me cry it is so right. I am savouring a spell a day right now.

        • Jackie says:

          It is really rather a bringing out of her inner adder. And Benjamin and the bluebells. Wow.
          I love the sounds between the spells so much. Penguin Audio have created a piece of perfection.

  2. Charlotte says:

    The smell of wind blown shirts airing;
    The sound of a black puddle of fur, rumbling;
    The chatter of teenagers bickering and making up;
    The glow of the fire on a cold evening;
    The shine of the sun on the apple trees in the summer;
    The way each space is filled by my family even when they are not there;
    The feel of respite and refuge when the door closes behind us.

  3. Diana Baur says:

    For me the sound,taste,smell,feel and look of home is many of the things you have mentioned. I live amongst the hills of North Wales and our house is by a stream, it’s idyllic. I too am an artist -chiefly abstract and semi abstract paintings. I love what I do, am privileged to have reached the age of 75, but my over riding sense of home is when my family visit – like they are for our Autumn family gathering tomorrow.They bring joy, laughter and love in large measure, but this is always tinged with sadness when I remember members of our family who have died, and one who has chosen estrangement from us. I look for them and see them in the birds and other creatures. I love your work because it brings peace and solace like the natural world.

  4. Sarah says:

    The sound of the wind in the treetops, the purr of a cat on my lap, the smell of woodsmoke and damp leaves and misty mornings. Hot tea, a comfy sofa, a good book and my love, beside me.

  5. Bernie Bell says:

    Mike, my husband. It would be empty without him.
    And – funnily enough – what’s outside – the garden.
    Full of LIFE just now.

  6. Shiloh says:

    The shape my home is

    the shape of my husband bare shoulder exposed from the undulating folds of the bedding as he “sleeps in” on his one day off

    the shape of various stacks of books and papers (if it here there is reason- be it love or current need.)

    It’s the stonework firepit in the neighbor’s yard that we gather around more often than our own

    It’s the shape of the corner where I put up political signs, for the first time ever.

    It’s the shape of the one old man who drive by and spit becoming irrelevant as my true friendships with people “across the isle” continue unabated.

    It’s the shape of the mileau where my son safely trick-or-treated, in a group of tweens, without parental supervision.

    It is the shape of our toothless dog who is convinced that his greating is the reason the mailman leaves post.

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