The Wailing Wall

It’s been an exciting – and challenging – month for Israel in this the 70th year of her existence.

The USA officially recognising Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel by moving its embassy there,  Netta winning the Eurovision Song Contest with her song, “Toy” and all the celebrations of Jerusalem Day. All this coupled with the violent protests orchestrated by Hamas along the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip.

I thought this might be a good time to re-blog my poem, The Wailing Wall, which I wrote on my very first visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  Let me know if you like it.

The Wailing Wall

A wall like any other wall

you might say.

Way above us in the cracks

the doves of peace are sleeping.

Look down and you will see

the scraps of paper,

messages left for God.

For this is no ordinary wall

and these are no ordinary people.

When you put your face

close to the wall,

it is warm

and smells of all those

who have stood here before

and done as you are doing.

For this is no ordinary wall

and these are no ordinary people.

By my side

a woman sobs and prays,

caressing the wall with her hands

like someone blind.

I stand a little lost.

How do you pray

if you’ve never prayed before?

The air is sweet

and scented and warm

and filled with the sound

of singing and sobbing.


I find myself crying.

For this is no ordinary wall

and these are no ordinary people.



© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems




We are all expectant!

Waiting for news of the latest Royal birth. Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge – went into labour today!

Here’s a  poem I have posted before. I wrote it in 2011 when our daughter was in labour and we were expecting our first grandchild.

Maybe this is how Kate Middleton’s mother is feeling right now …


I have never waited like this before

Not for me

Pacing the floor

Instead I find small things to do

Mindless silly things

Anything to keep me from thinking

I walk round and round the garden

Round and round the house

The hours stretch out interminably

I wish I could somehow

Move things along

My thoughts say hurry hurry

I go to the florist

And buy a bouquet

The biggest, bluest, most beautiful bouquet

Now it will happen I think

Now I will get the call

The phone rings

It is my husband

He is also waiting

But while he waits

He has meetings, lunches

discussions, phone calls

He is not waiting

Like I am waiting

He is not thinking

as I am thinking

I am remembering

My first time

How time was telescoped

And what – for those waiting

Was so many hours

For me sped past so swiftly

So amazingly fast

I was surprised when

they said how long it had been

how long long long

I long to get that call

I long to know that all is well

And that my girl has had her boy

8 September 2011

worth waiting for

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

Simple pleasures

Two years ago today I lost a very dear friend.  Whenever I think of her – which is often – I think of her in her garden. She got the greatest pleasure from the simplest things.  A flower growing between the cracks on her terrace. A patch of earth where she could plant something new. She loved nothing more than pottering in her garden, getting things to grow.

I wrote this poem for her.


Frankie’s garden

As I walk round her garden

Frankie is with me

She is there in the whispering grass

And the poppies growing so free

Last year, I said, the earth was bare

And now the flowers have grown

Last year, she said, I was still here

But now you are alone

A robin came to say hello

We wanted him to stay

He sang a song and then was gone

Like me he’s flown away, she said

Like me he’s flown away.

grass pic










In memory of FH who passed away on 5th April, 2016.

May her memory be a blessing.


© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems



Mother and Child

You give birth and overnight your life changes. Now there’s someone else who’s always going  to come first with you.  For the rest of your life.  Even when your kids are grown up, barely a day goes by when you don’t think of them.

Here are some poems I’ve written about the parent/child relationship.

I wrote this first one after the birth of our daughter.

Hannah Sleeping                               

  I watch my child asleep in bed

What dreams can she be dreaming

The little sleepy head

I want to build a wall around her cot

Shield her from the world

Instead I tuck the blankets tight

And kiss my sleeping child goodnight








When she got married in 2010, I wrote this:

I watch my child become a wife

What dreams will she be dreaming

For the rest of her sweet life

Their love will build a wall around their world

Around their lives

And as I take her hand in mine

I wish that I could rewind time.

I wrote this next poem in 1995, about six months before my mother died. 

 Role Reversal

Today, I held my mother

sobbing in my arms

Stroking her soft,  fine hair

Her chin nuzzled on my chest

And I could smell

the unforgotten fragrance

of her skin

I held her close

as I have held my children

and felt the frailty of her age

How odd and imperceptibly

the tables turn

And those that you have leaned on

lean on you

Those that you had turned to

turn to you

Now she is the child

And I am the mother

The 6 March was 22 years to the day that my mother died. It often coincides with Mother’s Day in the UK.


I visited the grounds at Hoop Lane crematorium – as I do every year – where her ashes were scattered.

You might think that this is a depressing thing to do. But, at this time of the year, it is uplifting. There are thousands of crocuses as far as the eye can see.

For the first time ever, I had a go at writing a haiku.  This is a three line Japanese poem.  It must have five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third, final line.


Scattered crocuses

Ashes scattered on the grass:

Scattered memories


© Andrea Neidle. My Life in Poems

Seeds of friendship

Most of us know the poem, “To Daffodils” by William Wordsworth.

“I wandered lonely as a cloud … ”

Here is my version – a lighthearted take on the original. I hope you like it.


To Hollyhocks

I wandered barefoot in the sun

Having taken off my socks

And all at once I came upon

A clump of golden Hollyhocks


I pocketed some tiny seeds

They flew with me on Easyjet

I scattered them among my weeds

And with myself I had a bet


Could I get these seeds to grow

Among my dandelion clocks

And if they did how would I know

That these were truly Hollyhocks


A few months on a fabulous sight

Hollyhocks of every hue

It looks like I did something right

And then I gave some seeds to you


And then as quickly as they came

My flowers disappeared from sight

I looked for them but all in vain

They had just vanished overnight


I think my gardener was to blame

Mistook them for some flowering weeds

My garden didn’t look the same

And I hadn’t even kept the seeds


Then you and I met up for lunch

And I told you this tale of woe

Ah you said I have a hunch

That I still have some seeds you know


You kindly posted seeds to me

Just like the ones I once gave you

When you were here with friends for tea

Such a thoughtful thing to do


What goes around comes around they say

It looks like we will prove this true

And who knows maybe come next May

I’ll have more seeds to give to you







© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


The 7 Ages of Woman

The 7 Ages of Woman






Noise making

Milk taking

Night waking


Friend making

Exam taking

Internet dating







Love making

Love faking

Heart breaking


Breakfast making

Children waking

School taking


Bed making

Cake baking

Leaves raking







Limbs shaking

Bones aching

Will making


Heart aching

Leave taking








© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

Another year, another birthday

Think my posting this poem is going to become an annual event!

I can remember in my teens longing to be 21. And now I wish that time could go backwards and I could be 21 again!

Another year, another birthday

Something happens

Between 69 and 70

You become a senior

and all of a sudden

you don’t recognise

that person in the mirror

and on the scales.

You shuffle in your slippers

read the papers

and pop pills.

The receptionist

at the doctor’s

knows your name.

Complete strangers

call you my darling

and my dear.

You want to be offered seats

on trains

And flat shoes seem

a better option

than high heels.

You are now

a silver surfer

so you search for

senior bargains online

There must be some perk

to reaching this age.

Hotels offer you

twin beds

and disabled bathrooms.

11 o’clock at night

seems very late to be out

and you find yourself

wanting to nap

in the middle of the day.

Your children ask how you are

but don’t really want to know

and people say you look well

when they mean

you are looking good for your age.

You have become invisible

to the opposite sex

and to anyone

under forty.

People talk about “special” birthdays

and give you soppy smiles.

You wish you were

growing old disgracefully

but just don’t have the energy.

Come upstairs and make love to me

I read somewhere.

I can do one or the other

was the answer

Don’t expect me to do both.

I’ve started listening to the Archers

and the weather forecasts

Doing crosswords

and reading the obituaries

Seeing the names of

people I once knew

Thank goodness Mick Jagger

can still strut his stuff

and Macca too

still performing

whilst others the same age

languish in care homes

uncared for and forgotten.

It’s odd to think

that in ten years or so

I will look back at this time

And think myself young.


Age 20







© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems