Monday, 20 May 2019

walking the water

Doing the monthly BTO survey on "my stretch" of the river Tweed is a very good opportunity for wandering through some ideas too. Even while counting mallards (including 24 ducklings in various stages of growth), grey heron, black-headed gull, mute swan, oystercatcher (my birds as they are the helpers of Bridget in Gaelic - gille-brìghde), dipper and goosander.

Onto the cauld which stretches across the river to create the pool you just saw and has these metallic edges as it scatters down onto the rocky section below.

Finally to a lower pool and its weedfilled cobbles.

Later I made a long audio recording where I get a bit distracted by a grey wagtail which flies over my head towards the end. But unfortunately blogger doesn't seem to like that. Still I enjoyed myself and got some good birds too. Creativity and wellbeing mix well with science and nature.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Sudden cold

It is spring but unseasonly cold - the topic of my poem Blizzard on the hills in Spring that appeared in the very wonderful Algebra of Owls in March .

My starting point was this photograph:

Sometimes a phone is as useful as carrying a notepad.

You can read my poem and the whole issue here

Saturday, 23 February 2019

International Women's Day 2019 event, Hawick, Scotland

It would be great to see you at the International Women's Day 2019 event in Hawick at the Cornucopia Room along with excellent local writers Zozan YasarDorothy AlexanderHonor Donahoe, Jules Horne, Anita John, Margaret Skea and myself. We will be talking about our practice and there will be readings too plus a chance for some chat.

Tickets are available here Free event but you need to register.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Seeking poetry, poets & spoken word

Early call for a performance opportunity in the Scottish Borders. Interested - ideas - ready to slam?

Get in touch in the usual way and let's talk; and we can also add you to the mailing list for more information about this event.

Picture is a view from the San Cipriano mirador in Zamora and yes it doesn't really have a lot to do with anything but laundry drying

Friday, 4 January 2019

Analysis of Rossetti's Goblin Market

We have chosen to use a pie chart:

So enjoy a piece of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market (1879) and don't wipe your mouth in case we get all Bleak Midwinter. (And there is a tweet on this poem here as it is one of p&g's favourites).

Goblin Market

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
In summer weather,—
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”

               Evening by evening
Among the brookside rushes,
Laura bow’d her head to hear,
Lizzie veil’d her blushes:
Crouching close together
In the cooling weather,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger tips.
“Lie close,” Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”
“Come buy,” call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen...

Read the full poem here

Tuesday, 1 January 2019