Cool April’s Foolery

NaPoWriMo I have failed at blogging once a week as I thought I might. It could have been done but, all too often, I freeze and think, well, what’s to say? Yet I enjoy reading regular posts from friends, like Jayne Stanton, who, this week,  shows us a photo of her writing journal. Like Jayne, I…

Not a Suffragette Poem Exactly

  This is a photograph of sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn’s bronze statue of suffragette, Alice Hawkins, which was unveiled in Leicester’s Market Square last Sunday. More than a thousand people turned out on a freezing afternoon for the unveiling to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act. It was a rousing occasion with…

‘The Talking Cure’ – from first to final draft.

This post features my poem ‘The Talking Cure’, written in 2005. Here is the first version of the poem and comments made during the workshopping of the poem, compared with the final version, published in my prize-winning Smith/Doorstop pamphlet, Show Date and Time.     The poem begins as eight quatrains and ends up as five tercets. It…

Of Stray Trees and Submissions

The photo below, taken last week on a beach in Fuerterventura, shows the end of one year straying into the beginning of the next. I like this makeshift tree — and I was lucky to get away for a week where there was heat, and blue skies. Back with a bump, though, and reflecting for…

Chasing the Sun

Solstice Rituals The sun is returning even though it might seem that it’s getting dark around 2pm. People of different cultures have long practised various rituals to welcome the sun such as the one practised by the Druids at Stonehenge, a place built within sightline of the solstice sunset. In Iceland, locals celebrate ‘jólablót’, a pagan…

Splash!

Here we go. I’m leaping in to this post with a big splash! I haven’t blogged for ages and, as I am trying to convert this blog into a web-site to establish myself as a freelance writer/ tutor, I really should resume. My working pattern is about to change. These are months of transition. I…

‘Now’ by Ian Barker

    I’ve not posted since January which is appalling even by my non-prolific blogging standards. I blame the PhD. There will be a resurgence of all kinds of creativity when that’s done-or so I tell myself. In the meantime it’s nice to publish a few poems written by other people like then below, written…

Only Dancing

I can’t add anything that hasn’t been said in the numerous tributes that have been posted today in response to news of the death of David Bowie. It all proves what a monumental influence he was on so many lives – definitely on mine – and the fact that we grew up with him in…

Switch-Over Selves

Artist Cindy Sherman, like me, has a birthday in January. We are of a similar age; she, a little older. Identity work is her project through art as mine is, in various ways, through poetry. I love the ways in which she projects her various selves.  I believe we all have many ‘switch-over’ elves. I…

2015 in review

  I posted 10 times last year-I thought it was 8! Well, maybe I can double that next year…:) The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2015. If it were…

Taking stock

I’ve been inspired by Robin Houghton‘s recent post about her poetry submissions (acceptances and rejections) in 2015 to do some reflecting and totting up myself. I am not as systematic as Robin. I don’t take particular note of how many times various poems have been sent out nor when written and revised. This is a…

Swift Turbulent Sketches

I have a postcard of this painting on my desk. Its dramatic use of the medium (oils) appeals to me: stormy but with turbulent light pushing and pulsing.  John Constable painted ‘Rainstorm Over the Sea’ between 1824-1828 from swift sketches he did on Brighton beach.  I like to think of the artist resting his sketchpad…