jellyfish and jungle blooms

What with Hurricane Ophelia last weekend and Storm Brian this weekend, the UK has taken a bit of a battering recently and the local park is ankle deep in mud and sodden leaves.

Clearly, though, the weather has produced the right conditions for growth for some organisms. One particular fallen tree was host to all sorts of alien growths, and looked very impressive indeed decked out in its finery of tiny beads and flounces, frills, ridges and ripples in all the autumnal shades from bright orangey russet to a deep aubergine that make me think of grapes or mulled wine.
Continue reading “jellyfish and jungle blooms”

spoiled for choice

Once more, I am selecting a set of poems to read at an upcoming event. once more, the organiser wants to know in advance what to expect. Once more, I am dithering over making a decision.

When I was first invited to read, I leapt at the chance and didn’t give a moment’s thought to whether I would find something suitable. But there is a theme: the pieces should be humorous. And humour is a very subjective matter.

So I’ve been leafing through papers and notebooks, scrolling through documents, and re-visiting lots of old poems to see what I can find. Although very little of it is laugh-out-loud funny, the more I look, the more pieces I find that might be suitable.
Continue reading “spoiled for choice”

home and hearth

I’ve been thinking a lot about home recently. Not because I’ve gone all nostalgic, but because it’s the theme of the local TEDx, which is taking place in November.

It’s a great theme, as it offers a huge range of possibilities for talks. My immediate thoughts were quite domestic: houses, family, pets, neighbours…

But of course there are other connotations: home is about being safe. And there’s a definite emotional connection: it’s not just about being out of danger, but being comfortable with the language, the culture, the habits…
Continue reading “home and hearth”

illuminating moments

The sunrise streets
are hammered gold
while mundane city bylaws
 gleam
with transient enlightenment

Not for the first time, I am reminded that much of my poetry is centred on the visual and heavily influenced by the quality of light.
Continue reading “illuminating moments”

looking up

Beach parasols fray
against a still-blue sky:
the end of summer

angles

Camera in hand
she walks the beach, pauses,
leans agains palm trees,
clambers over breakwaters,
climbs on railings and balances
on benches along the promenade, trying
to get an angle on the sunrise.

Continue reading “angles”

too much information

I said yesterday, not for the first time, that I’m not writing as much as I used to. I still jot down notes on scraps of paper or in notebooks, but I don’t seem to sit over them and nag at them like I did.

I used to find train and bus journeys a perfect opportunity to stare out of the window for inspiration, to worry at words, sketching out alternatives, scratching out false starts, mentally running through phonemes trying to find a rhyme or a word or phrase with just the right shape and sound.
Continue reading “too much information”