predictable

The problem with taking pictures of plants is that they tend to be the same ones every year. Especially as we are creatures of habit and we take the same routes to and from the same places on a regular basis.

But even though I see these yellow fields from the train window in spring and early summer every year, as I travel from Gloucester towards south Wales, they never cease to impress. So here they are again.

Yellow field. Rapeseed flowers. Canola

At least I suppose the light reflections and the stains on the train windows are probably different each year.

the crimson petal

I keep looking at the photos I took of hellebore flowers the other day and the only thought that comes to mind is about Byron swimming the Hellespont. Surely there should be some connection?

But, no. It seems that the Hellespont is the sea of Helle, who fell off a flying golden ram into the sea when trying to escape death with her twin brother Phrixus. Hellebore, on the other hand, although also derived from the Greek, combines ‘to injure’ and ‘food’.
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reading not writing

I really thought that I would do better today and actually find something to write about, especially as it’s midsummer’s day.

It would have been my grandmother’s birthday and Grandpa always gave her a poetry book. But I have no new summer poetry and I’ve been too busy reading this weekend to do any real writing.

As the reading hasn’t all been for pleasure, I did slip out for a short walk this morning, so I will once more fall back on posting pictures instead.
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morning after

I went for a walk in the park the other morning before breakfast. It was early enough that the only other people out and about were dog-walkers and joggers.

The light wasn’t very special and the grass was decidedly damp. We have had some lovely weather recently, but also some tremendous storms, so I’m not sure the plants actually know what season it is, but there were still plenty of flowers and blossoms worth taking pictures of.
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the words we use

They say that language shapes our view of the world: if we use sexist and bigoted language, it is difficult to avoid becoming sexist bigots and if we don’t have the words for a concept, we find it hard to understand.

Certainly my own experience of learning a second language revealed a different personality: I was free to say things I could never have said in my native English because the words and the grammar permitted it and because I came fresh to the new language with the opinions and ideas of an adult but with no personal attachment or aversion to the words.
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a sense of scale

There are things that we see and hear that are forgotten in a moment, and other things that stay with us for many, many years.

The things that stick with us can come from any number of different sources and, while some may be profoundly important and shape the way we see life from that moment onwards, others are as trivial as a phrase that continues to echo in memory or a scene from a TV programme that has no relevance to anything at all.
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a little background

Years ago, I belonged to a mixed-genre writing group. I was one of the few members who primarily wrote poetry, so I was delighted when another poet – Don, an American university professor – settled in the city for a few months and started to attend meetings with his wife. (I can’t remember what she wrote; it may have been academic writing rather than creative.)

I’ve often thought that poets get short-changed at writing groups as they are expected to give feedback on all the other members’ work in a range of genres, but frequently get no useful comments about their poems.
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