fruits of the earth

Autumn means different things to different people.

Summer is over and the sun has lost its strength, so every warm day seems like borrowed time and the chance to step out into the sunshine must be snatched whenever possible. Even in the twenty-first century, there’s still a feeling of Harvest Home: a desire to gather in and stock up, ready to weather the long winter ahead.
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poetry and prose

My poem El inquilino (the lodger) was a runner up in the MsLexia poetry competition this year and has just been published in the magazine. That should have made it easy to find something to write for the blog today, but although copies have already been delivered to subscribers, the terms of the publishing agreement mean that the poem can’t appear here – or anywhere else – until after the official publishing date of September 1st.

That said, the poem was inspired by the wildlife at the house en el pueblo when I lived in Spain, so here is a rather different account of “the lodger”, adapted from notes for the fictionalised memoir I eventually hope to write, which will be in the house-as-life-journey genre.
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flowers and thoughts

I’ve been staying with my mother over the weekend, which is why I was so late with the blog post yesterday, and again today. It’s not that there’s nothing to write, just that coffees, meals, washing up and word puzzles take up an awful lot of time if you let them.

My mother hasn’t been able to get out much recently, so when I went to the village shop for a paper, I took some photos to show her what was going on down the road. Here, then, are a few, mostly local, flower photos with some haphazard notes:

I thought it was April that was supposed to breed lilacs, but here May seems to be doing just that:
 
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facing up to fiction

cornfield (maize) after harvest
Several lists of “rules for poetry” have been doing the rounds this week, perhaps in response to these 25 rules for editing poems from Rob Mackenzie for Magma Poetry.

It’s hard to disagree with anything Mackenzie says, particularly as the list is followed by the rider “good poets are always ready to break rules whenever a poem demands it.”

That said, the “rule” that caught my eye was:

15. Consider the poem’s “truth”. Not the literal facts (although those may be important at times) but the emotional resonance. Is the emotion genuine or just received wisdom?

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