bars, boards & blocks

It sees to be a long time since I wrote something new. In early 2020, when the pandemic first started, I wrote a number of new poems, inspired by new lockdown habits and experiences. Then my friend Lucía asked for my assistance with prayer writing and the Modern Pagan Prayers project was started.

There are three books in the series, now – a total of nearly 100 prayers, most of them completely new, with just a handful repurposed from poems I had written previously. There were also a handful of pieces that were rejected as they were too much like poetry and too little like prayer. An average of around two new pieces a week is definitely not something to be ashamed of.
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Rosmerta, the Most Providential

“Write what you know” is how the saying goes, but I think that’s a little limiting. I don’t think you should write from a position of ignorance, but if you want to write about something you don’t know much about, you can always read up on it before you do the writing.

I’ve often said that one of the things I like about this blog is the discovery that comes with doing research and fact-checking – the serendipitous learning that happens along the way.
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greetings & valedictions

Years ago, I learned to type. As in, I learned to use a typewriter. And I learned the correct lay out for business correspondence, with the sender’s address at the top right, followed by the date and then the recipient’s name and address on the left.

Whoever the letter was going to, it always started with Dear, then a phrase with reference or topic, if required, centred above the body of the letter.
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of pests and petunias

I used to love petunias and geraniums and all the vivid windowbox flowers whose colours brighten up grey days and grey urban spaces. But I fell out of love with petunias when the ones I was growing in pots on the deck in California developed an infestation of caterpillars. I can’t bear to kill creatures of any sort, but nor am I impressed to see my small gardening efforts reduced to the buffet at a bug-feast.

Later, in the early 90s in Spain, my love of geraniums was sorely tried when there was a plague of butterflies – Cacyreus marshalli – in Madrid. Their larvae bored into the stems of many plants around the city and wreaked havoc with the traditional Mediterranean balcony displays of scarlet flowers bursting between wrought iron railings.
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looking down on stars

Wikipedia shows that there are many plants known as “starflower“, including shrubs, succulents, alpine plants, bulbous perennials and the summer-flowering herb that I know as borage.

Although the flowers of borage are undoubtedly star shaped, and usually a really rather lovely heavenly blue, they tend to face earthwards and grow so low that you end up looking down at their backs, which is not the usual angle for star gazing.
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