Saturday, 31 March 2007

GPP Prizes


I was delighted to win the last crusade at the GPP Street Team site (my name was pulled out of a democratic hat!). Yesterday I got the prizes in the post and look what i got! There are two folders (one large, one small) for filing collage materials (Michelle had obviously read my mind on that one, as I was looking to buy something like this!); a lovely scrapbook that I think I will fill with illustrated haiku; a notebook, a to-do-list book; various sticky labels (some in the shape of the letter J!!); a large rubber stamp (with a print out of it, showing that it is the special Juliet design!), a CD that looks as though it will be excellent (and I'll review it on my Alter Ego blog, once I've listened to it a couple of times!) and a lovely pink felt heart! So thank you Michelle, for all these lovely prixes and thank you also for the inspiring challenges!

Friday, 30 March 2007

Easter Bonnet

In the building where I work we're having an Easter Bonnet competition. The bonnet has to be made from items that are either reused or bought from second hand shops. This obviously suits me down to the ground. I kept the design simple and probably won't win but here it is! An additional secret to this one is it can easily be taken apart again and the items re-donated back to the second hand shops or used in future craft pieces!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

A Few Lines

(on a painting by Bridget Riley)

optical illusion
overflows
energy

black and white
shimmer
become

stripy
signature

of a

heat hazed
zebra.



This poem is in response to a painting by Bridget Riley currently on display at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh as part of the Cutting Edge Exhibition.

Poetry Thursday.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Dead Tree

Another painting from the archives! This is an oil painting I did when I was in Malawi. There seemed to be lots of dead trees everywhere in southern Malawi....

dead tree

stark against cloudy sky -

distant thunder

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

One line haiku

earth shadow reddens the moon
******************************
buds start to unfurl first love
*******************************
velvet catkins burst yellow pollen
*******************************
heavy days I cannot see the hills
*******************************
a possible butterfly too early in the year
******************************
one line haiku for One Deep Breath

Monday, 26 March 2007

Voodoo Shop by Ruth Padel

I had heard Ruth Padel read at the Edinburgh Book festival and at the Scottish Poetry Library. I always enjoy her readings and really looked forward to at last reading one of her collections cover to cover. She has a keen environmental awareness, yet her poetry never feels like a lecture, in fact is often very sensual. She obviously loves words and knows how to use them to best effect. She is a passionate and engaging performer of her own work, more so than most literary poets - naturally some of this is lost when her poems are read from a book. In fact some of her poems (for example Writing to Onegin) can seem too wordy on the page, whereas her performance makes them into vivid drama. My favourite poem in this collection is CASABLANCA AND THE CHILDREN OF STORM, a long poem about loneliness and the storm petrel, a small seabird. The last part of this poem is haunting:

But somewhere in another galaxy,
Some parallel universe,

We’ll still be what we were.
St Peter’s birds,

Doing the impossible, walking on sea,
The outriders of storm.

Off course maybe; blown,
Fragile, but together. Drawn

To their one and only mate
By magnetism, a cry

You recognise in the dark above all others
And by faith.


It’s a poetry collection I’d recommend, but more, I’d recommend going along to hear Ruth Padel read if you ever get the chance.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

After Sunset Lake Malawi

Sunset a memory in red edged clouds
patterned across dull indigo sky.
Darkness is settling on village and lake –
it’s time for night fishing to start.

Dug-out canoes since centuries ago
have fished this great Lake MalaƔi
luring the fish from the depths to the nets
catching food for the nation.

The fishermen shout from boat to boat
incomprehensible hints and instructions,
stories from ancient mythology,
the latest football scores.

Black silhouette boats against blackening lake
process with lamps glowing brightly,
each light is reflected in shimmering sparkle,
broken patterns on rippling swell.

Above, Seven Sisters and Southern Cross
shine down on the lake’s constellation,
black sky and black water meet in communion
and dug-out canoes become stars.


This poem was published in my pamphlet Bougainvillea Dancing and is a companion piece to this painting here.

Poetry and Images for Poetry Thursday

Fishing Boats, Lake Malawi, 1991


Another in my series of old artworks that hopefully deserve a viewing, this is an oil painting of fishing boats setting out at sunset, with their lights set to lure the fish. A companion piece to the poem After Sunset Lake Malawi.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

haiku - breath

spring breezes
scented with the first flowers –
breathe deeply.
***********************************

rapid breaths of fear
build up to a high pitched shriek –
mouse leaps, falls down dead.
Breath for One Deep Breath

Monday, 19 March 2007

My new website

I decided to put together a Googlepages website, seeing as now Blogger is Google and my old freeserve / wanadoo / orange website was looking a little tired. If you want to have a wee look, it's here!

Tiger Collection - GPP Street Team


Firstly, I just want to say I was absolutely delighted to win last month’s GPP Street Team Crusade! I don’t as yet know what I’ve won, but I was delighted to be the democratically elected winner as chosen out of a democratic hat! Thanks Michelle!

This month’s crusade asks us to journal things we collect. I collect tigers!
The thought of a world without tigers is one I just can’t bear to think about, it’s terrible and unbelievable that something so beautiful and perfectly evolved as a tiger should be so endangered in the wild. The first photo shows my journal page: the background is from a magazine from Care for the Wild, a charity that cares for wild animals across the world; there are two pictures of tigers from magazines; a quote from William Blake and a photo I took of a tiger patterned kite stuck in a tree!The second photo shows my tiger collection – cuddly toys, a glove puppet, jigsaws, a hot water bottle cover, a holder for kitchen utensils and framed pictures. I also have an adopted tiger in Thailand somewhere.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

March haibun

storm grey sky –
coconut smelling gorse
blossoms yellow.

A blustery March day, the wind propels us along the path to the small lake. Here, tufted ducks float with windblown head tufts. Two swans glide on the water, one with its head and neck under water. Frogspawn gathers round the stems of aquatic plants near the lakeshore. We turn to walk back the way we have come.

Skeins of geese
emerge from the mist –
open moorland.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Towards a Dictionary of Archaic Terms 2100AD

rainforest (n) dense forest found in tropical areas of heavy rainfall.
(New Collins Concise English Dictionary 1982)

Dense is easy – thick and heavy.

Forest? - even the oldest of us here admit
we struggle to remember expanses of trees
(rare tall, woody plants, once common).

Tropical then was the small area
hot as everywhere is now.

Heavy rainfall? – we who barely know rain
can only dream of heavy.

Remaining documents of forests
contain solidly green photos, strange names
and archaic terms we no longer understand:
Parrots.
Monkeys.
Rivers.

We have a long task ahead.



definition for Poetry Thursday


This is rather extreme eco-angst even for me! To prove it's not all doom and gloom - last night I went to the Scottish Poetry Library to hear Meg Peacocke read her poems that have been carved into rocks along a walk in Cumbria, north west England and to talk about the process of designing the walk. It was a fascinating evening! You can see photos of the poems in the rocks and a map of the walk's route here.

I wrote another poem for the prompt on Alter Ego. but the permalink wouldn't post.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

migrating geese

Riding on the bus through the centre of Edinburgh, passing the trees and lawns of Princes Street Gardens. A clear still day:

three vees of geese fly
across the cold morning sky -
Edinburgh Castle.

Sunset, Lake Malawi, 1991


This is another old artwork, a watercolour of the sunset over Lake Malawi. I lived on the east shore of the lake, so saw sunsets like this every day.
sunset memories
in red edged clouds -
mountains darken.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

haiku - stillness

a pied kingfisher
hovers above the still lake –
hazy blue mountains.

This haiku goes with my drawing posted recently here.


the sun slants
across the garden –
striped deckchair.

Stillness for One Deep Breath

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Cold Day in March

Bare black branches sway
against storm grey skies

a late snowflake falls

suddenly the red of a robin's
breast puffed with pride
as he sings his wistful
end of winter song.


More red poetry from me at Alter Ego here.

Red for Poetry Thursday

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Portrait of an Old Lady, 1986 (?)


This is the second in a series of old artworks that I'm sharing. This was drawn from an old photograph, sometime when I was a student.


Tuesday, 6 March 2007

haiku - earth and mud

mud cakes my boots
as I walk through the woods –
the first leaves open.

*************************
under my nails
and in the lines of my hands –
life giving soil.

*************************
white stone driveway
between neatly cut hedges –
one muddy footprint.

Earth, soil, mud for One Deep Breath

Monday, 5 March 2007

Home

Inspire Me Thursday this week challenged us to a) create a piece of art for the home and b) to create a piece of artwork on the theme of home. The framed picture here is made from reused office card and flower and butterfly shapes cut from the same patterned paper from a catalogue as I had used to cover the frame (which I posted earlier when it was still empty). I can't claim any credit for the crafting in the second piece, but its a beautiful piece on the theme of home - a birds nest that we found on the ground fallen from a tree a year or so ago.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Lunar eclipse

Last night there was a lunar eclipse. Sadly we didn't see it as our flat only has windows facing in one direction and as the moon sailed out of sight, she was still white and bright. We'd been watching her all evening in fact, starting as we travelled down from Perth, through Fife, she was glowing yellow and shrouded in clouds rising later into a clear sky. There was a total lunar eclipse a few years ago that i was able to see, in fact watched it from beginning to end.
earth shadow bleeds red
across the white moon face -
sense of mystery.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Precious

A luminous roundness
subtle swirls in blue and green
draped with wispy veils of white
set against a backdrop of black
emptiness.



I've written another poem about something beautiful on my Alter Ego blog here.

Beauty for Poetry Thursday