Friday, 29 June 2007
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Monday, 25 June 2007
in the dusk shrouded river -
squeeze under the door -
one bare light bulb.
on the back of a chair -
scuttle across the floor -
red flip flops.
bugs for One Deep Breath
Sunday, 24 June 2007
Saturday, 23 June 2007
There's another giveaway on my Alter Ego blog!
Friday, 22 June 2007
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Three jobs I’ve had:
1. Science Teacher
2. Charity fundraiser
3. Charity regional manager (it's a very small charity!)
Three places I’ve lived:
1. Manchester, UK
2. Malindi, Malawi
3. Edinburgh, UK
Three places I’d like to visit which I’ve never been:
1. Norway – got very close having booked a cruise round the fjords for this May but the tour company cancelled the trip!
2. Tuscany, Italy
Three most unforgettable places I’ve been on holiday:
1. Okovango Delta, Botswana
2. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe / Zambia
Three things that bring me comfort:
1. My partner and friends
3. A good armchair
Three of the most memorable books I read last year:
1. The Last Report on the Miracles of Little No Horse - Louise Erdrich
2. Einstein's Dreams - Alan Lightman
3. Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami
Three books that I started because I felt I ought to, but didn’t finish:
1. Demian by Herman Hesse (in German) – I took this to a conference in Italy, as there were Germans there & I wanted to practice German! I’ll try again as Hesse is my favourite writer in German.
2. The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargas Llosa – don’t like his style.
3. The Redundancy of Courage – Timothy Mo – don’t like his style either
Three songs that give me goosebumps:
1. My Lady’s Story - Anthony and the Johnson’s. (I may have the wrong title here but it’s on the soundtrack of the Italian film The Family Friend)
2. Untitled #4 by Sigur Ros
3. La Voix du Sang - Transglobal Underground
Three loved films from my childhood. I actually very rarely went to the cinema as a child and the only memorable children’s film I saw was:
So for number 2 we have the first film that made a huge impression on me which was
2. The Emerald Forest, which was the film that really made me start to take environmentalism seriously.
The last three films I saw are:
1. Water (Deepa Mehta, India)
2. After the Wedding (Susanne Bier Denmark)
3. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Germany)
Three things I didn’t do as a child that I wish I had, though I don’t do regrets as a rule:
1. had a pet
2. played outside more often and more adventurously
3. learned to knit
Three things I’d like to do that I haven’t done yet:
1. have a full poetry collection published
2. teach evening classes
3. review for a national newspaper or major magazine
If you want to join in, please feel free! Leave a comment here so I know where to find your answers!
Monday, 18 June 2007
yellow in the grass.
on petals of red roses –
full of tiny flowers –
field guide bent open.
on my t-shirt –
Flowers for One Deep Breath
Saturday, 16 June 2007
My Alter Ego blog next week is carrying poetry and reviews for Refugee Week - 18 - 24 June 2007. Please check it out!
Friday, 15 June 2007
Green Transport Week (16 - 24 June 2007) aims to:
raise awareness of transport impact on the environment
highlight transport alternatives
make people stop and think before they go somewhere
Green Transport Week is organised by the Environmental Transport Association, an environmentally friendly breakdown service. They are not anti car but want to encourage people and organisations to think about the impact of excessive car use and help them to make positive changes in their travel habits. Their website includes loads of information on transport and climate change and how we can reduce the environmental impact of our travel choices, including help in buying a greener car and help in reducing our reliance on cars.
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Questions, asked by Ted Kooser in his introduction to the book, about whether performance poetry will endure as literature, are in my mind irrelevant. Each performance is unique and will live on in the mind of the audience who may well memorise the words (as proven by the audience participation in the recording of David Lerner's Mein Kampf!). Dare I ask the question: is literary poetry in fact the sign of a failure in poetics? That it needs to be written down because no one can remember it otherwise? The first poets performed their work, they didn't write it down. Performance poetry today continues this tradition, Kevin Coval in his article Towards a hip hop poetica describes hip hop poets as 'modern griots, indigenous keepers and tellers of his/her/stories.' Hip Hop poetry revels in rhyme and rhythm, as demonstrated here by Invincible, in this excerpt from Detroit Winter:
The city streets are bitter sweet
I pound pavement
While I'm kicking litter at my feet
Under the snow, the ground's blanket
These heavy hitter beats.
Dana Gioia in his article The New Oral Poetry notes that "(t)he nearly universal critical bias against rhyme and meter as recently as ten years ago, especially in University writing programmes, indicates how distant the poets in a print culture have become from the orality of verse''.
Many literary poets also seem to be afraid of emotion and humour and often appear to be engaging with a select gathering of fellow literary poets, rather than reaching out to a wider audience. Performance poets however are not afraid of emotion, whether raw anger in Mayda del Valle's poem about Puerto Rican Spanish speakers Tongue Tactics or more controlled as in Patricia Smith's rambling poem of love for her father When the Burning Begins:
....... I'm telling you it's the first thing
I ever cooked, that my daddy was laughing
and breathing and no bullet in his head.
Nor are performance poets afraid to connect with the audience's points of reference, as in this line from Lebron James, by Nate Marshall one of the many young poets featured in this book:
I'll be the first spoken word brotha with a shoe
Performance poetry also is unafraid to engage with politics, which can seem confrontational, but it is hard not to at least see where Nikki Giovanni is coming from in his angry poem All Eyez on U:
if those who lived by the sword died by the sword there would be no
white men on earth.
There are some performance poets who I find too confrontational as much as there are some literary poets who bore me; at the same time there are literary poets who stun me with their distillations of powerful emotion and there are performance poets who move me with their subtlety. Both sides can learn from each other. This book is a perfect starting point for literary minded poets (or anyone else) to start learning from performance poets.
Spoken Word Revolution Redux can be ordered from Source Books.
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
GPP Street Team this month asks us to make scented art. The background to this piece is scented cardboard, containing flower petals, that I've recycled from packaging from some incense sticks! The collage suggests some of my favourite scents - fresh fruit, flower meadows (especially clover that smells of honey!) and chocolate (the brown and gold paper at the bottom right comes from a chocolate wrapper).
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
Monday, 11 June 2007
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Saturday, 9 June 2007
It's the Tree Festival again and just as last year, its the first really nice weather we've had this Spring. This picture was taken at around 11.30am before the place got crowded. It shows a yurt and a couple of teepees and in the distance you can see Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Tree Festival , organised by the Four Winds Inspiration Centre , takes place in Inverleith Park, next door the the Botanic Gardens and features woodcraft workshops and stalls, renewable energy games, mountain biking and axe throwing. A variety of musicians, including rap artists, drummers and rock bands play on a music stage. There's a varietry of stalls selling refreshments and a beer tent selling a range of traditional Scottish beers brewed by Heather Ale Company, including Fraoch (our favourite beer!) an ale made from heather and Kelpie, a lovely dark ale made from seaweed.
The Tree Festival continues tomorrow from 11.00am until 5.00pm and is free!
Thursday, 7 June 2007
Running Buses on Waste Vegetable Oil
This is perhaps a step only for the committed environmentalist! Before going ahead with any conversion please speak to a technical expert
Restaurants that fry a lot of food need to pay to get their waste cooking oil disposed of safely. Oil is difficult to dispose of and can cause environmental problems. However diesel engines can easily be adapted to run on used food oils. Waste vegetable oil (WVO) is the most environmentally friendly fuel and can be very inexpensive. It can be used straight or converted into bio-diesel.
Most bio-diesels require fuel plants to be grown on land that otherwise would be used for foods, or require rainforests to be cut down, neither of which are environmentally friendly solutions. Using WVO however solves both the problem of how to dispose of the waste oil and how to find an environmentally friendly vehicle fuel.
Converting your diesel vehicle to run on bio-diesel manufactured from WVO requires no modification to the engine and can be done in a few days. If done properly, it will not damage your car and shouldn’t significantly affect the resale value. However please consult a technical expert or a garage about the suitability of WVO for your vehicle.
There is some work involved in collecting used vegetable oil and filtering it – most users find that a few hours every few weeks is enough, and walking into a restaurant asking for used cooking oil can be an entertaining way to start a conversation!
Big Green Bus ‘change the world one veggie oil powered bus at a time’ (USA)
Grease Not Gas information on using used food oil in a bus.
Good Grease Online forum for discussing conversion of vehicles to waste vegetable oils. (USA)
VegOil Motoring UK site on converting your vehicle
Notes on converting to waste cooking oils (USA)
Service buses running on WVO in Maidenhead (UK)
Monday, 4 June 2007
Sunday, 3 June 2007
Saturday, 2 June 2007
Town Mouse, Country Mouse for Sunday Scribblings