Sunday, 30 December 2007
tanka - frost
with frost -
on slippery pathways -
hand in hand
we feel safer
A senryu on a different aspect of frost is on my Alter Ego blog.
Frost for One Deep Breath
Pot Pourri bag
I bought some pot pourri from a local second hand shop and transferred it into pretty cloth bags. Some of the bags I made - this one is admittedly a bit of a cheat as it was the gift bag from a candle, but it is the most photogenic! The ribbon is re-used though I don't know where it came from originally.
Saturday, 29 December 2007
I wrote a poem about Anya here. I'm currently reading my review copy of Poetry Speaks Expanded and was struck by this description of rabbits in Denise Levertov's poem Come into Animal Presence:
...............................The lonely white
rabbit on the roof is a star
twitching its ears at the rain.
...the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings
in white star-silence
Animal for Weekend Wordsmith
Friday, 28 December 2007
Rethinking Basic Assumptions
When for example, an oil tanker runs aground causing massive environmental destruction we blame the disaster on the fact that the tanker had a single skin hull rather than a double skin, we blame the pilot or the adverse weather conditions. We rarely ask ourselves why millions of gallons of oil are transported round the globe in old vessels.....We do not ask ourselves what kind of consumption patterns, which we take for granted, have resulted in thousands of seabirds, fish and seals dying to satisfy our greed.
It promises to be an insightful read, which takes into account the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and social justice, but also demands some serious rethinking of basic assumptions about how our society works.
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Best of the Year
Creatures of the Intertidal Zone by Susan Richardson
Gyrfalcon Poems by Colin Simms
The Good Neighbour by John Burnside
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Wild Blue Yonder - Werner Herzog
Planting the Dunk Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Seeing Dragons in the Clouds, Edinburgh City Art Centre
Weaving Words - Anna S King, National Museum of Scotland
More of my Best of the Year over at my Alter Ego Blog.
Best of the Year for Booking through Thursday, with added extras!
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Adaptation and the Bird
to reach perfection -
form fit for purpose and place
until the poison
the looming shadow
for Totally Optional Prompts and all the penguins, vultures and other well adapted birds doomed to extinction by humankind's arrogance
Monday, 24 December 2007
haiku - giving
onto the lawn -
Giving for One Deep Breath
Seven Random Things about Christmas
1. We will have a vegetarian Christmas dinner with nut roast, potatoes, carrots and Brussel sprouts followed by a vegetarian Christmas pudding with custard
2. I handmade all my Christmas cards this year.
3. I bought my sister and her husband ten metres of hedgerow from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
4. Most of the other gifts I have given are handmade, second hand or fair-trade.
5. Gifts that needed to be wrapped, I wrapped in handmade giftbags or in reused paper
6. From our flat we can see fairy lights decorating a crane in a building site!
7. There are reindeer in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens during December up until Christmas Eve.
I'm not going to tag anyone for this, but feel free to join in if you want! Have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas!
Sunday, 23 December 2007
Life has come and gone. Once the dinosaurs ruled the planet, now humans like to think we do. However, humans are polluting the earth, destroying rainforests and discupting weather systems. We are putting great stresses on the ecosystems of the world, pushing numerous species to extinction and damaging our own life support systems.
Things pass, everything changes, the earth as a planet will survive until either the sun dies or the planet is destroyed by huge meteorites. However, if we care for human society and for the species we currently share the earth with, we would stop and think a little more about how we treat this wonderful earth that is our home.
subtle swirls in blue and green
draped with wispy veils of white
set against a backdrop of black
The Earth for Writers' Island
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Customised Glamour for the Party Season
Thebracelet was £2.40 in a second hand shop and the ring was literally found in the street! Altogether an ideal touch of glamour for a festive evening out.
Friday, 21 December 2007
Poetry Speaks Expanded
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Creatures of the Intertidal Zone by Susan Richardson
There are poems here based on the experience of the men, including Scott and Shackleton, who explored the Antarctic and others based on stories of the Scandanavian heroines Gudrid and Freydis. There are several poems about penguins,
continue to read the review here.
The NHI review site, run by Gerald England, is closing to new reviews this Christmas, but will still be online as an archive. So, thanks to Gerald, I've enjoyed writing reviews for this site over the past few years, I've been able to read a great variety of books that I wouldn't have found otherwise and reviewing is a great way to get closer to poetry and think about it more than you might otherwise do.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
I made these gift bags from scrap material. The gold fabric was left over from a top that I bought second hand that wasn't in perfect condition but the fabric was so beautiful I bought it anyway. I shortened the top by cutting off the damaged areas and found myself with enough cloth to make two of these gift bags. I decorated this one with beads from an old skirt and a ribbon from a box of chocolates! The other bag is made from material left over from a dress I had made in Malawi. The ribbon came from an old gift. I left this one without beads. These bags are an ideal alternative to wrapping paper. The recipient will hopefully reuse the bag, either a gift bag for someone else, or for personal storage.
Monday, 17 December 2007
Crafty Green and True Blue
Janice (Pursuance of Truth)
Jo (A Broad's Thoughts from Home)
Polona (Crows and Daisies)
I would also like to award it right back to Nà as well!
Thanks to those I've listed and to everyone who visits here and comments or just lurks!
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Beauty for One Deep Breath
Saturday, 15 December 2007
full of rain
in the sunlight
Clouds for Weekend Wordsmith
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Heima - Sigur Ros on Film
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
feeders on carrion and rotting things.
Somewhere in Nepal,
they leave their dead for you,
on ice-cold mountainsides,
and watch you take the flesh,
An article in the current issue of the RSPB magazine Birds, prompted me to repost this poem. Three of southern Asia's vultures have declined by 99% since the early 1990s. Vultures play a vital role in ecosystems, clearing up carcases and preventing the spread of diseases that could be picked up from these carcases. This decline is due in large part to a drug, diclofenac, which is used to treat domestic cattle. Vultures are poisoned by this drug when they feed on the carcases of domestic animals. Work is going on to ban this drug and to breed vultures in captivity to release them back into the wild. If caught soon enough, poisoned vultures can be treated and can recover. For more information and how you can help please visit:
Vulture Rescue and the RSPB Vulture Campaign pages.
(Poem previously published in Envoi)
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
short lines - Young Woman in Black (on my Alter Ego blog)
medium lines - Wild Again
varied line length - Confluence, a Riverscape
I'm sure it will surprise no-one that I couldn't find an example of a poem with long lines! That will be something to work on perhaps.
Line Length for Read Write Poem
the rare dove, the rare eagle
both released back into the wild
Scientists and tourists alike gasp in delight
to watch the newly wild eagle plunge
through the sky in pursuit of prey
Delight is stunned into silence
when the eagle's first victim is seen -
a newly wild, rare dove
Birds and Bonds for Totally Optional Prompts
Monday, 10 December 2007
Moses Gate Country Park
When we got back to Edinburgh, I was delighted to find that I've won a mounted print of Mark Eccleston's stunning photo Frosted Teasel. If you don't know Mark's work, why not go and visit his blog and website - his photos are wonderful! And thanks for the prize, Mark!
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Scottish Government backs millionaire in bid to destroy ecosystems
The appeal will be lead by John Swinney, MSP. Any letters of complaint or even support can be sent to him, using the contact details found on that link.
Of course some people see only the economic benefits that the proposal could bring but at the end of the day if we destroy the environment, we ultimately destroy ourselves and the economy. Progress isn't just about money. Or golf for that matter.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Salt Monody by Marzanna Kielar
dark splash of a crow in the floodplain of silence
from the poem Dusk. A lot of the book feels quite bleak, set in winter weather in stark landscapes and there are dark themes running through, such as death and abandonment. However the collection is not depressing or grim, its too beautifully written for that. I also have to say that this is one of the best poetic translations I've read, I don't speak Polish so I can't say how close to the original the translations are, but as poetry they flow wonderfully and multiple meanings can be read throughout - wonderful enough in poetry at any time but very difficult to achieve in translation.
I haven't been able to find a bilingual website that offers Kielar's poems side by side in Polish and English (For readers who are interested in reading some of her poetry in Polish, there is a sample and a short biography here).
Monday, 3 December 2007
Haiku Broken Telephone Game
Sand Dunes Protected from Development
More and more people are seeing that progress needs to respect the past and the natural world and more and more in Scotland, there is hope that nature can win against the destructive advance of progress. More and more people are seeing that true sustainability means more than economics and that heritage and the environment are not nice extras but vital components of our world.
Well the signs are good today anyway.
Sunday, 2 December 2007
Signs of Otters
In tv wildlife shows broadcast from remote Scottish islands,
excited presenters whisper your name to camera
imply only patience stands between us and you,
a view shared by the makers of roadsigns.
We however have only ever been teased
by your footprints; leftovers from your meals
found on coastal rocky outcrops
and stories told us in hotel breakfast rooms.
Told in quieter whispers when we return home
are stories of your kind in our town
leaving footprints by our less romantic waters.
Our fingers cross now on every weekend walk.
Roadsign for Totally Optional Prompts
Saturday, 1 December 2007
We were able to watch this heron for a while as it wrestled with (and swallowed) a large fish then flew up river to drink and rest.
We then walked into Colinton, which is a village that has become part of Edinburgh but still retains its village feel. Just as we were about to get on the bus to come home, we saw several redwings in the trees near the bus stop. Redwings are one of the UK's winter thrushes, so it must really be winter now.
You can read about more of our weekend walks by following these links:
Walk for Sunday Scribblings