Monday 31 March 2008
Sunday 30 March 2008
Dream On also includes a number of poems that specifically address environmental issues, including Impact:
I wish I could give you the moment when
Eagle came back into view trailing Crows with the sun dancing
on the water near the very still meadow then you'd know
even one more building anywhere in america or the world
is too many
and Going Through
We can no longer see the wild grasses
whose love flew into our baskets
Trees weep brown who have always been green
their songs hunger for bears
We're lonely they cry
with no-one to rub their backs on us.
Chrystos is an important poet I think because she shows that craft does not need to be sacrificed in the face of strong emotion and that campaigning messages are better addressed through well crafted lyricism and heartfelt emotion more effectively than through slogans and rants. She also writes the most beautiful love poetry ever (really, you need to read her work!).
Saturday 29 March 2008
Friday 28 March 2008
The haunting atmosphere is enhanced by the eerily beautiful black and white photos that dot the text. Sebald was considered by many to be a major European writer and certainly his intelligent commentary is well worth reading, though some of his attititudes and style quirks can be annoying.
Thursday 27 March 2008
Wednesday 26 March 2008
If you are visiting the Science Festival, you'll need to book in advance for the Dino Dig. I think there are still tickets left for some performances but hurry because they'll sell out fast! Also remember to wrap up warm for the Dino Dig, its freezing in there!
Tuesday 25 March 2008
Discover Science with the University of Edinburgh is on at the Museum and the Botanic Gardens.
Talks are taking place in venues across the city.
Wonderama is on at the Assembly Rooms in George Street. This is where I am working, helping on the Dino Dig and in the Techniquest Activities Room (more to follow here in the next few days!). I'll be working 12 days without a break so may not be able to visit other people's blogs as often as usual but I do hope to post here regularly.
Monday 24 March 2008
the plane went down over
uncharted land, drowning in green
endless forest, choking damp heat.
Rare parrots watched.
Howler monkeys shouted
through the trees
news of something never seen before.
The crew had no chance.
Rescue teams heard the call
but failed to locate
in endless dense canopy.
Now the bones and wreckage
lie in arid suburban gardens
where at night, the ghosts of howler monkeys scream
and extinct parrots flutter through restless dreams.
previously published in Moonstone and on the My Delayed Reactions blog, here
Sunday 23 March 2008
We also had excellent views of three zebras, as our walk passed by the boundary of Edinburgh Zoo. Edinburgh Zoo is recognised as one that does genuinely help international conservation but currently it is causing controversy in Edinburgh by trying to extend its boundaries onto the Local Nature Reserve that covers most of Corstorphine Hill. Corstorphine HIll is an important area for conservation and recreation in Edinburgh. The Friends of Corstorphine Hill are co-ordinating efforts to prevent the expansion of the zoo.
You can see photos of earlier walks round Corstorphine Hill here, here and here.
Saturday 22 March 2008
I also have two haiku in the current issue of Blithe Spirit, the journal of the British Haiku Society.
Thursday 20 March 2008
I found it really difficult to think of six truly unimportant things that would be worth blogging! So here after much thinking are six seemingly unimportant things about me, but each has some environmental impact:
- I always carry a fabric carrier bag with me in my handbag.
- I love second hand shops
- I drink too much tea (but its always organic and fairtrade so its ethical tea!)
- I prefer to shower rather than have a bath
- I collect interesting things to reuse in collages
- I take the bus to work
I'm not going to tag anyone, as I've done that quite a lot recently and there are a lot of memes like this doing the rounds. But if you want to join in, feel free and let me know in the comments!
Wednesday 19 March 2008
of the desert while the city
drowns under the rising sea
a crow sings a song on the edge
of the forest while houses
grow leaves and crumble to ashes
a dark shadow looms and hangs tall
in the sky; while a small
golden butterfly emerges from gloom.
Surrealism for Totally Optional Prompts
Tuesday 18 March 2008
'In the afternoon, when the admirable bee-eaters feel the wind coming and break into song, and the cicada is in a frenzy, rubbing together its two little plates of gold, I sit down near the living depths of the pool.' from Meditations and Allegories of the Water.
'The Sierra Nevada lends a background of boulders or of snow or of green dream to the songs that cannot fly' from How a City Sings from November to November.
It's a beautiful collection, one that lingers in the mind long after reading it.
I also recently read The Emperor's Babe a novel in verse, which I reviewed here on Pink Gun.
Sunday 16 March 2008
rip off my bark
exposing my heartwood
I want to tear my roots
from the soil, rush at him
rip the fur off the hound
and lay it at his feet
"Don't you know
that's what you've done to me?"
But I stay still
wave my branches in the breeze
let starlings gather
in my crown to mourn
my slow death
Be a Tree for Read Write Poem
Saturday 15 March 2008
Friday 14 March 2008
Earth Day Network enables activists to connect, interact, and have an impact on their communities, and create positive change in local, national, and global policies. EDN's international network reaches over 17,000 organizations in 174 countries.
Thursday 13 March 2008
Wednesday 12 March 2008
Tuesday 11 March 2008
Monday 10 March 2008
rather than twenty starlings
and a sparrow.
In dreams, birds are rarer
their markings clearer
I get nearer.
And sometimes dream flocks
of extinct birds
darken the sky
to a sense of loss.
I wrote another dream poem on my other blog Over Forty Shades.
Dreams for Read Write Poem
Sunday 9 March 2008
so long alone, another
thirty years to go.
Lonesome George is the last known individual of the Pinta Island Tortoise, one of 13 subspecies of Galápagos tortoise native to the Galápagos Islands. George is around 70 years old and can be expected to live another 30 to 70 years, probably all alone, though there are indications that there may still be another tortoise of the same subspecies or closely enough related, somewhere in the island chain. Galapagos tortoises were hunted by whalers and pirates during the 18th and 19th centuries. Non-native species such as goats introduced on some of the islands destroyed the vegetation that the tortoises eat. These factors have contributed to the reduction in numbers.
Ages for Mad Kane's Haiku Prompt
Saturday 8 March 2008
To find out more about tigers in the wild see: Tigers in Crisis
Friday 7 March 2008
along Princes Street
the castle backdropped
by the glow of sunrise
colours that deepen
and spread behind the Galleries
on the Mound; sparkle
the frost on Salisbury Crags
under a sky patchworked
by pink lace clouds
Rising for Writers Island
Of course the one real stumbling block is the perception of picking up litter as being unhygienic. On their website, People Against Litter claim that picking up litter is probably no more unhygienic than handling money that has passed through thousands of other people's hands before it gets to us. Also given the amount of litter in most places, it is easy to avoid the obviously unhygienic or dangerous litter in favour of picking up less dangerous bits!
Another way of combatting litter is to join an organised clean up. The Friends of the Forth organise beach clean ups in and around Edinburgh.
If you regularly pick up litter do you have any tips to share?
Thursday 6 March 2008
Excellent blogs for haiku - Jem, Bill and Polona
Excellent blog for nature poetry - Mike
Excellent blog for environmentally aware crafts - Deb
Excellent blogs for nature photography - Sandy and Mark
Excellent (the only?) blog on Ecopoetics - James
(If I've given you an award, please don't feel that you are necessarily expected to pass it on! Just enjoy it!)
Wednesday 5 March 2008
they have been our landmarks
five lifetimes through.
I have watched them change
from backdrop to a Roman fort
to the rarely seen, dull wilderness,
smog hidden, on the edge of town.
They and you are constants, part
of me, my body’s slow sure compass,
the only given points
on the maps of all my lives.
I never understood life’s meaning
to be eternal death,
I long for future lives,
the excitement of love’s progress.
But as I watch your spirit pass
from this world to the next,
lungs battered by the blood
of our beloved hills,
And as I watch them dig your grave
on our hilltop’s blackened stump,
I hold your hand and quietly pray:
let the next life be Nirvana.
(Previously published in Smallfry)
A Different Voice for Totally Optional Prompts
Monday 3 March 2008
I became angry at the behaviour of the herpetologists. Here they are searching for a dying species and what do they want to do? Measure it, photograph it and set it free to hopefully find a mate, breed and have some sort of a future as a species? No they want to pickle it and take it back to the lab to dissect, which needless to say isn't going to directly prevent extinction....
Poet with a Day Job tagged me with the book meme:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
So here is the appropriate passage from You Darkness:
He shook my hand and asked me to sit down, then he began to talk about frogs, he sketched a few on his little slate and asked me if I recognised any of them. Later he took out a photo of a slimy toad all covered with warts, I knew the creature very well, we talked about its poison for a while and I told him what the fishermen in Jeremie always said, that this toad was the mother of all toads. Papa Crapaud started to laugh and said he felt like their father, that was when I though "Papa Crapaud" and then I said it out loud. "You can call me that if you want to!". He shook my hand and told me to go back to Jeremie and find him a nice little house where he could keep his things.
I know this meme is doing the rounds at the minute, so I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you feel like doing it, consider yourself tagged! Edited to add, people who considered themselves tagged are: Kamsin at Fearfully Made
Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect has been Leaping into Books about Frogs
Visit Amphibian Ark to find out more about the International Year of the Frog. Please join in their campaign. Between a third and half of all known amphibians are threatened with extinction. They need our help.
Sunday 2 March 2008
among crocuses -
the jerky, crouching run
When we got to Arthurs Seat we were stunned by the contrast of the vibrant green hillsides against the vivid blue sky. Stunned also by the cold wind.
Arthurs Seat is geologically fascinating (an extinct volcano) and if you look carefully at nearby Salisbury Crags, you can see the rock strata pushed up at a sharp angle. This is also an area rich in birds:
wild wind -
The first kestrel was joined by a second and they flew around above the gorse covered rocky hillside.
On the other side of the road, looking down to Duddingston Loch:
in the gorse
-the loud chack chack
then they flew away en masse buffetted by the wind.
Saturday 1 March 2008
If you're looking for an alternative to talcum powder, Neals Yard Remedies sells a body powder made from corn starch, which is what I have bought recently. Or you could just do without, which is what I'm going to start doing in the future!