Sunday 31 August 2008
A bird of two songs is the robin,
this song the one of ice and frost
the sole sign of life
in a bare December hedgerow.
But today is still August
and as I trim our hedge
the brambles not yet even ripe
the robin's crazy mis-timed song
is the saddest music in the world.
for Read Write Poem
Yang Lian's collection Concentric Circles is a magical book of collage poetry containing vivid, memorable images in poems that shift meaning with each reading. I'll write a review of it here soon.
Saturday 30 August 2008
We then wandered through the Scottish Executive Wildlife Garden, which has a small pond and some nice meadow areas, with lots of flowers, bees, spiders etc. Apparently there are quite a lot of goldfinches round here though we didn't see any today.
We then went to the Mela, Scotland's leading celebration of cultural diversity through the arts, though while we were there, nothing much was happening. There was an interesting variety of food and crafts though, including a stall from Mzuribeads, an organisation in Uganda that makes beads from recycled magazines, which strikes me as a creative, though time consuming way to recycle! The resulting jewellery is very appealing. There was also a stall of crafts from Malawi, which made me feel a little nostalgic.
Friday 29 August 2008
Thursday 28 August 2008
I've also had two haiku accepted to appear in Shamrock, the journal of the Irish Haiku Society, which i will link to as soon as they are published, and this haiku will appear on the breakfast menu of a B&B in the mountains of Idaho....
Wednesday 27 August 2008
At the pond, Daubenton's bats swoop close to the water, mesmerising to watch in the light of torches, their translated signature calls different.
Bat Walk, at Blackford Pond, organised by Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust and Lothian Bat Group
If you're reading this in the UK (especially if you're in Edinburgh!) how have your swifts done this year?
Tuesday 26 August 2008
Monday 25 August 2008
Sam Meekings is definitely a poet inspired by the natural world and human interactions with nature. His poetry is full of keen observations and vivid imagery, the poems he read from his collection The Bestiary, covered topics such as snails, seahorses and geese.
Kei Miller barely mentioned anything environmental in his poetry (there was a reference to birdsong and I think that was it), but despite this being an environmental blog, I'll let that pass! He gave a brilliant performance of some of the moving poems from his collection There is an Anger that Moves, including Speaking in Tongues, which compares the making of poetry to speaking in tongues.
It was great to hear these two poets, both of whom really understand what poetry is....
Sunday 24 August 2008
a pair of mallards
on the water.
The canal banks are full of flowers, hairy and rosebay willowherbs, birdsfoot and hop trefoils, tufted and bush vetches, angelica. Hoverflies and bees move from plant to plant. Numerous sparrows chirp from the hawthorn hedges, annoyingly unripe elderberries and brambles hang just out of reach.Tiny fish wriggle in the water, pondskaters whirl on the surface. A family of swans glides by, the offspring grey and adolescent.
floats above the water -
robin's autumn song.
Along the Union Canal, Edinburgh
Saturday 23 August 2008
autumn hides in sun
bleached grass and floating thistledown.
These swallows will always swoop
above these harvest fields of ochre
in honeyed flight.
Leaves kaleidoscope, poised
for the ecstatic fall
You can read an earlier poem about the end of summer on this blog here.
Friday 22 August 2008
polished up to become
Crafty for Mad Kane's Haiku and Limerick Prompt
also inspired by this post on Ecostreet
Things I've found in the street that I've been able to use include:
a ring, a book and a wooden ottoman with a blue velvet lid.
I'm sure I could be more imaginative about how I could use some of the things I see thrown away. What's your best junk find and what have you used it for?
Thursday 21 August 2008
upon the soldier's stone memorial
perched the raven, ever stately
echoing his rasping call
across the windy sea.
A second bird above the waves
called in reply to her grim mate
level with the cliff she flew
looked us gravely in the eye
close at our side, stern she stayed
until we left her hill.
inspired by Edgar Allan Poe for Totally Optional Prompts
(most of the adjectives used to describe the ravens in this poem come from Poe's description of the raven in his poem The Raven.)
Tuesday 19 August 2008
Monday 18 August 2008
I wash it once a week with Yaoh shampoo and conditioner that contain no parabens or other nasty chemicals and are probably the most environmentally friendly hair products on the UK market (though sadly are packaged in plastic).
I let my hair dry naturally
I cut my own hair when it needs it
I have never used styling products, either chemical or electrical
I never visit the hairdresser so no-one else uses styling products on my hair
What do you think? is your hair green?
Sunday 17 August 2008
bees buzz in scented air,
an orange kitten lounges.
Sunlit statues in the corner
and herbs in terracotta
against an ochre wall.
Behind a wrought iron gate
in a high wall
by an ordinary town path.
not haiku, but still in the moment for Read Write Poem
Saturday 16 August 2008
Friday 15 August 2008
Thursday 14 August 2008
three rabbits lined up
by the station
rustle in a bag -
golf course -
lost pet rabbits
you can read more of my rabbit poems by following the links below:
and another here
In the Dark
For anyone who hasn't kept rabbits, the binky is the rabbit dance of joy, you can find out more by following the link in the haiku.
Three rabbits (instead of dogs) for Totally Optional Prompts
Wednesday 13 August 2008
Tuesday 12 August 2008
Monday 11 August 2008
Sunday 10 August 2008
Saturday 9 August 2008
A solitary rabbit. A wren in the dry stone dyke. An abundance of primroses in the ditches. Lambs bounding on every side. Ploughs.
This same careful observation is evident in all the poems, this is from the facts of the matter:
Making a song for myself
in cutting wood on a clear day
goldcrest working the haws
brown wren in her quickset cave
Some poems here are not so straight forward and require a bit more thought to read, but there is never any sense of obscurity for the sake of it, and I found almost all the poems to be worth an immediate second re-reading, for the pure enjoyment of it.
Elementary Particles by Gerry Loose, published 1993 by Taranis Books
Friday 8 August 2008
overgrown buttercups -
(You can read more about our garden path here)
Thursday 7 August 2008
Wednesday 6 August 2008
Tuesday 5 August 2008
Don't Touch for Weekend Wordsmith
Monday 4 August 2008
still takes me back
to the aftermath of storm
clean moist warmth
the pervading odours of rotten mangoes
with undertones of chicken dirt
Here there are no mangoes
but as I walk under still dripping leaves
I smell lime flowers
before I see the lime trees.
smells for Read Write Poem
Sunday 3 August 2008
But we enjoyed the atmosphere and the music, and luckily the wonderful ancient fruit trees in the walled orchard offer shelter from the rain, while we looked at the amazing array of lichens on the branches....
Saturday 2 August 2008
Thankfully there is some hope here, in the form of stories of other species rescued from the brink of extinction such as three birds from Mauritius - the pink pigeon, the Mauritius kestrel and the Echo parakeet, all of which now have re-established relatively healthy wild populations and have stimulated protection of their habitat alongside real community involvement. This story has also been replicated for a number of parrots and related species in the Carribean - can it work for the Spix's macaw? Only time will tell.
Spix's Macaw by Tony Juniper published 2002 by Fourth Estate
A presentation by Juniper on the current (2002) state of Spix's Macaw can be read here
See photos of Spix's macaw here.
Edited March 2020 to add: 52 Spix's macaws (extinct in the wild) repatriated to Brazil, to be released next year, once acclimatised.See this article (in Portuguese) for more information and this article (In English!) on the BBC website.