Entrances And Exits/Morrison And Lennon

On this day, the 8th of December, my two long-time favourite artists are linked irrevocably. In Memory and Gratitude:

City Jackdaw

The 8th of December is a date that links together my two favourite musical artists, two artists that I have been listening to for what seems most of my life.

On the 8th of December, 1943, James Douglas Morrison, son of a Navy Officer, was born. He would go on to become the focal point and frontman of The Doors, known by such self-given and tongue in cheek epithets such as the Lizard King, Shaman, and Erotic Politician.

He is one of the few rock or pop stars whose poetry is read seriously, as poetry. As a poet he tends to polarise opinion, but I like his writing, and his song lyrics helped to set the group apart from the usual music crowd. In the days when The Mama’s And The Papa’s were dreaming of California and over the pond The Beatles were telling the world that all you need…

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Heading North For Christmas

In a couple of days, my poetry collection Heading North, (Nordland Publishing), will be a year old. I may celebrate this, even have a little cake and wear a hat.

The blurb reads:

Heading North is a collection of poems arranged in a deliberate order to take us on a journey where we travel from the childhood and youth of summer in the South to the mortality-facing winter of the North. ‘We ride in the wake of glaciers, leaving behind the sunshine straits. North, north, always north, heading into midnight.’

It has garnered some great reviews, all of which I’m thankful for. Here are a couple of excerpts:

‘In short, there is real poetry to be found in this first collection of Murray’s work and a depth of pleasure to be gained from its reading that is all too often only notable by its absence in the work of many of today’s poets. Highly recommended.’
‘Without a question or a doubt, Andrew James Murray’s poetic collection certainly encompasses key elements of geopoetical dimension, and gives the reader a sense of north. His quest took him as high as Orkney. Elegant in places, harsh and chiselled with flair and savagery in others, Heading North is an invitation to beauty. Very much recommended.’


With Christmas almost upon us, here are links to where you can get a copy, either for yourself or as a gift for someone who’d appreciate this kind of thing.

The UK Amazon site:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heading-North-2-Songs/dp/8283310097/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480836447&sr=1-1&keywords=heading+north

The link for American customers:

https://www.amazon.com/Heading-North-Songs-2/dp/8283310097/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480836564&sr=1-2&keywords=heading+north

And if anyone wants a signed copy, you can get one direct from me, via PayPal. Just leave a comment below. 

Happy Reading!

If Walls Could Talk, Concrete Confess

The post that was Freshly Pressed two years ago, gaining me close to a thousand new followers: family, connections, generations and ghosts.

City Jackdaw

If walls could talk.

If concrete could confess.

If soul could seep through cement.

If only one of those monochrome apparitions could reach out and take me by the hand, leading me into a world of smoke and ale and revelation.

image

The woman stood by the door on the right of the picture is my great grandmother. The two little girls are my grandfather’s older sisters. The guy on the far left, in the bowler hat, is my great grandfather. The other two younger men could be family, I don’t know. Will probably never know. Posing with a football and a trophy of an unknown triumph, they remain silent, anonymous ghosts. Enigmas of imagination.

The building itself, its very brick and mortar, contains more than can be revealed in a two dimensional image. It contains that which is valued in meaning.

Ancestors of mine dwelt in that place between 1901…

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A Flock Of 7,000

I typed into Google search: there are 7000.  These were amongst the first results:

*There are 7000 people whose blood is blue

*There are 7000 undergraduate students at Stanford

*There are just 7000 web users in North Korea

*There are approximately 7000 diseases

*There are 7000 descendents of Schindler’s Jews

*There are 7000 chemicals in cigarettes
I didn’t click on any of these links, so I can’t vouch for their veracity.

But one thing that I can tell you is that City Jackdaw has just hit 7,000 followers.

I have to spell it to help it sink in: SEVEN THOUSAND! !

Holy blog posts!!

That number is unbelievable. When I first started flying on WordPress, about three years ago, I thought I may attract a handful of followers, probably all off my Facebook friends list, just to be nice. Hand on heart: maybe a few hundred. But the numbers have grown exponentially, helped at one point by a Jackdaw post being selected by one of the WordPress ‘ghosts in the machine’ to be Freshly Pressed. That opened up my blog to a wider audience.

To mark this moment, I will repost that post tomorrow night.

In the meanwhile, I’d like to thank all of you for travelling with me: you likers, you commenters, you sharers, and you silent, wonderful voyeurs. To the loyal bunch who have flown with City Jackdaw right from the very beginning, to the new sojourners that have just joined the flock:

I appreciate you all.

Now, let’s see where we go next. I’ve got a few ideas…