I saw this photograph on Facebook: winter, 1906.
And those two men beneath the bowlers? Perhaps they ended up reincarnated as the Kray Twins.
The time-between-time. Still my favourite.
I overheard a conversation today between two people. I didn’t intentionally listen, but they were sat behind me on the bus, and so I was a captive eavesdropper. They were talking about what their favourite time of the day was.
By favourite time, I don’t mean 2.34am, or 15.12pm. Rather, the portion of day that they preferred.
One announced that he was a morning person. The other snorted, claiming that he had always been a ‘night owl’.
As we carve up the year into seasons into months into weeks into days into hours, I suppose we cannot help but hold them to comparison and have preferences.
My favourite season is Winter. My favourite half of the year begins with Autumn. Or Fall, as they put it more poetically across the pond.
But what about my favourite time of the day?
I love twilight, that time when the daylight noticeably…
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The second of The Northlore Series of books is out today. A planned trilogy of books, the first volume was called Folklore, and this second one is called Mythos. I have two short stories featured in it.
The premise of this one is that since the advent of Christianity 2,000 years ago, the old Norse Gods didn’t just cease to exist but continued on, right through to the present day. These are their stories. There are tales of different times and different places: from the Russian Plains, to the Somme, to a cafe in New York. A varied collection that holds something for everyone, it is a great companion piece to Folklore.
In Folklore, I had included a poem about a Mara, and a story about a Myling. A reviewer (in a good way), described my story as ‘Murray’s bleak take on the Myling legend’. If he thought that was bleak, wait until he reads my World War One tale in Mythos! Though I liked ‘bleak’. I think I’ll take that.
The books contain humour, too. There is a good balance throughout: light and dark, prose and poetry.
Both books are available here:
And for American customers:
In Manchester last week, in the middle of the Build A Bear store, I saw what must have been the most dejected Chewbacca I’ve ever seen.
Have a great weekend everybody. Hug and cherish that special Rebel Alliance leader in your life. Especially if he made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
See you on the flip side.
On this day, the 8th of December, my two long-time favourite artists are linked irrevocably. In Memory and Gratitude:
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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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.’
The link for American customers:
And if anyone wants a signed copy, you can get one direct from me, via PayPal. Just leave a comment below.
The post that was Freshly Pressed two years ago, gaining me close to a thousand new followers: family, connections, generations and ghosts.
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.
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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