The Playthings Of Man

Those of you who have read my book will have come across a namecheck in the foreword of a certain Kenneth White. White introduced the term Geopoetics, the meaning of which has informed both my writing and the way that I see the world for a long time-long before I had even heard of Geopoetics or knew what it meant.

Being an admirer of White’s poetry and his waybooks, this afternoon I was sat outside in what is perhaps the final ebb of summer, reading House Of Tides. This quote, of an old Japanese saying, stood out:

In youth a man plays with women, in middle age with the arts, and in old age with a garden.

I put it in context for myself.

Here I am: happily married; playing at being a poet; thinking about peas.



On Discovering Your Native Place

Recently, reading Kenneth White’s Travels In The Drifting Dawn, in a section where he is returning home to Glasgow, he wrote:

‘Sitting at the window, looking out at the dripping rowan tree, and beyond it the misty rain and beyond the rain, though invisible, the mountains and the sea:

Everyone has his own native place. Where is your native place?’

It served its purpose and got me thinking about my own native place.

Is it where my roots are? (I live still in my childhood town, in fact just next door to the house that I grew up in. Grounded in memory and ancestry.)

Is it where my heart is? I love rural places, coastal places, my favourite place (so far, in my wanderings), being Orkney. Is it the place that speaks to me, and I feel at home in?

I will have to think on it. But what about you guys?

Where is your native place?