from my poetry blog.Where We Used To
from my poetry blogWord Jam #15
April not a fool, just a joker … This is hame clawed in icicles since April’s first weekend. April feels a brigant, with its hoards of dark clouds …brigant
A great review of my second collection In Brigantia, (link above), written by Shetland-based poet Nat Hall. Please check out her work too.
Seven weeks on from my post about the three lost fishermen (one of whom was related to someone my wife knows), it’s been revealed that their bodies have been recovered from the coastline of Wirral and Blackpool. It’s tragic, but not altogether unexpected.
At least now they can be given a decent burial and their families afforded some closure.
That evening I came across these lines by George Mackay Brown, and once again my thoughts turned to those men and the loved ones they’d left behind:
What a difference a bit of sunshine makes to our locked-down spirits!
I sat a while in our town centre gardens, drinking a coffee while watching people come and go. It was almost, almost, like the world before, when nothing impinged on our intentions and freedom other than schedules and finance.
The new warmth took me back even further, to around 2006, when I was in Rome. I would get up early and after showering go for a walk along the Tiber. Along the way I’d call for a bottle of water from a small shop that I knew of, tucked away down a small backstreet, that was championed by the locals as it didn’t charge the inflated prices that the others inflicted upon we tourists.
I would loop a route back round to take in Peter and Paul in St.Peter’s Square, up there high on their pedestals, before the crowds arrived with their clicking cameras and eager eyes. As the day wore on, with the sun well on its way to reach its zenith, there were no shortage of churches that I could choose from to seek respite in their cool stone shade.
It was on one of those days, easy and long, that I was sat having a beer next to the Colosseum when my wife messaged to inform me that the girl we fostered had shaved off her eyebrows!
Talk about being hooked right back into the ‘real’ world back home.
It’s funny how different places bring different memories, small connections that lead into each other over time. Hopefully soon there will be new places offering new memories and connections to be made down the line.
Anyway, that particular memory found a home in my second poetry collection In Brigantia, born of a conversation with one girl that made a connection with the recollection of another.
from my poetry blog. I don’t like the last lines, but as the title of the post says-it’s just a quick first draft.First Draft: From A Winter Walk
from my poetry blogWaterdrop
I took this photograph a few days ago of a local fishing pond, frozen over.
There’s not much colour in it, is there?
January has always been bleak, even without the added burden of a national lockdown.
The lines of a poem in my first collection, Heading North, come to mind:
There’s not much colour in that either, is there?
But that was the particular tone of that poem, it is called Laments of the Urban Dead after all.
But we can still hold hope, if not joy.
I know I keep banging the same drum, but before we know it spring will be sprung, to be followed by the first fruits of summer. You know how it works.
Seasons don’t follow lockdown rules, nature doesn’t adhere to restrictions.
So hang in there, Jackdaw friends, wherever you are and whatever circumstances you find yourselves in, there are brighter days to come.
from my poetry blogFirst Draft: Pacers