Monday, December 11

A Poem for Thursday...Driving to Donegal

Driving to Donegal

River Bann in flood  cattle on the bank
cloud and blue patches in an Ulster sky
red barn roofs curved and corrugated
Enniskillen          Omagh              Derry
on the green road sign.   Driving west.
Telegraph wires strung out on drumlins
measuring the miles and the messages
ancient gaelic town lands   anglish form
politics noted in the colour of a flag
politics  black    green     blue     red
and white  with a bloody hand
woven together like fine Sunday linen.
Fecundity found in every hedge and tree
mother Ireland at her most fertile her
green hills swelling as ample breasts
each rowan     ash     willow and oak
hazelnuts beechnuts and acorns with
meadowsweet  knapweed  fireweed and
net fences twined about with red rosebuds
over   under   around the edges of gardens.

Geraldine Snape

Tuesday, December 5

A Poem for Thursday...The Fall

The Fall

Watched rusty leaves turn brown
bend over in the autumn winds
hang on a little longer then fall
and lie in all their glorious
shades now safe from any
sudden squall that might
blow unexpectedly and hit
the birch trees. Old trees 
in the grove. Too tall for
this small garden.

Watched chestnut and oak trees
 against the end wall where 
conkers fall and squirrels
scurry to hide them all in
shallow holes for springtime feasts.
And acorns where striped wasps 
once flirted, laid eggs and changed
the cupped balls to magic creatures
we foolishly name galls. 

All this
from a saggy chair, through blue
painted doors, an autumn shawl flung
lightly round old shoulders. Recalling
the shout of children in the field
once young, now tall with lives
uninterrupted by the thwack of ball 
on bat or cry of yield.

Ahead of the's only Tuesday.

Sunday, December 3

Lost.....and found.

I have a green cardboard folder full of my writing from the Thursday morning group at The Gateway in Warrington.
Until Friday evening when I suddenly realised I had no idea where it was just my Thursday folder...albeit packed full of years of flash fiction, short stories and quick poetry.
Then yesterday it dawned on me that I must have left it on the bus I took to get home from town.
The potter's mobile wasn't picking up so no lift.......then get on a bus.
But my pensioner's card is out of date..I know I should get it renewed and I only had a £10 note...embarrassing.
I felt ashamed...but thought that the driver could probably see that I was no spring chicken...definitely over 60!
After Cafe at The Oaks Community today we went to the bus station fearing for the worst.....but lo and the angels said...there was the precious folder still in it's linen shopping bag.

I just hadn't realised how precious those written words were to me.

It was my prompt on Thursday and I took a handful of old snaps to inspire everyone to write a five minute "flash fiction" with each one.
Fun all the way.
Here is my very..Flash...fiction of a poem....

She loved them all
But which to choose?
They lingered near
She made no fuss.
He threw his arm 
around her shoulder
She liked him
As he was a wee bit older.
But Stan on the end

Had money and house
And Bert was strong
Tho' feart as a mouse.
She turned them down
And lived alone
With ten feral cats
And a dog with a bone.

The best I could do in five minutes.

Sunday, November 26

Ruskin's Library ... Brantwood..


This  for me is the most interesting room in Ruskin's home at Brantwood on the banks of the Coniston Water.
We were given the prompt by Geraldine Green to write about several of the curiousities in the cabinets.
I like a cabinet or shelf of curiousities...I have quite a few...the family would say.

Ruskin's Library

The moths are dead and lie under a protective glass dome
no danger to the carpets now         a wasps nest is empty
and the buzzing occupants have fled       to a foreign field
though the hover fly hovers no more              in my mind
I still hear his song of summer       by the specimen chest
it's closed drawers                         and locked cupboards
invite  illicit exploration                or maybe the bookcase
dusted and locked securely                  against the moths
will  reveal the truth              truth about the Turner copy
did the grand man know the artist            was he thrilled
to be chosen to reside in Ruskin's library               where
the Madonna still comforts her holy crying child
now fixed in stone         colour glazed       Liverpool style
over the fireplace            at a window seat there is space
enough     to hide       behind a long green velvet curtain
instructions tell me                I must not touch or horror
of horrors play                with the Armillary sphere     or
woe betide me     if            I  use the ornate writing tray
with its inks to pen my  inktober poems           better far
to find my own curled leaf   out      in the gardens where
freedom  reigns                        and rain brings freedom.

A Shelf of Curiousities with the potter's ceramic clown at the front.

A Box of Vanitas....Broken Bird's Eggs found in the field

Venus of the Bay...vanitas

Have fun this week everyone. x

Wednesday, November 22

Muckross On The Edge


A very special place for my sister..the artist Rosie McClelland and therefore for me.
This is my attempt to put those emotions into poetry.

Travelling tracks
on the high edge of Europe
to Kilcar and  Muckross
uber ancient rocks
jutting hard on navy waves
endless ocean.

The edge where
swooping  valleys leave
masculine sliabhs to
drop away to Amerikay
green rock pools
burnt orange lichen.

wind blown clumps of sea thyme
in stoney crevices

Broad limestone pavements
worn flat by tide and time
to white-flecked endless forces
by long-winged gulls.

hanging rocks
face ocean
have stories to tell
futures  to sell
to the mountain people.
Hard lives
on elemental edges
sedges and turf
not enough to keep them
by Port or Tellin.

There strangers in long boats came
stealing wives and children
took their lives
took them for service.

Of many kinds.

[@rosiemcclellandart ....sliabh pronounced...slieve]

Sunday, November 19

November Bonfire

Nothing makes the potter happier 
than a quiet Sunday afternoon 
sitting watching the old branches and the autumn leaves burn 
as the smoke flies up wards in the still air.

Saturday, November 18

Cabinetmaker's Tower Warrington

 This iconic tower in the skyline of Warrington town centre...cannot be saved...they say.

How could a town allow that to happen.

 This was once a Cabinet makers factory. 
As Ben our son studied as a cabinet has always been of interest to me.
 This building is part of the to be demolished..along with so much of the architectural history of ancient Warrington.
Those guardian angels on the golden gates in front of the Town Hall...must be weeping angels...just like the ones in Dr. Who.