Monday, March 20

a Poem for Thursday....Preston Patrick in March

Preston Patrick in March

Preston Patrick in March.

 If you don’t hurt crows
They won’t hurt you
My father said

And I believed him.

Chorus :-
While water drips
In a blue plastic drum
Water runs from
A pipe in the yard
Water brown bubbling
And smelling strong.

In the ring of trees
Black branched
Against a pearly sky
Crows weave nests.


Ghost trees hover high
On early green hills
And mist and low cloud
Merge in distant perspectives.


There sits a flatbed trailer
Unmoved by their caws
And rusty supports form
As iron oxidises.


The inspiration for the first stanza came out of a poem by Vicki Feaver in her  book,
 “The Handless Maiden”…Cape Poetry

“If you don’t hurt wasps
They won’t hurt you
My father told me.

But I didn’t believe him,”

Sunday, March 19

A Poem for Thursday....Armagh Tellings

It was such a great pleasure to be part of International Women's Day this year as I spent it in Northern Ireland...and joined some other writers at Bangor Library to read our writings.

The day was organised by Jane Talbot @  and the readings at Bangor were lead by Liz Weir.....@.

Then being encouraged by several friends to "get my work out there"...I offered a couple of poems for Josephine Corcoran's blogpost...."And other Poems"

What joy to get a lovely message from her that she had chosen this one about the old family farm in Armagh. 
Thankyou to all who allowed me to share some words.

‘Armagh Tellings’ by Geraldine Snape

Armagh Tellings
I remember hearing about
Newtownhamilton and granny.
I was told about how the
hens scuttled around where
Summer’s swifts filled the farmyard.
Told about the road to market taken
By the broad carthorse that
turned the wheel that
churned the butter..
That was the pride of Armagh….and
Dad wearing a top hat and
Him perched proudly on the cart.
And I remember
Drumlins everywhere you looked.
And the roads flying by..Killyfaddy,
Tassagh, and Dundrum.
And there’s the wee post office…neat and sparse
With Will Moore and his little mum.
William James from..the Braeside..
That’s running along the border..
By Annvale road…and the lake.
And the famous Darkley Mill.
And I remember the stories of the
Farm and how they said that
Sarah Makem who worked at the mill
Sometimes sang in the yard
And there’s the C of I at
Where I once met a Mr. Lowry
whose mum knew dad apparently …..
There on Annvale road and
found that dad had been there before!!..
Albert Nesbit…Megagherty…..Watsons.
There’s two piers guarding a lane to a farm
To 26 Corkley….and there’s a possibility
That it was Joe’s farm.
Out comes the present owner
As rough as a badger…
He owns a tractor from ’61
Bought it when he moved there…Said it worked still.
Said he never needed a wake up call.
Said he rose in the morning with the first horn…
From..Darkley Mill.

This poem was read aloud in Bangor Library for International Women’s Day on March 8th 2017.

Geraldine Snape was born in Belfast and now lives in Warrington. She has been in Belfast recently as part of the Women Aloud NI readings in libraries, book shops and town centres. She is a member of Geraldine Green’s group that meets in Kirby Lonsdale every month and is a member of Bold Street Writers group in Warrington. Instagram geraldinesnape

Thursday, January 19

Thursday Writers At The Gateway in Warrington.

Thursday writers at Bold Street writers
Today Pat F. offered us two bags of thoughts.
One full of taste words
and one full of smell words
Our prompt was to write using whatever words we had picked out.
Mine were ...bonfire and full English breakfast.
I demurred and changed that to Irish!!

Out he marched.
Out of the stuffy house and
Away out into his garden.
Off he went with his belly full.
Off with a lightness of step.
It was a good feeling to take into the new day.
Now Dan was no spring chicken.
Well to tell the truth, he was closer to ninety than eighty.
But a wee bit of a creak in the joints would surely only be improved with a jaunt out into the fresh air. 
Out into his beloved veggie patch.
And there he would stand, arms crossed over his chest and lovingly survey his domain 
with the pride of a king,
 an emperor, 
a ruler of nations.
O.k....that might be a bit over the top that last thought.
But nevertheless his pride in his garden abounded.

Mags, in the home, was a great cook.
There were no two ways about it.
She could take a few wee ingredients, throw them in a pot, add a spot of water and a smidgen of a stock cube and produce a soup to knock your socks off!
And when it came to breakfasts, well there was noone, not man nor beast could beat her breakfasts.
So on this morning she had truly excelled herself.... and Dan's expectations... and had presented him with the breakfast to beat all breakfasts.
Here's a taste of what lay glistening on his plate.
Two slices of best back bacon, crisped on the edges where a spot of fat lingered smelling of heaven.
Two fried eggs winking at him from eggy paradise with whites firm and yolks soft and runny enough to dip a toasty soldier in and bring it up to his mouth with the delicious chance that a golden drop might roll gently down his chin be savoured at a later time.
A plump red tomato, halved and left sizzling in the pan 'til the edges browned with the crustiness left in the bottom of the frying pan from the cooked bacon.
And succulent sliced mushrooms sauted in butter and placed gleaming on the side of the plate.
But....creme de la creme, there on his plate a fat slice of his favourite black pudding, peppery and salted.
That was surely to replace the iron in his system.....just call me "Ironman", he thought.
So with a belly content with a full Irish breakfast and a pot of strong tea heavily laced with a spoonful...make that two or three spoonfuls...of sugar....

Out he marched.
Out into the sharpness of the January air.
Frost had left the grass with a grey green hue.
It reminded him of the colour of the classroom walls in the old school where he had been caretakeer for fifty years.
It made him stop and consider how lucky he had been in life.
Well ...except for the times the school toilets had blocked, or that time the lab had been set on fire by the mad scientist of a teacher or....
Ah, that's what he would do this fine morning.
He would take all the dead wood and the autumn gatherings of dried bean stalks, dead asparagus grass and the sweetcorn stooks and have a fire.
A really big, glorious, joyous bonfire.
He would take two of the old wooden garden chairs and set them together upwind away from the smoke.
He would pop back down to the kitchen and bring Mags up and together they would sit and watch the sparks make their way up into the grey January sky.
He gathered the thinnings of autumn.. 
Stuffed paper into the empty spaces, laid the wood in a pattern as he had learnt as a boy from his dad, And who had in turn learnt from his dad.
So history progresses.
So skills are passed on.
So he took his lighter, the redundant lighter since he had given up smoking, and lit the paper.
Watched with anticipation as the dried vegetation caught fire and listened as it talked to him of times gone by, as it crackled and popped .

Mags looked out of
the kitchen window and sighed.
Another bloody bonfire!
So no washing hanging on the line again today!

Sunday, January 15

Day Seven Art Challenge Alan Snape Potter

..and so we reach Day Seven of The Art Challenge for the potter...Alan Snape...
At the closing exhibition of his time studying art at St Martins Lancaster...every piece of work apart from two which we still have...sold! 
At that time Alan was working in wood, metal and ceramic. He was creating wall pieces with burnt wood and metal or clay..... big powerful pieces of art.
 I was always sorry that teaching at Penketh High...stopped all that influence. Too much else to think about...apart from family growingup etc!! 
So the commission for a wall mounted work to be placed in the foyer of the Oaks Centre  in Penketh was welcomed. 
The piece is composed of oak beams burnt in the bonfire, down the field, until charred to his satisfaction. Then formed into various sized crosses and three pure white ceramic balls placed within the sculpture.
If you ask him what it means you will receive a gentle shrug and...
 "what do you think?"

I'm adding this early pic of Alan's car....the beloved Rochdale with a friend from St. Martin's College Lancaster, the lovely sister @Rosiemcclellandart and yours glamorous, how young, how innocent we were!
I kept slim by pushing Nelly to start her most days!!


Saturday, January 14

Art challenge...Day Six...Jonah in the Boat Asleep.

Day Six of the potters art challenge.

Many of the series Alan has produced have been based on well known Bible Stories. 
This is from the story of Jonah who disobeyed instructions...and ended up inside a BIG fish!....he eventually obeyed ...though still wasn't very it for yourself!
In this piece from the series Jonah is asleep in the boat...just before they throw him off to the fish!!!! Typical of the potter's sense of humour.

Friday, January 13

Day five of the potter's art challenge....and this camel seen in the window at the Buckenham Gallery in ready, willing and able to paaarrrtay!!
Where do the ideas come from?...I dread to think!
I think this sweet camel is long partying somewhere classy...but others will follow where he has lead no doubt.
You can always pop into the Potters House here on Heath Road Penketh to see what the potter is conjuring up at the moment.

Looking in  and...

...he's looking out!!

Thursday, January 12

Day Four Art Challenge....Alan Snape

Day Four...Alan Snape's Art Challenge and this Penguin is proudly showing off her/his Venetian crown. 

We spent many happy hours at The Brighton Arts Festival at The Open House of @AnneliesClarke for some years. 

She asked us to consider a Venetian Theme and this is what the potter came up with and very happy we are that he did. 
You can find them in the galleries that supply his ceramics as well as here at The Potters House Penketh......... there are other less theatrical penguins available ........!!