Archive for July, 2015

Tourist Guide: How you can know for certain you’re in Zogairysk by Jane Røken

July 31, 2015

Three Drops from a Cauldron

Tourist Guide: How you can know for certain you’re in Zogairysk

The bridge. The mist. Your hotel:
Electric Dragon Light House.

In the parking lot: an extinct truck
and a hawker’s barrow.

The landlady inspects you,
her tumbleweed eyes swarming,

suspicious because you speak
the language, but reassured

by that other language: dollar, euro.
Local coin is a dirty word.

The stairs and floorboards feel soft.
The night air smells so slow.

On the bedside table: a brand-new
Tarot deck, nothing else.

A thought, surely not your own,
breezes through the window:

You could actually stay here.
No one would ever know.

And all the trees in Brigadoon
turn over in their sleep.

Jane Røken lives in Denmark, on the interface between hedgerows and barley fields. She is fond of old tractors, garden sheds, scarecrows and other stuff that will ripen into something else. Her writings can be seen in many…

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Winter Landscape by Maurice Devitt

July 24, 2015

Three Drops from a Cauldron

Winter Landscape

She had just finished knitting
the cat when it escaped, black
fur shredded against
the driving snow. The night

was cold enough to make
a butcher shiver, hands
fingerless fitted snugly
into gloves. She grabbed

her coat but it resisted,
sleeves clinging desperately
to a hat-stand. The trail
of paw-prints was cold

and diverged in two directions
as though she had missed
a stitch. She rolled one set
into a ball and followed

the other into a forest, trees
huddled closer than their
shadows, branches stroking
beards of snow. She expected

a house, there was always
a house but no, a lake
the size of a mirror
and on the ice an empty bobbin.

The seventh son of a seventh son, Maurice Devitt was abandoned by his evil stepmother and raised in the forest by a poet.

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Lifesaving Poems: Carl Sandburg’s ‘Buffalo Dusk’

July 23, 2015

Anthony Wilson


Apart from e e cummings and the genius Anon, one of my chief discoveries in the Voices and Junior Voices series that I wrote about yesterday was Carl Sandburg

I loved his long lines, his casual-sounding chattiness and his use of repetition to build hypnotic rhythms that suddenly made you realise he was deadly serious all along. I also loved what he wrote about: being stuck in traffic, lying, not being good at mathematics and the wind:

And the wind shifts

and the dust on a door sill shifts

and even the writing of the rat footprints

tells us nothing, nothing at all

about the greatest city, the greatest nation

where the strong men listened

and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was.

-from Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind

Like Les Murray and Pablo Neruda, he seems to have written a poem about absolutely everything…

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Poetry society

July 23, 2015

Anthony Wilson


I am minding my own business, putting out some rubbish, when it happens. An elderly man I know, a neighbour, appears out of nowhere, speaking to me. He is 83 if he is a day. He is well turned out, as he always is, full head of hair, silver, swept back in a matinée idol kind of way. He is wearing a pale summer jacket and crisp white shirt.

As usual, he doesn’t bother with small-talk; he just goes straight in: ‘I’ve just been reading some poetry you know.’

‘How marvellous,’ I say.

‘Shakespeare,’ he says, before I can ask him what it was. ‘The Sonnets you know.’

‘Which one?’

He begins quoting the poem: ”Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?/ Thou art more lovely and more temperate. / Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, /And summer’s lease hath all-”

He knows the words that come next…

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More Poetry, More Horses

July 14, 2015

Maya Horton – Sky Beneath Sun

July 13, 2015

The Stare's Nest

Sky Beneath Sun

There will be a storm in this courtyard.  The hot summer air

funnelled down through the gaps in the walls, warmed

even further by the grey stone. Bugs bask in the sun. Inside

the house, cool shadows cause a temperature gradient.

It is just inside the doorway where the air fronts meet:

thunderclouds gather in the hallway, weaving secrets

into cobwebs. It won’t be long before we’re all under water.

Maya Horton is an artist and writer based primarily in Bristol (previously Newcastle), but she travels a lot throughout Europe for her work. Whilst she is primarily an artist, she has had her work published in several small presses, and has had poetry featured on the Guardian website. Her filmpoems have been shown in Iceland and in the UK. She is currently working on a small volume of poems.

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The missing blog post

July 9, 2015

Anthony Wilson


after and with apologies to Mark Halliday

The missing blog post has gone AWOL. Never sure of its place in the world, it exists only as a hum, a lump in the throat, a murmuring, a shrug. It contains the summer, the concrete grass, the burnt glare of classrooms emptying for the last time. The missing blog post aims a champagne cork at the sun, but misses it.

The missing blog post wanted to be about the election, about learning, about class. Instead it finds itself remembering that time on the beach at Sandwich, the fire and the sun setting, a plastic bottle christened The Good Ship Ballesteros, its message stoppered inside. The missing blog post cannot remember that message, only the bottle. The missing blog post does not indulge this as a metaphor.

The missing blog post has picked up the phone, and put it down again, preferring to…

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The Purpose of Flies and Art of the Fly

July 8, 2015

Fancy the Trip of a Lifetime?

July 5, 2015

Maintenantman's Blog

The desire to return to British Columbia and the Yukon is always strong. I am planning to go there next year if possible, with the aim of travelling the full length of the Dempster Highway, a gravel road that connects the northern Yukon with the Beaufort Sea. I went up the first third of the Dempster in 2007 and have dreamed of enjoying the full experience ever since.

I am hoping to get a small group together to spend a month on the trip, to allow for plenty of walks ‘off piste’. Contact me if you are interested.

To give a glimpse, the following is an entry from my journal covering the first few days of my Dempster time in 2007. No photos, hopefully the text speaks…and you can Google Images the Dempster.

“The music-loving folk at the café had kindly let me recharge my MP3 player, giving me an…

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