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Maori Magpie

Am considering using this Maori Magpie design on the cover of my sanctuary-themed series.

It also serves to illustrate the next poem in the collection.


My life has shrunk

into the confines

of a stark box room.


Locked into celibacy

and silence, I withdraw

into watercolour,


express myself

in a gallery of insects,

trees and wildflowers,


wait for a black bird;

rook, raven or crow

to call me home.


Hunter Moon

‘Nocturnal’ is the next poem in my sanctuary series:

At first I revelled

in the extra space,

rejigged the pattern

of night and day;


watched stars track

through the skies,


took long dust baths

and afternoon naps,


fished for hours

by the land-locked lake,


caught my reflection

in the Hunter moon,


wished I could call you back,


Hearing the Rainbow


The painting and poem about ‘hearing the rainbow’ inspired me to produce the post below.

Originally posted on Poesy plus Polemics:

all the promise
of life
can be heard
in the dying
gruff voice
of a storm
moving on

View original

Hearing the Rainbow

Hearing the Rainbow.
An inspiring painting and poem about hearing a rainbow. It has never occurred to me before to listen to this weather phenomenon but I have thought about how it would feel to try each colour on:
Translucent in white,
serene in violet,
cosseted in indigo,
confident in blue,
comforted in green,
frightened in yellow,
self-conscious in orange,
attractive in red,
invisible in black.

I have entitled this poem ‘Over the Rainbow.’
Perhaps you can weave another way of sensing rainbows into your writing this week.

How to Feel Like Writing Again


Some useful advice and reflections here for writers at the mid-point or who find themselves flagging. I would add to this post from ‘A Writer’s Path’ that it is not always necessary to write in a linear fashion.

Originally posted on A Writer's Path:


We’ve all felt it at one time or another. The story loses its shine and you’re left with a half-completed story. Why does this happen, and how do you continue?

View original 958 more words

Confessions of an ‘indie’ publisher (Part 4)


Excellent post from Kate Evans about carving out personal writing space – physically, mentally, socially and emotionally.

Originally posted on Writing Ourselves Well:

I’m assuming that those reading these blog posts will at least have a kernel of an idea, be writing and be on with building up a supportive writerly community (see last ‘Confessions’ post). There is no magic about writing a novel-length manuscript, what you have to do is write, write, write, get some feedback and creative nourishment and then write some more. Sounds simple? In some ways it is, yet behind that straightforward statement, there is what I call the need to create a writing space. I mean this in terms of a physical space and also in terms of carving out time for the creative process. In addition, in my opinion, there also has to be a psychological and emotional shift for this to happen. Taking a physical space, demarcating time, implies saying to yourself and others, ‘My writing is important’. It might mean putting your writing…

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Festival Season

Two-toned swans at Washington Wetlands Centre
These two-toned swans were photographed during a recent ‘artist’s date’ to the WWT Washington Wetlands Centre in Tyne & Wear, England.
The purpose of my visit was to find out more about the life of exotic birds as avian metaphors were beginning to surface in poems being drafted for my ‘sanctuary series.’
Festival Season was inspired by an afternoon walk around the various habitats:

The two-toned bird
offered to share her hole
in the old volcano cone.

When the rest arrived
I thought I’d wandered
into paradise.

Flight feathers strewn
like designer confetti
littered the blue lagoon.

Our courtship lasted
a full six weeks
on the saline strip,

then, with a shrill call,
she upped and off
with the rest of the flock.

This week’s challenge is to identify a place you could visit that links to your current creative project. Make a date of it and be open to being inspired by that environment.

Ten Quote Tuesday (#22)


Some thought provoking quotes here. I identify with Nicholson Baker’s : ‘When I first wanted to be a writer, I learned to write prose by reading poetry.’ Only for me it was the other way round.

Originally posted on A Writer's Path:


Welcome to another installment of Ten Quote Tuesday! If your creative juices have trouble flowing today, then read these quotes and writing prompts to nudge awake the sleeping muse. If there is a particular quote you enjoyed, let us all know with your comments below.

View original 265 more words

A Chaos of Delight

A Chaos of Delight is the first poem in the second part of my sanctuary series.
The title is a quote from Charles Darwin’s impression of New Zealand when he stopped off for 9 days at the Bay of Islands in December 1835.
The poem imagines how the island might have appeared to Marco Polo if he had visited it and reported back to Kublai Khan as in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (Vintage Classics: 1997)

In GODZONE time turns inside out,
days darker than night
absorb a chaos of delight.

Men in red feather cloaks
sway from ropes in giant trees,
digest roots, shoots and leaves.

Birds burrow on the ground,
lay eggs with a hairy husk,
chorus into life at dusk.

Seasons cycle in reverse,
sun sets in the West,
moon rises in the East,

everything is back to front,
upside down,
the wrong way round.

‘Godzone’ is a nickname for New Zealand which is referred to as ‘God’s own country’ just as Yorkshire in England is often called ‘God’s own county.’
I have placed GODZONE in capitals as this is the style used for the imaginary places described in Invisible Cities, a recommended text for architects as well as budding writers.
A fun exercise for you to do with your writers group is as follows:
* Write the name of a place (real or imaginary) on the top of a blank sheet of A4.
* Fold the page so that the name cannot be seen and pass it on to the next member of the group
* Write a brief description about the sights that can be seen there.
* Fold the page again to hide the writing and pass it on.
* Repeat this process until you have covered how the place smells, sounds, tastes and feels.
* Add a final few words to sum up your first impression
* Unfold each sheet and invite each member to create an oral description of the place based on the notes written on the page
You will be surprised at the outcome!
The oral descriptions can be extended into a stimulus for creative writing.
I would be glad to hear how you get on if you decide to try it.

What’s new for 2015

Hello and welcome to readers old and new.
I hope you like my new look blog for 2015.
As I’ve been making a few tweaks to the colours and layout it occurred to me to ask you what you would like to GROW in the next 12 months.
So here are a few coaching questions to help you to plan for that growth:
* What goal do you want to grow in the next 12 months?
* Where are you with that now?
* What steps can you take towards realising your goal?
* What is the first thing you will do?
* When will you do it by?

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