Storm Coming

Storm Coming by Paula Dunn

After Paula Dunn

based on the weather
handing over a landscape like a veil,

a limited palette
to keep things simple

but storm coming on, clouds layered,
winds textured

and dark low lying land brushmarked
and glazed for atmosphere

the yellows, oranges and browns brood
within depths of time and place

searching for a flick of white
to rest and breathe

Colour is Mine

Van Gogh, 1959 by Althea McNish

After Althea McNish

Sunflowers

big and bold

inspired by Van Gogh’s

brandished

across a

yellow and white

striped field

black lines

outline floppy leaves

and dozing closed heads

bright colour carried to

this grey isle

not a luxury but a necessity

for survival

for blooming

another time

uprooted

sunflowers

The Healing Properties Of The Seas, 2022


The new creative project which has been knocking around for a while now is exploring my love of the sea. The Healing Properties of the Seas, 2022.

I’ve been living with this project for about five years now; whenever I’m near the sea, or any body of water, taking a moment to breathe it in and then capturing 10 seconds of it.

I’m not even sure where the idea came from or why 10 seconds. But I know I have thousands of these little films.

To go through them all and post them online seemed a daunting task. But I know how much joy being with the sea brings me and I’m always trying to find ways to share this joy.

So to make it happen, to make this project happen, I’ve taken 2022 as my year to share, The Healing Properties of the Seas, 2022.

The task is simple. Share 10 second videos I create in 2022 of bodies of water I see, visit, get close to, get into.

You’ll find some clips in blog posts but hopefully all of them in the portfolio. Enjoy.

Cullercoats Bay, 01 March, 2022, 14.49


Summer Writing Intensive

Many moons ago, I went to Washington State to visit a new friend, Sarah Spaeth, who I met while picking grapes on Monteleone in Lazio, Italy. That was over 10 years Aga now and we’ve been friends ever since. We’ve had some adventures in the States, over here in Scotland and also Iceland.

While I was in residence with the Jefferson Land Trust, where Sarah was the Executive Director at the time, I fell in love with Fort Walden which was just down the road from where I was staying. It’s a national park with the sea, beach and trees and a creative centre, called Centrum.

I remember Sarah talking about this centre while in Italy and how much I would love it there and to come and see. She was right, I felt right at home there. And when I took my family over there, we spent plenty of hours hanging out there. It was my dream to sometime return and do a writing retreat there, or attend their summer writing program.

The summer writing program is just like going back to college for a week. Writing workshops in the morning and afternoon and then evening readings. To be immersed in writing for a whole week, with other writers, bliss. Obviously this year, it’s had to be cancelled. So instead they’re offering a Summer Writing Intensive but virtually. The next best thing. And something I could so attend.

So I am, starting tomorrow, I’m going to writing college and going to spend the week in poetry and fiction workshops. Go to some readings in the evening, but totally live the writer’s life and I do so from the comfort of my own home. And what’s even neater is that I’ve been given a scholarship to take part for which I am so grateful.

So apologies not is you don’t see me here next week, as I’ll be soaking up the writing atmosphere and vibes from across the pond.

 

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The Prompted By Nature Podcast Interview

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I had the pleasure of being part of the Prompted By Nature podcast this month. It was good to have a chat about my relationship with nature and the work I’ve been completing within the region, with Earth Sea Love, offering opportunities to Black, Asian and ethnic minority women and girls to enjoy experiences with/in nature.

We talk about amongst other things:

* The importance of BAME visibility and representation in natural spaces and the marketing of nature-based brands as well as the need to motivate a new generation of black women leaders
* The financial side of accessibility in nature
* Land as holding trauma and associations with enslavement
* Nature as a space of oneness

I’ve just listened to the podcast for the first time and I was smiling along with the conversation, as it is so good. I share a lot and there are some words of wisdom that we could all take away. Check it out here. Thanks.

 

Writing Elsewhere

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Since May, I’ve been sharing my writing on Medium. This is a platform I’ve tired a number of times before but for some reason the habit just didn’t stick. I now know this probably had something to do with having nothing really to say. But now I do.

I’ve been contributing to the Binderful Blog, which a small online community of women, started a few years ago, which offers classes to support women questioning their lives. Maybe shaking up the status quo from the kitchen table outwards. I’m due to create a class with Binderful but in the meantime, I’ve been writing on Medium for them.

If you’re interested in checking out what I’ve shared so far then click below to read the articles.

Learning to be Inside

Comfort Reading

Pandemic Food Ways: A Little Sweet Treat

Waiting To Be Allowed In

My Voice is my Weapon

It hurts living on our knees

Day 9 – Concrete Poem – being in the moment

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I sit on the bed, cross legged,
window open. Hearing a kid
scream, a car engine revving.
And there, just then, a seagull
flies by carrying bunch of leaf
and twine in its beak. Say you,
what you building?   Stealing?
It’s now I’m aware of the trees
trees outside coming into leaf.
Buds unfurling like green ton-
gues with beard and feathery
flower clusters. What tree are
you? And why do you reach so
to the sky as if all that matters
is to grow and thrive? Zooming
traffic, loud, draw my attention
away from nature, from inside
But that’s usually the case with
modern life: a distancing from
our true nature with incentive
of moving faster, go anywhere,
produce anything of fake worth
as if our life depends upon it.

Day 8 – My Mother Forbad Us To Walk Backwards

After Anne Carson @carsonbot

The misty fret rolls
in from the North Sea
covering the bay
like a shroud.

There is no silence
when everything changes.
Grief strips the skin
from your body and leaves you raw.

Down along the shoreline
terns are turning and turning.
A question coaxed from your throat,
And this is how we love ourselves?

Onwards. There is so much beauty
in the world which you fail
to notice on a frenzy.
But if you allowed

each breath to be a prayer
you will enter the museum
of God and already
be inside of your body.

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Day 1 – NAPoWriMo – In these troubling times, our way of being comes into sharp focus

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April brings with it the challenge of National Poetry Writing Month. One poem per day for the next 30 days. What better way to kick start my next 100 days of blogging if you take up this challenge. So follow along as for the next 30 days , I’ll be sharing a poem I create, sometimes in response to the prompts posted over here, sometimes from other inspirations. But I’ll be hopefully following the theme of Nature for this body of work.

Day 1 – In these troubling times, our way of being comes into sharp focus

Taking out the rubbish

I’m met by a bully of a bird

on our backyard wall.

 

He doesn’t take his leave.

Indolent, he waiters along the bricks

beady eyeing me.

 

Mum used to say things

must be rough at sea

for seagulls to be so far inland.

 

Today, I don’t think this is the case.

I think people are no longer at sea

forcing these scavengers

 

reliant on the discarded chip

or bit of fish to become urban

into backyards where citizens

 

take their recommended

or is it permitted

daily shot of sun while in lockdown.

 

This seagull surveys the scene.

One foot, two foot, two foot, one.

Head jerking alert, yellow sickle beak,

 

hooking the air with it’s call.

Grey wings once settled now stretched

wide with an inkling to take flight

 

but it decides to stay, close.

Two foot, one foot, one foot two.

A shared landscape it’s always been.

 

Perhaps, now, more obvious

how we all have to adapt

to a new way of being

 

which might have us all eating grass yet.