Category Verse

Blinking into the light

So. Let’s start with a beast fable. One day a badger decided to dig a new sett. She walked through the wood until she found a sloping bank sheltered from the wind but open to the afternoon sun. It would be a good place to bring up her cubs. She dug, clawing soil away and […]

This is not a nature blog

  So. Although this site is mainly about words and that, nature keeps creeping in. Yesterday I was cycling along the banks of the Tyne. The tide was going out, so there were mud banks showing on both sides of the river. Nearer Newcastle that exposed traffic cones flung off bridges, the ribs of old boats […]

National Poetry Day

So. Today (6th October – Gregorian Calendar) is National Poetry Day. Hurrah. Poetry is good enough to deserve a day. Unfortunately, I have not written a poem today: too busy working and thinking about heat loss and condensation. But I did write a poem yesterday. Normally, I would post a little bit of a poem, […]

A short history of writing on the move

This post is a little like Ikea, if you want to skip past the kitchen displays and the bedrooms just get to the marketplace and checkouts then just jump here. And I can only assume that if you are still reading you are ready for a little meander. I have been writing for years (I […]

Farewell, my web-footed friends

So. I started writing a poem about waiting. And in one of those curious moments of decision I went for rhyme royal, a seven-line stanza with an ababbcc rhyme scheme (supposedly ‘royal’  because James I of Scotland used it for his poem The Kingis Quair, but possibly more prosaically named for the French chant royal: less exciting and […]

The morning after the morning after

So. At this time on a Saturday morning, with the weekly shopping done, I would normally be writing poetry. But poetry takes a certain amount of focus, and today I do not have that. Following the referendum result, the UK and Europe face years of challenge and uncertainty. I find myself uneasy and worried. I […]

Watching Frank

  So. I was watching Frank. An odd film, but one which addresses the question of inspiration (or may be creeps up on it then runs away). Early on, the protagonist (I’m going to call him Bob as I can’t remember his name at the minute) is trying to write a song. Bob takes his […]

Remember your local librarian

So. I suspect I was like many people in that I first heard of Umberto Eco because of The Name of the Rose, his palimpsestic mediaeval whodunit. I read and enjoyed that, and later Foucault’s Pendulum. Finally, last year, I read his brilliant little study guide How to Write a Thesis. Now, it is many years since I […]

On abstaining

Far to the north of the Arctic Circle, too far perhaps to fit into the world, is a mountain, several miles high and many leagues in circumference. At the foot of the mountain lives a colony of crows. Once in every tenth generation, a crow flies to the summit of the mountain and sharpens its beak […]

A Christmas Garland Redux

So. Last Christmas I wrote a twelve sonnet cycle, on the theme of Christmas, and posted them on Living Lantern, a day at a time. I was contemplating another Christmas project for this season, but a Christmas deadline on another project put an end to that, so I’m having a rest. In the meantime, to make the original […]