Nature poacher

February 16, 2013

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Blackthorn thorns against snowy ground

There were very few animal prints, because the snow was so recent. I headed down the field towards the site of the foxes’ dens – not so exciting since I discovered they were in fact rabbit burrows. I felt faint guilt at not finding rabbits as entrancing as foxes. In the middle of the field, […]

Posted in: Place

What the snowdrops said

February 14, 2013


Snowdrops in snow

Our work is underground. Earth holds us, woodland edge protects us, wind dances with us. We teach of transience. We are not interested in surface. The surface is an illusion through which we pass. It is what is beneath that makes us who we are. We are white because we have no need of colour. […]

Posted in: Plants, Wildlife

Mist, ditch, wash

December 4, 2012

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Bury Ditches hill fort June 2012

I am lying in the centre of a wide shallow dish overflowing with cloud the colour of waste water. The low sky is unwashed, a matt, mottled grey, with no brightness to it. I can see nothing past the perimeter – no hills, no fields, no sun. The mist is on me like an upside-down […]

Posted in: Place

Half-light, half-life

September 11, 2012


Half-thoughts flickered in the half-light like the wren in the hedgerow impatient for sunrise. The sky and I were only half-awake in a desaturated, foreshortened world. Broken, abstract forms silhouetted against a dark palette of khaki, stone, and mud tones. Dead leaves and broken branches loomed starker than the living. The air seemed translucent with […]

Posted in: Place

Losing sight of the shore

August 22, 2012


Criftin Brook

Rain stung my face, and tall nettles bowed in the deluge swiped at my legs. The fence post sprayed water as I scrambled over the water jump of a stile into a war zone of thistles and thickly-scattered muck. Sheep blurred against field, wet in wet, getting up wearily, unenthusiastically, at my approach. Their long […]

Posted in: Place

No poem today

July 25, 2012


The Long Mynd from the Stiperstones

Water in a hurry slips off leaves of willow and hawthorn and splashes into a muddied, stony-bottomed pool. Beside it, three ponies nuzzle each other, and snuffle at short grass under bracken fronds and fresh shoots of whinberry. Here on the eastern flank of the Stiperstones, the remains of an old conifer plantation has been […]

Posted in: Place

Nordic horizons

July 14, 2012

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Winter fir trees

Listen to Horisont from the album Blå Harding – evocative, contemporary Norwegian folk music. Nils Økland plays the Hardanger fiddle, a traditional instrument with a particularly heart-rending, sinuous sound. Headphones on, eyes closed, I wrote about the landscape which this spare, dissonant music evoked in my imagination – cold, bleak horizons, and a rawness at the […]

Posted in: Place, Poetry

Landscape poetry

June 17, 2012

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Bury Ditches hill fort June 2012

What is it? A creative response to the environment, in the form of poetry, prose or other writings; images, photography, art, video; speaking, singing, chanting; any other art form; or just being. At the heart of landscape poetry is the idea of listening to the environment, and creating a sense of connection with it. The […]

Posted in: Place, Poetry