Forward March

I nearly fell off my chair when I read the email from those wonderful people at Structo Magazine, who had written to say they were nominating my poem, Lunch in Ars en Re, for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. I am so glad I ate lunch in Ars en Re that day… it was a very fine lunch too- in fact here is a picture of it…

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Trampoline!

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The trampoline arrived yesterday and my Dad spent this afternoon assembling it. One very happy little boy has bounced himself silly this evening. I had a great time jumping up and down too! Still plenty to do but it’s wonderful to have achieved this part of the plan for the garden. I am hoping I can tend to the next job of clearing and digging over the veg patch while my son entertains himself being Zebedee...

Oh the places you (might) go

I am drafting poems for my MFA dissertation. The general theme is place, as with most of my writing in recent years. This week I have been transported to France, Italy, Germany, Ethiopa and am currently visiting the Cherokee Nation. It’s cheaper (and more fun) than flying. Some of this ‘mental travel’ is to revisit places I have already been to, some of it is vicarious, via maps and online resources…some of it is imaginary/visionary.

I’ve been reading William Blake’s The Mental Traveller this morning, seeing as I am on this strange journey with my poems- although the subject matter would seem to be more mental travail than travel…it is, like all his work, thought-provoking, beautiful, troubling and magickal:

And these are the gems of the human soul:
The rubies and pearls of a lovesick eye,
The countless gold of an aching heart,
The martyr’s groan, and the lover’s sigh.

Running for Trees: Weeks Five and Six #Treeathlon

If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be getting up on a Sunday morning and going for a run around Glastonbury, including a march up  and down the Tor in the middle of that run, I would not have believed them. But that is exactly what I did yesterday morning. My son and I stayed the night in a B&B in town with a friend and her little girl, and whilst my mate minded the kids I was able to go out for 45 minutes of running with a brief stop at my favourite place in the world in between.

We had driven to Glastonbury the day before, on the Saturday, and taken the kids to the free Children’s Day at the Chalice Well which offered all kinds of activities for children to take part in. These included: yoga, tai chi, gamelan workshop, thank you-boat making, face-painting and tree lore amongst many others. And all of which took place in the environs of the peaceful and beautiful Chalice Well gardens. It was a hot, sunny day and the place was packed with families enjoying the surroundings, the cool healing water of the well and the general feel-good vibe. In true Glastonbury style we bumped into friends down from Wales which made it particularly joyful and meant the kids got to experience the gardens as part of a gang. Perfect!

The run yesterday morning was my last of my Week Six training schedule, and I have really started to notice an improvement in my fitness during the last two weeks. In Week Five the length of time I was running suddenly increased and the length of time walking in between the runs decreased. I have managed to complete all the runs successfully so far which has been a real boost to my confidence. I am, however, sure my walking pace is faster than my running! And I am not running 5k in the training runs, although I hope I will have reached that distance by the end of the Week Nine which is the last week of training on the excellent podacst series, Couch Potato to 5K which you can download for free from the NHS.

The Trees For Cities Treeathlon which is what all this training is for,  takes place on Saturday September 15th in Battersea Park, and looks like it will be a really fun day out. After running 5k I will get a chance to take part in a 100m barefoot run. Trees For Cities currently holds a world record for this event! And the third part of the Treeathlon is the opportunity to plant a tree.

As well as commencing Week Seven of running this week I will also word-wrestle with my dissertation and pack for a trip to Berlin, where I hope to continue my training.

broadcast # 4

they try to be something they are not; we invented them and attach happy/sad/ come/ go/////escalators///// travelators- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

**bing bong**

departures/// they think there can be personality or style but outside we all see the wasteland/ snack shop stops/ cheap hotels/ trucks/taxis/trash/ —hello and goodbye /// you are not~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ water~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~or~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~birdsong: you are the mechanics of carbon fed dreams and sadness////come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away~~~~~~~~~~~~~~