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.

The War on Women

I’ve been trying to keep this blog for poetry but I feel so disturbed and appalled by what is happening to women in the United States of America, that I am going to start posting about it here.

A fifteen year old girl is being accused of murder because she had a still-born baby at 36 weeks of her pregnancy. She faces a life-sentence…as I saw this, my father read this to me, from today’s Guardian newspaper: “…where infant mortality is on a par with Botswana…”. Where? Mississippi…where the above girl is being criminalised for losing her baby.