Through the surf darkly

I went to the coast today, this is what I saw

and this is what I was inspired to write.

They stand tense in the knowledge

that feet giving way

would trap twist betray

one distracting sound that might pierce

the rage of ocean on rock

to knock them like dominoes.

each yearn to go further

to be the brave stepper

cheering risk taking surfers

while surreptitiously wondering

would the sea turn red

if instead of a wave

a skull breaks on the strand


Awards, poetry and Blogging Addiction

Yesterday I received a nomination for the Leibster Award, from my dear blogging sister Meg. It’s my first award for some time, and I remember in Lucid Gypsy’s early days, seeing awards flying back and forth and wondering if I’d ever receive one. One they began, they came thick and fast. Flattered, I accepted and shared the love, until I realised that I was spending way too much time on them and decided I wouldn’t take part anymore. Awards seemed to peter out a little anyway.

The Leibster was one of the first that I received, but when I saw Meg’s post I decided that I would take part, simply because it was Meg! Then, I remembered that I haven’t posted for three days, have lots of photos and things I want to share as it is, how on earth could I fit anything else in?

Time. My nemesis and many other peoples. Of the 168 hours in a week, I spend 43 walking to work, being there and walking home again. I spend 56 attempting to sleep (and usually achieving about 42). Probably 26 hours are taken up with cooking, housework, grocery shopping, and self-care. I might watch TV for 3 hours a week, 5 hours a week might be social times, 10 if I have a day out! That still seems to leave 4 hours a day to be too exhausted to move uh, have fun, be creative, walk the dogs.

Write. That’s the one. That’s the reason I began blogging, at the end of a three-year period of study, that was undertaken to improve my creative writing skills.  Twice a month I go to my writing group and sometimes share some work, but I actually write very little these days. I’m one of those people who is too interested in too many things. I want to learn everything, read everything, experience everything, from block printing to training ants, and talk to everyone I encounter.

My writing blog isn’t, it’s a photography blog.  Lured in by the Weekly Photo Challenge and similar, I get to indulge another of my passions. Sharing photos is far quicker and easier than writing and I’m kind of cataloguing some of my life, that’s how I justify it to myself. But the reality is, like Meg, I’m addicted to blogging, both posting and visiting my blogging friends around the world. Some of you are very special, you know who you are and you’re the other half of what fuels my addiction.

I’d like to be able to say I’m going to change, that this will become a writing blog, but I’d be kidding myself. So dear Meg, thank you for choosing me for the award, but I’m declining. Instead I’m going to schedule my weekly events and of course I’m going to write, perhaps, maybe, sometime. Meanwhile, I went hunting for my Leibster Award and instead I found this poem from 2011, and thought I’d share again.

By Train Through Somerset

Country gulls flushed by the 10.53

arrow  from fields with frosty periphery

like yuletide tinsel under threadbare trees


lamb filled ewes  felted and jacketed

join blanketed ponies to nibble on nothing

awaiting a ride or a jar of mint sauce


depart the Levels undulating uphill

where railway huts stand derelict lonesome

the sizzle of pylons shoot towards ozone


old man’s beard helplessly clings to dense hide

of hedge where Roe stags lurk in dank

acres furrowed and ready  for spring


spires crack the  mist near burst  banks

where Saturday shoals of angling young men

stand fishing

and wishing


Lazy Poet’s Small Thursday Poem

Who has lost this small pure heart? asks Tish. She has offered up this image for anyone who is inspired by it, to write whatever springs to mind.

Tish Farrel's Eglantine

Dog Rose

Twisting, tumbling from a dense hedge

 with a brief moment of gratitude for space.

It fell, it turned, raised a shocked face,

damp with the tears of morning mist,

 when a thousand more dropped en masse,

 to perish, impaled on blackthorn’s blades.

This Eglantine heart in gentlest Tyrian hue

will bear no royal crown, but a floral wreath

of Earth Chestnut will encircle its place of rest

and join with the detritus of seasons before.

This heart unbroken will nourish any tiny seed

and root that finds itself climbing skywards.


Thank you Tish.

All rights to this photo belong to Tish Farrell, Writer on the Edge.

Half Light

Through a glass darkly.

This photo was taken on a sunny day, in a woodland glade, in a sculpture garden. It was actually a large frame with dark and distorting reflective glass, in blue shades.

Jabberwocky landSo, can you conjure up the Jabberwocky? I can, cackle, cackle, but just in case, here’s the poem, perhaps it will help.


By Lewis Carroll 1832–1898 Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
Why does the text resonate with me, Krista wants to know? Well obviously that’s because I’m crazy.


Lazy Poet’s Thursday . . . Poem!

A few days ago, the lovely Isobel commented that I’m addicted to photo challenges. She’s right of course, I am, even my own weekly Thursday one. So this week, just for a change there’re no photo inspired haiku, just a little poem.


Twig legs, and wings collapsed like a fallen angel,

flown too early in this false spring of harsh, March winds.

Breast not red, but orange, flame extinguished now,

 the once piercing eyes, blank

issue a question .

Have I the courage to answer?

could I have fed this hungry yearling?

Skeletal, with moulting feathers,

starved, desperate, chilled and lost

with a cracked, fairy porcelain beak


No grassy resting place,

in a well-tended suburban border.

No crow will dine on her bones,

on that flagstone path in need of repair.

Rather, old Mr Jones scooping her precious remains,

into a Waitrose bag and the black wheelie bin.


This, my totem bird will never renew,

but her spirit has found release, a regeneration,

as my raw heart has revealed,

a new compassion for self, rebirth.


On my walk to work a few days ago I saw a dead robin on the path, I did a double take – seeing a dead bird is quite unusual. It made me cry, and I still have the image in my mind, this poem is my response.

Jo isn’t lazy, but she has posted a joyful, spring haiku this Thursday, it definitely cheered me up, thanks honey!
























Burnt and broken

There can be few things worse than having a fire in your home.  Knowing, maybe watching  while your possessions go up in flames, your lifetimes collections of treasures, unique things that only have meaning to you or your family. Realising months after that you lost your favourite book, the dress you wore when you were three, perhaps photos of your first day at school.

A few weeks ago I heard that there had been a fire in a house I often walk past. No one was hurt but there can be no doubt that things were lost that cannot be replaced.

Charred but still with hope
your once beautiful home
my heart hurts for you
I hope you’re not alone
Buildings can be repaired
clothes and furniture replaced
but what of your treasures
there must be more than a few
books, favourite toys, comfy shoes
your Christmas card list
spare spectacles, granny’s ornament
a little boys first tooth
that fell out when he was six
just a memory now
my heart hurts for you
home broken I hope soon fixed

This weeks photo challenge is broken.

Five Day Black and White Challenge Day Four

My penultimate photo for the five day black and white challenge is close to home. In celebration of its history, Heavitree, my local area had a seating area created a few years ago, and when this young oak tree was planted, it was enclosed by a poem!

‘up tree up

sky remains sky earth remains earth

here we are human betwixt and between

sing pretty maids all in a row in a row

and pretty maids all in a row

the droves of kine and wide herds of goats

and flocks of fleecy sheep if she will she

increases from a few or makes many of less

what the hand to write?

what the ear to hear?

what proclaims the red sandstone of Heavitree?

The words sleep within rock to be brought to life

in yew deep rooted oak where stunned

horizons branch out to meadow copse and housing estate

Oh Heavitree!’


I don’t think I’ll nominate anyone today, but if anyone would like to join the challenge just go ahead!

Everyone’s Journey is Different

Last week I took a four hour train journey home to Devon, longer and more complicated than it should have been because of railway work. I crossed platforms and hopped from train to train, and I couldn’t help wondering about other peoples journeys, where were they all going on a cold Sunday in January? Few people talk to strangers on trains (I talk to anyone as you know!), but one man, also travelling alone, suddenly laughed out loud so I smiled as our eyes met. He was doing a crossword and got an answer he’d been struggling with. The clue was ‘What islander has nothing behind him?’. The answer that he was amused by?’A Manx cat’. We laughed together, it was a nice encounter. The final leg of the trip was beautiful, but few people seemed to look out of the windows at the countryside as I do. One of the things about being a certain age is that to many people you become invisible, often annoying, but if you like to observe others as most writers do, it can be very useful. A lady opposite me was knitting, a bright pink little girls cardigan, and kept counting stitches, and to my right a young man watched a film on his laptop. Giggly teenage girls tried to paint each others fingernails but the movement of the train was making it difficult for them, and soft snores emanated from more than one passenger. Am I the only person who enjoys the beauty of the countryside? I did take out one techy toy, my phone, because I wanted to capture some of that beauty that we take for granted. Please forgive the image quality, fading light, reflections from the windows and a moving train don’t make for the best photos!

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And I was inspired to try a poem,

Train Landscape

Swiftly the southern line takes me

‘longside pastures and heading west

where pannies flood but folds of dry

give shelter to the Sunday flocks

Winter furrows retreat to hill crest

no conifer plantations lurk here

just naked deciduous petticoats

seeded by natures wise hand

A nonchalant deer raises its head

and a much used murmuration flies

on a thousand dark starling wings

sweet balm to my home going eyes

through Dorset and on to green Devon

I ride the train through my heartland

The Ted Hughes Poetry Trail

The much loved former Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, spent much of his later life living in Devon, and cared deeply for the natural world and the landscape he found there. Visitors to Stover Country Park near Bovey Tracey in Devon, can follow the Ted Hughes Poetry Trail, and enjoy some of his work in a setting created to benefit the wildlife that he loved, and worked to conserve. sign Along the two mile trail, specially designed posts display Hughes’ poems, each with a nature or wildlife theme. There is also a children’s trail, guaranteed to spark an interest in poetry. There are sixteen poetry posts and the walk takes about two hours, longer if like me, you’re on a photography walk as well! worm cormorant otter Some of the Ted Hughes poems around the trail are An Otter, A Cormorant, Nightjar, Trees, The Lake, The Kingfisher, The Thought-Fox, and Dragonfly. I didn’t see all sixteen, so I’ll have to go back! mouse There are beautiful wood carvings, and the constant sound of woodland and water birds,  with little rustlings and shufflings in the woods to keep you company. trail   Ted Hughes found the countryside inspiring and his unique voice continues to inspire both adults and children. If you don’t know his work, I hope you will try to discover it, especially the poem ‘ The thought Fox’, you can hear him reading it on the this is what he said about it.

Long after I am gone, as long as a copy of the poem exists, every time anyone reads it the fox will get up somewhere out in the darkness and come walking towards them.