Explorer , North Canada

North Canada- Explorer

It seemed idyllic, dappled sun light through boughs. Beautiful alder, sycamore, lime. The shade of leaves canopy- scent-clear rivers. Slopes of fallen pines and beech kernels. However the scenario may not be exactly quite as you envisioned.

In the Red Lion with Craig;

Oh the malnutrition
The porous wrinkled skin
The stage by stage merge with living death
The timid frightened black bear I chased away
The rapidly growing abscess on your ankle
The numbness down your left side
The unexplained blurred vision
Your tattered jeans hanging soaked
The raw red rashes on your legs caused by wet trouser friction
The dissolution of language facilities
The inconsequent mousse you stroked
The alpine hare you chased for two hours, but couldn’t quite catch.

North Canada Echo 

An Irish man goes to a doctors. I have this terrible pain. Where? Well everywhere. Can you touch your nose. Yes. Does it hurt. Oh yes. Now your chest. Oh the pain doctor. Now your knee. The pains terrible. Well. Well? You’ve got a broken finger.

North Canada  Echo Two

It was poorly thought through. I accept that suburbia is debauched and disingenuous. But there are better less radical ways of fighting back. To carry on after James Dyer realized it was a barren and bleak enterprise is somewhat admirable. If James Dyer where a real explorer and attempted to for instance walk to the north pole, he would die.

north canada forests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spikes- Victorian Era

Homeless, Victorian Era

Workhouse had special quarters. For tramps/vagrants/travellers. Sometimes called Spikes. Work could include picking oakum- reducing old rope to constituent parts. Or breaking rocks into stones to be sold for road making. Casuals were not allowed to return for 30 days. There conditions where worse than in poor houses. Food was bread and guel.

Were soldiers of the gutter and heaven
I think, I Frank am supposed to feel grateful

For the straw bailed bed
His last thought before a guttural deep sleep
Another days work. Then the soft hay of the bedstead
Tomorrow I will walk to Leigh spike
No one says nowt- so I guess this is our lot
A frown from the missus in Gaberdine and umbrella
A scowl from the man in top hat
Av you a penny sir for the poor
Its not much of a laugh I can tell yi
We don’t drink as we can’t afford to
Walking to next spike, in the biting cold. 

workhouses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackhouse , Scottish Borders

Blackhouse, Scottish Borders
(Former residence of poet James Hogg 1770-1835, “The Ettrick Shepherd”)

The Snow slips down on Christmas day
We have been marooned by snow for one month
Her face on the mountain slopes in summer and winter
The sky knows no one’s names. A gossamer duvet.

Love starts again, the finches in the woods
The fire warms us, guitars resound in the mountains
A snipe zig zags to paradise. Then the snow and snow
A naught nestled cottage, becomes a one.

You see here in the Border mountain’s there are no cities
Between here and the North Ocean
Snow buttercup, sun, brambling wings
To bleach the north with orange.

Then love begins again, with dawn and snow
Rice like bread like wine like incense like grass
A gale of clouds and waiting, and icicles of hope
Looking into her face on the mountain slopes.

blackhouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Clement 1

Pope Clement 1. Was the third Pope after St Peter and then Linus. Although this time frame is disputed. He was Pope from 26 April  88 AD to 23 November 99 AD (credits to Wikipedia)

Very little is known of him. It was a period, an idyll? before the church gained wealth and political influence.

The background. There was during his time a large congregation existent in Rome. Paul wrote his letter to the Romans in 58 AD. Nero persecuted Christians after the burning of Rome in AD 64. and possibly Domitian after Nero.

His only known writing is the “letter to the church at Corinth.” advocating for bishops/presbytery not to be disposed from being rulers of the church. It is the first existent christian writing after the new testament.

He was sentenced to prison and exile in Greece under emperor Trajen. There tradition false or true: Says he saw a vision of a lamb on a hill. Dug a pick into the spot and released gushing water for the famished other prisoners. Many of whom converted. He was martyred – tied to an anchor and thrown in the Black sea. (So the tradition goes)

popeclement1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers Events 4

Went to see Sarah Perry, in Liverpool. A gothic novelist. Who’s latest book is Melmoth. Born 28 november 1979. Has written three book- After Me Comes the Flood. The Essex Serpent. Melmoth. Born in Chelmsford, Essex. To a strict Baptist upbringing. In conversation with James Naughtie of Radio Four. Says her novels gothic style provides a reassuring mirror in a world of universal credit/ Brexit/ Trump.

Saw Matt Abbott in Chester. Support acts were Matt Nicholson from Hull. And a very good lesbian poet. Who’s name i cant remember. He charts in a sequence of poems. His and other peoples life’s against the back drop of Brexit and the Calais jungle were he worked as a volunteer.

Saw Jess Green in Preston. Passionate hour long poetry set. Describing the horror of conservative rule. With women’s refuge’s being shut.  Disabled people being found fit for work. Students saddled with debts. Homelessness, adult poverty, and child poverty . And advocating Jeremy Corbyn as a solution.

 

Matt Abbott                          Sarah Perry                    Jess Green

 

Demeter

Demeter

Goddess of the harvest and agriculture. Brings divine order/ unwritten law/ sacred law. She and her daughter Persephone are central to the Eleusinian mysteries. A series of large and secretive concerts held every five years. The themes where loss, search and ascent. Believed she made the crops grow each year. Thus, the first loaf of bread was offered to her. Daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Sacred to her poppy, narcissus, crane. Grieved during the four months Persephone, her daughter was kept in the underworld, causing winter. 

As Persephone was abducted Zeus intervened. But as Persephone ate pomegranate seeds, she was forced to spend four months in the underworld. Before being reunited with Demeter in spring.

She makes arty cards sends them to strangers in the Philippines. Paints her nails in three colors red, blue, orange, adds glitter and gloss.

She loves high Italian renaissance art. Is an expert on the 2nd republic and the Paris commune of 1871. Lives in a flat above a shop in Fulwood, Preston.

Concerts held in her honor are joyeuse and sacred. She coaxes out structure and equilibrium.

She stays indoors for days at a time, draws charcoal drawings of the room and the moon, the street. From the drafty bay window overlooking dilapidated factories and neon takeaways. Looks for hours at photographs of her daughter.

Whispers and shouts into the downstairs cellar and shop. In autumn she is agape, in winter she calls “Persephone, Persephone, Persephone.” The freezing ice shards on the window. Persephone beloved be released.

demeter

The Tribe of Brannan 2

The Tribe of Brannan

The poem is a bit off the wall. Includes research on Livia Augusta. Less so on the depicted Celts. The poem is part of a series and probably doesn’t make sense ? I had difficulty finding images to accompany.

Meeting Livia Augusta

 

After the Celts had stayed in Byzantium

They went forth

In regal dishevelled squalor to meet Livia Drusilla on a hill called Caellian

On the outskirts of Rome

 

Tattered from 18 years of gruelling walking

They stood forlorn on the crest of Caellian

For three days they waited, indifferent to the wave torrents of rain that swept across them

Standing motionless hooded as the sun devoured them

They gazed permanently north east, it is not known why

 

 

On the third day

A retinue of Marcellus, Guy Salutis, Casar Dio

Eighteen splendour horses and fifty five centurions arrived

 

Livia Drusilla hair burnt radiant in Jupiter’s fire light, says

Do you carry the dominion of Tiberius my son to emperor

Rhiannon and Pwyll and Branwen stare forward with blue incandescent eyes

There is a long silence

The Roman retinue glare. Livia turns her horse. I will kill those two she says

Gesturing to her group.

A long silence

The retinue of Romans beat sword handle on shields

 

Who am i.

Silence

I am the virtuous empress. Enabler of women. The perfumed daggeress of enchanted Roman palace

The Celts stood forlorn ravid with hunger and disease

Looking north east

Are you not the seers of the northern forest. Speak my men’s swords are sharp

The Celts turned and walked equidistant north east, slowly due to atrophied famine

Livia turns and turns on the splendid horse. Then the night comes. The fluttering of the army’s regal banners

All chant in ravid voices once, we needed to see you, that is all

Then the night came. Like a wound deep and turned septic with gangrene

The Tribe of Brannan

 

1

It is day in the forest

Walking is tough, the branches criss cross and hurt

Holes in the limestone ground, entrap feet and leg

Merlin approaches the owner of the forest

You are going to Anwyn ?

The leader says, we are the untainted

You seek snow?

Our god calls us to leave the city

Non have found Anwyn except in dreams

We have found this forest

Then let your god carry you

swedish forest

 

11 

All day they walk over, the Pindus mountains of Greece

They need to get to Byzantium

Before Mehmed11 raises the city

Then to urgently see Livia Augusta and Helena

Agrippa and Claudius

At the gates to the Bosphorous a customs official says

Today is 3010 Byzantium is history, it is no more

Lugh answers, listen to the wind, does she mention time

Bosphorus

Writers Events June

Went to Wigan open mic. At the Old Courts various bars, Wigan. About ten minutes ago. Expertly and humorously hosted by Louise Fazackerley. D, read out humorous poems which on domestic themes still managed to include “dogging” and panic attacks? Louise read out a beautiful poem on possible pneumonia with precise imagery of days routines? H, over briefly from Brisbane with her niece read out a poem an Australian friend had sent her about Hibiscus flower. A, read out on visiting a friend and perambulations of motherhood and university and homes. With elan, W, read out two poems one on e bay. One on e mails which included the word “adorned.” An unusual word in e mails sent. K, read out on menopause which she conclude should be called womanopause. Sorry for fuzzy photos!

 

 

 

Went to Stockton Heath Library, Warrington writers group, about two weeks ago. After introductory chatter. J, read out an ironically funny flash fiction. Which included, relatives on both sides disaproval of a marriage. That then involved domestic violence briefly. Then the woman being 100% in control. And the grooms family wondering how they got involved with such a family. S, wrote on a fictional world. L, on Rampusal. Cilla a short fiction. And W a short poem about time. Which “gets under your nails.” P, read out on a man living in a van on or outside his house with an LGBTI? twist  (similar to Alan Bennett, “the woman in the van”)

 

 

 

 

 

Writers Events

Went to Chester poets some time ago. In the Boot Inn an old timber black and white pub. I don’t know their names. D read out a poem about Saint George emerging from a statue horse in Chester cathedral, and from thence a dragon. R read out a poem about sitting under a statue of Victoria in Liverpool and tourists taking pictures of the statue with him sitting. And then his picture spread accross the world. Kemal read out two poems about walking Offa’s Dike a linear earthwork roughly following the English Welsh border.

Went to Chorlton library, Manchester about ten minutes ago. Organized by Manky poets. Michael Wilson was the guest headliner. He lived in Manchester for some time. And now lives in Northern Ireland. He read out for half an hour poems about his experience of mental health issues an his treatment

Other poets in the open mic bit. Me included, read out about the Suffragettes. A forest. Anecdotes about items without naming them? I read Celtic mythology poems. There was a Roman era poem. And one about placebo. Unfortunatley there was a small dent in my car when i left. But it was still an enjoyable evening. Both the headliner and the open mic was of good quality.