Writers Events April

Went to a book launch in Manchester. For Henry Normal (Peter James Carroll) He has written as a book of poems about his now adult autistic son called A Normal Family. His son is mildly severe on the autistic spectrum. He related anecdotes of his son approaching music buskers with his fingers in his ears. As he doesn’t like sound. And dropped the coins from height as it was inconvenient to stoop. Amongst many accolades Henry Normal co wrote Mrs Merton and The Royale Family. Was managing director with Steve Coogan of Baby Cow Productions Ltd. The evening was very much worth the £2 ticket. The poems about his son where poignant

Went to socialist club Bolton on Sunday. An open mic in Britain’s oldest socialist club. Humorous and as you’d expect left politically poems. To fit in, which i am left wing, i read on a vagrant in 1840’s Spike and about coal mining. Poems about Syria, India traveling in, “Rochdale”,  the sadness of alcohol alone, plus humorous poems and one music slot, criticisms of present government.

 

Branwen

Welsh goddess of love and beauty. Goddess of Celtic religious polytheism. Daughter of Llyr and Penarddum. She is married to the King of Ireland. But this marriage does not bring peace. Stories told about her in the second branch of the Mabinogi.

Bendigiedfran (King of Britain) is sitting on a rock by the sea at Harlbech. Watching the ships of Matholwch (King of Ireland) approaching. He saw the Irish army approaching  Wales. Matholwch has come ask for the hand of Branwen.

Esfnisien her half brother is furious at the wedding celebrations. And mutilates Matholwch’s horses. Matholwch is consoled by Bendigiedfran. Who gives him a magical cauldron to bring the dead to life. But they are risen mute.

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Standing Branwen in the Snowdonia massif. Her fierce emerald green eyes. Beaming out from the blackened fir forest. In the background Curlew alighting twill. The cascading of a mountain stream. She feels the light set and rise. My essence and source. Just her love pervading in 2085.

 

Snow no 2

Snow no 8

The LGTBI fancy dress party was raucous

Midnight rambler blazing on full volume

Normally the kitchen was enough

Finally i climbed into the deep freezer

And scratched semi-happy at the enervated ice in the

Pitch blackness

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Snow no 11

My favorite holiday destinations are :

The blue ice of Patagonia

The barren Saltfjellet

Cycling holidays in Iceland

Beluga whale watching in Greeland

Partying in Antarctica

Accidentally wandering into Siberia for months on end

After continuing to walk in Laparentra

While relishing an unexpected snow blizzard

Photographing snow in the Himalayas

 

 

 

Snow

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Merry christmas and a prosperous new year to fellow bloggers and readers

 

Snow

They say wisely you should run this race

Here covered deeply under the avalanche

i cannot hear what they say, just the envigoraring

enchanting sound of creaking

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snow is white cannine teeth

embracing in a freezing  kiss

 

her long black hair was

a snow baubels magnetic desire

 

snow again, through the

blue darkened sky, Bristol sleeping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boudica

I’m trying to get to 12 for year, i’ve one more to go. Queen of the Celtic tribe Iceni. Popular in British folklore, Led an uprising against Roman occupiers in AD 60 or 61. Died shortly after its failure. Destroyed Camulodunum, modern day  Colchester. Her motivation is disputed. Could have been flogged and her daughters raped. Or money paid to prominent Britons confiscated. After Colchester targeted Londinium, London and Verulamium, St Albans. An estimated 70,000 to 80,000 Romans and British died in three attacks. Also enlisted support of Celtic Trinovantes and others. Roman Suetonius regrouped and defeated the Britons at the battle of Watling Street

After her death her husband Prasutagus ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome.  Left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and Roman emperor

As with Celtic mythology most scant information comes from Roman or early christian sources. There seems to be a loose divide between people interested in Celtic mythologies and the factual life’s of the iron age Celts. (often uncovered by archaeology). I guess  Joan of Arc succeeded in liberating France from the English supported Burgundian. And enabling the reign of Charles V11. Perhaps Boudica has a similar allure. She was painted by Pre Raphaelite’s.

 

 

Bernard De Clairvaux

I am indebted to Julia Kristeva for the name Bernard de Clairvaux. And Wikepedia! b 1090 to 20 August 1153. Reformer of Cistercian order. French Abbot. After the death of his mother joined Cistercian order. Founded monastery in 1115, naming it Clair Vallee. Which evolved into Clairvaux. Traced the outlines of the Knights Templar which became ideal of christian nobility

Schism in church. Bernard chosen to choose between the rivals. Spoke to Louis V1 France, Henry 1 England,  Lothair 11 Holy Roman Emperor . Large portions of christian world though, still supported Anacletus, rather than Innocent 11. The schism was ended when Anacletus died on 25 january 1138.

He was then called on to combat heresy. Then to preach the second crusade, which failed to win Jerusalem. Bernard was blamed. Bernard died aged 63 after 40 years as a Monk. Canonized by Alexander 111 on 18 January 1174. Often referred to as the “doctor of the church.” Many monastery’s in his name. Wrote books on theology.

Bernard de Clairvaux

 

 

 

Jeanne Guyon

Jeanne Guyon (Madam Guyon)  may not be a well known or media name. But it is interesting to see how people, in this case the 17thC/ 18th C lived their life’s

I am indebted to Julia Kristeva for the name Jeanne Guyon. 16 april 1648 to 9 june 1717. French mystic who advocated quietism. Which was concidered heretical by Roman Catholic Church. Imprisoned from 1695 to 1705. After publishing book “a short and easy method of prayer”

“Quietism” was particularly associated with the writings of Miguel de Molinos, Francois Malaval and Jeanne Guyon. Advocating “contemplation” over “meditation,” intellectual stillness over vocal prayer, and interior stillness over pious action

She had mystical visions. Believed prayer should be all the time. Wrote poems. Believed in grace not works. Like St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, Calvin, Matin Luther, believed deliverance can only come from outside source, not from within a person, him or herself.  Her journal of prison life was thought lost, but published in 1992 . in 1664 aged 15 forced into an arranged marriage with a wealthy gentleman of Montargis, Jacques Guyon. Husband died after 12 years of marriage in 1676. Was primarily a French mystic. Suffered a lot during life. Remained true to her belief in gods purpose.

The Jazz Age

I’m unsure of my subject matter. In the Jazz age America was segregated along racial lines. Particularly in the south. Jazz, “the roaring twenties” provided through art a way for some black musicians. Paving the way for many more to emancipation

Artists such as Besse Smith, Cole Porter, Billie Holiday. Louis Armstrong with songs, “What a wonderful life” “Summertime”, gave black Americans a voice. The haunting song “Strange Fruit,” written as a poem by teacher Abel Meeropol, made famous initially by Billie Holiday with the lyrics, “strange fruit hanging from the poplar tree”  and later in the song “here is a strange and bitter crop”

I’m not an expert on music theory. But often adroit musicians would improvise as the song was played. “Mr Bojangles” is another haunting and much covered song. Louis Armstrong was the son of a prostitute and mostly absent father. Born and raised in New Orleans. In youth peddled out of a junk wagon.  My interest lies in the ability of art to transform peoples life’s.

Billie Holiday                                  Louis Armstong

 

 

 

 

 

Diabetes

Diabetes (information)

 

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 which is congenital and type 2 or late onset diabetes, which occurs later in life.

With type 2 which 90 % of adults suffer with. The pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. Which is the chemical key to transporting glucose into cells. Without this blood sugar levels can be too high. Causing potentially damage to blood veins, heat attacks, strokes, circulation problems, leading to amputation and eyesight problems and even coma and death.

Diabetes type 2 is regarded as an increasing epidemic in affluent western countries and costs the NHS much resources and money.

In most cases it can be treated and managed successfully with drugs, exercise, and changes in diet. Although much research has gone into trying to find a cure of diet and exercise without drugs. As of yet medicine is still needed in most cases. Although avoiding sugary foods is vital. One study advocated “coconut” the author finds this hopeful but not a substitute for eg metformin, just yet.

It is estimated 5% of UK are currently diagnosed with diabetes, with many more unaware of having the condition.

insulin producing cells in rat pancreas      natural or synthetic insulin drug

 

The Other Room, Manchester

Went to “the other room” Manchester some time ago, but to lazy to post. Robert Sheppard who teaches at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, was reading from his soon to be published book. “the european union of imaginary writers.” Other poets added their takes. One poet “made up” from each country. An enjoyable evening and the poetry was of high quality

Went to Longton arts fest. Read poems in a charity shop. Others played music. Left early as no one was interested in my poems or the music. First time i’ve read to an audience of 0. Other participants excluded

Went to Wigan stanza yesterday evening. An enjoyable event. Informal, Bill read out a poem on stone circles that he plans to frame with picture/illustration and attempt to sell. ? read out a poem about Palmyra- its significance/ destruction and rebirth. Dorothy about memories of her husband. And Irene of a cat she gave a home to

Its Manchester lit fest in October. Don’t know if i’ll go to any of events. But at a glance Tara Bergin. Michael Symmons Roberts. Clare Pollard and George Szirtis  appeal.

Some of readers at the other room

Robert Sheppard                    Patricia Farrell                                   Joanne Ashcroft