Category Archives: Poetry

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 poetryarchive.org 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.

Full Tanka Day Seven

I’ve reached the end of the weekly writing challenge with day 7, it’s been fun and surprisingly easy. I’ve used a photo from each month from March, to inspire me and last night I took this one for September.

tanka7

Echinacea

you’re the Daisy of daisies

purple coneflower

guide me safely through winter

most splendid and healing plant

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/full-tanka/