this oak is

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really struck by how colourful the oak trees I see on my morning walks are at this time of year, with their wild orangey-red foliage so different to the surrounding trees heavy green. So here’s a poem I wrote in my head about those oaks this morning. The…

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At Carry Farm

Yesterday I showed you some photographs that Tom had taken of an object I’d found on the beach at Carry Farm, and about which I’d subsequently written a poem. Here’s that poem. At Carry Farm Here, at the brink of land and water a pale ghost grounded. Supple, limpid, damp in the palm, in two…

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object lesson

Last October, I went to stay for a week at Carry Farm, in Argyll, to think about my writing. I took BOB the dog with me, but was otherwise alone. I walked by the sea every day, I did a little knitting, a little embroidery, and a lot of thinking. Some of the poems I’ve…

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Fabrication

Good morning! A poem today. Earlier this week saw the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth – a poet who has, for the past couple of centuries, often set the ideological terms of the writing of landscape and nature. I’ve been thinking about Wordsworth’s particular “Romantic” landscapes quite a lot in recent months,…

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a coat for falling

Good morning! Are there garments in your wardrobes from which a particular event or association is difficult to shake? I have friends, for example, who after wearing a certain dress at a funeral, have found that putting it on again becomes difficult. I’m a particularly garment-attached person, and there’s perhaps no garment to which I’m…

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walking words

Good morning, everyone. Today I thought I’d share with you one of the poems I recently read at Write by the Sea. I’m someone who loves walking, and since my stroke in 2010, I’m also someone who has a disabled body. If you’ve read Handywoman, you might remember that a really formative moment in my…

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Thursday I got nothing

Hello everyone, it’s Tom here. I’m dropping by to tell you all about my latest photographic project – Thursday I got nothing: a collection of images inspired by George Mackay Brown’s poem, Beachcomber. Together, these images ask the question, as photographers, if we look closely, do we ever get nothing? George Mackay Brown was one…

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heid haiku

A chance exchange on twitter last week (with a poet who shares my name) got me thinking about possible associations between hats and poetry – between heids and haiku. Couldn’t a heid be something like a haiku? Both are small things, of a certain structure. Both are created by human hands and brains, and both…

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A Day in Autumn

It will not always be like this The air windless, a few last Leaves adding their decoration To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening In the lawn’s mirror. Having looked up From the day’s chores, pause a minute, Let the mind take its photograph Of the bright…

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A History of Rain

It has been one of those really difficult weeks. A good friend of Tom’s has just died (an expected death, but very sad circumstances); I have been laid low with labyrinthitis (truly terrifying) and even poor Bruce is suffering (he’s been in the cone for four weeks now due to a horrible infection on his…

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