Where to begin? It has to be the moment I stepped on the platform at Lime Street Station in Liverpool, heard the squawking and cawing and felt the sea close by. City life is one thing but the sea, that’s quite another. There was a hint of the ‘beginning of the line’ about it.
Although, I almost didn’t make it. I stepped on the train at 09.22, it had arrived on time. I don’t know what made me do it, but I checked with others in the carriage and soon realised my naivety. At least half had got on the wrong train, were also heading the wrong way and some, were young enough to know better.
It did enter my mind to respond rather spontaneously and let the day continue without direction but that was how I had started the day in the first place in Manchester, heading further out than most on a writing expedition. And people soon had me going the right way. The Northern way.
I think it is also a matter of geography, never a smooth fit for me and I couldn’t ignore that fact when I saw a ferry leaving Albert Dock and realised that Dublin was in my grasp and the Southern Ireland of Ryan’s Daughter!
Always good to have an eye for the future, easy to do from the vantage on Merseyside like. The musicality of dialect is becoming a passion and Ta-ra echoed in the chip chop as in the Potteries. I had the best chips and mushy peas and a lively conversation in a room seemingly full of talking hands free.
A draft poem of the day – Cobbled.
This past week has been rather magical. The unexpected, seemingly expected all along. People met and conversations had full of such synchronicity.
Loose, ocean deep threads sewn in to the tapestry that I am; a making ready for the coming voyage from West Penwith to Manchester.
All, rather surreal and I momentarily question Lao Tzu’s thought that we each have the answer and know what we want. And The Unknown Self of John O’Donohue comes to mind who:
“At times, …will lead you strangely,
Magnetised by some resonance
That ambushes your vigilance.”
Certainly, it is Rebecca Solnit’s words that resonate with her suggestion that “That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost.”
To explore, get lost and figure your way back – there is something in that.
More in the post next week.
Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash
Photo by Elena Ferrer on Unsplash
Oftentimes, I write with an image close by. It is the peg for what I will write and this, a realisation of that creative process.
She stands between the front and back of her dress. A peg. A name. A coat. A shoe bag. A doll. A hat. A box. A tent. A dress. Her dress for the wash, a day coupled with night. Her own creased packet in the bright early light. A peg on the line. Secure. Random. Free. Nonsense. Impression. Connection. In the wash. A washing line. Disembodied. Unarranged. Configured. Framed. Context. Urban climbers. Exotic dancing menageries. Paper doll cut-outs. Atmospheric choreography. Dressing up undressed. Suspended. Dangled. Naked. Significant moments. Remembered. Imagined. She repeats as she takes in her clothes. Logical. A pattern. A cut. Instinct. Form.
Photo by Ezequiel Garrido on Unsplash
Photo by Killian Pham on Unsplash
After what felt like forever in lives other than my own, I spent time with a friend in this beautiful land of Penwith and this poem, its imprints.
You hold still the wings of flight
To sound the start and end of light
Time cut on caterpillar ground
A glasshouse inside out till night
No open door nor window to scent delight
There the beginning and end in sight
A clustered sun hangs on the vine
Circled in the ring of your eye
A momentary love, a purple shrine
A sweetness with a seedless taste
An imprinted song plucked to sound
The Chaise Longue a dog-eared page
A breath forms a drop leaf to leaf
You wing air to shivering crown
A Blackbird on the vine
Bird photo by Balint Szajki on Unsplash
Vine Photo by Robert Erskine
In the past week I have been living and working close to Seagulls and this, a response to watching their young.
Waiting in the wings
A guide, feather light
Of an inborn mind
A silent flapping sound
Cries to a flightless life
On slated ground
Skirted wings hang
In an encircling nest
On a roof top ridge
No feather ripples light
In a current of air
Till hunger rivens night
Of its ungainly gaite
To dawn on the wing
The invisible dance
Of an inborn mind
On a slated birth
Waiting in the wings.
Main photo by Clever Visuals on Unsplash
Gull photo by Andrea Gironacci on Unsplash
Gull Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash
I am staying in Newlyn for a short time and am enthralled by the closeness of it all. The sea and land, people and place. Intimacy holds you. It tells you that close in and far out are one and the same.
A Seagull caws my sleep
Sea escapes itself in air
To surface me in skin
Sarah’s not mine, it’s 4.48
Her Psychosis on the stage
Voices know no walls
Window on window
Door on door
A stone’s throw away
A cobbled pathway
Front to front sounds still
Back to back sounds a score
Of each and every breath
Voices heard inside as out
Washing hung to dry
Stable doors give up the ghost
Of characters dissolved in time
Of a windowless outhouse
A communal space
Winding stairs, a coffin drop
Looking in looking out
Thresholds of stone
A Seagull caws my sleep.
Sarah Kane was an English playwright who wrote 4.48 Psychosis
I woke at 4.48 today.
When I was small , I settled close in to him. My gentle giant, Nana and Mrs Doubtfire. The place where land and sea meet. The place of human-animal relationship.
The sea dog
A deep call
To surface sleep
Oil slick waves
Two coats thick
Drooled ocean bed
Heart beat keep
The standing stone
No dry land
A bonded stand
On webbed feet
A mythical being
To Herculean tides
A sacred dog
The Cherokee kind
A dog tribe
The tsunami surge
To lapping shore
Of the Seadog.
I emerge from a side street.
A front and behind turn each to the other.
No dogeared page. No tree. No lichen.
No stick. No shadow. No trace seen.
Life set in concrete. A flaw.
Landlocked, I stop moving of my own accord.
In place out of place. Straight white lines.
End to end and back again. Locked.
He asks my destination. I hear the earth turn.
It is temporary, time. A rug pulled. A blanket folded.
I emerge from a side street.
Photo by Yunming Wang on Unsplash
An airless room, music holding a silent score. Words penned to a straight line.
You play in harmony. Strum a rhythmic causeway. An entry step to hearth, to home. An inlay pattern to the door.
A washing line hooked wall to wall, painted, hung out to dry. A secure women’s ward.
Clothes suspended on a Venetian breeze. Taut pegged slack. An unknown known tipping the tongue.
A string strummed to a pitch high on sacred ground. Windows a light to slated dusk of falling night.
A choral ensemble. Each voice a part, a whole.
You play an odd note. Disharmony, the invisible peg plucks air to sound the score.
An unknown knowing known.
Photo by Su Ormerod
I went on a wild walk, foraging plants. She said, ‘there was a knack to it’ as she chewed the nettle. I wondered, whether the unknown is the forgotten. Rubbed out like the sting of the nettle she ate.
I had bought a guide to wild food. It sat on the shelf unopened for a time. For now. For then. For this place. A small wooded valley, a watery cut out to the sea.
No certain light. No sedimentary rock. No romantic idyll of a tranquil nature. I was uprooted. I picked in the shade of hemlock.
I went from place to place. Stones of moss, standing time. To running grass. To a silent flight of on off light. To a roll down meadow.
A Pennywort bellybutton. A carry me back night. An explorer of the natural state. Curiosity holding fear.
I went on a wild walk, to remember.
Wildwalks – Rachel Lambert
Featured photo by Su Ormerod
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash