Revision and Prep Was Never So Much Fun Was It, Back In The Day That Is

Two days at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in this the barmiest summer I for one can ever remember. Blue skies, black skies, sun-scorched earth in abundance, and two of the best exhibitions of recent times.

All this to prepare a few poems for my Arvon course at the end of the month; of course with the diabetes blood-test due soon I was diligent, not an ice cream, nor a drop of alcohol passed my lips.

I must congratulate the Ibis Styles Hotel in Barnsley, for a good nights sleep, and for a first-rate cooked-to-order breakfast; just the job to start another hard day of poetry.

Top Of That Hill

Giuseppe Penone’s
Alberto Folgorato
(Lightning struck tree)
Could be the very metaphor

Amplified by the dark clouds of Yorkshire
Highlighted by the skies silver linings
The split trunk
Says much about divergence

The gold-leaf offshoot
Itself splits into two
Their fine points
Reaching ever upward

Yet it is the dark bark
A combination of brown and grey
With slivers of gold
Which looks strongest, which reaches highest

What we leave behind
May grow ever brighter
But in no way, no way whatsoever
Does it stunt our growth

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North Sea Observatory, Grandchildren, Meditation, Jokes, and Cleethorpes

It is new, and we all like the shock of the new do we not.

So there we were about to begin our Meditation in the Old Stables when the grandchildren appeared; they came forward to tell us the sort of jokes that 3 and 5-year-old boys will laugh at all day long, especially if they allow the older folks to be called nincompoops.

Jane said we ought to take them (the grandchildren) to the North Sea Observatory at Chapel Point.

Having spent the previous day walking out for forty-five minutes – through sandbanks, squelchy mud, and welcome pools of trapped lukewarm water, to reach the sea at Cleethorpes, anywhere with a shorter walk seemed admirable.


Out of the blue
In the depths of meditation
No desire for clue
To love’s indebted creation

One breath in
One breath out
One verse read
Of the Night Prayer

In to the new
Sidestep the contemplation
No path or shoe
To love’s indebted creation

One bell sounds
One bell decays
One thought happens
You peaceful soothsayer

That new or blue
That breath of meditation
That surprise of truth
To love’s indebted creation

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Tudeley (Chagall), Sissinghurst (Vita SW), Dungeness Beach (Derek Jarman), Tunbridge Wells (The Ivy), Emerson College (Forest Row), And This Is The Kit (Louth British Legion)

A busy week, with more flowers, light and stained glass, than you can throw a stick at. Culminating in a cracking concert from This Is The Kit, returning to Louth after a long absence. Thanks to Mark from Off The Beaten Tracks.

But first Tudely and the Chagall Windows. I implore you to go, and to go straight after the Sunday service, sometime in summer, July even.


Then to Sissinghurst, once home to Vita Sackville West, now a National Trust Treasure. I beseech you to read All Passion Spent, or No Signposts in the Sea, top drawer stuff.


Next up was Dungeness Beach, an entirely otherworldly place where the late Derek Jarman spent the last of his years. It is a place to play.


There are no photographs for Tunbridge Wells but you can visit The Ivy’s website. You might also visit the restaurant for it is a fine dining experience.

Emerson College in Forest Row was the venue for the Community of Interbeing’s Loving Relationships Retreat. There is a youtube video Plain Gift with way more pictures than can go on here.

There are no photographs for This Is The Kit, are you surprised that the film ran out; if you have any pics then please send them in, meanwhile for future performances follow this link.

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The Painted Bed & Other Such Colourful Coincidences

On the very day that I learned of Donald Hall’s passing, his book, The Painted Bed, dropped through my letterbox. It too talks much of death. Yet our yellow rose is more perfect than it ever has been before.

I spoke of finding the website Along Dusty Roads, then blow me if I didn’t write the poem which had preceded this slice of luck; we will, or I will, drive or ride Scotland’s North Coast 500 in the coming days, or, as is more likely, in the fullness of time.

It is the first day of the third block of Morning Pages, and once again Julia Cameron takes me from that miserable, o how my body aches Monday morning feeling, through to the excitement and joy of lateral group thinking; we must make more use of The Old Stables, and we will, for we have written to Wolds Words.

The poem, written in my Izzi Rainey notebook is in first draft mode; who is the you I write of? We want to know more of this person, the writing group told me; and so I ask, if you know who the you is then please tell me some more about yourself.

Maps & Plans

I know you
Yet also I do not know you
Would a road trip
Around Scotland’s North Coast 500
Help me to know you better

When you stand atop a Munro
Do you whisper words of zen
Or does the man, once a boy from North Yorkshire
Simply say thanks for where he has travelled
Offer his uncomplicated words for what he has achieved

And if it is not you
Who shares this journey with me
Who then might it be; yes, who might it be
Are there others, many many others
Who I know, yet also, who I do not know

And if I have to go alone
Yet also not be alone
Would a few stopping off points
By the sands, beside the seas
Help me to know, me alone a little better

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Writing Done✔️, Recording Done✔️, Video Done✔️, Amazon & Kindle Done✔️; Marketing & Promotion – Not Done ✘

Well I did say that I was working on this, didn’t I? And did you believe me, yes I know you did, and thank you for your support. Especially to the kind person in the record shop today, who spoke kindly about the video, which prompted this blog.

Its been a fun journey, lots of new software, loads of new protocols (see how I’m picking up the jargon), and best of all an air-freshener, to overcome the scent of sheep’s wool in the soundproofing insulation.

Do you know how many photos you have taken, or have stored on your computer? No, me neither. I started making the video thinking that I would use only one or two photos from each file, and that might see me all the way through my collection.

Well, it didn’t; I’ve only gone from 2002 (when I started saving them on the computer) to 2006! Which of course means there could be more videos for Thirty-Nine Significant Songs. You have been warned.


Spiegel im Spiegel a poetry video by Christopher Sanderson

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Ship Of Fools (Robert Plant); Don’t Try Recording While The Garden Mowers are Mowing.

Someone said there ought to be a moratorium or exclusion period for mowing lawns, or cutting hedges, or making other, similarly loud garden machinery noises. Today should be such time, or actually anytime when I wish to use my new (lightweight) sound studio.

I am in the process of recording Thirty-Nine Significant Songs; they aren’t though covers, but rather my own poems inspired by songs, often from my youth, though this one came along a little later; but who was to know that this real flamboyant rock and roller would keep going, then again he is a football supporter.

Back to the low drones; how did TheBeatless cope in Abbey Road, with all that passing traffic; were they really just John, Paul, George and Ringo’s lookalikes, crossing on the zebra crossing, to give the sound boys a bit of peace and quiet.


Ship Of Fools (Robert Plant)

No one is here now
No one at all to disarm
The seas they are clear now
And soon, soon there will be calm
But first a raucous adventure
Some way beyond the gales
A theatre for rolling and rocking
And for ably going off the rails

No one was there though
No one to hold, nor to charm
The tide turned ever so slow
As lips without the curing balm
But yes, there was a naughtiness
In so deep; it was a new way to fail
The novelty of such intense haughtiness
For a time it matured, but then too went stale


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Linklater Voice, The Sound Studio, Ring of Brodgar, And Thirty-Nine Significant Songs.

So we are back from Orkney, or should it be The Orkneys, as there are so many islands. Back to complete my miniscule sound studio, such that the work on the Linklater Voice course does not go to waste. Yet already my studio efforts seem as nothing compared to that other Louth man who actually has created a recording studio (The Space) on the Orkneys.

I was reminded of The Ring of Brodgar when a good friend on Tumblr picked up on it, now I hadn’t given any details, so there must be some more magic trickery going on, not that I mind, I have happily told Tumblr to go ahead and save whatever they want to about me, and in turn publish whatever they want to about me. You see I had to act, before that new copyright bill is passed, by those wonderfully wise people in Brussels.

Anyway, I went on the voice course so as to better record the renditions of my own poems. Thirty-Nine Significant Songs is going to be the first collection to go under the hammer so to speak, beginning next week all being well, with a fair wind and a low tide. I have set myself no target for a publishing date, but with the sound studio almost complete I will have little or no excuse; watch this space, watch Amazon and Kindle.

Flower Duet
All of those years
At the opera
In the music collection
Even selected for the funeral service
In every room in this house
Yet, only yesterday
Translated into English

Such that you could be by the river bank
Such that you could be holding hands
Such that you too
Could be there together
Going on forever
Going on and on forever
Hitting the high notes graciously
Not dwelling too long on the low notes

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