The ties that bind us
Wildflower season

Speaking the language of the grasses

On the hill with the hound

Looking at Meldon Hill from Nattadon Hill

From Red by Terry Tempest Williams:

"I want to write my way from the margins to the center. I want to speak the language of the grasses, rooted yet soft and supple in the presence of wind before a storm. I want to write in the form of migrating geese like an arrow pointing south toward a direction of safety. I want to keep my words wild so that even if the land and everything we hold dear is destroyed by shortsightedness and greed, there is a record of participation by those who saw what was coming. Listen. Below us. Above us. Inside us. Come. This is all there is."

Hillside joy

I recommend "Mishkos Kenomagwen: The Teachings of Grass," an inspiring talk by Native American biologist Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of two excellent books: Braiding Sweetgrass and Gathering Moss.

Meadow flowers

Meadow dog

More meadow flowers

Hound in the buttercups


The passage above is from Terry Tempest William's essay collection Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert (Pantheon, 2001). The passage in the picture captions is from Anne Michael's Infinite Gradation (Exile Editions, 2018). All rights reserved by the authors.


An Arrow Pointing South

If you wish to be safe,
like geese on migration,
part of that great arrow
pointing south and away
from winter's storms,
then gather your flock
and fly.

I will not go with you.
Writers should not be safe,
should not huddle in a group.
We should live on the edges and ledges,
should fly through the eye
of every hurricane,
should welcome buffeting winds,
screams of thunder,
the downpour of energy
that makes poetry inevitable.

We should shake hands with lightning,
hair electric and wide.
while all the world's wonder
sparks from our fingertips
onto the static page.

© 2019 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

Ooh, an interesting response. Am I allowed to agree with you both...? :)

There are times when I need that sense of safety in a dangerous world, to let the shy and quiet words out...and other times when I court the lightning. I want to do more of the latter.

Sod the lightning and the hurricane, give me a cosy room and glass of good nutty ale anytime and a typewriter whose keys have been especially warmed for my delicate fingertips.

I don't know if you mean us to take you literally here, Jane, but surely it'd be far safer to simply use your imagination.

Hahahahaha, Stuart. Poetry meet metaphor.Old friends. Mistakes happen.


Stuart, I want that cozy room and nutty ale right now!!!

I love the safety and the visitations so unexpected that can come from a heaven lit with lightening and running with thunder.
It's what literally happened to This writer on a Salish Week's end while safely tucked cozy in our vardo, sans the ale Stuart:)

You've got to make sure you get the right ale. I recommend 'Old Speckled Hen' by Greene King brewery, or for very special occasions, the stronger and tastier 'Old Crafty Hen' by the same company. Add a wedge of pork pie, a spoonful of Branston pickle and you will have heaven in a glass and on a plate!

Sounds good, Mokihana, but the absence of the ale robs it of true perfection.

If any of you are on Instagram, this post by my friend and Dartmoor neighbour Suzi Crockford is lovely (as are all her posts):

As a hedgewitch and forager, she suggests we "forage for beauty" as well as for food and hedgerow medicine. I couldn't agree more.

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