north light

Month: November 2011

Saying Yes to November

yes to the bare bone branches of a cold November morning

yes to the sun just creeping o’er the hill

yes to the pale blue pastels of the sun streaked daybreak

yes to the clouds looming with the promise of the snow

yes to mud in the fields and mud in the boots and mud at the foot of all my clothesyes to the tips of my fingers going numb
yes to driving with gloves on

yes to drinking soup for a heat at lunchtime

yes to the robin waiting hungry by the door

yes to the blackbird crashing noisy in the undergrowth

yes to the berries glowing darkly in the hedgerows

yes to poppy blood remembrance on the days of aching cold

yes to the fog of impossible to see

yes to the call of the geese heading south

yes to the patterns on the nettles on the first full frost of winter

yes to the nights drawing in

yes to the wheel ever turning

yes to harsh cold winter implacably approaching

yes to the sun setting on the fields of Galloway and the sky lit up with gold

yes to mist softly draped round the church in the hollow

yes to the last patch of gold as the oak points skyward

yes to the grace of the trees stripped bare

yes to crows cawing in the silhouette of branches

yes to gothic imagination in the mist filled skies

yes to finger numbing bone aching cold of the mornings

yes to the days that swallow autumn

yes to the gold grey cold grey skies of


Why We Need Poetry

I don’t know if it’s because poetry is the language of rebels, artists and mavericks,

confounding expectations, breaking rules and saying this, this is how things might be

or maybe that at times of the deepest emotion, we turn as if by instinct,

back to poetry

Of course perhaps it’s the invitation to play, to dance, to make words sing or

simply that we need to express a deeper truth

Perhaps it’s because we understand that poems are born from the words of the heart

or maybe, as one who’s found this,

that once you get started you can make your own rules

And yet I know it’s not form, it’s that some things are too beautiful,

or too terrible,

not to be spoken in verse

Which means I believe to my core that

however much some poems baffle us,

others can reach us at the most human, most universal level

and that we are human, and long to say:

this, this is how it was for me.

and we will keep exploring and experimenting with ways to say it, share it, make you feel it too

Or maybe it’s simply that poetry has a pulse.

and sometimes we need reminders of how it feels to be alive.

Photography, Gratitude, and Fields of Blue and Green

The weather has been wild recently, with gales and torrential rain.

It’s also been really dark; I know this goes with the territory at this time of year, but the (blessed) absence of snow and ice so far has meant less of the bright light and sunshine-on-snow that I’ve enjoyed over the last two winters.

And less opportunity to take winter wonderland photographs. Continue reading

Grounded in Puddle Trees

Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by all the things I do not know, and cannot understand.

Sometimes I feel as though I might fall into a vortex of not knowing, drown in an ocean of not understanding.

This is one of the reasons I love to look in puddles. Continue reading

Late Autumn Galloway Photo Walk

I was uploading some photos to Flickr the other day and realised I had a set which captured quite nicely the mood and feel of my favourite local walk (a circuit from the front door, by the edge of the river, to a waterfall, back along by the hedgerows).
I thought you might enjoy a peek into this beautiful corner of the world in the late autumn – when the oaks are still golden, just before the leaves really start to fall. Continue reading

Woodland Trance

All comfort.

All strength

All softness

All renewal

All decay

All enduring

All rotting, slowly away.

All might

All magnificence

All majesty

All wonder

All carpet of oak leaves

Dankly darkly brown

All poetry

All breath of silence

All source

All peace

All knowing

All allowing not to know

All seeing

All forgiving

All invitation

All permission just to be

All dying

All born new every day

All death

All life

In the darkness of this damply rotting wood:

All comfort.

Thick fog.
‘A real pea souper’.
The glow of red lights
as we follow
each other

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