Light …


Light has been in short supply recently.  We rushed out to collect some this morning, though with a universal inadequacy of boot we all ended up with wet feet.  (Click a thumbnail for the gallery.)

Perhaps their mummies didn’t smack them enough,


… or take them on any nature rambles when they were small.

For reasons too complicated to go into, I need a few short poems about flowers.  But apparently, poets never actually write about flowers.  When poet meets flower, it is merely an occasion to enlarge upon feelings about love, death, war, peace etc.  Dear poets:  Shut up already.  Please.  Get over yourselves and look at a flower, why don’t you?  Because now I am going to have to write the thing myself, when I should really be going to bed.

One odd find as I googled was Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem The Flower, with a surprisingly environmentalist message in the overt meaning (and it’s fairly easy to ignore his subtext if preferred).  Himalayan balsam, do we think?

Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.

To and fro they went
Thro’ my garden-bower,
And muttering discontent
Cursed me and my flower.

Then it grew so tall
It wore a crown of light,
But thieves from o’er the wall
Stole the seed by night.

Sow’d it far and wide
By every town and tower,
Till all the people cried
`Splendid is the flower.’

Read my little fable:
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.

And some are pretty enough,
And some are poor indeed;
And now again the people
Call it but a weed.

If any passing reader happens to know of flower poems really about flowers … please tell?

a glass of cold water

What have I got myself into …


Having done couplets for purple alpaca, the muse has moved on to green corduroy.  It’s come out as an ode written in mock heroic verse, but triplets rather than couplets.  My iambics are a bit wobbly, but I did manage to write an Alexandrine (of sorts) for the requisite final flourish.

Now I’m trying not to look at my jumper … the sofa … a pile of fleece …

Things to do when you can’t sleep: lix and lx


lix  :  Write a poem about purple alpaca

Now I come to read that title, it sounds as if I was writing a pastiche of the great and legendary purple cow poem to join the herd which already exists.  But I wasn’t.

And it didn’t work; two fairly satisfying couplets and a restless hour later, I had to fall back on the boringly traditional –

lx  :  Drink Ovaltine at three a.m.

   –     which did.

1 the purple 2 the 3am mug

Look out for the seventh wave


I love small cold winter English seaside towns.  (Click thumbnail for the gallery.)

Clouded gold


Relief:  most of them quite decent, though, being out of practice, I made a beginner mistake not wiping a base high enough, and welded one edge of a pot to the kiln shelf.

1st glaze firingI like the clouded gold of the rutile glaze.  But although the little mugs are unassuming and unshowy, they are the best – light and balanced in the hand, if I say so myself, warm and gentle on the lip, and my favourite green glaze done to a turn:

2nd green glazePhew…



At last the kiln elements have been replaced; the old ones are so brittle in places that they just crumble.

1 elementalFirst biscuit firing.  Here we go.

2 onMeantime I was glazing assorted pots.  You wouldn’t think that these dusty coatings could develop into anything colourful.

3 glazeHandling glaze at 3° C is a painful experience.  Pots sat on the gradually heating kiln gain a little adventitious warmth, which helps the icy fingers.

4 warmingOut come the biscuit-fired pots; in goes the dried glazed ware.

5 stackThe kiln reached its target temperature and didn’t fail or trip out the electrics.  A moment of truth comes tomorrow when the chamber is cool enough to open.  What will the glazes have done?