About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Wednesday 25 October 2017

The Satchel of Poetry and St Melangell's Good Hare Day

Sunday - and there was more birthdaying to be done. Or at least, we had to go to Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire to pick up my present. This was The Satchel Of Poetry commissioned by the Northerner from our dear friends Chris and Jinny, who together comprise Skyravenwolf, and whose work is extraordinarily accomplished and very beautiful. 

Little did I know - which is as well, as I would have worried if I had - that my brief for the bag had caused Chris herself some concerns. I hadn't really thought too long about what I wanted because I knew I'd love whatever she and Jinny came up with as long as I could wear it crosswise over my body and fit sheaves of A4 paper into it.  But Chris wasn't sure that her pattern cutting was up to making a satchel. Then there was the question of decoration.  I love foxes and I love hares; I don't love blood, however, so a hare and a fox interacting in a way that wasn't violent was mooted, as were bees, as that is the meaning in Hebrew of my name.  And then - inspired, I suspect, by the stately mushrooms we'd spotted in the field of Chris and Jinny's handfasting not long before - the idea of Fly Agaric And Other Assorted Fungi insinuated itself.  Little did I know that Chris, who is expert in wrens and oak leaves, fritillaries and may blossom, crows and mistletoe, green men, mermaids and lurchers, wasn't at all sure she could do a fox. Or toadstools. Especially toadstools that Don't Grow Together In Nature on account of being found in different habitats.

Once we arrived in the Canal Tavern, however, it became clear that she could do all of this. Very well indeed. 

My only sorrow is that I can't see both sides at the same time.

And there were so many other things to delight in too. The magical plaited strap, for example. Which Jinny assures me she doesn't do by magic at all, though I'm not sure I believe her. 

And the toning lining with its beautiful stitching, and the pockets I omitted to mention at commissioning stage but which are both Beautiful and Useful. (Oh, how my hero William Morris would have approved of The Satchel Of Poetry!)
All was now happiness and relief. I managed to keep my weeping under control. And Chris now knows that she can do foxes and hares and satchels and mass assemblies of toadstools very very well indeed.
(Of course all those toadstools wouldn't grow together. They are in symbiotic relationships with very different trees that also don't grow together. Nor is a fox likely to run past a hare without at least drooling. But that's what artistic licence - and poetic licence - are for.) 

And then there was this, drawn by Dru. 

She's St Melangell with her rescued hare. As Dru says, probably the earliest ever sab. I shall find her a beautiful frame and hang her in our Marland gallery. 

The Satchel Of Poetry will get its first outing on Thursday at Words and Ears. Fittingly, this is in Bradford-on-Avon, and Chris will be there, along with Jinny and Dru who will be reading their poems.  

All I have to do now ... all I have to do now ...  is write words that are worthy of being carried in it. 

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