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Holly Moon rising

July 20, 2017


Between the Oak Moon of June and the Holly Moon of July I’ve spent three days and a night of site-specific writing at the Dove. Just observing and writing. It’s a wonderful feeling when the writing flows. First in the pocket-notebook, and then in the weeks of editing, I’ve been shaping a mass of observations into a sort of map or snapshot of this special place at this moment in time. It has fallen naturally into three-line stanzas. More than 250 of them at the last count … with photos, drawings and prints.

Then there’s a book to make of it all for the Tree House Library by the end of August.

At the same time I’m moving into my new studio, through a new opening in a two-foot-thick rubble wall into next door. I’m patchwork-papering the walls, which were coated in the 1970s with a sharp rough texture, hard as cement and capable of skinning a knuckle. It’s going to take more than one layer to tame them. The floor is patchwork too, due to woodworm damage.

patchwork wall 1

The first layer is torn-up newsprint from a big roll given to me years ago by a friend I miss badly. I’m happy that she’s here is a small way. This layer dried to an almost uniform pale grey, so I’m glad I have a photo. The second layer will be odds and ends from the recycling bin: early drafts, corrected proofs, misprinted pages, offcuts, flyers. Then probably a thin coat of paint.

I’m also editing a new anthology, Feast, for the Fountain Poets of Wells, to be launched at the Wells Food Festival on Sunday 8th October.

And on Wednesday I stood in unity at Shire Hall in Taunton with friends from Unison to resist creeping privatisation of what used to be a service but it now rather alarmingly referred to as an industry. An industry in which over 27% annual staff turnover is the national average. So nothing wrong there then!

in unison

Lastly, I’m thrilled to have a poem in the July issue of Right Hand Pointing. A poem written during my visit to Poland earlier this year.

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