Storm Barra

Cosy stove

Power is out

Cell phone/ mobile will die soon!

So glad we have 3 stoves and plenty of firewood!

No pump though, so it’s only warm next to the fire! We have a solid fuel kitchen stove too, so we can cook on that – and a gas bottle and 2 rings as well. Luckier than most.

Wilkins the marmalade cat sharing the warmth 🧡

Stay safe and warm 🍀❄️

Shrines

Hindu shrine in Namobudda
Buddhist Stupa and prayer flags
Buddhist shrine Namobudda

These photos popped up in my Facebook ‘memories’ from my trip with daughter, Hannah to Kathmandu in 2013

They seem to be wiggling their way into my consciousness

Maybe they might seed them idea for new writing, or a painting maybe

I’m on the train from Belfast to Derry, after a few weeks over in Wales visiting family. Back in the studio tomorrow I hope

Perpendicular

These are ‘breastworks’ (uprights along the sea wall) and ‘groynes’ (at right angles )

This is a a new (first draft) poem:

‘Perpendicular ‘

For forty years the sea defences have protected

the front. At Borth and Ynyslas.

The old familiar way was shoring up

with strong timber upright breastworks

and jutting joists and great beamed groynes.

Bleached now by summer’s gold.

Old oak silvered and smoothed to salty sinews

Gravel and grit erosion pebble dashing

the frontages. Wrack draped and clasped

in rust. Scarred and scarified

by four decades force. Bearing up

against lifelong accretion. Pileup

of crashing drift and tide.

Perpendicular props. Familial forces

trying vainly to combine their strength

against dying under life’s attack.

Cold stone proposed along this ancient front

now sinking against an unquiet sea.

Forces of opposition with steely knives

and cranes and engineering.

Of a concrete will. Defying the tide like Canute.

Tempting Fate. Or perhaps too late

Acrobat

Acrobatic visitor

(A draft poem, with thanks to Beatrix Potter )

Do you remember those little brown books?
Hard backs with shiny slip covers, or perhaps the slip covers
came later. I remember the soft suede feel of the boards.
Dainty pastel roundels of our woodland friends.

Nidderdale and swallowtail laundry maid hedgehog
in a bonnet. Running down the green swathe.
Rabbits in waistcoats with tall pointed ears.
Defiant against the landlord.

And bold red Nutkin with the fluffy tail.
Memories of a fifties childhood. Arcane springboard
for a lifetime passion for our small wild neighbours
who share this shrinking Earth

On my way again

On the train from Abergavenny to Machynlleth

writing on the train

Two more poems, ‘Buddleia’ from another train journey

And ‘Pwll y wrach’ ( which means ‘witch’s pool)

View from the train, no Buddleia here

Buddleia

bursting out bravely from crevices and chimney pots
round the rough edges of abandoned plots
of land behind razor wire and barbed wire
on bomb sites

round broken concrete bunkers and crumbling
wartime airstrips, army camps and waste dumps
sooty spaces and looted places

into all these the grey green leaves reach their arms
of new growth and so the buddleia bush embraces
debris and decay and deathly ancient traces

and stretches up her waving arms towards the blue blue sky
and without help or nurture or encouragement
attracts with her nectar the humble hope filled butterfly

Pwll y Wrach

Cover image by Marc Jennings

‘pwll y wrach’

I read it in my book just now
‘Witch’s pool’
How evocative
Did she drown?
Herself
Or her cat
Perhaps
Or did she use
The glassy surface
To reflect
Her face
Or read her future
Or just wash her tired feet

I wrote this short piece when I read the place name ‘Pwll y wrach’ in Richard Gwyn’s marvelous book, ‘The Blue Tent’

(Cover image by Marc Jennings above)

The book is published by Parthian Books

Bah humbug

An un-Christmassy draft poem!

Just thinking about how much overindulgence there is to come in this next month!

This tree is from a few years ago, ours isn’t up yet this year

New poem (draft) November 2021

Chocolates and toffees in bright tubs almost force fed
piled high in the aisles everywhere in the Northern hemisphere
in all of Christendom from October to January. So much gold
foil and bright lights. Too much for me, for my eyes
for my mind for my heart for my soul. For my teeth. For the Earth
a farce of false sweetness. Corruption and greed. How much stuff
do we need. Feed the hungry. Not addiction, excess weight
and Big Business. It keeps me awake at night, gives me heart
burn and palpitations. Nations aren’t ready to lay down their excesses
or redress the imbalances of their fathers and grandfathers. What of the mothers
and children and their children and grandchildren when the lands in the South
that grow sugar cane are desert and dead? When will they get it into their heads
We don’t want all their baubles and promises. Fudged fixes and smoke screens.
Christ would have been happy with dates

Works on paper

5 paintings on 16×12” Arches

These are all paintings I made on my residency at CillRialaig in County Kerry last year

And I am delighted to have just been invited for another residency there next month

Here’s the view from my attic window one dawn last summer. Can’t wait to be there again

The 5 paintings shown here are all available. Just send me a message in the comments or email me at liz-doyle@live.com and I will send you prices and shipping details. Thanks