#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. 10th-16th May. Day One. This years theme is Nature. How has nature helped your, or other folks mental health? Have you made artworks or written unpublished/published work about it? Please DM me, or send a message via my WordPress site. The week: Monday: Find nature wherever you are. Tuesday: Using all your senses connect with nature. Wednesday: Get out into nature. Thursday: Bring nature to you. Friday: Exercise in nature. Saturday: Combine nature with creativity. Sunday: Protect Nature.

Mental Health Awareness 2021 poster

Day One. Find Nature Wherever You Are

(Originally published The Dawntreader, Indigo Dreams Publishing)

January sun on a rainy day

through slanted attic window made me pause,
as bundled laundry swaddled arms, held me fast.
Water slid down the glass, light wobbled, waved,
and inside me something hibernating uncurled,
just for a short time, and waved back.

-Maxine Rose Munro


Photo by Paul Brookes

Overnight In A Hotel by Fokkina McDonnell

Escaping Summer 1Escaping Summer 2

Escaping Summer from Medusa’s Daughter by Jane Rosenberg LaForge

I sit half naked by a m juster

“I Sit Here Half-Naked” from “Wonder And Wrath” by A.M. Juster

Vassal Breath

From “No Man’s Land” by Kathryn Southworth (An account of the life of Ivor Gurney)

Petals Open Wide At

and quickly shiver in thunders grand growl
between patches of blue sky and welcome
heavy spit drums for worms wend to bowel
of beaked mam’s shopping for squawkful young.

A flit between skyspit to the calling
nest to feed ever open gobs hunger.
What good am I who wants my crass bawling,
who wants to listen to my grand thunder?

No am not alright, no I don’t want to
be here. Folk don’t want to hear my moans.
At least on my own I can lean into
gust, bury myself in my busy phone.

Nature interrupts myself with blown leaves,
loud birdsong, speaks of more than I believe.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Link

-Maxine Rose Munro

writes in English and her native Shetlandic Scots. She is widely published in the UK and beyond, both in print and online. She runs First Steps in Poetry, which offers feedback to beginner poets. More here http://www.maxinerosemunro.com

-Fokkina McDonnell

Oversteps Books Ltd  published her debut collection Another life in 2016. Her second collection Nothing serious, nothing dangerous was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing Ltd in November 2019. Spring 2020 the pamphlet A Stolen Hour was published by Grey Hen Press.

She was one of five poets to receive a Northern Writers Award 2020 from New Writing North. The poetry entries were judged by Vahni Capildeo. The manuscript of Remembering / Disease has now been accepted for publication, with a release date of October 2022.

-Jane Rosenberg LaForge

writes poetry, fiction, and occasional essays from her home in New York. She has published four chapbooks of poetry and three full-length collections, the most recent being MEDUSA’S DAUGHTER from Animal Heart Press. Her novel, SISTERHOOD OF THE INFAMOUS from New Meridian Arts Press, was inspired by the life of her sister, a one-time punk rocker and prodigy in mathematics. She also is the author of the novel, THE HAWKMAN: A FAIRY TALE OF THE GREAT WAR (Amberjack Publishing 2018) and an experimental memoir,  AN UNSUITABLE PRINCESS (Jaded Ibis Press 2014). More information is at jane-rosenberg-laforge.com 

-Kathryn Southworth

was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, and now lives in Camden Town, London and Prinknash, Gloucestershire.  She is married with three surviving children and three grandchildren.

She has always written poetry but returned to it in earnest only after a long career as an academic in midlands universities. She was a founding fellow of the English Association, Head of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Wolverhampton and held senior management posts there and at Newman University and also worked for the Quality Assurance Agency. She has been a governor of the Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust and is currently a governor of Rose Bruford College of Drama and Theatre Arts.

She has published poetry and reviews in several magazines and anthologies and reads at a number of London poetry venues, including the Poetry Café and Torriano Meeting House. The literary canon informs her writing, as does her Catholic faith, surreptitiously.

-A.M. Juster

(@amjuster on Twitter) tenth book of original poetry is Wonder and Wrath (Paul Dry Books 2020). His work has appeared in Poetry, The Hudson Review and The Paris Review, and he is the only three-time winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award.

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