NationalGriefAwarenessWeek Day Four. Please join Daniel O’Grady an I in marking this week every day. I will feature your draft published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about grief. Please include a short third person bio.

An Unwelcome Visitor

I’m glad I made it almost to the age of 40 before I caught a glimpse of Grief. I spied Grief looking in through our front room window. An unwelcome intrusion into our home, I stared coldly back until It casually turned away and wandered off down the street. But Grief knew me from that moment on. It would wait around a bend in the road to ambush my drive to work. Morphing through the windscreen and sliding into the passenger seat beside me. A frigid, silent, bothering of my thoughts. After our initial acquaintance, it could sometimes be weeks between “botherings”, but as time passed the frequency increased. I’d fear those bends in the road, the kinks and corners in the path. It was inevitable that I would rush headlong into Griefs smothering embrace, gasping and struggling to get away, uncertain how to find my balance as It kicked my legs from beneath me. Now, many years on, I have partially healed from the beating Grief gave me. The scars are there and the threat remains. I know Grief will kick seven shades out of me again before the other stalker, Death, pays me attention but it makes me grateful for the 39.6 years of innocence. I can’t control Grief, It will take what It wants from me time and time again, but in between I will feel the warmth of the sun on my face and smile. In this way I will not be controlled by Grief, It will try and bully me but I will turn away and look for Joy and Fun with the help of Love’s companionship.

-Daniel O’Grady

Bios and Links

-Daniel O’Grady

is a Plant Manager at a Chemical Manufacturing site who enjoys writing about whatever comes to mind each day, capturing his thoughts for future reference.
He draws his inspiration from the semi rural environment he lives and works in, the woodland he wanders through and the lanes where he enjoys running and cycling.
He also enjoys photography where he tries to share the beauty of the world as he sees it. His ambition is to write a fictional story based on his path through grief, maybe retirement will allow more time, maybe it won’t.

“Created Responses To This Day” David Garbutt responds to one of my This Day images. I would love to feature your responses too.

A cervical vertebra asks

At this water’s edge
Where sandpipers tweezer larvae
And tiny shrimps while stitching past, where
Gulls pass over on their way to sleep
My vertebrae are signposts —
Iguanagon; do you follow?
Or can you stand
And salvage my world
From the boneyard?
—————

-Dave Garbutt

Bios and Links

Dave Garbutt has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.

He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom.

Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.

 

NationalGriefAwarenessWeek Day Three. Please join Daniel O’Grady an I in marking this week every day. I will feature your draft published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about grief. Please include a short third person bio.

Aching with longing

I ache and ache and ache to hold onto my Dad’s little finger. Feel my small hand grasp onto what then filled my grip as we walked along an autumn lane. Forty plus years passed since that afternoon and I only now remember it with this longing to return. All my teen and adult years, I had no need to miss it. He still held my hand with advice or just an ear for me to fill with hopes and future plans. But now those links are lost. Grief has scarred me deeply, changed my approach to the world, crippled my confidence and hunted me though my dreams. I was Pat’s son. My kind, gentle, socially conscious Dad was undefeated heavy weight champion of my world.

-Daniel O’Grady

Bios and Links

-Daniel O’Grady

is a Plant Manager at a Chemical Manufacturing site who enjoys writing about whatever comes to mind each day, capturing his thoughts for future reference.
He draws his inspiration from the semi rural environment he lives and works in, the woodland he wanders through and the lanes where he enjoys running and cycling.
He also enjoys photography where he tries to share the beauty of the world as he sees it. His ambition is to write a fictional story based on his path through grief, maybe retirement will allow more time, maybe it won’t.

The Winter Hedgerow

Wendy Pratt Writing

Photo by pimpoapo on Pexels.com

I’m just back from a very wintry dog walk with my very slow and elderly dog. There is something to be said for the slow walk and the honesty of bad weather, how a really good soaking freezes you so deeply it’s like it’s cleaned the very bones of you. And going so slowly allows for a close examination of the landscape; not just the valley and the hills around you, but of the landscape with a small L, the place where we exist every day, the areas that, in some ways, become background. I think of hedgerows like that. Hedgerows are a constant in the landscape, acting as dividers, boundary lines, shade for livestock. They sew the lands together, tracking across the countryside and lining the lanes. The hedgerows around my village feel timeless, and some are in fact likely to be boundary lines…

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Join me every day this December. #RewildTheMundane and/or #ReMundaneTheWild. Fourth Day. NOTE: NO WILD THINGS MUST DIE IN THESE SCENARIOS. I look forward to your draft poetry/short fiction/visual images. Go leftfield and imagine a a cup of tea as a wild animal or plant, imagine a wild animal or plant as a cup of tea, or other domestic object, or task. Email me or add your contribution to this link.

Leftfield Questions:

How is a butterfly like a cup of tea?

How do I you rewild a cup of tea?

What domestic task would a living butterfly undertake indoors?

Rewilding the mundane or remundaning the wild!

Stine Writing

Join here for Paul Brookes’ challenge
Here is some other interesting information: https://www.treehugger.com/surprising-badger-facts-4863670

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Join me every day this December. #RewildTheMundane and/or #ReMundaneTheWild Day Three. NOTE: NO WILD THINGS MUST DIE IN THESE SCENARIOS. I look forward to your draft poetry/short fiction/visual images. Go leftfield and imagine a kettle as a wild animal or plant, imagine a wild animal or plant as a kettle, or other domestic object, or task. Email me or add your contribution to this link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leftfield Questions

How is a badger like a  kettle?

What mundane task would a living badgerdo in a home?

How would a kettle be rewilded?

NationalGriefAwarenessWeek Day Two. Please join Daniel O’Grady an I in marking this week every day. I will feature your draft published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about grief. Please include a short third person bio.

 

A Bad Year

A whole year has passed since I held my dad’s hand and talked to him, told him how much I love him, kissed him on his cool and smooth forehead, said goodbye. I’ve wept pints of tears and looked for traces of his existence in the woods, paths and spaces he enjoyed. My grief feels pitiful alongside my mums own loss of her life partner, her friend and companion.
The awful period while he was suffering the effects of Myeloma and the treatment still casts its shadow on our memories. Even though during this period there were islands of smiles and happiness, the tide of despair rose higher up until what remained were the jagged rocks. Pleading looks from a face asking for help, to be taken out of the hospital ward and home. Home to die in more peaceful and comfortingly familiar surroundings. A wish we couldn’t grant.
Dad was, is, my hero, it sounds cliched but he is and always will be. My inspiration. Encouraging us to do things that make us happy, because if we’re not happy then how do we provide happiness for the people we love and cherish?
In whatever I did I wanted to make him proud and give back some of the love and happiness he and mum, gave me.
I continue to look for him in my landscape. In the local countryside he wandered through so much. In the places further afield in which we shared time. In the activities we did together and in parallel.
As we all do, I miss him every day, but can enjoy the time I spend with him when dreaming.

-Daniel O’Grady

Bio and Links

-Daniel O’Grady

is a Plant Manager at a Chemical Manufacturing site who enjoys writing about whatever comes to mind each day, capturing his thoughts for future reference.
He draws his inspiration from the semi rural environment he lives and works in, the woodland he wanders through and the lanes where he enjoys running and cycling.
He also enjoys photography where he tries to share the beauty of the world as he sees it. His ambition is to write a fictional story based on his path through grief, maybe retirement will allow more time, maybe it won’t.

Drop in by Paul Waring

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

I have great pleasure in inviting Paul Waring to drop in today, a poet whom I have admired for some time.

Thank you Nigel for inviting me to drop in and write about Melt, a poemfrom my latest collection Muckle Anima, a Dreich 2022 ‘Classic Chapbook’ competition winner.

I wrote my first poem in 1990. Before this, I spent much of the 1980’s writing lyrics and singing in a number of Liverpool bands. Between 1996-2016 I wrote almost no poetry, largely due to my work commitments as a clinical psychologist.

Melt started out as a title and a broad idea to depict the sense of madness that falling in love can induce; the state that can result in us being almost oblivious to everything else in our lives. Writing this drop-in for Nigel brought to mind a song I wrote in the early 1980’s – also about…

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Re-wild the mundane day 2

Jane Dougherty Writes

In answer to Paul Brookes’ hedgehog and tea towel questions which you can see here (WP can feck off with it’s stupid questions).

Once were tea towels

smart-checked and striped,
holes now united by threadbare,
unravelled warp and weft,
linted and loose-threaded,
shoe-cleaners, floor-wipers,
the unnameable rags
that line forgotten places.

~Not all forgotten, not by all~

a hedgehog home, deep in the pile
of cracked roof tiles and bricks,
beam splinters ancient plaster,
is lined with linen, embroidered with oak leaves,
spiked and span, gathered by prickles,
wind holes filled with moss,
a winter sleep away from spring.

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