What-i-did-on-holiday part 2: foraging for edible wild plants in a field in North Devon. A greenhorn in plantains & pink purslane, not knowing my sorrel from my dock (much bigger - you stuff them like vine leaves) this crash course in Chagford opened my eyes and now I can rustle up a salad of mixed wild leaves as fast as you can say 'Er, no thank you.'
I wasn't so keen on the pan-fried dandelion roots, I have to admit, but gathering everything in the sunshine was terrific fun.
Peter's now back from frolicking at Arvon, if tutors are allowed to frolic, and we had a great weekend staying with poet & publisher Nick Johnson. Nick was performing at The Great Create and left us to enjoy ourselves in his amazing ex-Post-Office bohemian pad (yes, some places are still pads) so we did. According to Steve Spence "Nick Johnson is a one-off, ploughing his own lonely furrow through the thickets of the postmodern pastoral lyric... the poetry world would be less rich without him." North Devon would, too.
Quirky corner: some of my favourite blogs, for candour as well as creativity, are by poets, like Rosemary Dun and Luke Wright, & while browsing Luke's I found Rob's challenge to any poetry lover: what makes a lyrical hook? I took his 2-line test, and started thinking about openers I've found irresistible. In my emo-teens it was Keats:
NO, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist
wolf's bane tight-rooted for its poisonous wine
and I'm a sucker for Brian Patten's melancholy musings, like:
And in numerous city gardens
long legged girls left alone bow low among the trees
A random picture I took between thundery showers at Heaven's Gate above Longleat today. Can't think of a link for it.
quick ps: my friend writer Alison Clink has just discovered a couple of her recently published stories approvingly reviewed in an anonymous blog by womagwriter. Mm.. mysterious. Looks a useful site for anyone submitting to womags though.