Tag: art

Blackberry and Apple Crumble

If we had some bacon we could have bacon and eggs but we’ve got no eggs. That First World War catch phrase came to mind as I was contemplating an idle wish to make blackberry and apple crumble. I imagine […] 

Bitter Strawberries

     Farm work is one of the best jobs for getting to know people as they really are. The First Job and the Sweetest Sylvia Plath’s first job was on a farm in the summer of 1950. I am […] 

My gaze is clear as a sunflower

Paul Nash’s fascination with aerial bombardment led him to an ecstatic vision of “the sky blossoming with floating flowers”. This, and William Blake’s poem “Ah Sunflower”, inspired his late paintings, in which an airborne sunflower glides over imagined landscapes. Nash […] 

Partition

“I was so rushed I had not time to go into the details,”  – Cyril Ratcliffe. The political leaders of the independence movement in British india were unable to agree on a united post-colonial future. The result was a plan […] 

Choosing books by the cover

I once worked in a school where the librarian arranged the non-fiction by the color of the spine. It made for some serendipitous browsing. He was a friendly fellow with a big bushy beard, a scholarly demeanor and who claimed […] 

August 1914

August 1914 What in our lives is burnt In the fire of this? The heart’s dear granary? The much we shall miss? Three lives hath one life – Iron, honey, gold. The gold, the honey gone – Left is the […] 

MCMXIV

MCMXIV Those long uneven lines Standing as patiently As if they were stretched outside The Oval or Villa Park, The crowns of hats, the sun On moustached archaic faces Grinning as if it were all An August Bank Holiday lark; […] 

The Good Life

Did you have times like these in your life? Times that you look back on with a sense of loss even though they weren’t exactly easy? Times that were tough but carefree enough that you recall them with nostalgia? Maybe […] 

Ballad of the Three Spectres

In Ivor Gurney’s nightmarish vision, the dead among the living bear dire warnings and mockery. Ballad of the Three Spectres As I went up by Ovillers In mud and water cold to the knee, There went three jeering, fleering spectres, […] 

Where’s Your School On This Spectrum? Where Do You Want It To Be?

If you’re thinking about branding and how to market your school (and who isn’t these days?) then it’s good to have a strong agreed upon sense of who you are, how you show who you are and what people actually […] 

Landfall in Unknown Seas

Some poems capture my attention because they have the twin virtues of being grounded in historical reality and yet reach for and succeed in suggesting a grander and future vision. This poem is about the arrival of the first Europeans […] 

Tweet Tweet

Tweet Tweet There’s a blackbird in my mango tree and I think of Marley and singing songs of freedom I have followed birds from hills to home and back wondering where was Zion but now I am content on this […] 

Mud Soup

Some culinary disasters can be repurposed. Here is Glen Baxter on polenta: And then there are times when you just have to cut your losses. Some poems just write themselves. Here is Carolyn Kizer writing – ranting and venting might […] 

Russian – American Romance

Russian – American Romance In my land and yours they do hit the hay and sleep the whole night in a similar way. There’s the golden Moon with a double shine. It lightens your land and it lightens mine. At […] 

A Catalpa Tree On West Twelfth Street

Here again – for the summer solstice – are those Wittenham Clumps. By the early 1940s Nash’s was in declining health. Suffering from chronic asthma – triggered his wife Margaret believed by inhaling gas at Passchendaele in 1917 –  he had endured […] 

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