In November 2016 I had a couple of days in Montreal for work. I got away for a few hours to have a look around. To get lost in the city and find some of the atmosphere of the place. I found the people friendly and the city a pleasure to walk around. So I would recommend it for a visit if you are passing.
Lots to see I know, and as I headed out of the city towards Toronto and my next stop, I sat amazed at the distance travelled in such a short time. The technology that we just expect to keep improving and working for us. We should remember though to slow down too, to see the sky above us and the world around us. Otherwise what are we doing?
Enjoy the sights around you and take some time to look at things with a visitors eyes for a while. You will see your home a bit differently.
We keep the words clear,
from the edges of the page.
To hold them back somehow,
to create the margins we need
A week up in the North of England, an evening stroll and a camera. Just a few shots from this set, all the time I have to get them ready. Tomorrow I head home, always a good direction to head in. At the end of this post, as it’s National Poetry Day, I have a short piece for you to read, let me know what you think.
It is always amazing how much things can change over a few minutes from oranges to blues and deepening into grey and black.
For National Poetry Day.
Being displaced, different,
I am North, an unknown.
I am a stranger.
Every word is a dislocation,
I am not of here,
of hills and dark walls,
of strange names.
Each night I sleep, wait
for the sun,
wait for my shadow to fall
behind me. To wait for one day.
and I am home.
It has been so long, since February I think. The longest period of inactivity on this blog since I started. I keep seeing sporadic visitors, people looking in to see if I have been back, or perhaps just the random noise of the internet. How many of you are still out there wondering where it has all gone?
I’m still here, though going through a writing tunnel at the moment, a tunnel where the guy with the candle hasn’t bothered yet to make an appearance, he may still be there, with a box of damp matches and wondering if I have a spark to help out. All I have been doing recently is looking for paid work and taking pictures. A visual narrative going on if nothing else.
These long days, clear nights recently, I look up at the stars and get drawn in. I’ve been trying to get some good pictures of the night sky, with mixed results. My camera is good, I am just still getting used to all it can and can’t do for me. And sometimes just looking is a good option, I enjoy the sunset, as the air cools and clears and the first evening stars become apparent in the sky. Last year the council here changed the street lights to LED downlights, making for a much better view and better pictures.
Dartmoor provided a diversion, as did a trip to Austria, I need to catch up on all these trips. To kick-start my writing again. Although the Dartmoor image may be a little macabre.
This is it, at the moment. Fragments and images, are proof of my passing through all these places. The footsteps in the sand.
Complete From Before, Line of Termination
Dividing days, hours, moments
passing into night, time and yesterday.
Seen from space, everything,
and so by scale, nothing.
Delicate intricate, nothing.
Crossing forwards, racing time,
swinging again away, defined
by the movement, by perception.
The moments we define as
the sun crossing our arc.
In the sky, long night crossing
into a low slung sun slow day.
This is where we cross North
into South, midwinter crossing
some peak and gathering the world,
gathering the details, the people,
the time frozen second that ticks
to life a passage of seasons.
See where we end up, this was written as we crossed the longest night. The turning point of winter. Next month we cross back into shortening days. Time flies and we struggle to take the moments we need. Take care to take some time.
There’s been lots happening over the last few weeks, the usual work stuff keeping us busy. There has though, still been a chance to get some pictures with my new camera. Shots taken in the back garden of clouds bubbling over the coastline and bunching in the valley. It has also meant I am trying out Lightroom CS4, to see how far things can be pushed in editing. The Pentax K50 saves images as both JPEG and Raw, and I can view images quickly as JPEG to decide which ones I want to import to edit. Sometime soon I will start a new file system for my pictures, to separate out my own images and walking group or family shots. For the moment I am learning the quirks of the camera, how it works and what it sees, button combinations and positions, all the things that make taking pictures fast when you know where everything is; nothing worse than fumbling for a button when you are in a hurry and don’t want to miss something.
To be able to edit save and not make irretrievable changes is a new thing, no more save as or damaged files from random button presses. I was good at saving copies but sometimes things went awry and using raw will help stop that.
Changing tack, last week was World Book Night, and a group of poets gathered in Weston-super-Mare library to read as part of the celebration. Free books were available and the event went really well, good reading by everyone who took part, some really interesting work.
This weeks fragments are from an older notebook, things to bring back memories, trips and images.
People, coffee and tourists,
street hawkers, beggars and fashionistas
and from London,
Stop go streetflow
at the junctions of the city.
taking some time to die.
The days are getting longer, sunrise earlier and sunset later, that means you can get out more. I’d recommend a high place to watch the sun rise, to see the colour spill across the land, to feel the first warmth as the light hits you. Watch the world wake up as you sit and watch. Wonderful, can’t beat it and you will smile all day.
It was a weather spread bet this morning. Rain, chunky hail, wind and sunshine, the only disappointment was the lack of snow. We’re starting work on a major revamp of our kitchen this week, never underestimate how much soil a hole can set free. I think two bags appear for every one we fill.
I’m working on spring, hence the fist view of the flowering cherry in our garden. I noticed the fist blossom high in the tree a few days ago, and these have joined the party. I’m trying to catch the sunrise gold over this tree, glorious as we sit with morning coffee and look out of the window, it always raises the spirits to see it lit up with amazing colour.
I am dipping into some old work and starting re-writing, I bumped into this and like the opening though it obviously needs a lot of work, things like this remind me how far I have come, this first saw the light of day sometime in 2001 –
Untouched blue sky, white cloud on the horizon,
cherry blossom makes an impromptu showing.
Testing the air for spring and the flowers that
will soon follow.
I had the first reminder for NaPoWriMo today, but I think this year I’ll relax and take the month off, watch other people bashing out the poems and enjoy myself with all the reading I can do that month. Have fun as winter turns into spring this month, I will mark its passing somehow, a little snow item to remind us of the journey we are all taking, every day of our lives.