Sagacious the Snail slithered and smiled his ponderous route down the turret face of the Baptistery of La Sagrada Familía
They’re obsessed with themselves – his feelers reminded him
Humankind thinks itself the centre of the universe and doesn’t allow time for contemplative snail sliding, or the forest from which a Christmas tree was plucked or the apple that will surrender its life and history to the grace of a sparkling cider
Nor do they wonder how far down below them this hardest of all rocks began to form millennia ago before being raised and washed and dressed and hammered and shaped into sky-searching spires in a Temple of Light that gives part-lie to the weakness of my snail-like philosophy
For here in and on this basilica in Catalan sunlight one contemplative member of a sometimes brash homo sapiens has afforded space and glory and its own unique history of species to an oddly permanent Christmas tree, fruits in painted stone and giant snails among other creatures on an unimaginably spiritual journey
Anton Gaudi really gets snails and apples and rocks and trees
Another happy and well-attended gathering on the 8th June welcomed a new member who already proved herself an inspired writer. We were glad to hear from some who were unable to be with us but sent greetings – from as far afield as sunny Spain. And it was great to have Angela safely home from la belle France, and to share in some really quite splendid writing. Nature and animal life loomed large in our session and some moving writing was shared and celebrated. Homework for the next meeting, on Thursday 13 July at 10.30-1.30, arises out of that experience:
Either, develop the piece worked on today, or choose a new bird, animal or fish. Write in first person inhabiting its world and speaking with its voice. Research your choice. Why are you drawn to it. What is your North American totem animal? Research some good nature writing and maybe be willing to share your findings when we meet.
Let these photographs answer that question. Heartfelt thanks to our perfect hosts, Kit and Andrew, and love to all who were with us in spirit (though in France, or Spain, or otherwise sunning themselves on this glorious day elsewhere!) – click on photos to enlarge (one or two black and whites for Colin Dixon)
Poetry and theatre writing workshop
Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport, CA15 6JD
Wednesday 24 May, 1 – 3pm
Simon Quinn of Fired Up Theatre Company will lead the workshop, which is part of a project called COASTOPIA, exploring the experience of living in coastal towns. The workshop will be supported by Dave Cryer, Learning & Participation Manager from Theatre by the Lake and will involve writing poetry and taking it towards performance. The project will include a publication of poems created by the participating groups.
The workshop is free but places are limited and must be prebooked – 01900 816168
Our beloved and inspirational tutor Angela Locke is celebrating a special birthday this month. A choir of 18 Mungrisdale Writers were delighted to sing “Happy Birthday to you” at our meeting on the 11th May (very tunefully, we thought!), and to present Angela with a special birthday cake and a volume of the Collected Poems of May Sarton.
Come out of the dark earth
Here where the minerals
Glow in their stone cells
Deeper than seed or birth.
Come under the strong wave
Here where the tug goes
As the tide turns and flow
Below that architrave.
Come into the pure air
Above all heaviness
Of storm and cloud to this
Come into, out of, under
The earth, the wave, the air.
Love, touch us everywhere
With primeval candor.