Homework for 26 April

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1 – Write something themed around the villages beneath Blencathra, poetry or prose. 200 words.  Can you link it into your experience with Mungrisdale Writers?

2 – Make 2 lists of things you remember about your maternal / paternal grandparents. Then circle something in one of the lists that especially stands out. Write a paragraph to explain why.

Dawning

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dawning | lorraine mackay

Genes, genomes, DNA in a lovely spiral,
And inside a soul stands proud,
Creates meaning as, like the prongs of a tuning fork,
I quiver into existence,
Excite the air around me at
My own frequency.
I try to bring you closer
To my wavelength, by scratching
Symbols on a page, a piece of bark, a cave wall,
I put a foot through the ice on the top of a puddle
Just to show you that I’m here.

Lorraine Mackay

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Snow in Easter

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photo at pixabay

All of my security is found
in the predictable ticking of the planet
As it spins reliably upon its axis and measures out the hours,
My soul responds with a sigh of recognition
To the same indicators
That chug around and pull into the station
Every year, more or less on time.

So don’t give me a balmy Christmas day,
Or a cold shower in July,
I have watched these days go by
And my heart pumped with the waning of the moon
And soared in my veins as the rays of a hot noon sun
Fall, and bake me into the ground.

Give me life, death, renewal,
Give me spring’s early wakeup call, or winter’s death.
Give me gold in autumn, give me responsive, bitter, living,
In all its fashions.
But never give me snow in Easter,
I will not have it.

Lorraine Mackay

Reflection and histories

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photo at pixabay

We who are water know
familial communion with
pond and river
lake and ocean
and we abide and communicate
by way of ripple and reflection
warmed by amniotic held
flotation – raised from
which our primal gasp and
cry signalled alpha and omega
of incarnate gradation – and
sight of mothered Wisdom
and taste of liquid nutrition
alongside growth spurt’s
sensation

Yes: our infancy born from
someone else’s depths never
leaves us – we are forever
embraced by it and so return
to reflection and histories
and promise as though to the
breast – and in gazing into
layered depths see at the
same time the light of height
yes: we who are water know
familial communion with
pond and river
lake and ocean
and we abide through all
eternity

Simon Marsh

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Spring

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photo at pixabay

Children searching for tadpoles in the pond
Little lambs prancing in the fields
Their mothers watching and protecting
Days getting longer

Darkness receding
Light returning
Pretty flowers emerging
Trees greening
Shoots springing from the soil

I love this time of year
There is so much to look forward to

Woodland floors spreading with bluebells
Daffodils, primroses
Summer holidays, warmer weather
Fewer clothes needed
Blossoms, azaleas and rhododendrons
A time of plenty and lots of birdsong

Dorothy Crowther

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Wild Tulips on the Omalos Plain

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photo at pixabay

In April the snow on the high peaks of the Lefka Ori mountains in western Crete is usually receding as warmer weather arrives. This snow is often stained a pale reddish brown from the wind blown dust of the Libyan Sahara. The locals still refer to these dusty winds as Gaddafi’s breath. Omalos is a small farming community on a 1500metre high, flat, fertile plain midway between Chania on the north coast and Chora Sfakion on the south. Apple trees delineate the small fields of wheat, potatoes and okra. Small round stone houses called mitata are used for making the local graviera cheese and also a softer creamy version of feta. Rickety fences protect the crops from flocks of sheep and goats which roam freely. It is because of the protection afforded by these fences that so many of Crete’s profuse wild flowers are found at the edges of these crops.

Crete is a botanist’s dream, especially in April, with around two thousand flowering plant species. Many of the plants are spiky such as spiny burnet and others are poisonous such as sea squill and oleander and these the sheep and goats avoid. Many other plants grow on the steep limestone screes and cliffs and their inaccessibility affords protection. By looking carefully around some of the field edges of the Omalos plain you will almost certainly encounter one of the five species of wild tulip to be found on Crete. It is here that you may find clumps of the endemic wild variety called tulipa bakeri. About half the size of the shop bought varieties we are used to they are a pinky lilac shade with delicate pointed petals. In the strong breezes they dance around with a natural gestural eloquence that all tulips possess.

Colin Dixon

My loves

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photo at pixabay

Where to start
My love is life itself
Favourite loves change with age
More gentle past times play a part
Music, sailing , oceans and rivers
Still stir my heart
Family – the bond of love ever strong
Grandchildren on the cusp of life
What will their future bring
I want to know but cannot
Contented now
Log fires, red wine and friends

Michael Bohling