Category Archives: photos

Cheryl Newton’s Spoonbill

“i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes”
– e e cummings, ‘i thank You God for most this amazing’


Narcissi flicker
in the northerly breeze, adrift
on a sea of blue scilla.

The white gladiolus
opens in the summer sun,
a radiant bride.

At the paddock’s edge,
the quince trees bow with fruit
bright as Murano glass.

Above the frozen pond
framed by glowing rowan berries,
redwings take flight.

Aine MacAodha: Two Poems

Aine MacAodha

Aine MacAodha is a writer and amateur photographer from Omagh, situated in County Tyrone, North of Ireland. Her essays, poems and photographic work have appeared in issues of Luciole Press and Pirene’s Fountain. Her poetry has been published in online magazines including Argotist Online, Arabesque Review, Shamrock Haiku Journal, The Herald, Celtic Myth Podshow, Debris Magazine and recently in The Toronto Quarterly and Glasgow Review. She is currently working on a second collection of poetry. She has three grown up children and a recent addition, her grandson Caleb. She is a member of Saatchi Online, Fotolibra and Redbubble. Read more about Aine and her collection, Where the Three Rivers Meet, at her website and blog.
All for love
You said you never cared for walking over boggy hills
over rusty styles with bulls on the other side
only to find a crumbling stone etched in lines;
you do it out of love.
Watching in bewilderment as I spy a lone ogham stone
in the centre of a field in Mountfield in the middle
of nowhere and my spirit lifts at the sight of it.
My mind gets to work on the stories this stone carries in its aura.
My camera clicks many times.
You do this out of love you say, like I do
when the wilderness calls and I succumb to its voice.

Ogham stone by Aine MacAodha

Guth An Anam (Voice of the soul)
I carried you or we carried each other
over ancient sites and thorny bushes
to recall your forgotten voice
lost through the layers of time.
I carried you to Yeats County with views
of soothing Benbulben Mountain and you
sang such beautiful tunes.
You sang out too when I located the
weather-worn court tomb at Creevykeel.
An ancient connection was made.
When birds left the trees for sunnier climes
as winter caped above the house
you were with me.
You gave me music to open my soul
again to the beauty in the landscape.
Music, you are the voice of my soul.

Benbulben Mountain by Aine MacAodha

Visit Aine’s blog.
Visit Aine’s website.

Velvet Pears

Autumn is here with its golden days and crisp evenings. The sun sets earlier and there’s time to curl up with a cup of tea and books like Susan Southam’s Velvet Pears (Murdoch Books, 2009).
As a young bride, Susan moved into a little weatherboard cottage sheltered by huge Norfolk pines at the foot of a purple mountain. Over the next twenty-five years, she created her enchanted garden at Foxglove Spires on the land of an old dairy paddock in the Tilba Valley, New South Wales. She lives there now, with her family, in harmony with the seasons: cooking, eating, celebrating and decorating with her garden’s bounty.

Velvet Pears
is a journal, a garden lover’s delight, a story of the making of a garden, a tapestry of dreams. It is elegantly illustrated with photographs of Susan’s house and garden and includes suggestions for planting schemes and favourite seasonal recipes – hearty minestrone, magic chocolate cake, elderberry and blackcurrant jam, and velvet pears – using produce from the garden.
About autumn, Susan writes:
“I love this time of year. Working in the garden is an absolute pleasure. Soft woolly socks in boots, a thick warm jumper, and my favourite beanie pulled down. This is the season of seedlings and bulbs. Daffodils and snowflakes are pushing through the thick layers of autumn leaves.”
Whether you live in the southern or northern hemisphere, savour the changes the seasons bring.

Writing Morocco

“In 1931, without any preconceived notion of what I should find there, I paid a visit to Morocco. Two months, I thought, would suffice for seeing the place. And so they would have if what I saw had not awakened a wish to see more, a wish which seemed to grow even as it was being satisfied. At first it expressed itself as a desire to wander over the surface of the land … After the War I returned to Morocco and bought a home there. This time I became aware of the fact that it was not the landscape I wanted to know, but the people.”
– Paul Bowles
Read more about Paul Bowles.

“The … endless banquet at which course succeeded course – spiced chickens and pigeons, kous-kous, and whole roast sheep and kebab and almond pastries and sweet mint tea … lasted all through the night. Swaying lines of women danced to the music of their own wild chant; the traditional boy dancers with painted faces and white robes drawn tight at the waist by gold-embroidered bells, danced to the tambourines and the clicking of the copper castanets on their fingers; in the courtyard a huge fire of juniper logs lit the battlements of the castle; outside the Kasbah wall … the night was loud with feasting.”
– Gavin Maxwell, Lords of the Atlas
“With the afternoon heat too suffocating in the square, the light too bright for any but a Marrachi’s eyes, I slipped into the labyrinth of the medina. Cool vaulted stone, courtyards latticed with bamboo staves, casting zebra stripes across the merchants and their stalls. What an emporium – mountains of tumeric, paprika, salted almonds and dates, yellow leather slippers laid out in rows, ostrich eggs and incense, chameleons in wire cages, and beef tenderloins nestled on fragrant beds of mint.”
from Tahir Shah’s introduction to Marrakesh: Through Writers’ Eyes
Visit Tahir Shah’s website.
“… I wish I could tell you the wonder of the souks and marketplaces; the brilliant overflowing of spices, olives, fabrics; the witchcraft stalls; the fishmongers; the piles of mint and thyme scenting the air . . . and even more than this is the wonder of its becoming familiar, the sufficiency and contentment in knowing the names of things, the words to tell the taxi drivers, the sense and reason behind the lives of Moroccans …”
– Melissa Manlove, ‘Letter from Morocco’, Travelers’ Tales
(Editors’ Choice)
Visit Travelers’ Tales website.

“Inside, the ceiling is low, cobwebbed, and the shelves beneath it cluttered with treasure. There are ancient Berber chests, silver teapots, ebony footstools, and swords once used by warring tribes, and cartons of postcards left by the French, Box Brownie cameras, candlesticks, silk wedding belts, and camel headdresses crafted from indigo wool.”
from Tahir Shah’s introduction to Marrakesh: Through Writers’ Eyes
“Crisply geometric patterns of blue-and-white zellij, sun-bleached panels of carved cedar, rhythmic arcades of white plaster, sinuous lines of wrought-iron balconies: each reveals the hand of a master craftsperson and the beauty of refined materials.”
– Susan Sully, New Moroccan Style: The Art of Sensual Living

“I stand in a portico hung with gentian-blue ipomeas … and look out on a land of mists and mysteries; a land of trailing silver veils through which domes and minarets, mighty towers and ramparts of flushed stone, hot palm groves and Atlas snows, peer and disappear at the will of the Atlantic cloud drifts.”
– Edith Wharton, In Morocco
Read more about Edith Wharton.


“From far off, through circuitous corridors, came the scent of citrus-blossom and jasmine, with sometimes a bird’s song before dawn, sometimes a flute’s wail at sunset, and always the call of the muezzin in the night …”
– Edith Wharton, In Morocco

“To visit Morocco is still like turning the pages of some illuminated Persian manuscript all embroidered with bright shapes and subtle lines.”
– Edith Wharton, 1927

“The sight of books removes sorrow from the heart.”
– Moroccan proverb
Some reading suggestions
The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles
Let it Come Down, Paul Bowles
The Spider’s House, Paul Bowles
A House in Fez, Suzanna Clarke
Hideous Kinky, Ester Freud
Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua,
Gavin Maxwell
Marrakesh: Through Writers’ Eyes, edited by Barnaby Rogers
and Rose Baring
The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca, Tahir Shah
In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams,
Tahir Shah
New Moroccan Style: The Art of Sensual Living, by Susan Sully,
Jean Cazals and Meryanne Louw-Martin
Valley of the Casbahs: A Journey Across the Moroccan Sahara,
Jeffrey Tayler
Morocco: In the Labyrinth of Dreams and Bazaars, Walter M Weiss
In Morocco, Edith Wharton
Read the work of some Moroccan poets.
Links to Moroccan poetry organisations and websites.

‘Augusta Fabergé’ in Ouroboros Review

ouroboros four

Cover art by Jennifer Delaney

I’m very pleased to have a new poem, ‘Augusta Fabergé’, included in the fourth issue of ouroboros review alongside wonderful work by fellow bloggers: Sophie Mayer, Annie Clarkson, Matt Merritt, Arlene Ang and Deb Scott, among many others.
Collin Kelley conducts an absorbing and candid interview with Cecilia Woloch, author of Sacrifice, Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem, Late, Narcissus and Carpathia (BOA Editions, 2009), while Louisa Adjoa Parker asks important questions about black and minority ethnic publishing in the United Kingdom.
This issue also contains arresting visual art by Jennifer Delaney, Tammy Ho Lai-ming, Julie E. Bloemeke, Deb Scott and Jéanpaul Ferro.
Read it here.

Sarah Hills’ Floral Planet

“Our response to the world is essentially one of wonder, of confronting the mysterious with a sense, not of being small, or insignificant, but of being part of a rich and complex narrative.”

– John Burnside

Sarah's flowers.a
Sarah's flowers.b
Sarah's flowers.c
Sarah's flowers.d
Sarah's flowers.e
Sarah's flowers.f
Sarah's flowers.g