This happy photograph was taken on the 17th December 2019 at the Maryport Literature Festival. Poets from THIS PLACE I KNOW, A New Anthology of Cumbrian Poetry (Published Handstand Press, 2018) were invited to take part in ‘A Poetry Reading with Tea and Cakes’ to round off the festival on its last day. From left to right they are Antony Christie, Felicity Crowley, Ann Miller, Kelly Davis and Ross Baxter. THIS PLACE I KNOW won the Literature and Poetry Prize at the 2019 Lakeland Book of the Year Awards.
In Castle Eden Dene
And we were among the fern and the bracken,
the fox and the hare, beetle and worm.
Dad unclipped the cap from the bowl of his pipe,
pressed down the unused tobacco
he lit with a match and sucked alight.
A glass rippled stream flickered light from the sky
shadowed by dense branches of ancient trees.
The smoke blew into swarms of tiny flying creatures
that landed, leaving red blotches on my face.
Limestone caves were full with stories.
Here are a few photos of my art exhibition at the Watermill Café – in aid of the ‘Cumbrian Lad Appeal’ – at the Caldbeck Festival back in October 2014. My paintings were accompanied by recital of my pamphlet poems – and tea and friendship shared with Dorothy Chalk, a founder member of Mungrisdale Writers, who kindly offered me accommodation.
Once, I looked inside colours in front of me.
Made them breathe in paint on my canvas.
Moved by a language that began to grow in me,
my mind searched the need to create.
Words, picture all I see and feel.
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