A small extract from

Today is not a good day I feel the past at my throat and I stifle a sob and feel confused as if I do not know who I am, a form of detachment from reality comes over me. In the journey of discovering myself being aware and seeking wisdom, I now know the warning signs. No need to run away or lay on the bed staring into space. I dress and put on my walking clothes. Once outside the sun breathes in and out and a good stiff breeze, I like that. Past the cattle, calf’s and sheep the stench of lanolin sheep and cow faeces fills the air. I stumble and shake a little but continue with my walk.

      Greeted by the sky larks liquid sound I watch it rise and fall. The horizon is slightly covered by a blanket of cloud. Down the lane that leads to the graig, ragged robin and buttercups add colour, into the small wood the last of the bluebells fade into blue. I hear the river then breathe in the iron ore, over the bridge a wren is startled and dippers dip here and there. I sit on a boulder in the middle of the river and cry, a real soul cry. The sun climbs above the cloud and shines on my bare legs I wipe my nose and eyes and wait to see what gifts nature brings.

The song of the river is soothing it bubbles and gurgles suddenly out the corner of my eye I see something small and dark scurry past. There before me not at all skittish, a pair of water voles I wipe a tear of joy away. I stare and its chestnutty round face, blunt nose and small ears, pure Joy!

Water voles like to sit and eat in the same place and they start to breed in spring having three to four litters a year. I watch them dive totally unaware of me, in and out the water reeds one as a small piece of reed in its tiny paws. As quick as they appear they disappear into the river’s bank. Up through the secret meadow still too early for the wild pink orchids but the grasses and buttercups wave as I pass.

      I see a bird of prey on the old telegraph pole it is cream and white I stop and observe it sees me and takes flight, its broad wings are grey on top, pale cream to white underneath. It is a Goshawk and I know it is a male because the female are much larger. Goshawks has a scattering population across the UK the greatest numbers are in Wales and southern Scotland.

Sometime the present is a gift to unwrap and share in the arms of mother nature.

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PS. Has the world gone mad or is it me?

Sunday May 19th came back from a lovely walk refreshed and happy and decided to open a second Twitter account for the poetry event that I created and host since July 2014 called ‘Poetry open mic at the Capel’ I have had a Twitter account since April 2013. I use Twitter now and again but use it mostly to promote Poetry open mic at the Capel. I went through the normal instructions and set up Poetry open mic at the Capel then they asked the birth date of the account and I not thinking put in July 2014. Twitter immediately locked me out saying no one below the age of 13 years can have a Twitter account. I was a bit shocked to begin with because on my Twitter profile is my birth date 1 -3 – 1961 and details of me and Poetry open mic at the Capel.

Monday 20th May I acted on Twitter’s instructions to prove I am over the age of 13 and  photographed my passport with my birth date and down loaded and sent the details to Twitter.

Below  Twitters reply.

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your ID.

Our team will use the identification to verify that you met the minimum age requirement for administering your account at the time it was created. We’ll be in touch once that is complete with next steps.

As a reminder, additional requests submitted for this account will not be reviewed.

Thanks,

Twitter.

Since 20th May I have not heard and I am still locked out and I cannot access Twitter Support Team or Twitter Help page. I am beginning to think the world has gone mad, because there is enough evidence on my Twitter profile to proof I am 58 years of age and NOT five!

PS I am now back on Twitter! Yea! Back on my original account. I do like Twitter!

I have never known politics to be so bad in the UK, I recall the miners strike, The 3 day week, Poll Tax, I marched to London and shouted “Out Maggie Out”

The UK leaving Europe,  I voted to remain in Europe and I was shocked by the results. However, I accepted we were to leave Europe. Hindsight is wonderful for many to realise that they might have voted wrongly because the ‘Remain’ and the ‘Leave’ campaign both lied in their manifesto. Theresa May took the poison chalice and tried to her best for us to to leave Europe with dignity. She failed.  Today I feel the pain, anger and despair oozing out of Britain. Northern Ireland voted to ‘Remain’ so did Scotland. Those who voted to ‘Leave’ in Wales won by a small percentage, Leave 52% Remain 48% That is why a People vote is best!

Now the ‘Motley Crew’ the back stabbers, Boris Johnson who plays the court jester very well but he is nobody’s fool. Gove only cares for himself, Andrea Leadsom who said Theresa May cannot be leader because she has no children! I am no Tory I am a working class woman, a self taught published poet and this ones for you Andrea, I have no children. Jeremy Corbyn who I have met and heard his talks, to me Jeremy sits on the fence or on the edge of Anarchy. And I will say this again, I am no Tory, but we need a leader! I believe Author, MP for Penrith and The Boarder and Secretary of State Rory Stewart should be the next leader of the Conservative and Union Party. I hear people cry “We need a general election and its not fair people should have the vote!” No one voted for Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband, John Major and they all became leaders. Common sense is needed and we need to get Britain back from turning into a theme park and only open for tourism!

PS I voted Plaid Cymru in the Euro elections, will I be kicked out too? No, because I am leaving Labour to join the Woodland Trust. Mother Nature always knows best!

A small extract from a book I am working on titled.

A pair of lapwings and forest bathed 001

May is here and it has brought a north easterly wind with it. I awake to the noise not a sound, a noise from the many sparrows that are nesting in the eaves. I used to enjoy the “teacher, teacher” sound of the blue tits but for the first time in ten years the blue tits are not nesting in the tit box that is situated  on the front of our home. Reason for this the box is split and can let in predators so we need to fix the box or change it. I left the house at 7am biting north wind and ‘Jack frost’ left its Arabic art on the grass, roof and cars. I walk through Farmer Powell’s field wave to the very old beach tree whose leaves are gone from yellow to green and where the cows, calfs and bulls no longer stir when I walk through they are used to me now. On to the common where I am greeted by the cuckoo sound of the cuckoo, such a delight! I can see Corn Du, Pen Y fan and Cribyn in the distance. I am wrapped up against the wind wearing beeny, gloves, fleecy tops and good boots. Above the sky is ice blue beneath my feet the earth is arid and stinks of sheep’s urine. I walk down the graig and leave boot prints in the frost and walk the first ancient wood and where the light beams so accurately through the trees this patterns the path into crazy dazzling shapes and for company I have the dawn chorus.

Over the old Bargoed to Brecon railway line past Groesfan woods up through the second wood and where I follow a stream. Common dog Violets sprinkle in between and patches of bluebells in the shade and it is good to see the ragged robin and lady’s smock both are such pretty flowers. Breathlessly I walk up the steep path with its many wooden steps, at the top I stop and sip honey water and pull out a man size hankie and wipe my face, I prefer a man size hankie to tissues and off comes the beeny, gloves and fleecy gilet.

Past farm land and a slag heap and where I spied two lapwings courting, pure joy! Down a sunken lane that brings me to a wooded glade and I forest bath. I sit on a boulder while the surrounding sheep bleat drowning out the bird song. I ignore them and eat my English cox’s apple I am aware the sheep are protected their own but the lambs grow courage and come and watch the strange woman eating an apple, I smile and say I will leave them the apple stub, they politely move their kind heads from side to side and their button eyes sparkle where my eyes run. I hear the haunting melody of the curlew my spirit flies on the melancholy tune. I take my leave and walk up a steep path and I am now facing west and can see the north Devon Hills and the sheep shaved earth of the surrounding hills and watch the clouds shadow cast the grass and this fascinates me. I drop down and feel very cold because I sat in the wooded glade without a hat, gloves and extra clothing and my body temperature dropped and I foolishly let the cold into my bones. I put on the hat, gloves and fleecy gilet and pick up my pace. Through the third ancient wood that is quite bear and lets in more light this warms my bones, I catch the green lilac wings of the jay.

I cross the river Darran / Bargoed onto the cycling paths and where two cyclist dink their bells and I thank them. The one cyclist is Kieran from Deri, he is a mad outdoor person like me, we quickly greet each other. Into the secret meadow I spy a buzzard circling on high in the sky seeking breakfast. Lady’s Smock is everywhere such a beautiful simple flower with a lovely scent. The Orange tip butterfly caresses this flower and I do enjoy watching this butterfly. The female’s under wing is green and paisley pattern, the male is plain and whenever I see the colours of this butterfly I think of Ireland. The sun is in front of me chasing clouds and shadow dancing with the earth.

The dry stone wall is carpeted in green moss and I dig my fingers in and breathe in the musky perfume. Swifts are here along with the swallows, the gymnastic of the skies swoop to an inch of the earth, it is the flies and insects they are after. I think on the here and now and how many people actually live in the here and now? The bracken is still a question mark it will answer natures call later. I walk into many spider webs and I know from this I am the first person to walk this path this morning. I wonder are spiders webs like finger prints, unique and none are the same? A slight breeze answers “Too many questions for this time of the morning” Skylarks fill the air with their liquid sound and I bow to mother earth and give thanks.

Listening to Storytelling, Classical Music and Lambs.

Lambs and Valley walk 010

Friday 12th April. I took the train to my old town and the place of my birth Cardiff. I was attending the George Ewart Evans Center for Storytelling at University of South Wales. I have attended the storytelling centre for many years but today I was going to the “Storytelling and Environment” event that was run by Professor Joseph Sobol and Jeanette D’Arcy. I attended three events and listened to wonderful storytellers and to people who care about their environment. Also met many nationalities and it was good to see and chat with professional storyteller Cath Little.

I was also delighted to be invited by George Ewart Evans Storytelling Centre, to perform from memory my epic poem “Pits to Parks” this poem was published in “How Black was our Valley” in 2013. Back then the poem was two pages long, today it is 60 pages. However, I only performed a small extract that took 15 minutes. “Pits to Parks” is about my walks through the many country parks that are dotted about in the Darran, Rhymney and Sirhowy Valley. These park were once coal mines. I show and tell what I see, hear and smell throughout the seasons.

A line from “Pits to Parks”

“From the corner of my eye sailing on a sea of sky,

stately as a galleon the heron flew by”

Saturday 13th, I walked 6 miles through Bargoed Country Park and Gren way, named after the cartoonist Gren. On to Ystrad Mynach and to listen to classical music at the Rhymney Valley Music Club, they have been running wonderful events since 1962 and I have been going to their monthly events for the past two years. They are based at Siloh Christian Centre and sometimes Lewis Girls School. Todays event was titled “Zephyr Winds” Chris Swann, Heather Gould played clarinets and saxophones, Keelan Carew played the piano. They played pieces from Molter, Bach, Brahams, Saint Saens and others. A truly wonderful afternoon. Last month, (March) was truly exceptional the concert was titled “Beethoven in Wales” Violin and Piano Sonatas from Mary Hofman violin and Richard Ormond on piano. Every note they played my soul soared and the feeling is still with me. More information please look at http://www.rhymneyvalleymusicclub.org.uk

Sunday 14th, I walked  5 miles with a hazy lazy sun and a cold south easterly wind for company. Onto farmer Powell’s field where there were may cows, calf’s and three bulls that I gingerly walked past. To the open space beauty where the reeds danced in the breeze, wild horses and ponies were eating real grass, not old hay from the do gooders. I walked to hear the cuckoo (I saw the first swallow of the year on Monday 9th April) I heard a distress cry from a lamb, I then saw the lamb, it was stuck between a fence and dry-stone wall and Its mam was bereft. I helped the lamb to safety but when I felt the lambs heart beat in the palm of my hand I cried too, so three of us were crying. I pulled the little mite from beneath the barbed wire and gave it to its mam, lamb teated its mam. I wiped my tears and made my way towards Mardy farm. In front of me the largest waders in Europe, grey brown with darker streaks, a very long down curved beak and the bubbling sometimes hauting car – wee sound of a pair of curlews. Joy! Pure Joy! On my return journey I bumped into fellow walker Leanne and her dog Lola.

PS the cuckoo has not arrived yet.

“Joy is born in one who has delight,

the body of one who has joy is calmed,

one whose body is calmed feels ease,

and the mind of one who is at ease is contemplative”

 

 

Poems and thoughts from the walking poet

Dear reader,

Lambs and Valley walk 010.jpg

It has been a busy weekend for me. On Friday I travelled by train to Cardiff, my old town and the place of my birth. I attended the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at The University of South Wales. I have attended many Storytelling events at this very busy and knowledgable building over the years. The event was called “Storytelling and the Environment” and was organised by Professor Joseph Stobol and Jeanette D’ Arcy. I attended three events and listened to wonderful storytellers and people who care about their own environment. Also other artists, dance artists and film-makers. It was lovely to see and chat with fab storyteller, Cath Little.

Later I performed my epic poem “Pits to Parks” from memory. This poem was originally two pages long and was published in “How Black was our Valley” in 2013. “Pits to Parks” is now 60 pages. However…

View original post 519 more words

Walking over old Ground and Empty Vessels make the loudest Noise.

Monday 25th March 8am I walked the route I used for when I was  training for Hadrian’s Wall Walk. ( I walked Hadrian’s Wall alone in September 2017) A sparkling bright cold morning and for company I had a  keen north wind. I followed a flock of goldfinches such a pretty bird, I spied two buzzards. In the distance wild ponies and horses dotted about and in a nearby field ewes fat with lambs. Head down against the strong north wind and made my way down the old Deri Road, due to the narrowness of the lane the wind was quiet. I sometimes perform my poems from memory and use walking in open spaces to practise. I am delighted to be performing my epic poem titled “Pits to Parks” from memory. Exploring narrative intervention in the climate change story centre for storytellers and the environment symposium. At the George Ewart Evans Story telling centre University of Glamorgan. Friday 12th April.  My epic poem “Pits to Parks” was published in the book “Our Black was our Valley” I began to recite to the robins, blackbirds, starling and bullfinches, to the trees coming into bloom, sheep and cattle, what an audience! Past the first four farms and open fields and where I began my assent and the view on top was breathtaking, Pen Y Fan in the distance.

I dropped down into Cwm Darran Park and made my way to the other side of the Valley past the farm where they have a white peacock for a guard dog. Off came my water proof coat,hat and gloves. Through an ancient forest and where I stopped to eat an apple, apple is the finest thing you can eat when out on a long walk, so refreshing and gives good energy.

I like singing when I walk too and as I approached the right of way I began to sing  ” The Green Fields of France”  “How do you do young Willie MacBride..” When I stopped and witnessed a ewe giving birth to twins, both popped out the one was unsteady the other began to teet its mam. I knew it was not my place to help the ewe and I walked past but kept looking back. She did go to the other lamb and I smiled and carried on singing. “Did you really believe that this war would end war…”

I think on Europe. I voted to remain in Europe and I was devastated when the vote was to leave but I accepted that the majority voted to leave and that we were leaving. Both side of the remain and leave told lies and I really believe people thought we would never vote to leave but they did. We live in democracy and the people voted to leave so we should leave but here we are listening to MP’s who are supposed be there for their constituencies, fighting with each other, he said she said spilling out onto FB, twitter, nasty newspapers that I would not wipe my nose in. Turn down the noise and hear yourself think. Two things people should be aware of, we were never going to leave without a deal this was hyped up by the press and social media. Second The Conservative party’s real  title is The Conservative and Union Party, hence the DUP will always back the Tories but not this time, despite the North of Ireland voting to remain in Europe, DUP have there own agenda and there agenda is suspect. I think all this rhetoric noise and slogan speak,  in newspapers, web pages, social media, it is drowning out what is real. We all need to take stock and think of the future for the young, the two generations behind mine. I voted to remain because I am European and I do not want the UK to become the 53rd state of America. Now that would be damaging!

Past the wind turbines their moving shadow unsettled me and their whosh, whosh sound was soft but did not sound right in the environment that I was walking in. I now have the wind behind me. down over the river Darran, through my secret meadow and back on top, I walked 12 miles. I was full of life and a suntan or could be wind burn?

Later I hear the vote that was taking place in the House of Commons that evening would not binding! There you go, wasting more time, wasting words and FB, News papers, twitter making a killing! The truth is out there somewhere lost in rhetoric!

Empty vessels make the loudest noise!