Wednesday, 22 December 2010

10 days. Fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.

And the snow continues.

Walking on the white Malvern hills a few weeks ago, we were struck by the stark beauty of a crowd of skeleton rosebay willow herb plants (Kaspa took this photo).

Writing small stones is a bit like taking a photo. When you carry a camera, you are also carrying a particular 'way of looking'. Would this work? Which angle would I approach it from? How does that colour look against the sky?

When we are carrying a notebook, we are trying to open all of our senses at once - to be open to receive whatever is before us. Fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor. Denise Levertov speaks about this 'way of being' in her poem, below.

We're not going anywhere today. You can only see the very tops of the wheels of my red Fiat 500, Rosie - and even if we dug her out she's not very good in the snow. I'm staying by the fireside with my cats and laptop and earl grey. And my notebook. And my small-stone-seeking eyes/tongue/ears/nose/fingers.


Looking, Walking, Being

"The World is not something to
look at, it is something to be in."
Mark Rudman

I look and look.
Looking's a way of being: one becomes,
sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.
Walking wherever looking takes one.

The eyes
dig and burrow into the world.
They touch
fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.
World and the past of it,
not only
visible present, solid and shadow
that looks at one looking.

And language? Rhythms
of echo and interruption?
a way of breathing.

breathing to sustain
walking and looking,
through the world,
in it.

Denise Levertov


  1. What a lovely image. To pause either because our cars are buried or our children still sleep or it rains or we have a cast on or by choice to simply be still and BE. I will join your River of Stones project. Thank you, Fiona. Merry Christmas.

  2. beautiful! love every inch of it! i'm so happy i found you :)

  3. Lisa - a very merry Christmas to you too. And Sami - glad you found us!

  4. I love Denise Levertov. What a lovely choice of poems for this morning.


  5. So glad you enjoyed it Julie!