Poem: Beauty in Brown

Beauty in brown.
A trickle of treacle
Warm chestnuts in cold hands
Toasted bread and bubbling cheese,
two rounds please.
Rough walnut shells and wet earth smells.
Coffee ground from beans
means time to sit down , feet up
book open and flick through the pages
for ages.
Glossy conkers peeping up to me
through crunchy Autumn leaves.
Sparrows shouting from my roof.
The clopping hooves of a shaggy Shire,
Logs waiting for a fire
or a carving that makes a floor full of shavings,
or back to the start as a gnarled oak tree
with acorn cups for a fairy or three.
To scribble with ink of many shades
but always back to brown on a thick cream page.

© Swarms Me 2017


Blog: Breathing

I’ve been thinking a bit lately. I love this blog, I love sharing my work and Bee’s work. I enjoy having a little ramble too. I did notice lately that I was getting a bit caught up with the perceived need to post a lot on a constant basis. I find myself down the rabbit hole of reading other blogs which then leads to reading another blog and so on and so forth which means I’m not actually doing anything at all.Now don’t get me wrong, I love reading other blogs. The fact there’s a place for your mind to splurge a bit is wonderful. I smile and laugh and am moved by many posts.

I post my part of the blog because it makes me happy and I want to share. What I needed to remind myself is that the point is not to focus on a bulk of content, getting swept up with a dozen different things, checking statistics and all that goes with it. The point is for me to be happy with what I post, that it has meaning to me. It doesn’t always have to be in the good category it can be in the learning category. But I must remember that is has to have some level of meaning.

It has to be like breathing.

Blog: New ink and video plans

So I’ve got over myself slightly today after having a wobbly week in part from having a serious talk with myself and some really constructive comments from people here. Now some things to look forward to.

Number 1. I have a plan in place to make some more videos for YouTube which I have wanted to do for some time but although I organise so many things at work, typically when I get home it all goes woolly. I bought a selfie stick for my phone so I can construct a setup over my desk and I found out a clamp from the workshop to clamp it on the shelf. I use my phone as it has the best resolution and I’m not spending a fortune on a camera that I can’t justify. That is a little embarrassing now I’ve just typed those words….is that all I really needed to do? Jeepers!

moving quickly on…

Number 2. I have some new ink! It was a Chritsmas gift and I haven’t tried it out yet but I am going to try it out today. This is mainly thanks to Jeannette at mylittleworld.ca who has recently been posting about some gorgeous new paints she has, which I personally find very exciting. The texture, transparency, flow etc. etc. yum. Anyway stop drooling over paint and get back to ink.
There’s a bloody brilliant shop in Shrewsbury called write here that is all things to pen and ink. The ink itself is iroshizuku (by Pilot) and the color is yama-guri which is supposed to reflect the wild chestnut and I suppose is a little similar to raw umber. I’ve just had a quick search and found this super page onfountainpens.com and it has a whole host of background and tests of the inks. I’ll be back there later to have a proper nose around.

If you’re expecting  a super thoughtful conclusion to this post you’ll be sadly mistaken. My real life stories are rubbish as are my jokes, which I don’t tell as I have abysmal comedy timing. I’m a rambler and that’s the way I’ll stay. Anyway I have to go and test my ink.

Swarms Me.

Friday Fictioneers: The Palace of Ten Thousand Arches.

Photo prompt ©Dale Rogerson

The Palace of Ten Thousand Arches and each arch has a tale to tell. Over there is where the first usurper uttered his embryonic plot. Behind us is where the handmaid became a mother and later gutted the man who forced motherhood on her.

At this moment, by the arch right in front of us, His Most Exalted feels like he will marry the handmaiden’s child at 18. He will ask the crone and she will tell him to proceed but give him portents that she knows he will not heed. Her need for justice and revenge will be satisfied.

©Swarms Me 2017

(100 words)

Do you know what I really don’t know if I’m happy with this at all and I really struggled this week. Maybe I’ve had a bad week in general and it’s not even Friday anymore but I’m posting it as a lesson to myself. I think as it reminds me so much as the setting for a place that I have in mind for another story it wouldn’t get out of my head for this prompt.

As always (twice now) thank-you to Rochelle for choosing and pushing us with these prompts. There have been so many great pieces this week and I am only a third of the way through them.

Poem: The hare’s field.

My immortal eyes,

across pastures glide

Beyond the crow cloaked oak

and woodfire smoke.

To hear the small dryw cry

For the White Hart’s rise.

Swarms Me ©2016

In March of 2016 we went on a short trip to Llandygwydd, Cardiganshire, Wales where we met local artist, David Beattie. You can see his works on his Facebook page here. David kindly opened up his studio to let us have a look round. It was a veritable cornucopia for the eyes and mind, every available surface was covered in his work and works in progress. He was very welcoming and happy to talk about his work, processes and research, he has a true artist’s character.

He was, at that time working on a number of pieces for his university portfolio and hares feature very strongly in his work. So the combination of this, the surroundings and long walks and the natural inspiration of Wales led to this poem.


We had so much fun this afternoon/evening at the wassailing event. We met up with some old friends and laughed and talked, drank hot chocolate and mulled apple juice. There was singing of the wassailing song, it was the Christian version which was a bit of a shame purely due to the fact that this dates before Christianity (the event taken over by the religion). The Morris Dancers were lovely and the ‘play’ was a lot of fun and finally we all meandered down to the orchard. Adults and children alike sang and beat the trees with small sticks, stuck bread on branches and poured apple juice and cider on to the roots. We rattled tambourines and beat the bodhrán. We held our lanterns high to wake the trees and scare any evil spirits at the same time. We called out for a good harvest.

It was an earthy, unpretentious event with good friends and I loved every minute of it.


Haiku: Wassail

Tomorrow we’re going wassailing. I’m very excited, it is something I’ve wanted to do for ages to brighten up this otherwise grey and miserable time of year.

For anyone who doesn’t know wassailing is most likely Anglo-Saxon in origin and you’ll find it happening in fruit growing areas around early to mid-January, depending on what calendar you are following. The point is to make sure the coming year’s harvest is a good and fruitful one. The wassail queen places cider soaked bread on to branches of a chosen tree and everyone sings, cider is also poured on the roots. Then everyone goes round all the trees banging and shouting to wake the trees up and chase off any evil spirits that lurk and would otherwise do harm to the trees. Exciting eh!?

Well with this coming up and me having a right old ponder this morning about getting some YouTube videos sorted out and I thought about doing a haiku a day. As the day goes on my brain ticks and whirrs…I shouldn’t pay it any attention half the time. Anyway I ended up with what will come in a moment. I feel like I’m jabbering and would normally like to keep my posts a bit shorter than this. It’s no a proper haiku, the only elements are the syllables and it is seriously lacking in sabi and wabi. I’ve kind of merged it with an old English folk song style due to the subject matter…I’ll shut up now, meditate on succinctness and you can actually read it.

Haiku: Wassail

Shout and bang and sing
with the wassail queen and king.
Ripe hopes, this year bring.

© Swarms Me 2017