Tag Archives: meditation

Some Things You Might Like To Know About

Tonight we’re having our very first podcast discussion group Listening to the Climate. Everyone is very welcome to come along. We’ll be reading and discussing the poems in my podcast series In Our Element – a poet’s inquiry into climate change. The introduction in the first episode includes Jorie Graham’s Why and my sestina, Elementary. You can listen again to the podcasts here and also find transcripts of the poems and the conversations.

If you’re interested in the discussion group (which I envisage as a sort of book group for the ears), you can register for a free place via Eventbrite. Look forward to seeing those of you who can make it at 6 – 7.30pm (Tuesday 8th February 2022). We’ll be meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at the same time, talking about each subsequent episode and the poems therein. I also hope people might point us all in the direction of climate and ecology related podcasts they’ve found interesting or helpful.

Our monthly Writing Hour will continue – on the last Tuesday of each month, between 1 and 2pm. All are welcome for a dedicated session of shared writing time. These seem to have become inspiring touchstones for a lot of people – in this country and all over the world. The next one coming up is on Tuesday 22nd February 1 – 2 pm.

Tomorrow night at 7pm (Wednesday 9th February) you have a chance to join the online launch of Candlestick Press’s new pamphletsTen Poems about History and Ten Poems about Roses. The event will be hosted by the Lit & Phil and readers include Sean O’Brien, David Constantine, Catriona O’Reilly, Kathy Towers, Tamar Yoseloff and myself. There’s also an open mike slot. You can find more details and book your free place here.

Next week I’ll be reading some poems at the Sonic Valentine gathering at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham 12 – 1.30 pm (Monday 14th February). Expect gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, music and poetry. A drop-in sound lounge for the healing of the world. See you there!

I’m a little late posting these various news items – lots of things suddenly emerging after the quiet dark of winter. Already nearly two hours more daylight since the Winter Solstice. And more to come.

May your sap gently rise.



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Rain Watch

My time at Harnham was bookended with rain.  So much fell at the beginning of the week that the hill was cut off from all directions and the retreat cooks couldn’t get through to make our dinner!  With nothing else to think about and against the background of our shared silence, the experience of the rain was much more intense than usual – hearing it, seeing it, getting soaked in it whilst out doing our walking meditation.  Everything was very visibly moving and changing – a great teaching.

The burn where I walk was so swollen later in the week you could see whole chunks of earth had been worn away by the current.  It felt like a relief when the rain stopped, as if we could all emerge into a place of greater equilibrium, less braced against the elements.

Driving home I passed lots of temporary flood signs on the road and realised that the rain must have caused lots of problems, most of which we’d been oblivious to in our small sanctuary, the monastery like an ark stranded on the hill top.  At the weekend it was reported that around 300 homes were flooded in Yorkshire and the North East in the worst autumn storms in three decades.

Not yet having become Buddha

this ancient pine tree


 Issa (1763-1827)

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