Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Friday, 29 August 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- Autumn is on its way

I have been reading pdf poetry proofs for the Autumn Issue of The Linnet's Wings and it's coming along nicely. I am so pleased with the poetry selection I have been able to put together. Thank you to Marie Fitzpatrick and Bill West for allowing me that and to all the poets who sent work too.That comes out in late September.

Next week prepare for my story BLIZZARD on BwS. Maybe you'd like to answer the Challenge Q about it -- interesting question, Don! I'll put links up on my blogs and FB/ Twitter etc...
I'll also be in the next issue of A New Ulster with a few poems. 

In the meantime my favourite garden at Belsay is making Autumn preparations of its own with
 Autumn Crocuses 
Gunneras drooping
and a distinct change to foliage

But Belsay is ALWAYS beautiful to me.

And Autumn is my favourite time of year. Only this year I am having a little trouble convincing myself of that. Perhaps it is because, at 60 I feel I am entering it myself and I am beginning to feel an affinity -- a little creaky and lacking in colour too. 

I have often noted how children love Winter ice and snow, the brisk cold and the thought of Santa Claus, whilst old folk want the Summer sunshine, the light nights. I feel I may be moving towards a preference for Spring. And maybe that is a natural progression -- to every age a season.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- Apples

I am thinking of buying an apple tree. I have never grown fruit and I only have room for one so it will have to be a self fruiting variety and preferably one with good flavour. Some research is indicated.

The simple truth is that although there are many varieties of apples, our choices are dictated by supermarkets and their obsession with size and colour and price, the biggest growers, probably even some daft EU regulations I don't know about and frankly I don't want to know -- anything but flavour.

I went to a local greengrocer's this week and bought four different varieties, two of each so that I could compare and really people do not know what they are missing -- buying the ubiquitous brands -- no bite, no crunch, no taste! No temptation ;)

Do yourself a flavour! Buy some REAL apples this week. Buy several types and put your tastebuds to the test. Maybe if we all stop buying the crap they choose to sell, the supermarkets would be forced to  
support LOCAL orchards.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Thought for Friday -- Be Human

THOUGHT FOR ROBIN: (please do read this link)

Several stars have died recently, people whose work I enjoyed, who in some way enriched my life or entertained me. Some burned out, some imploded:

Phillip Seymour Hoffman -- he stole every scene he was in.
Harold Ramis -- Writer, Actor, Producer and it's hard to imagine not seeing another Ramis film again.
Maya Angelou -- such wisdom and depth and word-craft. Inspiring.
James Garner -- Maverick to President Matt Douglas -- I think I loved him my whole life.
Robin Williams -- at his most serious when he was being at his most funny -- humour is a serious business -- like poetry is a funny old occupation.
Lauren Bacall -- her beauty never faded -- it came from inside! She was elegance to the last bubble..

to name but a few... But people we admire afar are never what they seem. We live in an age where the cult of celebrity is writ large by easy access. But easy access is a little like fast food. You can eat it but it willl not necessarily sustain you and it is definitely not good for you. People are meant to be savoured. Friendships are meant to be nurtured. This is why I go to places when I can, to meet people who have in some way become significant to me on the internet. I have made true friends that way. To make real friends you have to take a risk. Look their flaws right in the eye and let them look right back at yours. 

Be human. Forget your Facebook persona and your Twitter feed and who looks at your blog and who doesn't and masturbating your ego. Forget yourself! Being human is about communication and passion and understanding -- real contact.

People should take effort. There is meant to be depth. How can you really admire someone you don't even know? We are all human (except for that one person in Life of Brian) ;) of course.
Remember that when when you worry about life's petty annoyances -- they get to us all but this time -- go and meet up with a friend!

But also remember that while all this seems to touch a lot of people, there are adults and children dying of war, starvation, avoidable diseases, abuse, neglect and yes -- suicide because they can't find a way to go on. There are HUMAN issues to be addressed -- and we need to keep that celeb cult well in perspective.

As for stars -- they don't care!

Stars are huge and far away

Balls of gas glow to infinity

No penalty for shining bright

No medal for movement

No stasis really possible

But death.

Perpetual as grief they burn

Scorn our lofty goals

Fry our puny nets

On our rotisserie


Oonah V Joslin 2014 


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- Recipe for Peace

Last weekend I had a the great honour to meet poet, Colin Will and be shown round Dunbar in Scotland. Why oh why had I never been there before? Well I tend to go to people not places and before I knew Colin I knew noone in Dunbar. 
Colin and I shared some poetry on that occasion sitting in a WWI exhibition and later discussed how these connections between people are so important in mutual understanding and how children should be taught the lessons of peace. Thanks Colin.

That Day in Dunbar

On the anniversary
of the beginning of
the first  world war
I shared poetry
in Dunbar
with a man of peace
on a peaceful shore
and thought how lucky
placed in time we are.

Still we export arms to kill
with futuristic efficiency
undiscriminating far
and wide the lens
lies hidden and politicians
spin their truth only
death wins the day
and money drowns
children’s cries.

By Oonah Joslin 2014