Final July #TreeSquare Challenge

Self has had so much fun this month, posting pictures of trees. Thank you to Becky at Life of B for hosting this challenge!

On this last day, she will return to Annaghmakerrig Lake in Ireland, which is beautiful in all seasons.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

July #TreeSquare Challenge #7: Annaghmakerrig

Beginning in 2014, I spent part of every year in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

How lucky I was to have this peaceful, beautiful place in which to write and feel my spirit nourished. There is a stillness to the lake, and to the surroundings. It’s like a clear glass bowl has been inverted over the landscape, cutting (dampening?) all sound.

Was supposed to return in 2020, but COVID.

This is Annaghmakerrig Lake. Thanks so much to Becky of The Life of B for hosting this challenge.

Poetry Friday: Melanie Almeder

Self likes to quote this poem every now and then. She used to think Almeder was Irish (because she first encountered this poem at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig), but she isn’t. She’s American.

MOCK ORANGE, An Excerpt

Everything on the tongue goes stunned bird.
Long past the hissy-fit thralls of April,
rashes of phlox, purple-thistle snowing a little.
And then, like too much love,
there was altogether too much gardenia
in the huddled yards. The heat in a flick of wind
picked itself up and dragged off,
old dog, into the damp cane fields, bee drone,
sighing, sighing of highway, hawks’ cries.

Poetry Wednesday: Csilla Toldy

Because it is Saint Patrick’s Day, the poet is from NI: Csilla Toldy came over from Hungary, when there was still a Wall. We met in 2014, at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. The picture is of the lake.

Csilla was kind enough to allow me to post the whole poem. It’s from her collection Red Roots – Orange Sky (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2013)

Love in Paris

Arriving late at the wrong address
a stranger in the street,
Ali, offered her a bed. He lovingly
treated her wounded knee —
that she had fallen on
when searching the sky for the guiding star
at the green borders to Italy.

Her nerves frazzled
by the long march through the Alps
on pills of caffeine and amphetamine,
taken by the echoes of her throbbing heart
when face-searched
and feeling so lucky for not looking like any
one of the Red Brigade.

So grateful for a clean sheet
after a week in ditches with crows and crickets,
yet fearing horror dreams of her misconceptions
she fell into a black hole
to be woken up by sunlight
glinting on a tray of golden croissants
brought up by Ali.

Recently, Csilla has been focusing on films.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sunday Stills Photography Challenge: Your Best Black and White

Love discovering new photo challenges.

This one was particularly intriguing: the Sunday Stills Photography Challenge. Your Best Black-and-White Photos.

Self went searching through her archives and found a few that were not intentionally “black-and-white” but became so because of the shooting conditions — in most cases, gloomy weather.

Two of the pictures were taken on Caltrain headed north to San Francisco, one was taken on the train from London to Manchester, and the last picture was taken inside her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

#amwriting Dystopia

DOWN

We’re going to the sea. We’re going under.

When?

Today.

Just like that.

Yes.

We don’t have maps.

We don’t need maps. There’s only one way to go, and that’s down.

“Spores” Again

In P-1, the teachers tell, Heaven is up a winding stair. Hell is like falling off the Whitecliffs — down and down and down and down. Limbo is — somewhere between. Those lessons always give me the frights.

Self’s first Tyrone Guthrie Centre story. Written 2014, Annaghmakerrig and Dublin.

“Spores” (decomP magazinE)

Thank you, decomP! Self’s first Tyrone Guthrie story. All voice.

  • Humans are a small and fragile species. But we have the distinction of breeding almost as quickly as microbes. Sex is soporific and palliative. No one would attach a pejorative such as “meaningless” to any form of sexual activity. We’re all encouraged to do it as much as possible, as late as possible. Grandmothers in their sixties do it, as well as children as young as eleven or twelve. It’s considered a patriotic activity.

Where Self Dreams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week: WINDOWS AND DOORS

Self-explanatory.

  • The house in California. Oh, her garden is wild.
  • Skylight, Oxford, UK: She wakes beneath this every morning that she is in Oxford. In November, the skies were astonishingly clear.
  • Cottage # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: She does all her writing at this table.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 116: SYMMETRY

P. A. Moed explains the reasoning behind this week’s Challenge:

  • Architects in ancient lands, like Greece, Rome, China, and Egypt, experimented with form and balance.  They discovered that the human eye likes patterns and architectural features that are symmetrical.  That’s why a row of pillars or arches is pleasing to the eye.

In January, self canvassed South San Francisco and Millbrae for Elizabeth Warren. This was the canvassers’ meeting place, in South San Francisco. She chose this picture because of the enthusiasm for Warren, and the two armchairs.

Stumbled on this sculpture on London’s Canary Wharf, last November. Very “Handmaid’s Tale”!!!

Finally, trees of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. It was October.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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