Four More In Morphrog

Morphrog 13the online extra of the Jeremy page’s Frogmore Press, has published four more of my poems. They are:

This Mermaid 

Dear Spider

Answering the Ghost

Oystercatcher

I’ve read them them on ‘Spot the Dog’ Wednesdays in Wadebridge, but now you can see them as well. The link above is to the Morphrog title page, where you have to link through to all contributions and select Diana Reed. If you’d rather go straight to my work, it’s here.

If you like these pieces and haven’t seen my other published work, check out PS* Poems, posted below.

PS* Poems (*published somewhere)

I’m still not a proper blogger – but using this space is a way to make some of my work available to anyone who might be interested in it. Specifically, right now, a chapbook of poems which have all been ‘published somewhere’ in the last two or three years, but beyond that have no further currency.

PS* Poems

PS* Poems (‘Published Somewhere’)

 

The picture above shows what it looks like if you are take the third of the three options below:

1. You can read PS (published somewhere) poems here, and download it as a straightforward PDF, but this is not designed for printing out.

2. I’ve created an epub file which should be available here   (i.e. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzz52lTbX9IKdzFOa0NEb2JoNzQ/view?usp=sharing on Googledrive) You can then download the file, which is named PS (Published Somewhere) Poems.epub,  onto a computer or other device with an e-reader e.g. ibooks.

If this for any reason proves problematic but you’d like a copy anyway, please email me on my main address, which you may have already, or on smithspaceinfo{at}gmail.com , replacing the [at} with @

3. 'Print your own'. It takes 5 A4 sheets, and looks prettiest if the top one is a different colour.

Don't worry that when you open the files they start with blank pages - these are the inside front and back pages of the chapbook.

Print the following file SETTING YOUR PRINTER ON TWO PAGES PER SHEET, with the coloured sheet first. This will be the back of the cover. The last sheet printed will be the centre spread, pages 8 and 9      PSpoemsDIYpamphlet1

Take the printed pile and now print the following file on the back, AGAIN SETTING THE PRINTER TO TWO PAGES PER SHEET, with the colour sheet first. This will be the front cover, and the last sheet printed will be pages 7 and 10  PSpoemsDIYpamphletA

If your printer works like mine, you have a stack of 5 sheets that are in the right order simply to fold in half and staple, sew, or hole-punch and thread with ribbon.

You'll notice I've done my best to disable the comments facility  here, which was attracting spam, but civilised  comment or requests for files can be sent, as said, to my normal email address or to smithspaceinfo[at]gmail.com, replacing [at] with @.

 

 

The Blog Stops Here

Well, to be honest, blogging stopped last spring. Lots has happened. and you can read about some of what we’ve been doing over the last year in Kevin’s blog, Broad Thoughts from Home, at http://kevjsmith.co.uk.

Sadly, I’ve discovered I’m not really a blogger. My political ‘My Councillor’ website was a pleasure to write because I had something to report back to the residents I represented. But I’m squeamish when it comes to writing directly about my own life, and feel my political opinions would be more likely to be read elsewhere.

I have been writing – and my poem ‘Eleanor’ was in the Exeter-based ‘Broadsheet’ recently, and some of my work is in Morphrog 8 at http://www.morphrog.com

Although this website it not currently active, I’m keeping it here in the hope of coming back to it with positive news and links to my work.

Thoughts on … Gardens and Writing

 

plantswithgnome

Gardens

My contribution to the garden this year is putting in bedding plants. I’ve never done bedding plants before. (£5 for 40 at Tesco.)  I am not a natural gardener.

But I like seeing other people’s gardens. Big ones, at National Trust properties and such like. Smaller ones, made with care or flair or simply how the owner likes it. Individual gardens. Gardens where weeds/meadowflowers are welcomed as friends.

It took me a few years of living in suburbia to be hit by the realisation that it doesn’t matter whether one garden is bigger, more colourful, more weed free, more carefully planned and worked on than another. Whatever your criteria, Garden A being better than Garden B should not detract from Garden B.  Every individual statement adds.

As my wise daughter likes to say, ‘it’s all good’. On a fine day, looking at other people’s gardens can turn trudging round delivering political leaflets into an aesthetically positive experience.

Writing

Once upon a time I thought I would grow up to write books that lots of people would want to read.*

Although Kevin is still waiting for the best-seller that will make us rich, it is fortunate he did not rely on my income as an author in steering the Smith Family Fortunes. (Marry your accountant is practical advice for the freelance writer, even if you keep him underemployed so that he/she keeps the day job, and you.)

But if I had done nothing more than tell stories with my own children, which involved them imaginatively and passed tedious long journeys or waits in a doctor’s surgery, that would be good. More widely, poetry and stories shared with others so that they became written for that group – along with listening and giving an audience for their work – all good.

This probably sounds trite, over-pious, or obvious, depending on your point of view. But my point of view was at least partly changed by appreciating other people’s gardens.

(*nb to any random publisher miraculously viewing this website, dreams shrink with age  but refuse to die. I have manuscripts, and there will be more work here Real Soon Now … )

 

 

 

 

Wind Power – UKIP is consistently objectionable

I have another issue on which to disagree with UKIP’s Nigel Farage. Wind turbines. He doesn’t like them and doesn’t want them on land in the UK.

But they’re objects of both beauty and utility. When I look out of my bedroom window in the morning, the turbines of the Delabole WInd Farm on the horizon stand white giving perspective and interest to the ridge. If they’re cloaked by rain, we miss them.

When I get a good enough photograph of my own to show their beauty, I’ll put it in. Meanwhile, look at the Good Energy website here.

I’ll concede that there can make some noise, just as roads and aeroplanes do. It might not be fair to build them too close to existing houses. But to ban them because some people don’t like the look of them is absurd. De gustibus non disputandum. I personally think a group of wind turbines along, for example, the Hog’s Back in Surrey would enhance the view.

UKIPs big idea is to somehow undo the political changes made since we voted two to one in the 1975 referendum that decided we would enter a community whose goals were clearly states as being to allow free movement of resources, including labour, within the member states. This had enormous economic, social, and political implications, but people then were idealistic enough to vote two to one for in favour of joining.

For the record, in 1975 I voted against.  But we – the electorate as a whole – made the decision.

Nearly forty years on, there’s no way to unscramble that omelette. It would be disastrous for the United Kingdom to try. We are poorer in relation to other countries now than we were in 1975 because the world does not owe us a living. We need free trade, and cutting ourselves off from Europe now would be a disaster for the ordinary people of this country.

 

 

 

May Day

‘Unite and unite and let us all unite,
  

For summer is acome unto day’

That’s a snatch of what they’ve been singing down the way from us at Padstow today. It’s proper May Day, not the bank holiday tagged onto next weekend by politicians keen to turn it into a deracinated ‘Spring Bank Holiday’.  Here and now in Cornwall, it’s summer – blue sky, and flowers in bloom.

AprilflowersIMG00127-20130430-1532

 

This is my last day as a County Councillor. Up country, my Liberal Democrat colleagues are still fighting the Conservatives to hold their seats and increase our numbers on Surrey County Council. It’s tough being an opposition minority in a solidly Conservative area.

In Surrey, Liberal Democrats are the main opposition to Conservatives at the local level. Never mind any Westminster coalition; it doesn’t bind Councillors. And opposition is needed. You can’t say Eric Pickles has done local authority services any good, not even in Surrey, which has been favoured by comparison with other areas.

Surrey Conservatism is damagingly entrenched. I don’t know anyone who does smug condescension as thoroughly as certain leading Surrey Conservative County Councillors. They also do waste, secrecy, and inefficiency. One of the mysteries of life is why a number of nice, well-meaning, apparently intelligent people consent to fill up their back-benches. Opposition is needed.

My postal vote has gone in. I’ll be wishing tomorrow for many more people in Knaphill, Goldsworth Park, Horsell, and Woking South to vote Liberal Democrat with me.

It looks like being fine weather again. But that doesn’t mean a lot. A beautiful day can be a bad day. I hope we at least hold on to seats, across Surrey and in Woking. It’ll be a bad day if there’s no one to speak up for residents and for local services against a massive Conservative majority.