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Updated: 6 days ago

The last day of January 2020 sees the return of Trade Winds, but on Zoom, which we're taking a deep breath and diving into... for now. Snowdrops are peeping out and Susan and Simon are excited to welcome poets, Edward and Sheila Aldous, Ian Chamberlain, Veronica Gosling, Jean Grimsey, Sue Proffitt, Deborah Harvey, Graham Hodgson, Alwyn Marriage, Christina Siviter plus Alice Courvoisier, Samantha Rose, storytellers, Jeff Cornish- singer songwriter, Carol Ballenger- musician to their eclectic little soiree. Our line-up is complete now... and - wow - it promises to be another wonderful session. If you'd like to go on our reserve list for the evening, please contact Susan on this link here, Also, it's good to point out that Trade Winds is always free, so do come and check it out - it's friendly informal and always fun, but you'll need to get in touch to get the Zoom link prior to the gig. Hoping to hear you, or see you then!


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I'm really honoured to have a poem about this glorious oak tree up on my poet friend, Ben Banyard's blog today... and here I am, reblogging his blogI You will see the tree welcomes every traveller who passes our way, whether to come to The Tradesmans Arms, or to take a stroll up the Abbot's Way onto the open moor, which lies just above us... sheltering us, much as this incredible oak does.

Green fingers cultivate the sky with implements of song,

in an action as deliberate as listening for water.

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The Winter Solstice is upon us!



Back in 2017 Marie Lightman and Richard Skinner put together a beautiful Winter Solstice Anthology. This moment, as the Old (and much berated) Year of 2020 catches its breath, before hurtling us forward into the light of New Year 2021, gives us a chance to reflect on the glories and challenges of this time of year, as the 21st century finally comes of age.

Here's one of Rebecca Gethin's poems from the anthology. I'm sharing this because it captures a moment of rare beauty and evokes a fine and spiritual truth. It's quite lovely when we find a poem that says something that we struggle to say ourselves... and this is what this little, but potent, poem does... it's exactly how the Solstice felt around a small bonfire by the River Dart last night, at Sharpham Meadow on a vigil with my family and our sleeping ones.

Dec 21st 2017

Robins sing a few notes in the twilight blackbirds cluck. A dark silhouette flies to the tree and swivels its head from side to side. In the distance a pheasant chirks as Venus slips out from behind a dark cloud.

We don’t know what there is to know, nor who is safe and who isn’t. Behind us the door of the year has just closed and the keyhole of the new moon is too far to reach.


Rebecca Gethin

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How do poems start as fledgings and where do they go when they fly the nest?

La Loba

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Trade Winds

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Bring flowers on this winter night

where all the garden sleeps

                                beneath its leaves

I ache for the sweet of petal...