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Beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field. I will meet you there. Jalaluddin Rumi

I had a favourite t shirt with this Rumi quote printed on it. This was one of my favourite garments and I wore it until the letters faded so much they were indecipherable and my shirt was raggedy. Here's my poem, 'The Four Fields', which I wrote on a day of trial and tribulation.

The Four Fields

On a spring evening I find four fields in my heart. I walk into the first field

it is called Jeopardy. Then I walk on into a field of sadness.

This one draws me across in an irrevocable line into the third

where the sun is setting. A voice in here says this is The End.

But I see a fourth gate wide open with you standing beside it.

This is the field beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing where we meet.

There are two reasons I'm prompted to write a post about this poem. The first is that it has just appeared as an Easter guest poem on the Acumen poetry website. This is a considerable honour.

The second reason is because it was almost accepted, previously, by another magazine editor, but that time I was asked to say something about what's behind the poem's mystery. This I decided not to do, so no publication happened for it that day.

Needless to say, I wasn't asked to explain the poem by Patricia Oxley, Acumen's sensitive and perceptive editor. However, .I wonder if people do find this one too mysterious and, also, if I can I rise to the challenge of saying at least a little about it? It may be useful to bear in mind, when reading this poem, that we do all have four fields, or chambers, within the heart and that in some very challenging time, we may need to encounter our deepest emotions in a stage by stage process. On the occasion of this poem, I found it useful to consider my changing approach to a thorny dilemma as journeying through these different parts of my heart and, consequently, give myself time and space to consider the full weight of the situation I was in. This is one of those unusual poems that came complete in its first draft. It never demanded any word to be altered, or any phrase to be rephrased. On the simplicity of its surface, it's literally an accurate poem, about walking (albeit trespassing) across four of the beautiful meadows which surround my home. This isn't my usual practise, but this was no ordinary day and I was in the mood for a transgression of sorts. We all have those days when we just need to get out of the house and walk somewhere absolutely peaceful. We are very lucky if Rumi happens to be about out there to step into the heart, hence, into the final three lines of a poem!

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Back in 2014 I was writing poems about some of the more spooky nebulae , such as The Witches Broom and The Flaming Skull, for Hallowe'en. It really happened that as I was researching the details about this amazing flaming skull image on the NASA site, the news of Virgin Galactic's SpaceshipTwo crash dropped into the dialogue box on the right hand side of my screen.

I'm sad to say, one of the two pilots on board was killed in this accident, but the other pilot managed to eject and survived. Needless to say, I was shaken by the coincidence, but decided I wanted to touch on the tragedy in my poem. Consilience Journal has published this poem, From the Flaming Skull Nebula in their new Geoscience issue, online now at:

I'm very taken with this refreshing journal, which is run by a team of editors, who work hard to explore the boundaries between poetry and science. They make themselves available to offer constructive criticism on poems they feel fit within their remit and, in my experience, it makes for an interesting dialogue to work with them.

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Updated: Feb 19, 2021

This is Susan and Simon's second Trade Winds Zoom and it's looking like another brilliant line-up. All slots are taken now. Numbers of acts are limited, as it's good to give everyone a chance to shine with more than one poem or song (unless they have an epic poem or lengthy ballad to deliver!) Stories and prose are featured, too. Trade Winds is a tapestry of different talents -- that's the style of it. We aim to have a special feature each time, if we can. This month we'll be putting the spotlight on Haiflu, the haiku project which records the pandemic lockdown in the most sparkling and original films imaginable. Liv Torc, performance poet and inventor of the project will join us to tell us a little more about the development of the haiflu. Liv continues to make her heart-melting weekly films, as we're still stuck in lockdown, so the good news is... everyone can join in! Here's a link to explain how - Haiflu. Eight local haiflu poets will be on hand to deliver you their crystal-cut haiflu gems! This is a free non ticketed event - do come along and see what's afoot on the edge of the Moor on the last day of February. You can message Susan by clicking here to get the Zoom link. Here's the who's who of who's on Haiflu (& other poems, songs etc.) from

Rosie Barrett

Albi Bruce

Virginia Griem

Harula Ladd

Alwyn Marriage Simon Williams Susan Taylor

& our other guests : Edward Aldous Ruth Butler Ian Chamberlain Jeff Cornish Lucia Daramus Shane Edgar Pam Sandry Gorman Susan Jordan Jenny Moon Sam Richards Samantha Rose

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

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