Recorded on a early spring day in my house, this poem of a deep summer in ancient Mespotamia is in the voice of Inanna, Lady of Heaven, on her bridal night. The original text on a clay tablet comes in many versions, but rather randomly, I have lost the version that inspired this poem of mine. It was racy, as many versions are. A measuring jug of honey was a feature in the text, but I believe it was me who brought in her bees!
The story behind 'Grandmother's Advice to Little Red' is that, during a collaboration with the performance group Bone Song, the director Jade Moon asked me if I would write a poem in the voice of Red Riding Hood's grandmother - one which would advise Red on her life's path. This poem was an honour to write, as all good commissions should be!
La Loba Speaks for Wolf, another poem inspired by my work with Bone Song, the Totnes performance group. La Loba is the character from Pinkola Estes' book 'Women Who Run With the Wolves', who captured my imagination -- tooth, claw and pelt. This final poem from my solo show, 'La Loba Enchanting the Wild' is ready to run as soon as the current pestilence eases off.
Rose Rent has a long, slightly chequered history. Written when I showed my new boyfriend around the fields of my farm, it became the title poem of my fourth collection, edited by Carol Ann Duffy and published by Turret Books. The books were lost for years - but, fortunately, in 2019, they turned up in an American book collector's hoard, so I have them to sell again!
This poem came to me all at once when I caught site of the fabulous work of Johannes Stoetter, fine art body painter. However the title has gone through various permutations, as some titles do. It really should be called 'Paint Me', I think. It's an unusual poem in celebration of the animal world and the human body at the same time. Here's the link to Johannes' work - Enjoy! https://www.johannesstoetterart.com/
This is the first video of me performing that I have. It was taken at an Apples and Snakes 'Forked' evening in the B-Bar at Plymouth. My poem is an elegy for Mike Edwards, a musician friend, who used to visit our Trade Winds pub sessions and play extraordinary improvised cello pieces. The music in this piece is a recording of Mike's playing.