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Showing posts from July, 2019

A POEM A DAY - SHADES OF BERRY

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On the last day of July the woods had an autumnal feel this morning. It was unusually cloudy and the drying grass and fading flowers added to the mood of changing seasons. After nearly 30 years away I can not remember when blackberries ripen in England but seeing them glossing from red to black reminded me of autumn in Warwickshire.  

© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - SWIRLS OF IRON

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During my time as a Councillor, the Town Hall commissioned various railings from our local iron workers 'Ferrers de Parcent'. This urban art was the vision of our Councillor for Culture, Beatriz Riera, whose creative ideas combining traditional materials with modern flair have left a lasting legacy in the village. 

© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - ANGEL'S WING

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This feather caught my eye as it's whiteness shone amongst the dry vegetation. It was spiked on the tall grass stem and appeared to be floating in the air.

A POEM A DAY - CAMOUFLAGE

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One of the pleasures of my 'A POEM A DAY' project has been how it has made me concentrate on my walks. I am now looking more closely at the natural world, spotting insects and plants in all their growth stages in a way I didn't before. Previously I would chose and image to accompany a poem, now I am thinking of the words and image together. 



© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - UNDER OAK

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After last night's unexpected rain which steamed from the village streets, the air felt refreshed as I set out to walk.  By 8am the sun was already too hot for comfort and I welcomed the shade of the oak grove and my seat on the stone wall.  



© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - SPUTNIKS

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With the need to keep as active as possible despite the heat and humidity, I am enjoying more gentle walks in the hills. I am amazed by the continually changing variety of plant life, flowers blooming and being replaced by something new. These odd thistle type plants were spreading along the dust paths and I need to return to see if the green flowers will be painted in colour. 



© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - TRACKS

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On the dusty trail through pines near my village I noticed a deep marked bird track in the dry mud where the road widened to turn a corner.  Looking around we spotted prints of boar, fox and two different slithery snake marks. It seemed like the creatures were dancing under the crescent moon. 





© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - MISTY MORNING

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As summer reaches its peak it is too hot to do much after 9 in the morning. In a culture where the world comes to life when the sun drops and it starts to cool, it is hard to sleep before the early hours of morning and hard to wake to walk before the heat. Being in the cool of the trees before the sun burns off the mist, soaking up the green, is definitely worth the later tiredness and we always have the option to 'siesta'.

A POEM A DAY - STONE TEETH

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I came across this dinosaur snarl on a deserted trail in the hills. I do understand the environmental importance of leaving no trace and the blight of stone stacking appearing in wild places all over the planet but this particular creative use of stone made me smile and think. It reminded me of my children's dinosaur drawings and their excitement at finding an old stone and believing it was a dinosaur bone. It makes me wonder if dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures walked this valley before man appeared and their traces are waiting to be found. 




© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM DAY - SHYNESS OF FAWN

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I am pleased to share another beautiful photograph taken by my brother Chris Knight. I love adding my words to his special images of animals, nature and architecture. This fawn captivates with its wary look at the camera.

A POEM A DAY - CREEPING

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There is an area on our hillside walk where the trees are covered in ivy flower, the scent is overwhelming, sweet and heady. I was under the misconception that ivy took its nutrition from the tree. Usually it is rooted and does not damage the tree unless it affects the tree canopy. This ivy has spread from trees, across paths, walls and whole areas turning the path white with perfumed flower. 


© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - FAIRY WISHES

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The air in the 'campo' is full of fairies, the flying wisps of our wishes. When I was a child I would blow the fairies and watch them float away, carrying my dreams. 






© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.


A POEM A DAY - RENEWAL

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Today the Town Hall issued the first of this year's severe fire warnings. The hillside is dry and covered in crisp kindling which could spark a fire. I hope everyone is careful and 'El Carrescal' and all forest areas survive the next few months danger. Forest fires are terrifying and cause extreme environmental damage when they are followed by autumn rains which wash away the exposed soil. This photograph captures the dryness of the land with the promise of new life. 



© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - IN THE GARDEN

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Today is not a birthday or an anniversary or any special day for remembering my parents but they are on my mind. Maybe I am missing my July visit, an escape from the heat of Spain to the beautiful green of England. They are with me always, in my mind, in the woods, in my children's memories, in the garden. 




© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - THISTLE

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The pink thistles are gone from the hillsides, followed by the blooming of the blue thistle. Yesterday I saw them sprouting all over the trail, the flowers starting to turn from closed white to the colour of the summer sky. 



© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - STARDUST

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A birthday greeting for Carmel, who lights our days with her spirit of generosity and beauty.

A POEM A DAY - RED OCHRE

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This is a photograph of a stone dug from the earth and balanced in a dry stone wall on the 'El Carrascal' hillside. Near here at Petracos there are amazing examples of prehistoric cave art which I wrote about on a previous post, I can imagine this coloured rock being ground to use as ancient paint. 
https://blog.healingwordspoetry.com/2018/08/petracos-cave-paintings.html. 




© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.



A POEM A DAY - UNDER PINE BRANCHES, PHOTO AND POEM

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POEM BELOWAfter a short walk on the hillside it was already too hot to go further so we rested under the shade of a great pine tree. I thought about the men who had cleared this stony ground, planting olive trees, sitting to eat their 'almuerzo' under the same tree. This inspired the longer poem below. 
UNDER PINE BRANCHES

In my shade the donkey rests,freed from straw baskets carryingwater fresh from the 'fuente',gushing vein of life in this boring heat,even my deep roots struggle totap moisture, shared with myolive friends, their silver leaveswhispering secrets as thebreeze lifts terracotta dust,bronzing the sweat dripped faceof the growers, picking stones,raising walls, lifting weeds.They flop beneath me, tired nowfrom their daybreak trek, up, upthe donkey trail from the village,shimmering in heat haze below.Drinking deep the mountain’s blood,they unwrap bursting red tomatoes,oiled black olives, pungent cheesemagicked from roaming goats,break crusty, hard bread, crumbs…

A POEM A DAY - EL POZO. THE WELL

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This is the well outside the village where not so long ago donkeys would stop to drink on their way up to the hills. The well still has water but is not in use. The village water supply is pumped from deep underground from a river that runs under the valley. We are dependent on the rainfall in higher mountains and some dry years the supply is under pressure, especially when the villages dependent on our wells double their population in Summer and swimming pools are filled. Water is a precious gift and when you have experienced it being cut off or the supply controlled it reminds us quite how we take for granted the gushing tap. 


© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - SQUIRRELING

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Today I would like to share one of my brother's fabulous photos. He has a great eye and patience for nature photography and I am grateful to be able to use his work in future posts.This week I spotted a squirrel on a telegraph post on a wooded path near my home. It stared at me for minutes as I tried to capture it with my camera. Then in a flash of tail it leaped into the pine branches and was gone. Like with his amazing bird photographs, I appreciate the skill that goes into such images. 

With thanks to Chris Knight





© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - TREE BONES

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I am used to dry Summers in Spain and distressed trees but with climate change I have witnessed a clear change in weather patterns. The seasonal droughts are more common, the spring and autumn rains sometimes don't appear, there is a continual risk of fire and flowers and trees are confused by the changing weather. Most native trees and plants here are adapted to the arid climate but the lack of water leads to more vulnerability to disease. Fire strips the hillsides and the soil is eroded. This area is on the edge of the desertification zone and if temperatures continue to rise in the next decades the environment in large parts of Spain and southern Europe will be threatened. We all need to do what we can to help halt climate change, every little effort in our daily lives is worth taking. 




© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - STARFLOWERS

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These beautiful flowers bloomed for a short time and then were gone. The spring flowers were spectacular this year after heavy rains in April and I was fascinated to see how each week the flowers changed. Often they seemed grouped by colours, one week I counted 8 different yellow flowers, the next week purples or pinks, then the most glorious shades of blue. 









© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - OAK CARPET

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The other day I sat on dusty earth surrounded by a crunchy oak carpet under a beautiful old oak tree. It was early morning, by 8am it is too hot too walk very far. I was worried by the dryness of the land and the tree, its canopy not looking lush and green but browning and autumnal. A dry leaf fell on my lap as wind blew through the branches. I hope it survives the next few months of heat without too much damage, awaiting September rains. 




© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - SILK PETALS

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Red poppies are a yearly delight bringing joy for their beauty and the reflection inspired by their presence in fields of scarlet. These purple petaled poppies were a spring surprise, found on the roadside high in the hills in Eastern Spain. The petals remind me of the scrunched tissue paper sheets I loved as a child. In Spanish this paper has a beautiful name,  'papel de seda', paper of silk. 





© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.

A POEM A DAY - DESTINY

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When I am able, I walk through trees on the hillside, watching the seasons mark the land. The light leads me on, the path at times shaded, my destiny unknown.

A POEM A DAY - CLOUD GENIE

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There will never be enough words to describe the colours found in nature. Having grown up with holidays by wild northern seas, I can find the Mediterranean a little tranquil but its gentle waves and deep blues calm a restless soul.

A POEM A DAY - TUNNELERS

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A knee high tunnel under the field, the 'campo' around my village is filled with secret places, we just need to look.

A poem a day - SEA HOLLY

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The first day of a new poetry project, as yet without a name (any ideas?) where I will be posting a short poem  and photograph on this blog and via my social media links. You are welcome to share! I will be continuing posting my poetry as and when the muse strikes. Thank you for your support. Twitter Pinterest Healing Words PoetryFacebook . Healing Words Poetry
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