Winter

Photo of tree by Tabitha Potts

Strange times continue, and we plod on trying to cope. I’ve been walking a lot, like I imagine everyone has, finding a lot of comfort in looking at the winter landscape, the sea and the woods. I’ve been taking a lot of photographs with my new camera, most of which I share on Instagram, trying to find a way of recording these landscapes which move me so much.

Photography shares some aspects with writing, in that you can see something very beautiful and satisfying and yet struggle to capture it. I think I’ve always understood that frustration was part of the creative process, as both my parents were writers (perhaps that’s why I took so long to commit to it). But I’ve also been trying to let go of perfectionism and fear and actually enjoy the process of writing again. As part of that, I attended an online flash fiction course run by Emily Devane and joined a Zoom writing retreat run by Sarah Dale. Both were inspiring.

Sometimes, you have to accept that it’s the wrong season for things to grow, and I’ve been feeling like that a lot last year when it comes to my writing. So I’m writing when I can, and just enjoying the scenery when I can’t. I wrote this poem, inspired by a witch ball that I was given by my mother Jocasta for my birthday, in one of Sarah’s retreats. It’s about superstition and how we surround ourselves with the little things that make us feel safe. I see it as a spell or charm. I hope you like it.

The last gift my mother gave me

Silver wind in the trees
Acorns on windowsills
Smoke in the night
We can see ourselves
In candlelight
A charm of protection
A caged cat
In the foundations
Of an old house
To keep the devil out

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