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approaching daybreak, and once again
the snow that was falling has turned to rain
and my hyacinth heart bursts from flower to flame,
petals as blood, it is always the same.




i’ve been reading about cladonia cristatella, and white-striped parasol scilla. in less than a month, i am going to be 28. i’ll either take myself to paris on a train, or else i’ll drive to see hopefully thousands of snowdrops, again, there’s a special walk you can do around the gardens of a grand old house near to where my father’s studio used to be, they’ve dozens and dozens of different breeds. things that don’t help me fall asleep: the silmarillion, valerian tea, worrying.


capiz moon / diary 01.21.19

a capiz moon retires its light to a softening silver sea of first fog, and i am here listening to the sound of boiling water being poured through the little teapot that i’ll set in place next to the candle on my bedside table. lavender, valerian. somewhere north, this morning, there’ll be sunshine yellow guiding gorse petals glittering with frost. and, somewhere further, hopefully, there’s mycena luxaeterna, or eternal light, illuminating a very dark and hidden patch of some faraway forest, to be seen by noone. somewhere else, a family i know will be lacing up their already muddy boots, jumping in the car, dogs in the back, flasks-in-hand, they’ll be heading to dartmoor, i’ve been thinking about down tor, or else, to the beach. and in california, the southbound coastal starlight will have just reached los angeles, city of dreams, where reality and fantasy melt into one another in the heat.

blackthorn, blood moon

a bleak january evening approaching ethereality
on a railway bridge
as the fog’s falling byssine, and brilliantly, around me.
in the hedgerows, the blackthorn and hazels are blossoming.
and everything else is moving underneath, quietly,
you can’t see it but there’s beauty blooming silently, silently.
it waits for the spring.

my uninterrupted attention is prayer.
what celestial circumstance brought me here?
there’ll be a blood moon tonight, the last for ten years.
selenelion sunlight scattered by atmosphere
until it turns rust-red peculiar
and then disappears.



(i’m going to try valerian tea tonight, maybe i’ll sleep a little better)

snow and snow and snow

diary: 01/18/10


all of a sudden, the snow is falling, and without a moment’s pause, i’m out in the garden. the birdbath is frozen, and it’s almost midnight. this feels like dreaming. i’m catching snowflakes with frozen fingers, they’ll turn red and sting soon, but not yet. it’s the sort of clumping snow that i don’t expect will linger long, brief and brilliant beauty, and each flake is half the size of my palm, or, almost. my hair is soaking, i can’t stop shivering, i’m only wearing a skirt and a turtleneck, but i couldn’t care less, there are very few things better than this, and soon enough i’ll borrow my brother’s coat.


there are 41 different types of snow crystal, apparently. stellar, sector, simple, sheath, each requiring a particular set of circumstances for its creation/crystallization. the most commonly spotted snowflake is the symmetrical, six armed, star-shaped, stellar plate. when i was a little girl, i’d fold a piece of a4 paper in half, and with scissors i’d cut patterns into it, unfold, and then cover the paper in silver glitter and glue. they never quite looked right, but i did try.


each winter, the japanese coastal city of otaru plays host to the snow light path festival, or, otaru yuki akari no michi. compacted snow and ice candles, each with a hollowed-out centre, line the city streets, and when set aglow, they light up something like lanterns, amongst snow sculptures, icicles, ice-shrines. families can buy sweets, or steaming hot ramen from a stall, and they can wander down candle-lit canal paths, say their prayers, and then sleep at a ryokan, if they like, once the night is done, rosy-cheeked and smiling. for years, i have wanted to go, and for as long as i can remember, i have loved the snow, how it softens, stills, silences. it pays to forever remember that there are snowflakes and sunbeams in this world, though neither are quite of it.

lichen as lace

the tallest of treetops are my temple arch
and there are cyclamen, snowdrops, lining my path
through this frost-frozen forest, dewdrops, grass, as stained glass
rising incense, the scent of sea air and wildflowers.

i’ve got silver birch bones, and i’ve paper thin skin
and near-transparent, i’ve a heart that lets everything in
so with lichen as lace, i’ll go wandering this place,
seek the shadow and shade of each meadow and glade.

preston sands

it’s rather a windy mid-january day, and i am in torbay, wandering about the rolling cliffside gardens of a fading 19th century mansion. celandine, winter heliotrope, snowdrops, snapdragon, there are several wooden benches too, for sitting down and admiring the view, and there’s a particularly ornate, but switched off, water fountain, weather-worn ancient sea gods and sirens, still proud, but paint peeling. there’s even a crocus or two, though they’re not yet in full bloom. all about me, dew drops are clinging to every blade, and over the ocean, clouds and sunbeams alternate, shadows stretching and contracting. the sunlight fades, illuminates, and fades again, and on the horizon, there’s the distant, but eventual, promise of rain.

i find my way to paignton’s preston sands, where stephanie tells me that each seventh wave is the strongest. there are strandline seashells of every sort, washed up onto shore. whelk, whorled, silver striped and slipper limpets, all caught in the rippling ribbons and ridges of shale and shingle saltation, sea-polished cobble and perfectly spherical pebbles aplenty.  a black labrador bounds about, braving the breaking waves, which are growing in strength, pawprints in patterns, and a little girl wearing a sparkling black coat and pink wellingtons boots is constructing a castle, from sand, spade, and bucket, next to the creaking pier. today, i am meant to be here.

a thought on music

i crossed the great western deserts to get here,
and now i am standing on the shore of some semiotic, or synodic, sea.
veiled grey horizon, fine mists rising
and separating me from the sonorous.
there’s a scattering of sandbanks, shoals, islets, atolls. and something’s hiding, behind them,
it’s not all oceanic expanse.
i think sound is emergence, it urges a certain sort of person to dip their toes into that primordial water.

glory of the snow


ever onwards. i like to imagine that each january day rolls something like a crashing wave, the tide is coming in and the water is pushing you further, further, into the unfamiliar, fantastic, frightening, foreign, territory of a new year. on a particularly dreary winter’s evening, you might need reminding, to step up your observing, look closely, you’ll see. this is a land of:

  • half-moon teapots.
  • salmonberry jam from kodiak island, or strawberry, from the supermarket.
  • sugar pine scent on your wrists, on the breeze, there are far away and ancient forests to be wandered.
  • catkins that pretend to be caterpillars, caterpillars that pretend to be catkins.
  • seashore scilla amethystina.
  • springtime glory of the snow, bulbs through the post.