Riddles in the dark…

I’ve been writing again. It’s slow work, scattered and often broken, but there’s movement of sorts. When I think back to how much and how frequently I used to write, it feels sometimes as if I’ve faltered, but in truth I’m moving to a different rhythm now. Of what I’ve written so far, what little good there has been has come about through grace or happy accident, and I’ve cultivated those skills that serve best for putting myself in the right place and time to have a pen in my hand and not too much interference internally when the lightning moves. But, as time goes on, I’m more and more interested in the other side of this poetic coin – the form and the making of a vehicle for the magic through that form. If I had the time (and money) I’d study at greater length and learn how to graft and craft the words better. As it is, I’m learning a little at the moment by reading about cynghanedd – a form of Welsh poetry – in the excellent book, Singing in Chains by Mererid Hopwood. I’ll write more about this another time, I hope.

In the meantime, it’s early January. We’re parked up in mid-Devon on the farm of friends and landing after months and months of being busy beyond our resources. Our boy is growing fast, delighting in music and language and the joys of climbing and throwing himself about with an abandon that’s wonderful and terrifying to behold. Five a.m. is a hard time to wake up in Winter, unless you’re nearly two years old.

I recently remembered a recording of Sometimes a Wild God that was made the day we took to the road with Hedgespoken. A film crew from Germany had been filming that stage of Hedgespoken’s life and it was a peculiar experience. The poem was recorded in a car on the edge of Dartmoor in the middle of the night – I was fairly delirious with exhaustion, as the days prior to our departure were arduous and long, but thanks to the persistence of Marie Elisa Scheidt and her sound-man Philip Hutter, we got there in the end. I’ve just spent a few days cleaning up the recording – let me know what you think.

I’d hoped to have the recording ready for Twelfth Night, but time slips and slurs and here we are, sliding into the darkness with Spring a long way off.

As it’s Winter and the times are strange and we need to put food on the table, we’re running an offer at Hedgespoken Press at the moment – buy one poster of Sometimes a Wild God (£5), get one free. One for yourself and one for a friend? Why not. Let’s all make it through Winter as best we can!



I hope you enjoy the words. I’m off to hibernate a little now – if there’s writing of consequence in the dark, I’ll let you know…

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11 thoughts on “Riddles in the dark…

  1. Oh my Gods! What a gift this Winters Eve.
    I most certainly would buy a download of this. No really!!!
    I missed your Winter Plays too!
    Had you thought of recording them and publishing in Bandcamp? Or even a cd?
    I’m certain many of us would buy more than one copy!!!
    A Winters Blessing to you, Rima and your dear Boy x

  2. Love the spoken recording! I bought the little book when it first came out and memorized the poem, would quote it to myself during my walks in the woods. This is exactly as I imagined it spoken, the same way I speak it! I bought a copy for a friend and we discuss what the meaning might be, different for each. Thank you for sharing this! It warms me on this winters night.

  3. I have just listened to your reading while reading Martin Shaw’s Scatterlings and having just read Thursbitch by Alan Garner with his sentient landscapes – and like old words conjured anew – somehow hearing you read Sometimes a Wild God, brings something new leaping and swirling, not just from your words, but from all these voices and stories leaning in from the edges and marginal spaces. This is the gift of a storyteller – that your words and voice are the hedgerow. Thanks for gifting us all the audio and may your lovely little family keep warm and cosy through winter. May words and art bloom. Thank you!

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