Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trees, food and poetry - in any order!

Geoscience Australia, The AUSMAP Atlas of Australia, 1992.   Page 12 Longitude, Time and Communication

I think that I was misled by the word: webinar.  The excitement of coming into contact with a useful neologism got me up at the crack of dawn to participate in a web-based discussion called, you’ve guessed it, a ‘webinar’.
            As this was being hosted in America the time was in EST, which I duly translated into Madrid time.  And was twelve hours out in my calculations!  A mistake anyone can make, though the six hours difference should have been added rather than taken away from their starting time.  If I had thought about it for longer than a Nano second I might have worked out that the USA is to the west of us and that the sun rises in the east and . . . well, there is no excuse really.
            And when, twelve hours later, I finally joined the webinar (having decided that this mixture of web and seminar was not really so clever) I discovered that the whole enterprise was actually a selling opportunity for the couple of hosts who were taking the webinar.  I have to admit that they did give some good advice and I did have the muted thrill of hearing the title of my forthcoming book, ‘Flesh Can Be Bright’ read out by the female host, so a few hundred people have heard the title, which is the first stage, I suppose, towards buying the thing!

Grab muck away lorry
The shock of the day was finding out, when I attempted to park in the leisure centre, that all the trees had been cut down!  I never like seeing trees destroyed, but this seemed worse somehow as these trees have been my on-going inspiration for a whole series of poems and are the basis for a continuing series of poems.  I did, of course make copious notes as I sipped my tea and watched the workmen operating the grab and scooping up the remains of the shattered vegetation.  This is the poem I wrote:

Winter Trees

ii.   Gone

The blossom headed grab
picks up what’s left of
twenty trees.

When this year’s growth
was not cut back,
I should have known
that something was afoot.

And now these winter-winnowed
twigs protrude from that
closed metal sphere
like so much wayward hair.

Spaced equally, the twenty
shallow pits share emptiness
concave, not deep.

How easy to remove. 
And cut. 
Fresh, pungent stumps
that flaunt their age
in death.

Those trees were never huggable.
The rough, stained, ulcered bark
defied caress.  And yet.

Will asphalt fill the cavities
where roots once were?

And cars park easily
on obstacle free ground?

And memory forget
that there were ever trees?

This poem is the second that I have written about Winter trees and I hope, eventually, it will be a continuation of the series that I have already written on Autumn trees.  My latest poems can be found at:  I am thinking about this series as forming part of my next but one book of poems!  There is nothing like thinking ahead.  I would like this series to be accompanied by original drawings, just as I hope the ‘Autumn trees’ series will be in ‘Flesh Can Be Bright’ to be published this September.  That all sounds so professional, I can almost believe it!

Lunch today was spectacular, one of the best that we have had in Castelldefels.  I had a started of Carpaccio of beef that I last had in Paris.  This was substantially better, and a bloody sight cheaper!  My whole meal cost about ten quid, including a class of Cava and coffee with ice.  The homemade tiramisu was something that my friend Paul would have killed for.  You can see photos of most of the dishes in You will not see photos of the postres because we both started eating them before I thought of using the camera!  Again! 
Toni’s blog is growing nicely and the photos are a vivid reminder of the excellence of the eating experience that Castelldefels offers at such a reasonable cost.
Our eventual hope is that the blog will eventually be recognized as one of the formative eating guides and we will be fed for nothing where ’ere we go!  Fond hope.  But the blog is looking good and it is a clear guide about where to go for a good meal at more than reasonable cost.

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