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And the Blackbird sang on (Lockdown #1)

Anthropocalypse

Bats over the river

Beyond ancient trees

Blood of stone

Brute tractor

Buzzard aloft, A

Christmas Ravens, A conversation

Conflation

Conversation with a Shropshire Kestrel

Crooked path, A

Dead froglet, The

Dying pigeon, The

Eagles and orchids

Early bird, An

Earth red bank, The

Elegy to a giant

Epitaph for the Badger

Farewell to two young birds

From an overgrown Path

Girl with bobbing hair, The

Gleam of celandine, The

Good manners

Good morning Christmas

Greatness of small luxuries, The

Grief

His time

I would be dead

Leaping sprite unheard, A

Letter came yesterday, A

Lost friends

Magpie, The

Monogamy

Nets of words

No earthly worm this



Of a son

Of all the sounds

Old naturalist, The

Once in a country lane

Oratory

Owl and the playtime pinewoods, The

Paintings hang about for years

Pitfalls and potholes

Railway warbler, The

Rain love-lines

Raven - evermore, The

Raven spoke, The

Rejection

Remorse

Rubbish

Single tree, A

Snow owl, The

Sonnet to a dying squirrel

Sparrowhawk, The

Subjugated

Such is wilderness

They

This farming business

Those dark winter days

Thumbnail toad, The

Tombstone buzzard, The

Travel travails

Umberleigh

We saw two hedgehogs

Where you are not

White maggots

Whitethroat singing

Wind song

Winter shorelines

 




Richard’s poetry

Introduction


All writing should speak for itself I suppose but these thoughts about poems come from my love of traditional nature writing. Wordsworth described poetry as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity, and who would argue with him?


I have no formal education in poetry (nor in much else) and find all the strictures and structures mind-boggling and too scientific (quite enough of that in other fields) and fear that if I worried too much it would kill the love. Instead, I'm inspired by John Donne (we share a birthday, though in a somewhat different century), Robert Frost, John Clare (of course), Edward Thomas, W.H. Davies (Supertramp), R.S. Thomas, William Barnes, H.D. Thoreau, W.B. Yeats, Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan.


So, as always, mentoring comes from the masters. Isaac Newton mentioned ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, and the great self-taught Spanish guitarist Segovia said, I was my own teacher and pupil; anything is possible if you have enough enthusiasm and work hard.


Finally, though I have nothing against ‘free verse’ or 'blank verse' per se it has to be bloody good, a la Shakespeare or Wordsworth, or, for me, Ted Walker - the Sussex poet I've only just discovered. There's so much bad prose masquerading as poetry, I struggle to distinguish free verse from cut-about prose. Funky or clever use of blank space, and truncated line breaks do not, of themselves, make good poetry - which I think of as linguistic music. Robert Frost memorably said that free verse was “like playing tennis without a net”.

I hope you can browse and enjoy some of these poems.

Richard